Developing A Better Conditioning CrossFit Engine

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In the video, live testing of oxygen saturation & hemoglobin in the working muscle during an Airdyne training session – with the Moxy Monitor and Mark McLaughlin.

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In the video, live testing of oxygen saturation & hemoglobin in the working muscle during an Airdyne training session – with the Moxy Monitor and Mark McLaughlin.Coming back better.For nearly everyone in the "Sport of Fitness", the off-season has begun. What are you doing to come back better next year? The common practice is to focus on working one's weaknesses. And, if one is actually diligent about this, it works – at least for beginners and intermediates in the sport. I'm not going to bore you with some of the common suggestions for off-season improvements. It's a confusing and complex sport to prepare for because of the multiple skills and unknown events. Solving this complex problem is why I am still drawn to coach athletes in the sport, and still participate in it myself to a degree. This sport requires not only learning and refining many different skills, but also high levels of strength and aerobic power. Initially, the beginner stage features rapid gains for nearly everyone. These gains come from familiarization, strength & skill acquisition, better tolerance to high intensity, and mental factors – to name a few. This process continues, but since there are so many avenues to improvement, athletes may often PR tester workouts just from better skill or familiarity but not actually be any "fitter". (that is, actually be stronger, have better aerobic power, etc)Once you've become pretty proficient at the skills of the sport, then what? This is where many more advanced athletes find themselves – simply trying to work on one's weak points (skills or capacity) may not actually help much anymore. This is where many get off on the wrong track. Once the skills and strategies have been developed, an increase in biological power is really the only way to improve further in the sport. (CNS drive, aerobic improvements, movement efficiency, autonomic/hormonal balance, etc) Just practicing the sport often isn't enough to drive further improvements.How do we develop that power, and how does one determine what needs to be done to improve in the first place? I will touch on my thoughts on each of the following areas – and what I do to develop them – in some upcoming posts. This will also be very relevant to those who have no interest in competition but want to have well-rounded fitness:Programming to develop concurrent abilities in strength, endurance, and skillEnergy system assessment/development – what is the real limitation?Movement efficiency/compensation patternsRecovery – what actually works?

Posted by Scott Hagnas on Thursday, April 16, 2015

For nearly everyone in the “Sport of Fitness”, the off-season has begun. What are you doing to come back better next year? The common practice is to focus on working one’s weaknesses. And, if one is actually diligent about this, it works – at least for beginners and intermediates in the sport.

I’m not going to bore you with some of the common suggestions for off-season improvements. It’s a confusing and complex sport to prepare for because of the multiple skills and unknown events. Solving this complex problem is why I am still drawn to coach athletes in the sport, and still participate in it myself to a degree.

This sport requires not only learning and refining many different skills, but also high levels of strength and aerobic power. Initially, the beginner stage features rapid gains for nearly everyone. These gains come from familiarization, strength & skill acquisition, better tolerance to high intensity, and mental factors – to name a few. This process continues, but since there are so many avenues to improvement, athletes may often PR tester workouts just from better skill or familiarity but not actually be any “fitter”. (that is, actually be stronger, have better aerobic power, etc)

Once you’ve become pretty proficient at the skills of the sport, then what?

This is where many more advanced athletes find themselves – simply trying to work on one’s weak points (skills or capacity) may not actually help much anymore. This is where many get off on the wrong track. Once the skills and strategies have been developed, an increase in biological power is really the only way to improve further in the sport. (CNS drive, aerobic improvements, movement efficiency, autonomic/hormonal balance, etc) Just practicing the sport often isn’t enough to drive further improvements.

How do we develop that power, and how does one determine what needs to be done to improve in the first place?

I will touch on my thoughts on each of the following areas – and what I do to develop them – in some upcoming posts. This will also be very relevant to those who have no interest in competition but want to have well-rounded fitness:

Programming to develop concurrent abilities in strength, endurance, and skill
Energy system assessment/development – what is the real limitation?
Movement efficiency/compensation patterns
Recovery – what actually works?