As we approach the start of the next season of training, there are a few things that everybody needs to consider and understand.  Some of these things are just facts and understanding why we periodize our training the way we do while others are going to require conversations with yourself and maybe a close friend or a coach.

First, this upcoming cycle is going to be very linear and the focus is getting strong.  For the majority of us, strength is the limiting factor when it comes to being competitive. This is why we periodize your training. The best of the best have the ability to maintain/increase strength and aerobic capacity consistently throughout the year.  We do not. From week to week, there will be little change in exercises but an increase in load or reps.  This progressive loading should result in an increase of strength as well as an greater consistency of made lifts at higher percentages. Nutrition is a major factor whenever we are training to grow stronger, as it is with any fitness endeavor. Strength increases happen whenever the cross-section of a muscle fiber is torn then rebuilds thicker, also resulting in a larger muscles.  It is important that we consume enough protein to support that growth along with a proper ratio of carbs and fats, or our training might not be as effective.

Moving to increase our aerobic capacity or training the energy systems will be limited during this cycle. Trying to increase both domains, strength and aerobic, can be counter productive.  You will see “metabolic conditioning” on Tuesday’s, Saturday’s, and an optional day on Thursday added in from last season.  If you choose to complete the Thursday workouts, do not try to complete that and another days workout in one session.  We are effectively working against what this cycle is focusing on.  If you are worried about possible weight gain or body image issues due to the reduced amount conditioning, you need to consider what your diet looks like.

Second, when following this type of program you must identify your “why”.  Why do you choose to push day in and day out?  Are you trying to be competitive, regardless of the level? OR, Are you just trying to workout with your friends and are not tied to the results? Maybe switching to class would be more inline with your “why”. If certain body results is your personal goal, then switching to classic CrossFit class workouts 5-6 days a week with a proper nutritional plan will achieve the exact results you are looking for. Remember diet is key with goals such as these and should not be tied to the amount of volume of work you do in the gym as that will only lead to the breakdown of your body physically. Bedlam Athlete was created to get individuals to excel in the actual sport of CrossFit, not to only just have a 6-pack. This again means focusing on developing in areas in which most of us are weak in, which comes down to absolute strength.
Why do you choose to make certain sacrifices to complete your training?  These are questions that you must ask yourself.  Sometimes we find that workouts take 3 hours to complete.  Other times the workouts aren’t fun and can be very discouraging. Both of these situations are about your mindset. I completed the first day of the new cycle in an hour and 12 minutes. This includes warming up with a bald bar for squats, the maximum amount of rest between sets and one bathroom break all done at a moderate pace, not rushing between exercises. If you come in with the mindset to work, you will surprise yourself with how quick you can complete the workout. This does not have to be a “serious” atmosphere.  In between sets, I chatted with members and actually really enjoyed the workout. I borderline had fun while being focused on the workout.  I have also personally stepped back and re-evaluated my “why”.  I do not have the desire to train to try to make it to Regionals anymore.  I do not have the desire to do the Open workouts multiple times to shave time off. My “why” has changed, so my mindset has changed. I will no longer fret about missing a workout or pushing in a conditioning piece if it is not there that day. Again, this is all inline with my “why”.  This does not mean that I will not try to better myself nor does this mean that because my goals or drive has changed that yours should as well.  Do not base your training on what the coaches are doing or what some person on Instagram is doing. Ultimately, focus on your why and let your decisions reflect that. For those who “why” is inline with excelling in the sport of CrossFit, STICK TO THE PROGRAM (This means not skipping fucking training days or jumping into other workouts) and you will ultimately see the results you are looking for.

-Coach Eric Wright