There sure is a bunch of buzz about constantly varied, functional fitness these days…
So where’s all the honey?
Different workout routines promising health improvements are being programmed everywhere, but if you ask their designers what the intention is, you may not always be given an intelligent answer. For the novice or sedentary, you can do literally anything and see improvement. It’s low hanging fruit, ripe for the picking. But even for the recreational boutique fitness studio hopper, objective progress can be a mystery.
We aren’t novices. Not anymore. Even if it’s your first day in group class at Cfdc, you’ve learned foundational movements, experienced progressions, and built a base with your coach. For the vets, we all have a well-rounded base of benchmark PR’s, 1 Rep Maxes, and can almost predict how any workout will turn out for us.
To see objective progress. We require more intentional training.
Objective Body Metrics
Scales don’t tell the full story. Even Body-Mass-Index (BMI) can be misleading. They tell us very little about our tissue ratios. It’s common for a novice to work hard and make tough positive life changes, all to be discouraged by the scale. You work hard, eat better, and don’t lose weight? A scale won’t tell you that you’re gaining muscle and losing fat. The BMI might even signal toward being overweight.
You’ve all been on the InBody and have objective measurements to gauge your progress.
The 3 main metrics we observe are:
Skeletal Muscle Mass
Body Fat Percentage
All of these metrics fall on the same continuum of sickness, wellness, and fitness (super-wellness). The observation of these 3 metrics can clue us into how to guide your nutrition and training, which will lead to more objective and specific progress in overall well-being.
Objective Movement Metrics
A balanced improvement of the 10 general physical skills (strength, stamina, endurance, flexibility, power, speed, balance, accuracy, coordination, and agility) ensures a healthier individual.
This is where we separate ourselves. Constantly varied functional fitness does not have to be random. An intentionally balanced design can elicit progress across all physical skills. Case in point, most of us recently observed absolute strength improvements in the Power Lifts (deadlift, bench press, and back squat). Shortly after we saw gymnastics stamina and coordination improve. All while maintaining or even improving our metabolic conditioning.
[Note* Favoring any single physical skill is called “specificity,” and is appropriate for athletes pursuing specific athletic goals. Specificity is not correlative to health (eg: Power Lifters can lift a house in their prime, but negligence of flexibility and endurance may lead to injury, among other long-term issues).]
Objective Capacity Metrics
Every mixed modal workout (Metcons: Couplets, Triplets, Chippers, Etc) has its unknowns. This is part of the fun and appeal of constantly varied functional fitness. We put ourselves to the test of the unknown and unknowable, because hey, that’s life. (Thanks Frank Sinatra.) Without benchmark workouts or single modality endurance tests, objective progress is a guessing game.
The 2020 Programming Game Plan
We may be good at guessing by now, but it’s better to know. More importantly, we want you to know that your programming has intention.
As noted on SugarWod at the start of last week, we are intentionally preparing for the world’s largest fitness competition, the CrossFit Open. It will begin October 10th and run for 5 weeks. During this phase leading up to the Open, we will be hitting more of the movements likely to be seen in the Open. Expect to see workouts demanding increased work capacity from 5-20 minutes, including simple to complex movements and light to heavy loads. This is the first of 8 phases.
The following 7 phases, each lasting 6 weeks, will target a couple strength components, a couple mixed modal tests, and a monostructural aerobic capacity test. We’re attacking all 10 general physical skills with intention.
For instance, when Valentine’s Day rolls around (end of Phase 3), you’ll know you’ll be more efficient with Thrusters, stronger with Deadlifts, how many calories you can burn on an air-bike in 10 minutes, what your “Nate” time is, and Fran will be everyone’s dinner date (and this time you may actually want to see her again).
Movements will progress with skill demand and you’ll be more prepared for it than ever before.
Welcome to the future, Mcfly. Where we’re going, we don’t need guesses.
August 19 - October 11, 2019
CrossFit Open Prep
October 11 - November 8, 2019
November 11 - November 15, 2019
November 18, 2019 - January 3, 2020
Max Rep Strict Pull Up
10 Rep Back Squat
January 6 - February 14, 2020
1 Rep Deadlift
10 Minute Air Bike
February 17 - March 27, 2020
Max Rep Bench Press 80/60% Body Weight
1 Rep Overhead Squat
March 30 - May 8, 2020
10 Rep Power Clean
1 Rep Max Weighted Pull Up
1 Mile Run
May 11 - June 12, 2020
1 Rep Power Snatch
3 Rep Strict Press
AMRAP 7 Double Unders
June 15 - July 24, 2020
1 Rep Clean & Jerk
Max Duration L-Sit
Row 500m, rest 90s, Row 500m
July 27 - September 4, 2020
1 Rep Squat Snatch
Press to Stand