“WOD” are You Doing or The Schizophrenic Training Dilemma Part 1

By now you may have heard of Cross Fit.  There has been a great divide between people of all backgrounds in the fitness community in the beginning a lot of people hated it, and would not accept it in the fitness world.  It kind of reminds me of the story of Joseph in the bible.  As a practitioner of strongman, powerlifting, and Olympic lifting and a personal trainer.  I’ve decided to give you my take on this amalgamation of a discipline, as I think there is much to be learned.  Now before I go into this I just want to say I am mainly against Crossfit COs programming as I do know of Crossfit gyms that actually utilize the sacred arts of progressive overload.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Crossfit is the idea of a WOD (Workout of the day).  Looking closely at the Crossfit website I can attest that there is a lot more madness than method. I have on multiple occasions tried to decode the cypher that was there periodization style on the main Crossfit site, but to no avail.   From my vantage it was madness and not in a Spartan kind of way.  However the beauty of Crossfit is it practically incorporates everything related to fitness from running, to gymnastics, to Olympic lifting.  This is practically the entire gamete outside of a winter games type scenario.

The limiting factor unfortunately will be dictated by the person that owns the “box” or gym dependent on what vernacular you want to use.  If the gym owner is an Olympic lifter they will likely, through process of least resistance, make the WODs predominately Olympic lifting style.  They will likely be good at periodizing a training plan that will progress you to greater strength in the movements along with squats and a variety of deadlift styles.   If they are or were a runner in their past they will likely schedule a lot of running in their training and so on.

Now all of the above being said what you have to understand is there are a lot of great strength and skill coaches in cross fit gyms/boxes.  However there is also a lot of gyms and boxes that have a limited understanding of progression and periodization.  The experience of coaching and competing will teach some of them.  Often they are passionate and have your interest in mind, but in some instances are a noob to progression.

The best competitors of crossfit tend to be the strongest, what that means is if you want to be a great competitor in crossfit it is in your best interest is to become stronger.   Usually they design training out of season around strength and minimize WODs that they do so they can maximize strength.  Balancing priorities of strength will be the greatest way to dictate your success.  A long time ago my dad went on a tyrade about how I wasn’t writing my training notes down, I think the same it true for any person hoping to become stronger you have to pay attention to the variables that relate to progressive overload or you are spinning your wheels.  Week to week if you are not tracking increases strength training becomes schizophrenic.  So have a goal and have a plan to achieve that goal.  If it’s a chin up figure out what you need to do to achieve that mile stone and then determine what you will do when you get there.  In this way priority will dictate training volume and frequency.

When looking at training design a good strength coach will have practitioners do strength work first so that met cons or WODs don’t interfere with the most important variable of progress which is strength as it will carry over to muscular endurance.  Another option would be to space recovery or a WOD with strength training so that you can recuperate before strength training.  Here are some examples

Mon

Tue

Thur

Fri

Mon

Tue

Thur

Fri

Bsquat

5X5

Strict Press

5X5

Fsquat

5X3

Hang Clean

5X3

Bsquat

5X5

Strict Press

5X5

Fsquat

5X3

Hang Clean

5X3

Pullup

3X8

Pendelay Row

3X8

Jerk

5X3

RDL

3X5

Pullup

3X8

Pendelay Row

3X8

Jerk

5X3

RDL

3X5

Grace

Skill

Elizabeth

Helen

Grace

Skill

Elizabeth

Helen

Understand you will need a minimum of 2 weeks to test for strength gains otherwise it becomes less of a science and more of variety hour.

In conclusion Crossfit is great for all fitness types and all categories or training, but training design and the extent of the coach’s background will dictate if he or she is a good coach or a great coach. These things don’t happen overnight.  It is hard to be a jack of all trades because you may be cursed to be a master of none.   I want to be clear this is article is directed to people that are new to fitness not experienced competitors.

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