Josh's CrossFit Training<< 2012-04-30
At Bottom: Josh works through 225# Hang Power Cleans during his second attempt at Regionals Event 2.
TRAIN UP PLAN GOING INTO REGIONALS
After the last Sectionals event, Josh was ranked like 32 going into the Regionals. However, the CrossFit Judge who reviewed the video found fault with some of Josh's reps - we're not sure which ones - perhaps double ups. - anyway, Josh lost some points and dropped down to 52nd place. - Still making the cut for the Regional Games.
Josh is in the Northwest Region, and his Regionals will be held the weekend of May 25th. This is an advantage - it gives us time to work on his weaknesses. But this also gives all his competitors time to work on theirs!
The Regional Events were announced on May 18th, and I had Josh work through the 6 events over 6 days.
On Friday, May 20th, he completed Event 1 in at noon, and Event 2 in the evening. On Monday, he completed Events 3 and 4 - with the same break between, and the following Wednesday, he completed Events 5 and 6.
I wanted him to complete the events as prescribed to get a benchmark of where he was at, and to get a sense of how he was recovering.
When we looked at the events initially, we felt they played to Josh's advantage - especially because much of the loading was heavy. It's a good thing he performed them initially - we found some holes in his game.
Event 1: Josh had no problem with the deadliest, but had to break the handstand pushups in Rounds 2 and 3, and even go down to singles to finish. His completion time wasn't competitive. Work to do on handstand pushups - also, the games require then hands to be no more than 3' apart. Josh was used to doing handstand pushups with a wider stance - which made his range of motion less, and the exercise easier. The narrower stands makes them harder.
Event 2: Josh smoked the row, but struggled with technique on the pistols - something we haven't practiced. He made it through the 225# hang cleans - but finished doing singles. These are heavy and hard - more work to do.
Event 3: We feared this - 100# dumbbell snatches seem brutal. But were able to wrangle up a couple big dumbbells and Josh was able to complete all these rounds unbroken.
Event 4: Josh failed to make the cutoff time for this event his first effort through. What killed him was the pullups - the squats and push presses sucked - but his strength is there. Butterfly pullups are a CrossFit-specific skill exercise he needs technical work and practice on.
Event 5: Coming in Josh's PR Snatch was 235#, and for this event, he made 225#. We know that in the few weeks before Regionals, we put a lot of effort into increasing his snatch, without a lot of return in points. We're hoping he can repeat this 225# effort at the games, and perhaps make 235#.
Event 6: Josh failed to make the cutoff time for this event. Muscle ups and Toes to Bar - both CrossFit-specific skill exercises - cost him dearly. He did ok on the 345# dead lifts - though had to break all the sets.
Based on Josh's performance the first time through, we identified these technique areas to work on:
- Muscle Ups
- Pull ups
- Toes to Bar
As Josh pointed out, it's one thing to have great muscle up technique when you're plenty rested. Quite another to have good technique coming into the exercise smoked. So we understand Josh needs to work on both - rested technique, and then the application of that technique under stress. We know his technique will break down with fatigue. The goal is to delay this break down both in time when it occurs, and it's extent.
Strength areas to Work On:
- 345# Dead Lifts
- Handstand Pushups
- 225# Hang Power Cleans
A couple other issues concerned us:
1) Volume and Recovery - Josh performed these events initially with a day break between. This isn't what will happen at Regionals, where he'll have to perform the events on consecutive days. We need to build his recovery from high volume - specifically in two areas these sessions hit hardest - shoulders and quads.
Initially I spent several hours breaking down the individual events for a total volume analysis on the shoulders and quads and came up with brilliant total quantity and formula, then never used it in design.
Going in we know exactly the volume he'll face - and so decided to continue to repeat the events themselves, not only to train sport specifically, but also ensure we were exposing Josh to the proper volume and challenging his body to recover from it.
2) 20+ Minute Work Capacity - We were somewhat surprised at the length of some of these events - 16-22 minutes. Certainly one way to train work capacity for these events is to repeat them - and in our ongoing program design we do, but we also wanted to step away from the events and train Josh's work capacity in a way which would keep his heart rate around 170, yet not significantly hammer his legs with lots of squatting. We chose an AMRAP format, 25 minutes, of rowing, running and the airdyne, as the event. Josh will wear a heart rate monitor and keep his heart rate above 170 for the duration.
Regionals Training Cycle Design Components:
- Improve Josh's muscle up, pistol, pullup and Toes to Bar technique.
- Improve Josh's strength endurance for 345# dead lifts, handstand push ups and 225# Hang Power Cleans
- Train Josh's Recovery by making sure he's accommodating to the high volume of work on the shoulders and quads in the Regional Events
- Train Josh's Work Capacity in the 25-min range with minimum addition to squatting volume.
- Repeat the Events - but with progressed rest between the parts - the goal is to keep Josh familiar with the events, work in the proper volume, and also train his technique under the stress he'll face at regionals.
Based on the above, here is the Plan we developed over the next three weeks. This may change is Josh isn't making progress, and/or, is close to overtraining. We have Josh training 2x/Day, Mon, Wed and Fri, and 1x/Day, Tues and Thursday:
AM - 1RM Snatch
Event 1 for Time
Technique work: Pullups/Pistols
PM - Event 2 with 90 sec between parts (this will progress to 30 sec)
- 1RM Dead Lift
- 345# Dead Lift Density Training
- Technique Work - Pull ups
- Core Training
AM - Event 3 for Time
PM - Event 4 with 3 min rest between parts (This will progress to 1 min)
- 25min AMRAP, Row 500m, Run 600m, 30x Airdyne Cals, at 170-175 BPM
- Technique Work - Pistols, Muscle Ups
AM - Event 5
- Technique Work, Muscle ups, Toes to Bar
PM - Event 6 with 3 min rest between parts (this will progress to 1 min)
- We understand that during the Regionals, Josh won't get a day break between events. However, we both felt repeating the Regional Events as prescribed each week leading in carried risks also - over training, both mentally and physically, plus, we weren't sure just doing the events would allow Josh to improve technique on his weak exercises. We hope this approach is a balance.
- We also understand that during the Regionals, he won't get the break between parts of the events. With this approach, we're trying to apply a play out of the racing playbook. Often, to improve your mile running time, the coach will prescribe 200 and 400m repeats - we're applying this thought to the different parts of these events. We progress the break - it gets shorter, each week.
We believe Josh is the only athlete going to regionals from Wyoming, and he related a story recently where he was trying, unsuccessfully, to explain the whole CrossFit Games thing to someone not familiar with CrossFit. "So you're a professional exerciser?" the person asked.
Isn't this awesome?? Now I call Josh the "Professional Exerciser."
- Rob Shaul