7 Weeks Out
When Scott and I sat down to write first training cycle for the Competition Program, we knew that the training had to be completely focused on preparing athletes for the CrossFit Open. The first week of training started at the beginning of January, so we only had about 7 weeks to get folks ready.
Realistically, it’s tough to build a whole lot of fitness in 7 weeks (unless you are a novice). True athletic development takes time, a lot of time. But, that didn’t mean that this 7 weeks of training couldn’t be useful!
Sharpening the Sword
While athletic development is a long-term process, what we could do is put the “finishing touches” on the fitness that the athletes following the program already had. Their proverbial fitness swords had already been cast, they just needed to be sharpened now.
This sharpening included a great deal of technique refinement, practice with movements likely to appear in the Open (both in fatigue and non-fatigue based settings), lots of “game-day” situations to prep athletes for the mental and physical challenges they’ll face in competition, and of course a steady diet of strength training & energy system work.
The results included snatch PR’s, first muscle-ups, a lot of LEGIT numbers for some brutal conditioning tests, and several folks remarking how wall ball shots and double-unders now felt “easy” (yes, that is possible).
For the Competition crew, the next step is to put all that fitness to use in the CrossFit Open. Many competitors will try to “train through” the Open, continuing to put in a lot of volume during the week. For those wishing to perform their absolute best during each Open workout though, this is not the best approach.
Open events are incredibly taxing, and so it is best to be fresh when taking them on. As such, the Competition Program will focus on maintaining fitness and skills during the Open, and helping athletes recover so that they are ready to kill it when comes time to compete on Saturday.
What Lies Ahead
After the Open is over, the offseason begins. This is where the good stuff really happens!
If the 7 weeks leading up to a competition are for “sharpening,” the offseason is where the sword is cast. This is when major changes can be made to the fundamental make-up of athletes, so that they are ready to take on the next season feeling like a new person.
An initial assessment period will help Scott and I determine what the training priorities for the year should be, and then it’s time to pour some metal!
How to Get Started
Our main goal with this program is to give regular folks with jobs and lives outside of the gym access to high-quality competition based training.
If you are injury free and have a desire to explore the competitive side of things, you can participate in the Competition Program!
A good time to start would be…right now! The workouts are posted on the training calendar here > https://crossfitportland.com/competition-wods/.
Full-time members of CrossFit Portland can take on the workouts during Open Gym time, and those following abroad can do them at their home gyms. Each week, there is one coach-led session based around the Competition programming, which will take place at 5:30 pm on Fridays at CrossFit Portland during the Open.
If you’re not so sure yet, but after seeing or participating in the Open decide that this might be something you’d like to try, another great time to start would be right after the Open ends (March 30th).
This will allow you to participate in the assessment period as well as give you lots of time to build your fitness in the offseason before taking on any competitions.
If you have any questions about the program, contact myself or Scott by email or by posting a comment on the current training day on the Competition Program calendar.
Oh, I will be teaching a CrossFit skills workshop and continuing the Olympic Weight Lifting class. Sign up if you are interested!