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New Strength Cycle! What to expect over the next few months

By Tim! Wells | In Articles, Blog, News | on March 28, 2019

Congratulations to everyone that participated in the Open this year! Each Friday Night Lights was a huge success, and Open Gym every weekend was buzzing with activity. It was a great deal of fun and you all performed wonderfully. I’d say the workouts this year were pretty on par with what we’ve experienced in the past, with 19.5 perhaps being a bit more challenging than usual. But we made it, and now it’s time to move on and start working towards the next Open in October.

If you’ve been around for more than a year or two, you might remember that we traditionally dive into a strength cycle for a few months after the Open. The format of those past strength cycles doesn’t really mesh well with the current format of our programming, but I still love the idea of giving you all specific skills and movements to focus on over the course of a month or two. So I want to take a moment to outline my plan for a hybrid strength cycle of sorts, that I plan to begin next Monday, 4/1/19.

An important thing to remember as we go through this: we don’t need to have a dedicated 20-30 minute lifting session every day in order to get stronger. A few sets of 10 moderate-to-heavy front squats within a metcon is going to contribute to your overall squat strength, in a different way than the long lifting session will. Constantly varying the format of our lifting will yield better results and a more well-rounded, fitter you. This concept was the basis for our decision to change the way we program your workouts a few months ago.

Our hybrid strength cycle will honestly not be that different from what you’ve come to expect from our programming. We’ll just be focusing a bit more on the deadlift, the back squat and the shoulder press. You’ll see each of these movements, or a variation of these movements, at least once every week. We’re gonna stick to one or two dedicated lifting sessions a week, and the other movements will be featured prominently in your metcons. I threw together a few example workouts below:

Week 1:

WOD 1:WOD 2: WOD 3:
Deadlift 5-5-5-5-5AMRAP 15:
50 double unders
8 bar over burpees

3 front squats 135/95

4 strict press
4 push press
4 push jerks

3 rounds:
400m run
20 shoulder to overhead (115/80)

Week 2:

WOD 1:WOD 2:WOD 3:
12 minutes to find a
heavy back squat triple

EMOM 18:
1 – 10 burpees
2 – 10 push ups
3 – 3 back squats @ 75%

Shoulder press heavy 5

Double unders
Sit ups
  Push press (45/35)

  Deadlifts (225/155)
   Pull ups

These are just some quick examples.  And just because we may be focusing on heavy deadlifts, back squats and presses for a while doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing any olympic lifting or gymnastics. I plan on continuing to emphasize strict strength in our gymnastics, so you’ll gradually see more strict pull ups, handstand push ups and muscle ups in workouts. Kipping isn’t going away, it’ll just be slightly deemphasized. And if you feel like you aren’t getting enough Oly work, I hope you can come to Oly class on Sundays. They’ve been packed lately, but I have ideas if it continues to grow at the rate it has. Assuming this strength cycle goes the way I’d like, you can probably expect a similar Olympic lifting cycle after the strength cycle, followed by a gymnastics cycle.

Questions? Find me and ask away. As always, I welcome your feedback.

– Tim!

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