Ballston CrossFit » Current Programming Block Explanation (Open Prep/Skill Refinement and Strength Retention)

Current Programming Block Explanation (Open Prep/Skill Refinement and Strength Retention)

Starting Monday, January 4th, we will begin a new block of programming at BCF and CF Route 7. This programming block will be roughly 3 months long, lasting through March and the CrossFit Open. 

The main goals for this block of programming will be to focus on skill refinement and preparing you for the CrossFit Open as well as strength retention

The CrossFit Open is a three-workout competition held over three weeks at CrossFit affiliates and garage gyms around the world. Workouts are released online each Thursday, and athletes have until the following Monday to submit their scores. Signing up for the CrossFit Open is an excellent way to test your fitness and see how you compare to the rest of the CrossFit community. CrossFit Open workouts will be performed on Fridays at CFR7 and Saturdays at BCF. 

The reasons for the direction of our conditioning programming are as follows:

  • For most CrossFitters, the CrossFit Open is the biggest test of fitness that we have each year and we want you all to have the best results possible.
  • Our programming has been slowly building our strength, gymnastics skills and conditioning all year and now you can put it all to the test and see what you are truly capable of.

Some overall themes you can expect to see in the conditioning programming this block are:

  • More “Open Style” workouts, Open workout retests, and Benchmark Workouts
  • More strategy-based metcons
  • Application of gymnastics skills and strength in metcons

During this time, our approach to the strength portion of our program will be mostly focused on strength retention until we begin our new strength cycle later in the spring. The lifting sessions will mostly be designed to solidify and maintain the new strength levels you developed over the last year. This is not to say you won’t be getting stronger during this time but the main goals will be to dial in technique and give our bodies a little rest from intense, high percentage lifting. We will also take this time to develop the front squat and Romanian deadlift (RDL). The front squat and RDL are more isolated/focused on the major muscle groups for their respective movement types: squats and hinging/pulls. The front squat is very quadriceps focused and the romanian deadlift is very hamstring and glute focused.   

Some reasons for this direction in our strength programming are:

  • We have taken our strength just about as far as we can get it for this cycle and now our bodies will get some much needed rest from the intense, heavy lifting we have been doing.
  • Dialing back the intensity of our strength programming will allow us to push the pace on our metcons even more and get our conditioning as dialed in as possible for the CrossFit Open.
  • The front squat and RDL will need to be performed at lower weights than the back squat and deadlift and this will allow for extra technique refinement in those patterns of movement.

Some overall themes you can expect to see in the strength programming this block are:

  • Mostly moderate loads and volumes for barbell work (3 – 5 rep range, 65 – 85% of 1RM)
  • Front Squats and RDLs weekly (3 weeks on/1 week off)
  • Occasional max effort lifting

As we look at our programming through 2021, you can expect to see us transition into a cycle of programming blocks similar to last year with the long term goal of building capacity across all the components of physical fitness. We will start back at the beginning and slowly build upon the different pieces of your fitness to make you even faster, stronger, and healthier!!!

We are very excited to roll out this new programming and see all of the improvements that our members will make!!!

If you have questions or comments, please let us know.

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