To: Our Asia Championships and CrossFit Regional hopeful athletes, and ALSO those who want to kick their last year’s ass’s ass during this year’s CrossFit Open
With the CrossFit Open looming (sorta) it’s time to get to business. For many of us regionals and/or the Asia Championships is a big outcome goal that we have. If not, you may be anxious to destroy last year’s results and help validate the increase in fitness that you know you’ve made. These are good goals; goals that we should have I believe. However, the focus still has to remain on the process.
We’ve nearly shat out pants on countless occasions trying to hit our numbers through a big strength emphasis stretching from April through to July. Since August we’ve been trying to bolster strength a bit while focusing on becoming more technically proficient with our Olympic lifting. We are definitely a strength and power bias gym. It’s just so much frickin’ fun to lift heavy things overhead and on our backs and shoulders. I really don’t understand how anybody could disagree with this and why we don’t have lines of people from our gym to the BTS station waiting for every class. Anyway, folks at Training Ground are getting stronger. And they are getting sexier with Olympic lifting. I would venture to say that because of this we have a much more concrete base upon which we can build our fitness. We have accomplished our collective goal in this regard and I’m very very proud of everybody (hugs).
Now it’s time to get with Danny Bro-Flex’s program and PROVE OUR FITNESS!
So, here’s a list of things you need to get good at if you want to crush the open and qualify for the highlight reel events in Asia, or, crush last year’s you.
Pull-ups, chest to bar pull-ups, toes-to-bar, ring muscle ups
Work on EMOMs for all of these. Start low and build up your endurance and efficiency over time. Maybe you’re only capable of doing 3 pull-ups at once. Start with a ten-minute EMOM doing 4 per minute, and increase the volume each week. If you don’t have chest to bar pull-ups, find out why. Usually it’ll be weakness at the top and the inability to rotate the scapula properly to bring the chest to the bar. Work strict, wide rows with SUPER FULL ROM getting your chest through it, strict pull ups, eccentrics starting with your chest glued to the bar, and work on opening those hips during your kip. If you don’t have strict pull ups yet, you know the deal, so I won’t repeat here.
For muscle ups, remember that a bunch of crappy hopeful attempts will get you nowhere. Work on pulling your body 1/10th of a millimeter higher each day, and you’ll get there. Work on eccentric dips, tempo dips, and pushing yourself from the deepest catch possible. Your first muscle up is likely to be caught DEEP! Your first muscle up is probably the most likely to hurt you, so be prepared. Be strong enough to handle it. We recently had a member hit her first muscle up without attempting one for 3 months. She did the strength work, the drills working on turnover, the pull up work, and she was consistent with her effort. After three months she attempted a muscle up and got it. Two actually. Don’t hope to magically get one. Put in the work to get one and earn the right to attempt it.
For females, you need to be able to kill clean and jerks between 85 and 125 lbs. For snatch, focus on dominating 55-105 lbs.
For the lads dominate the 115 – 185 area in clean and jerks, and 75-145 for snatch.
If the weights are lighter, you’ll be ok. It won’t be more than 10 lbs lighter anyway, so let that be a treat if it shows up. Practice touch and go snatching and cleaning to get comfortable with the movement. Have the ability to catch the clean in the dip position and transition seamlessly into a solid press or jerk. This will save you a lot of time and is a trademark of any high level competitive exerciser.
Learn to feel where you are catching each lift, and adjusting by dropping a fraction lower than the previous rep if needed, while not losing rhythm. If you really want to get fancy, you can practice some upper body dominant vs lower body dominant cleans and snatches at these weights. If the volume is ridiculous (it likely will be), you may need to employ different styles just like runners do during races. Also, keep that lower back rock solid, of course. A lazy torso will equate to injury. Program some slow eccentric dead lifts to build up some extra strength.
I’m going to put thrusters in here because I don’t know where else to put it. Thrusters are to CrossFit competitions as Chinese tourists are to brand name stores. They are just going to be there, no matter the location on earth. Your local event will have thrusters, and so will The Open. The weight of choice is usually in the 95-100 lbs range for willies, and 65-70 lbs for lilies. I have an inkling that this year it’ll be heavier. Get efficient. Get balanced. Practice them heavy. Be able to bounce out of the hole. Boost your front squat and your push press individually and you’ll see this movement climb your favourites list.
Rowing, wall balls, double unders, box jumps, burpees
When these movements show up, they are designed to take your breath away and make you wobble. These are all about embracing the suck. Throw yourself in the mix with some heart thumping mono structural workouts that tackle these conditioning beasts. Get all your rowing numbers down, be able to do perform 100 DUs at the end of a tough workout unbroken, be capable of charging through box jumps/step ups regardless of how heavy your squats were WITHOUT STOPPING, and just remember that you can also do a burpee, no matter how much your lungs burn. We did an end of the workout test a while back of a single max effort set of unbroken wall balls. Everybody did more than they thought they could. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting comfortable being uncomfortable, and other times it’s allowing yourself to go to that deep, deep dark place in your soul to do some window-shopping. You need to experience being in the suck, and subsequently overcome it in order to have the confidence needed to crush certain workouts and go back to that place. If you’ve done 100 unbroken wall balls before, you won’t give in to a set of 40. Also, you’ll discover how to efficiently breathe and move under extreme fatigue, and these are the safest CF movements to experience that with. To perform well in a test of fitness in the CrossFit world, you need that knowledge, and you need that experience.