Changes at Kingfield: Three-track Workouts
Another change you can expect in the next month or so is the introduction of a three-track workout system. Today, we’re going to discuss each track, what a workout might look like on Wodify to indicate the different tracks and how to determine which track is appropriate for you on any given day.
The Three Tracks
While not married to the nomenclature here, what we are initially calling these tracks directly relates to the GOALS of the track. They go like this:
First of all, it is very important to understand this:
The majority of our members the majority of the time will live in the Health/Fitness track
If you’ve been following the blog, the past few Tuesday’s we’ve been talking about how CrossFit helps us achieve fitness and health (next week we’ll wrap up this discussion). Read that and you’ll have an understanding of our approach and how we, as your coaches, structure our classes, programming and specialty courses. Our goal is always longevity and the independence to live your life the way you want to well into old age. The health/fitness track is geared towards this.
However, there are reasons (to be enumerated on below) to utilize the other tracks for temporary challenge or respite based on your training season.
These are by no means hierarchical. They are geared towards different outcomes directly related to your training goals. Your participation in one track or the other rarely will be random. Our theme over the next couple months is the development of an awareness of intentional training, of taking responsibility for our path. Many of these changes were geared towards supporting this too.
I don’t have too much to add here beyond this being the mainstay, the staple for the greatest population of our membership. If you’re just joining, your goal is operating in this track. If you’re not training specifically for a competition, etc., you’re operating in this track. It’s likely that 2/3 to 3/4 of your training year is spent in this track.
This track operates exactly how classes run right now, with coaches helping you to scale up or down based on this prescription (which will match our current “prescription”).
If you’re curious about how CrossFit functions as our vehicle for achieving health and fitness, go read the posts from the last two Tuesdays and then stay tuned for next Tuesday.
There are three major reasons you would choose this track: 1) you are either in a taper week(s) prior to a competition, race or other event (wedding? I know I found intensity in workouts challenging right before I got married…); 2) you are in a deload period after a competition, race or other event to allow your body time to decompress while still practicing movement; OR 3) showing up for you was the big accomplishment and now you just want to move, knowing intensity is not your friend today.
Three very valid reasons and very important to cycle through occasionally. Here’s the truth of it though: this track is about practicing quality movement and breathing patterns. You cannot practice movement skills under intensity. You can practice intensity under intensity, but you are not getting better at toes-to-bar by running a clock and trying to go as fast as possible. You are also getting fitter under intensity. In fact, intensity - be it weight, speed, or volume - is the only way we get fitter.
So yes, in this track you are not likely getting fitter (unless you are deconditioned, in which case this is a different conversation) BUT you are doing things to support you getting fitter under different circumstances (intensity). You also are promoting recovery in the track, which is a key ingredient to adaptation and improvement. This one works hand in hand with our health and fitness track to promote longevity.
Depending on your sport of choice and how often you race/compete, you’ll like spend about a month or two of your training year in this track, with a few weeks of recover around these events.
This track is designed specifically (not exclusively) for those who may be preparing for a CrossFit competition. It will reflect the movements, loading and rep schemes that you would typically find in an individual competition. Ideally, in the 6-8 weeks prior to a CrossFit competition (I’ll post about a few 2019 comps in a week), you’ll spend a few days a week in this track to get accustomed to the demands of your chosen division. Here again, coaches will help you determine your approach based on which division (Rx, intermediate, scaled) you have chosen.
Note that it says a few days a week above (go reread it - I know you consciously or unconsciously skipped that part). Understand that training balls to the wall every single day you’re in the gym IS. NOT. SUSTAINABLE. If you put full effort into training on Monday, you can expect that effort to be diminished on Tuesday and even further so on Wednesday, etc. etc. Knowing that most CF comps are two to three days in length, your goal is to work up to sustained intense efforts for that many days in a row. But you do not start there. You progress into it and plan your recovery efforts between so that you stay fresher and avoid injury as you prepare for your event.
Now, let’s say you aren’t preparing for a competition but you see the standards for this track and you feel good. You decide you want to do this track for the day. That will be allowed. However, it is not meant to be done every time you come in. If you’re not in preparation mode, we’re looking at 1-2 days per week AT MOST in this track.
A final soapbox moment: This track does not equal health and fitness. Punishing your body without adequate recovery (which is what most elite-level athletes have to do to perform) throws a lot of normal processes off. Hormones go haywire, sleep is affected, body composition starts to change. You become more prone to injury and illness because your immune system is in overdrive. This aggressive approach to training is fine for a finite amount of time as long as it is coupled with appropriate recovery. Please understand that we add this track because we think it will be helpful in the pursuit to expand your edges and abilities, not to lay down a challenge every day just to see who will take us up on it.
What will this look like?
Once we start the three-track system (late Dec. - Early Jan.), when you come into class you’ll indicate your chosen track for the day. The coaches will then determine how to break up the class and address the needs of each athlete within each track.
On Wodify, it may look something like this:
Strength - Snatch Complex
Athletes will have 20 minutes to work on the following snatch complex: 1 snatch pull + 1 snatch. The focus for today is good technique and maintaining good positions throughout. NO MISSES!
*Perf/Comp track: Build to a heavy single; up to two misses allowed. Move/Prep track: Focus on improving the OH position - perform 2 OHS with a pause in the bottom after each complex.
Metcon - 4 Rounds for time:
0:45 second bike @ RPE 8
8 Deadlifts @ RPE 7
10 minute cap
*Perf/Comp track: perform C2B or bar muscle ups; DL @ 225/155; 18/15 calorie bike. Move/Prep track: banded or ring rows, scaling reps if necessary; DL will be sumo @ RPE 5 - practice bracing; bike is nasal breathing only
Essentially the main workout will be the Health/Fitness track. The adjustments for the other two tracks will be listed in some way. The health/fitness track will continue to be scaled and adjusted the same way we do now. You are not automatically bumped to a different track just because you can’t do a kipping pull-up.
For Performance/Competition, you can see that the changes demand a slightly higher skill movement, has a set prescription weight that when used, must still elicit the intended stimulus, and we have a prescribed amount of work on the bike.
For Movement/Preparation, we’ve written the scale for the pull-ups. The RPE on the bike is based off of breathing, a biofeedback metric that’s easily monitored by the athlete as they work and will adjust to their extended effort. The deadlift set up has changed to reduce the loading on the posterior and reduce the overall loading. This track will often incorporate things like tempo and pausing during metcons too.
For many of you, this may look a little like what we, your coaches, already do on a daily basis when you come in. We are well versed and practiced in scaling, both up and down, to meet your needs as an athlete. However, the designation and ownership of a training plan - your training plan - can help frame your expectations. The written version of these variations also gives silent permission to choose the track that best suits you for the day. So you feel like crap, work sucked, the kids were up all night, you’re exhausted. But you’re here. Just move - you don’t even have to ask, just choose movement. On the other hand, you’re well rested and fed, you feel great and you’re ready to set the world on fire. Choose the challenge. Maybe your challenge is the fitness and health track. That’s okay! Own it. Be intentional. Understand your body and your goals and choose accordingly. And as always, if you’re unsure, ask a coach!
Metcon - 4 Rounds For Time:
54 Double unders
9 HSPU @ RPE 7 **
0:30 second Zercher hold @ light to moderate **
12 minute cap
HSPU: Athletes should be able to perform all 9 reps in 1 to 2 sets. Emphasis today will be the volume of the three movements. Earlier rounds should be easier than later rounds.
ZERCHER HOLD: Athletes will use a light sandbag or slam ball. The emphasis is to build stability and volume in the front rack position. NOT LOAD!!