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So as part of my never-ending quest for exercise nerdery…


So as part of my never-ending quest for exercise nerdery…

I’m going to be posting, as part of the WOD, what the physical expectations are for that day.

This will be both for the SWOD and the CWOD, for both the WOD group and the T/C groups.

The plan is that over time you guys will have no choice but to understand some of the kinese-geek underpinnings of strength & conditioning, including but not limited to energy systems both in concert with and independent of one another; biomechanical optimality, including core recruitment, posture and position, and relevant anatomy; and volume and intensity, and their respective effects on fatigue (both immediate and delayed-onset) and energy system recruitment.

The thinking here is multi-pronged.


I want you guys to understand what is going on in my head when I’m writing this stuff.

I have a hypothesis that as long as a training program hits all major energy systems (phosphocreatine, glycolytic, and oxidative, and yes they have many different names) and all major primal movements (squat, lunge, lift, jump, climb, crawl, sprint, pull, push, carry) through many planes and loading patterns on a regular basis, we get every positive adaptation a general strength & conditioning trainee is after with few if any negative ones. Biased programming creates gaps in physical capacity, which over time compound. At best this leads to shitty performance; at worst it leads to dysfunction and injury. A truly effective S&C program does not have gaps. I believe it’s possible to create such a program without compromise.

I also hypothesize that it can be readily adapted to any competitive-exercise athlete up through the advanced level (high-level local competitor). By now, in 2014, a Games- or even a Regionals-level exerciser is an elite athlete who by definition requires a personalized program. More so for Games-level, but we’re pretty much there for Regionals.

Note that this does NOT mean we do a bunch of random shit. There’s a template, and a plan, and mesocycles where we can evaluate progress and make adjustments as needed, including changing up the major lifts and assistance movements.

I’ve been testing this hypothesis for a couple months, and the results have been very promising. After having been (quite honestly) overtrained for a very long time, I’m feeling better, looking better, and finally making consistent progress for the first time in over a year. It seems like there’s a good balance between variety of loading patterns and consistency in skill acquisition/retention. Hitting PR’s on Olympic lifts despite a reduced training frequency, improving at gymnastics skills and conditioning, strength numbers slowly going up.

It should be noted that this is NOT a program for a specialist. This will, over time, make a person into a competent lifter, gymnast, and runner – the main premise of CrossFit. If you’re a dedicated strength athlete I can help you fine-tune your technique to maximize your efficiency and longevity—I have been in the game for awhile, and skill is like the ONE thing I have going for me—, but specialists need specialized programming. It should be noted that elite-level strength athletes (especially Olympic lifters) are usually competent at basic gymnastic strength movements in ways that carry over to their primary sport.

[The Chinese weightlifters, who dominate the fucking world, also run quite a bit to keep up their aerobic capacity for their training sessions. So the best weightlifters in the world…kinda do CrossFit. It’s a highly customized version, but still.]

Anyway, I digress.

Also of note: the skill practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays can be individualized, or some extra work can be added on Saturdays (we leave it open for fun-type stuff – something aerobic and low-ish volume). If you want to compete and you suck ass at the snatch, you should practice with technique loads on these light days—don’t spend five hours on it, just get like 20 quality reps in with loads you can hone your technique on, or do lighter assistance exercises to fix specific pieces of the movement. If you’re terrible at running, you should probably run an extra day or two per week. Stuff like that.


I’ll be honest: I want you guys to appreciate how fuckin’ hard I work on this stuff.


CrossFit gyms, and unaffiliated de-facto-CrossFit gyms, are popping up like springtime dandelions.

As the field of strength & conditioning advances, the overall level of quality is definitely improving, but there are still gyms that don’t know what the fuck they’re doing as far as programming goes. Throwing shit on the wall and calling it a “WOD” is NOT good programming.

I want you to be able to discern, through your travels, which gyms DO know what they’re doing and take this shit seriously.


Accountability on our part.

Our programming is designed to make ordinary people more athletic, more injury-resistant, stronger, better conditioned, and more mobile. At the higher level, it’s meant to take good athletes and make them FUCKING MONSTERS who can DO ANYTHING for ANY LENGTH OF TIME and have it LOOK PRETTY.

Our pledge is that we will do everything possible to facilitate this—through prehab, on-point coaching with a heavy emphasis on ideal movement patterns, rehab where necessary, and really fucking smart programming.

If we throw out a workout that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, we need y’all to be able to tell us.

I’m not anticipating this, but that’s why I mention it.


Um…I forgot, or there just isn’t a fifth part. I’m tired, it’s like 11pm, and I need to go home and sleep.

Happy WOD-ing, er’body.


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