Coaches’ Corner Blog
06 Mar
by: Published in Coaches' Corner

Open_152

Tips for 15.2

This is a repeat of last year’s second Open workout so fortunately many of you have tackled this before. The strategy here is staying well behind that point of fatigue and not letting your heart rate elevate too high over the course of each 3-minute round. Breaking up C2B as much as possible is necessary, just make sure that you do not rest for extended periods of time in between sets. The key here is keeping this workout aerobic as long as possible; as soon as you hit that anaerobic zone and heart rate elevates too high this workout is over.

  • Tape, grips, etc. is absolutely essential for this workout to protect the hands; if you tear early on there is no way to fight through it and put up a decent score
  • Tearing will also ruin your chances of effectively re-testing this workout, so PROTECT YOUR HANDS
  • Light shoes are preferable if you are comfortable with OH squats; if you have mobility issues or difficulty with overhead squats, then you can and should wear lifters
  • Lifters are ideally a lighter model like the Reebok or Inov8 versions; if you are comfortable moving in these then I recommend that you actually wear them for the workout even if they are slightly heavier than minimal shoes
  • Closer grip on the OH squats is preferable as it will not tire the shoulders out as much; this closer grip is also more stable when fatigued
  • Pre-chalk the barbell, pull-up bar, and hands; it should look like a dust cloud hovering at your station
  • This is obvious, but set up your barbell and pull-up bar so you simply need to turn or take a step back to go from OHS to pull-ups
  • This workout is going to be one-and-done for anyone who can get into the round of 18 or higher; the eccentric loading on your biceps and shoulder girdle is too taxing to do twice and survive the rest of the Open
  • As for Game Day Nutrition: you want to be slightly underfed going into this workout; you want to be as light as possible, and fortunately there is not a huge strength demand here — get some slow digesting carbs in your system (maybe one serving of cream of rice or oatmeal) but try to be lightly fasted before attempting this
  • As for nutrition, don’t try anything new; if you aren’t used to being lightly fasted going into a workout, today is not the day to experiment

Pacing strategy/breaking reps

  • Ideally, do no more than 5 C2B pull-ups at a time unless you are extremely comfortable with this movement
  • The best possible break-up for an efficient athlete would be: 10 = 5-5, 12 = 4-4-4, 14 = 5-5-4, 16 = 4-4-4-4, 18 = 5-5-4-4, 20+ = good luck
  • If you have natural difficulty controlling your heart rate, treat the first few rounds as 1 set every 90 seconds instead of 2 sets every 3 minutes; this will force you to rest despite the adrenaline and excitement of the Open fueling you
  • If you DO NOT have butterfly pull-ups, you must break more often to spend less time overall on the pull-up bar
  • If you get to the point where you are hitting sets of 2 at a time on C2B, it is worth going quick singles where you drop from the top of the pull-up bar instead of lowering; the eccentric motion will fatigue the shoulders if you are hitting small sets

OH Squats

  • Closer grip than normal; think about pinkies in line with the score of the barbell
  • Keep torso as vertical as possible, this will maximize bounce out of the bottom and prevent shoulder fatigue
  • These need to be unbroken, you must save as much time as possible for pull-ups
  • Breathe at the top on every single rep to help control heart rate; pace should be deliberate and fast but should not exceed your breathing

Warm-up

  • Spend 5 minutes warming up the legs with either an AD bike or a rower
  • Spend 20-30 minutes doing soft tissue work on hips, upper back, and shoulders; do everything you can to open up the squat position (T-spine bridges are a favorite of mine for quickly opening up the overhead position)
  • Cross-over symmetry if possible or some kind of banded activation
  • EMOTM for 5 minutes: 3 OH squats (95/65), 3 C2B Pull-ups
  • Let heart rate settle back down and begin

Good luck on this one guys, beat your scores from last year!

11 Jan

Strength Program Changes for 2015

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Hello lifters, competitors, those preparing for beach season, and those who like to grunt in the strength cave!

