Posts Tagged ‘training program’

Competing in CrossFit

The purpose of this post is to help members and athletes establish goals and understand the practicality of competing in different levels in “The Sport of Fitness.”

There will be a follow up post on CrossFit for health and longevity as I believe there should be clear distinction between the two sides of the spectrum.

So you want to compete?

Awesome! Competing at all different levels can be an amazing journey to be a part of both coaching and participating.

In my experiences, athletes interested in the competitive side of fitness typically come from one of two viewpoints:

CROSSFIT GAMES | SANCTIONED EVENTS

1.) I saw the CrossFit Games on TV, social media, or YouTube and I want to train for that!

LOCAL COMPETITION

2.) My friend has been posting on his or her social media page or bragging at work about competing in CrossFit competitions and I think that’s what I want to do.

From the outside looking in, training for #1 or #2 could appear to be the same. The purpose of this post is to shed light on the fact that training for the CrossFit Games or a CrossFit sanctioned event (#1) is a full time job. This is similar to watching the athletes running 13 minute 5ks in the Olympics.

Training for a local competition (#2) is more comparable to your 5k Turkey trot. You can sign up and just do it.

Sanctioned events could be compared to the Houston marathon where you have elite professional runners (athletes competing for money and a spot at the CrossFit Games) mixed with folks who trained to complete the marathon (intermediate and scaled athletes) but do not focus on the marathon solely as their job.

What does it take to compete?

LOCAL COMPETITION

To compete in a local competition you should be familiar with all the common CrossFit movements and be able to complete full range of motion movements without risk of injury.

There are so many different levels of local competition from ultimate newbie, scaled, all women’s, all men’s, masters, kids, intermediate, and “RX”…. Every local competition will provide movement standards or expectations for athletes prior to signing up. You can expect these events to range anywhere from $50 – $150 per participant to register.

Local competitions can be great fun for family and friends and they are a great way to support the local fitness community as well as small businesses.

By completing the CrossFit Annihilation workout of the day 4-5 days per week, you should be ready for most local competitions intermediate or scaled. To compete RX in local competition however, you should be able to complete the majority of our workouts without scaling and be near the top of the whiteboard on a day to day basis.

TRAINING FOR A SANCTIONED EVENT OR THE CROSSFIT GAMES

I want to be fully transparent in regards to training for this level of competition to eliminate false expectations and self made pressure to anyone who reads this post.

If you have a full time job outside of a gym, it is highly unlikely you will have the time or energy to compete at this level. If this fact ruins your reasoning to do CrossFit then I’m sorry, you can hit the exit browser button now and thank me later for saving you the trouble… if you have the time or are just curious what it takes then continue to 2.).

2.) If you have the time and energy to train for the CrossFit games you need to be aware of exactly how much training needs to be done on a day to day basis

as well as the other factors that need to be considered.

A. 30-60 minutes daily (or more) of body work.

This could include physical therapy movement preparation, foam rolling, stretching, warm up, cool down, massage, chiropractic work etc.

Without this type of TLC to your body, it is highly unlikely you will make it through the years and years of high volume training necessary to compete at this level. The demands on your body at this stage are far beyond what is considered “ideal for health” and more towards what is considered “extreme.”

B. 8,9, or 10+ hours of sleep on a regular basis. If you find a CrossFit Games athlete with a full time job outside of the gym getting by on 6 hours of sleep daily I’ll drink a cup of canola oil with a cherry coke for your viewing pleasure. That was a joke, the point is I don’t think you’ll find that anymore. Maybe in 2009.

C. Alcohol– if you’re a male consuming more than a few drinks total per month, I’d be willing to bet your hormone levels are too low to compete at this level. That’s just my theory based on what alcohol does to a males hormone levels and heart rate variability.

D. The programming – the volume needed at this level is no longer safely achievable within the first 3 (usually more) years of training. Basically, unless you have the enforceable future planned for training at an elite level… I mean, here’s an example of the work you will need to put in.

Example training week:

Take our most intense CrossFit Annihilation or local crossfit gym’s workout of the week. Combine 2-3 of these per day 3-4 days per week in combination with:

KTX Capacity workout of the day 3-4 days per week ensuring you hit every energy system with every possible cardio element on a fairly regular basis.

