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More Effective Workouts

Hey everyone!  Coach Sara told you to be on the lookout for a blog from me and here it is!

After a little more than 12 months of shifting our programming to 3 tiers we have learned a lot.  As we had learned a lot with two tiers before and one tier before that.  I wanted to talk about the direction we want to head in so everyone gets a good understanding of the goal and the why.

First.  We are going back to two program offerings.  These will be Charge and Radiate, but by name only.  We can look at them more as Ground+Charge and Charge+Radiate.  Not to beat around the bush, but it is hard to get people to do what is in their best interest sometimes, when they have decided something else is.  Whether it be how heavy something is, how difficult it is, or how fast it is, the thing that is perceived as “more fun” or “more hardcore” or “more advanced” always wins out.  This is unfortunate but it is also true.  This is a failing on my part.  Once that train leaves the station, it is impossible to get it back in.  I am hoping this can be a reset on expectations to get us focusing on what really matters longterm and not how to “win” today’s workout.

Second.  As mentioned, this is going to focus on what matters.  That means what is most effective for our goals.  Those goals tend to revolve around 3 things.  Looking better naked.  Feeling better in general.  Better overall performance.  This is what I want for everyone at Radiant.  What this does not include is lifting heavier everyday, or being faster than your neighbor, etc.  We will be introducing more progressive tests so we all KNOW it is working, without having to force it day after day.

Third.  Effective sometimes means less glamorous.  CrossFit was the new cool kid on the block.  It introduced us to a lot of awesome things, but also has its drawbacks.  It turns movements into zero sum progress standards.  An example is toes to bar.  Curling up with hips going forward and toes hitting the bar, is considered the same as pushing back with your lats and flexing your hips.  BUT, your body does NOT experience them the same.  We want to remove some of these pass/fail tests from our workouts and produce a feeling of continuing success rather than brick walls.

Fourth.  Focusing on quality and consistent movement.  During CrossFit workouts we have all had a breakdown.  Whether we get too tired, or too much lactic acid in the muscles we hit a wall we cannot overcome.  But we find a way, usually the way that involves a compromise of movement quality or mechanics.  I cannot overstate how wrong this mindset is.  As someone who carried it for years, and likely preached it to many of you (I am sorry) we need to understand that 15 reps, or 20lbs will never matter to your growth as an athlete or toward your health or aesthetic goals.  However practicing bad or wrong mechanics, or mentally convincing yourself you are capable of work you aren’t ready for is very detrimental to that same growth.

So, what does this mean for our workouts?  Not a lot in the grand scheme of things.  But it will involve an important expectation and mental shift.  For example, weight loss and aesthetics are best achieved by high rep resistance training.  Which means days where we have no aerobic focus.  That could look like this:

Part 1

A1..) Back Squats   6×8
A2.) Hamstring Curls 6×15

Part 2
B1.) Front Rack Lunges 3-4x10ea

B2.) Romanian Deadlifts 3-4×10

B3.) Hip Thrusts 3-4x 10

Pat 3

C1.) Standing Hip Abductions 2-3×20

C2.) TIbial glide holds 2-3x :30

The goal here is to produce a huge amount of caloric demand while also prioritizing lean muscle growth.  We can focus on all our movements, load appropriately without having to fall on the fall dying for no reason.

This does not mean Aerboic work or those type of workouts are out completely.  An example of an amazing aerobic piece can be found here:

Pat 1

A1.) Heavy Sled Runs Every 3min

A2.) 5-8 High Box Jumps

Part 2

B.) Every 4min for 20min

Row 500m

15 KB Swings

10 Burpees

Here we can focus on moving the whole time with relatively lower skill movements that prioritize aerobic development without compromising movement.  It lets us push harder on the focus of the day, rather than have to split our focus into strength vs conditioning.  Each day should lean more into what it is, rather than trying to check so many boxes.

This style of programming will allow us to more easily track progress, take time to address weaknesses, and hopefully keep us moving and getting stronger well into the future.

We know with any change that it may take some time to adapt.  We will appreciate all feedback, but only ask for a little patience in return.  We will slowly start transitioning over the next couple months to see how everything feels from a logistics standpoint.  DO not hesitate with any questions or concerns!  Looking forward to continuing to improve our program design to give you all the most effective workouts we can!

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