Updated: Dec 2, 2022
If you want to be a good at CrossFit or just a functional human you need to be able to move fast! This training cycle was four weeks lasting from 6/27/22-7/1/22 with an emphasis on power development to become as explosive as possible.
Disclaimer: If you've only been to the gym a time or two, and reading this makes no-sense, please know that you don't have to understand the below to join our family and get some great workouts in. One of the things we find very important at Jag is sharing the long term vision/goals of our upcoming training with our members. It's a lot easier to get to your destination if you know where you're going!
I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but thus far it appears Operation Small Waists and Big Weights is going to be an EPIC success. You all are looking lean and mean and with the way the weights have been moving I'd say this coming test week is going to be one of the most climactic yet. I'll be cheering you all on from Aruba but anticipate hearing that PR bell clingidy-clang in all of its glory across the ocean!
But then, once we've reaped the rewards of the current cycle, it's time to do what gangsters of fitness do and put our nose back to the grindstone with a new focus and some fun new progressions to challenge us and improve our overall fitness.
In all sport (and life) POWER IS KING, including the sport of fitness. We've never done a full power training block in the gym so it'll be a little different - but it's going to make every single one of us better, regardless of our fitness goals! The key to improving your power is moving quickly, so we'll spend 4 weeks with a reduced focus on the total weight we move and an increased focus on speed. We're coming off some HIGH volume and HEAVY weight cycles so this reduced load will give the body a solid break from some of the traditional impact while still challenging us on new fronts. And whether you're goal is to get stronger, olympic lift more, or get jacked, this will pay-off!
Time To Eat
Monday - Power + Back Squat
A great theorist once said "hip (and leg) drive are the keys to a happy life", and I don't know if they were talking about gym performance (or maybe something else lol) but it sure does make sense to me! Monday's will be all about moving a heavy weight explosively followed by moving your body weight even more explosively. These contrast sets will build recruitment of motor units and allow you to use more of your muscle at their max force. S/P will be working heavy trap bar jumps paired with a plyometric progression. B/T will hit explosive RDLs followed by max effort sets of bodyweight lunges destined to build some utterly shredded legs! The Technique crew will utilize volume RDLs to lock in their hinging mechanics and build a bulletproof posterior chain! The second piece will be some FBB (Functional Bodybuilding) for the lower half. We'll use a controlled effort (RPE) Back squat progression paired with some single leg work all towards the goal of inflating the yams (legs) like Popeye blowing up his arms, while keeping you healthy and ohhh so damn sexyyy!
Below is the focus of each "Path"
Strength-Power: Contrast Sets (Trap Bar Jumps + Plyometrics)
Build-Tone: Contrast Sets (RDLs + Jumping Lunges)
Technique: Volume RDLs
Tuesday - Overhead Press
Hear me out... You're a jaguar (duhh) and your strolling through the jungle on a leisurley morning walk, enjoying a little sunlight and maybe a blue bottle coffee. All of the sudden 3 silverback gorillas come flying out of the trees to attack you, and steal that $10 cup of Joe! Would you be able to grab them like they were a soccer ball and throw those punk ass gorillas into another dimension? Maybe not right now, but I'll ask you again in 4 weeks and the answer will be an unequivocal "Damnnnnn Right"! Tuesday will remain our overhead day - designed to improve explosive overhead pressing power while giving us a damn fine rig to show off around the city (don't know what a "rig" is? You should watch Love Island Australia haha). S/P will be working % push jerk paired with max height wallballs to improve strength and speed. B/T will be transitioning last cycles strict press gains into some push press magic paired with max effort timed sets of DB push press for a pump unlike the world has ever seen. After becoming gorillas tossing savages we'll have our weekly metcon to see how savage you really are! Competition is dope because it pulls things out of you that you didn't know you had... sometimes including demons that need to be unleashed so you can bury any work/life drama at the gym and not bring that shit home! Our focus of this cycles metcons will be barbell cycling under fatigue so expect bouts of cardio followed by some lifting intervals.