KTX Strength and Weightlifting 4-5x per week ensuring you are about as physically strong and efficient as possible on every lift as your body can possibly handle.

KTX Gymnastics 2-3x per week ensuring you can do very high volumes without unnecessary stress to your joints (good form).

Personal accessory work regularly to make sure you have no weak areas.

The training listed above has to be done not only day in and day out but realIstically year in and year out which leads us to the next point…

E.) You have to be beyond a normal level of mentally strong. What some people call #obsessive.

It’s easy for people who do no understand what kind of mindset it takes to be a champion to point the finger at everyone better then they are at their craft and accuse them all of using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.

Obviously, in any competitive sport there will be athletes doing whatever they can to have an advantage or cheat the competition. That does not mean that all athletes at the elite level are doing it. In my experiences being around elite athletes of all different backgrounds, the best ones usually have more integrity and less desire to cheat where as the ones pointing fingers and getting caught are the ones who (in their head) have to use drugs to try and keep up. This is not always 100% true (obviously).

Personal belief – some athletes cheat, most do not.

The best of the best have the MINDSET, the GENETICS, most have a lifelong TRAINING HISTORY, and skill sets that go far beyond what the losing mindset will allow them to see. This isn’t a 6 week training program. These athletes are doing the big AND little things day and in day out all the time.

F.) $$$ is almost non existent until you are the best of the best.

This could be an issue in many areas, including but not limited to :

1. Body maintenance is expensive. You need a good network of physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, or sponsors willing to help in your journey. Or a sugar momma.

2. The amount of food needed is expensive. Most aspiring athletes do not get anywhere near the nutrition needed to compete at their desired peak levels. Supplements are essential to fill the void so sponsors or $$$ are required here as well.

3. Nutrition can be stressful for athletes. Having a nutritionist or meal prep service can help take stress off the shoulders. Both of which cost money or require sponsorships.

4. Qualifiers, travel, and signing up all cost about as much as a vacation… fund raisers & sponsors are almost always needed for this considering these athletes don’t typically have full time jobs unless they are RICH fitness trainers 🙂

5. You are trying to compete or “catch up” to the athletes who already have all of the money and sponsors listed above … this makes a coach or manager even more valuable…. you either need a really dedicated supper buddy or someone who believes In your abilities to donate this kind of time and energy into helping you achieve your goals. Or be that much more disciplined on your own watch = even more stress.

I’m sure I’m missing some key points, but I’m about to land in Colorado and think i got my message across.

Summary:

1. Training for local competitions can be great fun and are realistic to any person or skill level.

2. Training for elite level competitions is unrealistic for most people and shouldn’t be a burden on your shoulders if you don’t have the time and resources essential to be successful.

I am always available to help you establish a training goal and keep it real regarding the competition side of CrossFit or “The Sport of Fitness.”

-Kyle Flowers

CrossFit Annihilation (THIS CYCLE IS COMPLETE)

This will be our 3rd year running the 21-day Pre Thanksgiving Challenge! If you are up for it, the results have been amazing! Free inbody scan before and after the challenge to prove your results!   Ask Kyle for any questions regarding the challenge. Click the link below to see the challenge details! 21 Day Protocol […]

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GYMNASTICS (Push, Pull & Core Cycle) (6 weeks) (Advanced*)

New gymnastics cycle will begin August 3.    If you are new to the cycle, start at week 1. Week 6 Friday 07/17 “Strict Cindy” 20 minute AMRAP 5 strict pull-ups 10 push-ups 15 air squats Thursday 07/16 50 GHD Sit-Ups 50 GHD Hip Extensions 50 GHD Sit-UPs Wednesday 07/15 Recover hard. Tuesday 07/14 “PULL” […]

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Strength | Power | Speed

Strength | Power | Speed

Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination muscular units, to apply force.

Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in a minimum time.

Speed– The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

As we wrap up strength cycle 1 of 2020, I have decided to write about a few fitness traits and why we periodize our training programs at KTX Fit.