You may have noticed some changes to our strength classes for 2015, and I would like to take the time to explain some of those changes and the reasoning for them. Due to popular demand, we have increased the strength schedule to a full 5 days per week. If necessary, we also have the option to open up even more classes and expand to a full-blown strength program if the desire for these classes is there. The main thing I want to explain is the addition of our POWER program and the difference between POWER and WEIGHTLIFTING:

Power Program

This program is a separate, stand-alone powerlifting program. For those who are familiar with the sport of powerlifting, it is a competition to achieve the heaviest total in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Our powerlifting program has a slightly different focus in that the goal is to build a strength and mobility base for our members who either a) have not done strength training before or b) have reached a plateau in their Olympic lifts because they lack the requisite strength to continue improving. Those who are also looking for some variety in their weekly strength schedule can also greatly benefit from incorporating the power program into their training days. This program will lay the foundation of strength and position to continue progress in both weightlifting and CrossFit without injury.

Weightlifting Program

Our weightlifting program will be similar to what you have seen in the past, with some slight changes now that we also have a powerlifting program. The goal of the weightlifting program is to improve technical proficiency in the snatch and the clean and jerk while increasing maxes in these lifts. There is a large focus on positional strength through each phase of the lift, and the style of program comes from some of the best schools and training philosophies to come out of Russia. There is extensive technique practice, and maximum weight lifted is strictly regulated to ensure that lifters do not exceed their ability level and can continue to train injury-free for extended periods of time.

For those of you who have not tried our lifting program and are interested, it is an excellent supplement to our CrossFit program here at Back Bay. Learning how to lift properly without injury is a cornerstone of being able to perform well in our WODs, and many of you have expressed the fact that you want to improve your technique and understanding of these movements. The strength classes are performed at a much slower pace than strength work in regular classes, and their is constant feedback and coaching provided during these classes.

We now also offer Lifting Level 1 classes on our schedule for those who are nervous to start a strength program or for those of you who wish to get a better understanding of our strength classes before jumping in. These classes are done at a much slower pace and involve more repetitions at lighter weight to help you acclimate properly to a strength-training regimen. At Reebok CrossFit Back Bay we pride ourselves on the quality of our strength program, and we are positive that you will receive great benefit from incorporating these classes into your weekly schedule regardless of experience level! Any and all questions can be directed to justin@reebokcrossfitbackbay.com, thank you!

24 Dec

 

kw

 

Hello there strength class devotees,

A few people asked for some accessory work that they could do this week and next to keep up with strength work until we pick things back up in the New Year. I think this is an excellent idea, and I have put together two brief lists of work that can be done with or without a barbell. Enjoy, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at justin@reebokcrossfitbackbay.com.

Barbell/Gym Equipment Accessory Work

  1. RDL with clean grip: 5×5 heavy going just to bottom of knee cap
  2. Snatch deadlift with 5 second pause at the knees on the way up: 5×3 (stay over the bar and do NOT fully open hips at the top)
  3. Snatch grip behind-the-neck strict press: 4×4 moderately heavy
  4. Jumping back squats: 5×5 for maximum explosion/height (95#/65# or lighter)
  5. Goblet squats with a 2-second pause at bottom: 4×10 heaviest possible
  6. Superman hold on GHD + back raises: 30s hold with plate + 12 unweighted back raises or 10 back raises with plate (perform 3 to 4 sets)
  7. Overhead lunges: 4×4-6 reps heaviest possible

Non-barbell/Bodyweight Accessory Work

  1. Spend 3-5 minutes per night (as often as you can) sitting at the absolute bottom of your squat position
  2. Glute bridge hold: 3×30-60s hold per night (try single leg version as well where the non-contact leg is extended straight out)
  3. Push-ups @ 2020 tempo (slow down/slow up): 4×15-20
  4. Wall sits (legs at 90 degrees to wall and floor): 3-4 sets of 30-60s hold (try single leg variation as well)
  5. Superman hold on floor: 4-5 sets of 30s (try holding some type of weight in your extended arms to increase difficulty)
  6. Lateral lunges @ slow tempo: 4×10-15 ea side
  7. Build to a max front plank hold a few times over the break

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I am looking forward to picking strength classes back up in the New Year!!

– Coach Justin

31 Aug

Updated Fall Schedule for Strength Classes

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Hey everyone,

As you may have noticed, RCFBB has an updated fall schedule with even more specialty classes being offered. While I highly encourage all of you to take strength class, there are also more slots for other classes like Gymnastics and Endurance being offered. I think it’s worth your time to try each specialty class at least once to see what they are like! As for the lifting classes, there are still 3 different days worth of programmed work just like there has been in the past. This work will be spread out over the week as follows:

  • MONDAY: 12pm/5pm/6pm/7pm is Day 1
  • TUESDAY: 6am/7am is Day 1
  • WEDNESDAY: 12pm/5pm/6pm/7pm is Day 2
  • THURSDAY: 12pm/5pm/6pm/7pm is Day 2 or Day 3
  • FRIDAY: 6am/7am is Day 2 or Day 3

If you have any questions about this new schedule, or have questions about strength class in general, please feel free to send me an email at justin@reebokcrossfitbackbay.com. Thanks and have a great Labor Day!