Below is the focus of each "Path"
Strength-Power: Contrasts Sets (Push Jerks + Max Height WB Throws)
Build-Tone: Contrast Sets (BB Push Press + DB Push Press)
Technique: Push Press Timing
Wednesday - Squat + Deadlift
As previously established in the last cycle outline WEAK LEGS EQUAL A WEAK MIND. But, did you also know that, in the Jungle, SLOW LEGS EQUAL A DEAD JAGUAR?! I don't know about you but sipping bevies on a sunny patio in the Chicago summer is f**king awesome and I'm trying to stay alive so time to get them legs FASTTTTT babiii! We'll do this by having S/P utilize banded front squats paired with a 1RM box jump progression. B/T is going to feel that "oh sooo good" burn by hitting front squats into sled sprints that will hurt that hurt we have all come to love. My technique peeps will be using tempo front squats because you have to move well before you move heavy, and you have to move heavy before you move fast!!
Part II of Wednesdays will see a triplet of movements shaped to your goals. Everyone's hitting a controlled effort deadlift progression to keep our strength & size on point paired with either: a push/pull couplet for P-H-A-T gains in the upper body, or a gymnastics couplet destined to build body awareness and confidence in higher volume sets. New to CrossFit and want to learn the gymnastics side? This is the day to work with your coach on progressions towards those coveted skills!
Below is the focus of each "Path"
Strength-Power: Contrast Sets (Banded Front Squats + Jumps)
Build-Tone: Contrast Sets (Front Squats + Sled Sprints)
Technique: Tempo Front Squats
Thursday - Beast Unleashed
Alright gang... remember those "demons" I mentioned earlier? Here is what I want you to do...
Every meeting put on your calendar for nothing but the sake of having a meeting - bottle it. Every client that calls you to bitch about something out of your control - bottle it. Every time your boss puts something else on your already full plate - bottle it. Every time someone doesn't let you merge in traffic - bottle that shit to. Take every little thing that grinds your gears to the core Monday-Thursday and cram it all into a bottle of nastiness, and then... when you enter The Jungle... I want you to let all those demons out in this class format I'm calling "Beast Unleashed"!
Thursdays will be our long duration (35+ min) cardio bouts of this cycle. In most cycles these are a little more chill to allow some active recovery from the heavy weights the rest of the week. But, with a decreased weight intensity these four weeks, you're going to see a BIG increase in intensity these days with some good old fashioned GRUNT WORK in the form of long EMOMs designed to push the pace and improve your mental tenacity and will to live!
Time to burn those demons as performance fuel my friends!!
Friday - Cleans / Hip Thrusts
It's Friday, the sun is beaming, the vibes are high, and happy hour is calling your name! But wait - you've got one more *URGENT* task that requires your attention before the weekend commences. Your presence is required at 770 N Halsted for some high energy bar slamming or some shorts splitting rump pumping to get your body and mind right for that weekends street fests and BBQs! S/P will be hitting power cleans (or clean pulls) to improve pulling power and speed, pair that with some OH medball throws for a little primal competition. B/T will utilize Hip Thrusts as a primary movement paired with heavy KB swings with one goal and one goal only - giving you an ass you can balance a cup on 🍑! If you're new to the CrossFit world you better prioritize Fridays so you can learn to clean a barbell better than momma (or daddy) cleaned the house before you had company come for the weekend! After some Friday's at the bar work we'll be working barbell/dumbbell snatch cycling to improve form and hip drive under fatigue paired with heavy carries and core work geared to give you an unbreakable and defined mid-section that will be the envy of all the non-Jaguars you allow the privilege off hanging out with you on the weekends hahaha!
Below is the focus of each "Path"
Strength-Power: Contrasts Sets (Power Cleans + OH MedBall Throws)
Build-Tone: Contrast Sets (Hip Thrusts + KB Swings)
Technique: Power Clean Technical Work
A final thought...
As I mentioned - this style of training is different but WILL add value regardless of what your goals are. Although we won't be touching anywhere near our top weights for these 4-weeks you WILL NOT loose any of your absolute strength in 28 days. On top of that - people fail max lifts for two reasons (or both). 1 - You weren't strong enough (duh), or 2 - You didn't move the bar fast enough to complete the lift prior to running out of ATP (lift energy). This cycle is meant to address #2 which will pay off big time as we move into a volume block after this and a max strength block after that! AND - if you're just hear to look good and feel good, this cycle should break up some of monotony of traditional training and give you some excellent muscle gains!
Each and every one of you is honestly the shit. Adam and I love getting to spend the time we do with you every week and we thank you for your effort and support.