Cycle 1 was focused around maximal strength. There were many huge PRs (personal records) as well as a few athletes left disappointed at the results from the cycle. Without going into deep detail on any of the factors listed below, there are numerous reasons why one athlete could hit a 50lb personal best on a back squat while others may stay the same or only increase 5lbs. Here are a few issues that could arise:

-Age
-Hormones
-Nutrition
-Sleep
-Training Background
-Body Type (muscle fibers etc.) 

An increase in MAXIMUM STRENGTH will not necessarily result in an increase in POWER. If an athlete is really strong but produces maximum force slowly, they will lack power. Many athletes, due to the above mentioned issues, will benefit more from maximal strength cycles (like cycle 1) while others will show greater progress in “strength” from what we are approaching in cycle 2.

You must train at the correct velocity to build a special strength. One can become stronger and jump higher in the beginning of training, but progress will stop if the rate of force development does not improve. There are many things to consider for improving sports performance.

In cycle 2, we will work on maintaining our strength progress while incorporating speed-strength + strength-speed + different power building approaches for our power and olympic lifts. We will be building our stamina and muscle endurance with an increase in bodyweight volume as well as begin to incorporate interval weight training (IWT) and improve our lactate inflection point (LIP). 

 NOTE: The athletes who have built a larger “aerobic base” by completing the capacity workouts and additional endurance training will generally yield greater results in the IWT and LIP training cycle. I compare this to someone investing higher amounts of money into the stock market. Everyone will benefit greatly from these intense forms of investing (training) but generally speaking, the people with the higher amounts of money invested will be rewarded more on the smart investments (intervals and higher intensity workouts)… athletes with the larger base should be able to handle higher interval training volumes and faster recovery between sessions. This should not discourage anyone from training but keep expectations at bay when comparing progress. 

Maximum Strength

Both of the traits listed below are directly linked to maximal strength (MS). MS is is usually tested by conducting a 1- rep max and what our general focus of training cycle 1 consisted of in the CrossFit classes. Strength training sets between 75-95% of our 1 rep max in a progressive manner. The overall training volume and intensity was lowered during this phase as sort of an “off-season” to get us through the holidays and de-load the intensity following the CF Open.

Maximum strength and higher intensity training can co-exist, however the effects on the nervous system need to be monitored more carefully and I believe in a balanced crossfit program for the general athlete, this is best done in blocks -or- “periodized training.”

Strength|Speed and Speed|Strength sound the same… but they are two different training traits of POWER.

Power has been clearly defined for a long time : the rate (energy amount per time period) at which work is done or energy converted.

Power = FORCE X DISTANCE divided by TIME

What is Strength-Speed?

Strength-speed refers to moving relatively heavy loads as fast as you can. An example of Strength-Speed would be pushing a heavy sled, or an all-out-sprint on the Assault Bike- the resistance on the Assault Bike increases along with your force (by design) to allow more strength-speed (power) output.

The functional application of strength-speed would be something like helping coach Marisa push her neutral car down highway 90 when she runs out of gas.

In this type of training there is a strength constraint (like weight) on a heavy load (like a sled) and there is a speed goal trying to move the resistance at very high speeds : like a time cap over a given distance to ensure you are getting the intended workout stimulus!

What is Speed-Strength?

Speed-strength refers to moving at very high speed with the maximum load possible. Examples of this include: Olympic Lifting (snatch | clean & jerk) 

The desired training stimulus can be achieved by training at lower percentages of 1 Rep Maximum (RM) therefore resulting in an increase of movement velocity. For this you will need to take into account a valid speed constraint whilst conduct very fast movements trying to lift as heavy as you can. An example of this would be during a snatch as it is very difficult to make it under the barbell if it moves slower than the desired training rate for speed-strength. This is why most olympic lift training is completed at 70-80% of your 1 rep potential and your 1 rep potential on the snatch and clean & jerk is significantly lower than your maximal strength output which will come from the back squat and deadlift.

 

If you have questions, comments, or specific training goals you would like to address feel free to contact me anytime at : Kyle@ktx.fit

or comment in our members facebook group 🙂