08 Jul

Barbell work for week of 7.7.14

squat

  • Day 1: Monday Strength Class
  • Day 2: Wednesday Strength Class
  • Day 3: Thursday Strength Class
  • Day 4 (Day before Bay States): Light barbell work below

Light barbell work

This work should be done on Saturday, the DAY BEFORE the Bay State Games. The purpose is to get you moving and prep your muscles/CNS so that you aren’t going into the competition cold.

  1. Power snatch: Warm-up then do 4×1 @ 70-75% of 1RM Snatch
  2. Power clean + jerk: Warm-up then do 4×1 @ 70-75% of 1RM Snatch

NOTE: Keep the warm-up brief on these. Your total reps performed should be low and you should get plenty of rest between working sets. End with a good mobility session to make sure you are ready to go for Sunday.

Yony Bengtson, Bobby Rowley liked this post
29 Jun

Meeting for ALL Bay State Games Athletes

 

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Attention athletes,

There will be NO barbell work for this week as we are now two weeks out from the Bay State Games that you all have been training so hard for! I will be holding a meeting for all Bay State Games athletes at the Columbus Ave location on Sunday, July 6th following the end of classes at 1pm. This meeting will cover a few important topics:

  1. How to approach your 3 attempts
  2. The mindset for this meet — we want everyone going 6/6 or at the very least making their first two lifts and going for a goal on the third
  3. What weigh-ins will look like and how to over-hydrate/dehydrate in order to make weight
  4. What to bring with you
  5. How things will run/be organized
  6. The role of the coach and what they will do for you
  7. How to approach training the week of competition
  8. Any other important things that come up in questions/comments during the meeting.

There will be one day of barbell work programmed for next week, and it will be nothing more than some 60-65% lifts the day before the meet to prime the CNS for competition day. Feel free to email me any questions or let me know if you for sure cannot attend the meeting for whatever reason.

Samantha Rei Medeiros liked this post
17 Jun

Barbell work for the week of 6.16.14

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  • Day 1: Monday Strength Class
  • Day 2: Wednesday Strength Class
  • Day 3: Thursday Strength Class

Barbell Patterning This Week

1. Front squats (for everyone competing, as our legs now need to get a bit stronger going into competition)

Front Squat
Set 1 – 1.1.1 @ 72.5% of 1rm (Tempo 2020) (rest 10s btw singles)
Set 2 – 3.3 @ 90% of set 1(No Tempo) (rest 10s btw triples)
Set 3 – 3.3 @ 90% of set 1(No Tempo) (rest 10s btw triples)

Note: For set 1, you will do 3 single reps where you pause with the bar held in the front rack between each rep. These reps are performed at a 2020 tempo (2 seconds down, no hold, 2 seconds up). The next two sets are done as two triples with a 10-second pause between where you will hold the bar in the front rack. The triples are NOT done at a tempo like the first set.

Snatch and Jerk Work:

  1. Snatch balance + press-under + OH squat, 1+1+1: 3×3 of this complex
  2. 3-position overhead squat: 3×3 (empty bar)
  3. Tall snatch with zero hip movement (shrug and pull under): 6×2 @ 55-60% of 1RM snatch, alternating with
  4. Press from split: 6-5-4-3-2-1 ascending weight (Squat jerkers perform a press from bottom of the front squat)
  5. Press into split: 4×3 at moderate weight

NOTE: You will alternate sets of the tall snatch and the press from split. For example, you will do your first 2 tall snatch reps, then do your first 6 press from split reps. Next round will be 2 tall snatches followed by 5 presses from split, etc.

Please note that front squats this week are lighter than last week. Email me any questions you may have for this week!

