The wait is over. You will now have access to 12 weeks of muscular growth for crossfitters, if you can complete both 6 week blocks. I say if, for a reason. This programming has proven to be particularly difficult, and you should feel proud if you are able to complete it as prescribed. Keep reading if you want 6 more weeks of programming that will culminate in new strength gains, and WOD PRs.
Before you get started on this, the second block of the muscular endurance cycle, I recommend you start with part one. The program was designed to be a 12 week cycle that begins by increasing your muscular endurance, and ability to handle heavy weights for high reps.
This final 6 weeks takes that ability and converts it into maximal strength. By the end, you get a chance to test your one rep max strength, as well as your stamina on some benchmark WODs. Without further adieu, here is part two.
This week has some very challenging strength work, with shorter more intense WODs. Check it out.
Our strength work is for the most part done with a 3 second pause. Pause work is great for strength development, and it allows you to really fatigue muscle fibers you don’t normally reach.
The running WODs will now shift to 150m intervals, which is just long enough to make you fight through serious leg fatigue towards the end of the interval. There are also going to be WODs in each week that penalize you for doing small sets. In this week it’s 50 kb swings. Learning to do big sets is much more mental than physical.
To prove my point about big sets, just ask yourself if you could squeeze out a few more reps if I were to give you a million dollars? I bet you would. So really you are stopping because you’re mentally giving in. Don’t do that.
This week is the first time in nearly two months where the strength work actually decreases in reps. This means you need to be aggressive with your weight selections. No easy sets!
You will also see that I have tried to vary the WODs for a couple of reasons. Monday’s WOD rewards those who can select the fastest method to complete the bodyweight moves. So think strategery here.
We have also continued with WODs that reward doing big sets because, mental toughness bro.
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This week will be the heaviest week for strength training. Again, be aggressive in your weight selections. I’m fine with you needing a spot or having to dump a weight every now and again. Pushing to your max is much more preferable than never getting close.
Even a casual glance at these WODs will show you that these are going to be rough. You will probably be pretty sore for most of this week, and I wouldn’t expect you to feel great.
You need to focus on your recovery here. This isn’t the week to try fasting, or 3 hours of sleep a night. Just hang in there, because next week will bring a reprieve.
This week is your deload prior to your strength testing weeks. Many crossfitters will look at these workouts and think they are easy, which they are, compared to previous weeks, but that is to allow your body to recover, and prepare for 1 rep maxes.
The strength work is to be done as fast as possible. This is speed work! The WODs also incorporate more plyometric moves to help your body practice firing your muscle fibers quickly, in a synchronized manner.
Resist the urge to add in other workouts, because you will really sabotage your testing next week.
This week begins your 1 rep maxes. These will require a smart warm up, and I don’t recommend you take more than 3-4 attempts at any lift. Generally, you should start near your old max, then plan a small PR, and then a big PR. If you feel great try a fourth lift.
These WODs are put in this order to try and avoid interference with the strength testing. This isn’t to say that you won’t be sore at all for your 1 RM, but that doesn’t matter. I would imagine, if you look back on your lifting career, some of your best PR’s came when you weren’t completely fresh and rested.
You also need to be very careful on the 100m test. Sprinting can cause hamstring injuries if you don’t really warm them up. I recommend doing a few practice 100m runs at 70%, then 80%, then resting before your max attempt. When in doubt, keep it to 95%, if you aren’t feeling that great.
This week is the final week. Here we are focusing on testing our 1 RM’s on olympic related lifts. We are relying on strength for our PRs, not super efficient technique. This is to say that you need to use the best technique that you have, but any PRs here aren’t because you’ve been honing your lifts, but getting hella strong.
The WODs are also a chance to test the most important aspect of our fitness for crossfitters, our WOD times. Sure strength numbers are sweet, but if that doesn’t translate into increased WOD performance, then what’s the point?
This programming is tough, and high volume. I’ll be honest here, when I walk into the gym, at Crossfit Annandale, which is currently doing this programming, and see what I programmed on the board, I sometimes wonder what idiot came up with that.
That feeling is key for improvement. If you aren’t somewhat daunted by what you see on the whiteboard, then I think you need to get your ass a thigh master, because this isn’t for you. For those that do get through this, hats off to you. As always keep training, and post your questions and comments below.