After a good ol’ Mainsite week, we’re back to CFJ programming for the remainder of this 12 week block. Before I give you some insight into this new block, I first want to review some of what we did and some of your perceptions of that.
In the programming update posted at the beginning of the previous block, these were the first two bullet points, with the important words in red:
- A strength focus. NOT a bias, because a bias would require sacrificing other components of fitness. Our aim is a broad and inclusive fitness so although more strength focus, it won’t mean a lack of conditioning work.
- A focus on aerobic capacity. That means, improving the body’s ability to utilise oxygen for energy production over sustained periods of activity. Your ability to keep going (i.e endurance), but not just long and slow, your ability to keep going even at relatively high heart rates.
So it should have been evident that we were focusing a bit more on strength AND endurance, without neglecting any other components of fitness. So, classic CrossFit.
However, these are some of the comments we received during the course of the 12 weeks:
“It’s a strength block and I don’t like weightlifting, I just want to do ‘cardio’.”
“It’s a strength block so there aren’t enough metcons.”
“I need to get stronger so I just need to lift more.”
Now, these are just some of the perceptions out there and they probably don’t just exist in our gym. Nevertheless, it’s important to address them, and it’s precisely why I’ll always give you updates and insights on the programming and why we often talk about the why’s and the intended effects of a workout during class – we’re telling you where we’ve come from, what the goal is, why that is, AND how we’re going to go about it.
But sometimes some of you will just hear and read what you want to, and often to the detriment of your fitness. Trust the process, trust the program and you’ll get there, I promise!
So to respond to some of those misperceptions.
Firstly, and based on the above bullet points most obviously, we didn’t and will never sacrifice endurance (cardio) for strength. Or sacrifice any other component of fitness in favour of another. That would make it specialist programming and that’s not what we do. We’re looking to cover all bases efficiently. More importantly, in CrossFit’s hierarchy of development, metabolic conditioning (aerobic conditioning) comes after nutrition, so we’ll never bias the programming towards strength work.
We do, however, spend lots of time on strength work too because it takes so much longer to develop, and because we know that the better your strength (and aerobic conditioning), the more capable you are of doing more work. As long as we aren’t sacrificing other components of fitness, of course.
For those who think that in a strength focus we don’t do enough metcons, look back to the programming (that is posted every day). You’ll see that even we do strength lifts, we do conditioning work. On those days the metcons are of a shorter time domain, whereas on other days the metcons are of a longer time domain. So we do conditioning (‘cardio’) just about every day!
We don’t always program “strength + metcon” either. Some days it’s skill work before or after a metcon, some days we’ll just do interval work in running or rowing, or just strength and supplementary work.
For you barbell junkies who believe that you need to lift more to get stronger. You need to recover better, improve your positions under load, and go heavier on strength pieces. Just as those of you who want more “cardio” need to go balls to the wall on ALL metcons, you should be knocking on Pukie’s door regularly – whether it’s a 7-minute or 20-minute metcon.
And for those of you wanting more “cardio,” all the metcons in the world won’t cover your shitty dietary habits, even if you’re counting calories. Nor will any form of supplement. No amount of good exercise or supplementation will undo the effect of poor daily choices or weekend (food and alcohol) binges. Don’t kid yourself!
Lastly, if you really want to drill down into particular domains then we have those options for you. The Gymnastics Club is back up and running. The Barbell Club operates every Saturday. The Endurance Club gets stuck into the long, slow distance and interval work on Thursdays. AND you can opt for personal training or homework programs too.
If you don’t want any weightlifting and just want the ‘cardio/endurance’ work, then the GI JOZI program takes care of you.
All the bases are covered and we keep you updated on that, but sometimes we do miss what you as an individual want. In which case you just need to let us know so that we can provide you with what it is you want 😉