10 Jun

Barbell work for week of 6.9.14

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  • Day 1: Monday Strength Class
  • Day 2: Wednesday Strength Class
  • Day 3: Thursday Strength Class

Barbell Patterning This Week

1. Front squats (for everyone competing, as our legs now need to get a bit stronger going into competition)

Front Squat
Set 1 – 1.1.1 @ 75% of 1rm (Tempo 2020) (rest 10s btw singles)
Set 2 – 3.3 @ 90% of set 1(No Tempo) (rest 10s btw triples)
Set 3 – 3.3 @ 90% of set 1(No Tempo) (rest 10s btw triples)

Note: For set 1, you will do 3 single reps where you pause with the bar held in the front rack between each rep. These reps are performed at a 2020 tempo (2 seconds down, no hold, 2 seconds up). The next two sets are done as two triples with a 10-second pause between where you will hold the bar in the front rack. The triples are NOT done at a tempo like the first set.

Snatch and Jerk Work:

  1. Tall muscle snatch (now forward lean or hip movement): 3×5 (empty bar)
  2. 3-position overhead squat: 3×3 (empty bar)
  3. Press-unders: 3×5 (empty bar)
  4. Tall snatch with zero hip movement (shrug and pull under): 6×2 @ 55-60% of 1RM snatch
  5. Press from split: 6-5-4-3-2-1 ascending weight (Squat jerkers perform a press from bottom of the front squat)

NOTE: You will alternate sets of the tall snatch and the press from split. For example, you will do your first 2 tall snatch reps, then do your first 6 press from split reps. Next round will be 2 tall snatches followed by 5 presses from split, etc.

Make sure you do your front squats as everyone competing needs a bit more volume on their legs. Please email me any questions you may have for this week!

Yoga Jake liked this post
03 Jun

Barbell work for week of 6.2.14

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  • Day 1: Monday Strength Class
  • Day 2: Wednesday Strength Class
  • Day 3: Thursday Strength Class

Barbell Patterning This Week

1. Front squats (for everyone competing, as our legs now need to get a bit stronger going into competition)

Front Squat
Set 1 – 1.1.1 @ 70% of 1rm (Tempo 2020) (rest 10s btw singles)
Set 2 – 3.3 @ 90% of set 1(No Tempo) (rest 10s btw triples)
Set 3 – 3.3 @ 90% of set 1(No Tempo) (rest 10s btw triples)

Note: For set 1, you will do 3 single reps where you pause with the bar held in the front rack between each rep. These reps are performed at a 2020 tempo (2 seconds down, no hold, 2 seconds up). The next two sets are done as two triples with a 10-second pause between where you will hold the bar in the front rack. The triples are NOT done at a tempo like the first set.

Snatch and Jerk Work (~15 minutes):

  1. Muscle snatch: 3×10
  2. Press-unders: 3×10
  3. OH squat: 5×3 @ 85% of 1RM Snatch (taken from floor)
  4. Tall snatch with zero hip movement (shrug and pull under): 6×2 @ 50-55% of 1RM snatch
  5. Press into split (strict press where you finish in a split jerk receiving position): 3×10 — NOTE: squat jerkers do a press into squat

Everyone should do the additional front squat work as our legs need to get a bit stronger for competition. For the other work, the muscle snatch and press-unders are meant as a warm-up for the squats and tall snatch work. Focus on speed here, we need to get fast and aggressive with these movements. As always, email me with questions if you have them. Good luck!

25 May

Barbell work for week of 5.26.14

klokov_mobility

  • Day 1: Wednesday Strength Class
  • Day 2: Thursday Strength Class

Hey guys,

Due to Memorial Day, there will be no strength class on Monday. Last week we tapered down the volume to recover from the previous cycle. This week, we are going to be testing some 1RM numbers to get a good baseline for the next cycle moving forward. The goal of this upcoming week is to lift some heavy weight with plenty of rest and only chase after numbers if the movement feels good. In addition, many of us do NOT have the levels of flexibility displayed by Klokov in the picture above. For that reason, come in on a third day and attack the following areas if they are lacking mobility:

  1. Thoracic spine/upper back
  2. Hips (i.e. if you cannot drive out properly in the bottom of a squat)
  3. Shoulders (this will often be combined with T-spine mobility — can you not lift your arms into a stable overhead position?)
  4. Ankles/Calves (if your feet turn out in a squat as you go lower)
  5. Forearms/triceps (often limits the front rack or the ability to lock out elbows overhead)

Let me know if you have any questions or would like specific mobility exercises to perform based on where you struggle. Good luck this week and I hope you all hit some big PR numbers!

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