Starting Jan 2, 2017 we will be offering Olympic lifting classes four times a week, gymnastic classes twice a week, and Fit classes five days a week, all while continuing to offer the same number of CrossFit classes six days a week. So you might be thinking, “sweet, I have all kinds of training options…but how do I know what classes to take?”. The idea is NOT to take every class offered, every day–that would lead to program interference, overtraining, extensive fatigue, retrograde performance, and possible injuries.
As a workout programmer, one of my top priorities is creating variety in the level of intensity for our workouts day-to-day. This is achieved in several ways: changing the time domain (<5 min, <15 min, 30+min, etc.), offering differing implements (bars, dumbbells, wallballs, etc.), altering the load (heavy, medium, light), varying the rep volume (<100 reps, <50 reps, etc.), and challenging different muscle groups. It’s extremely important that your workout program has planned variance in all of these categories.
At Fathom, training is first planned on a macro level by looking at the entire year ahead. Then, we break the year into smaller cycles based around events (e.g. CrossFit Open in March) and target the programming to accomplish specific goals; all while training our General Physical Preparedness (GPP). At minimum, your Fathom programming has been thoughtfully written a full month in advance. So, rest assured, variance has been planned for your training.
So What Classes Should You Take?
Well…it depends on what your fitness goals are. One approach would be to train your weaknesses. Ask yourself what you think your weak areas are, or better yet, ask your Coaches at Fathom (no seriously).
Are you a fast athlete who excels at bodyweight workouts? Maybe you could target train to develop more strength and gain lean muscle mass. Do you love heavy days and anything with a barbell? Maybe you could start training more gymnastics skill and add a couple extra conditioning sessions through the Fit Class.
Possible areas for targeted training:
- Achieve and maintain general fitness and lifelong health (our GPP focus for CrossFit Classes)
- Improve strength and power
- Gain muscle mass
- Improve technique for Olympic lifts
- Learn and/pr improve technique and efficiency for gymnastic movements (e.g. pull-ups, HSPU)
- Competition preparation (requires focused nutrition and recovery to maintain)
Targeted Training Plan
Overall fitness (GPP) is improved by simply attending the daily CrossFit class. Although you may not see see a specific “strength” and/or “skill” programmed each day, you will still train all the major lifts (press, deadlift, squat) and the basic gymnastic movements (pull-ups, push-ups, midline stability) each week. These are planned with daily variance so that you can attend classes every day of the week.
Below are some suggested class plans to meet your general or specific fitness goals. Choose a track and follow it for a minimum of 12 weeks. After that period, assess your progress and either continue your plan or follow a different schedule to train a new goal. For example, after following the “strength” track for 12 weeks you may be able to add 15-25 pounds on your olympic lifts and squat 1RM, but it’s very likely your conditioning will decrease (odd how that works when you don’t train an area). In this case it may be time to add more GPP training and follow the “GPP W/ Strength Focus” plan for the next 8-12 week cycle to maintain your strength and regain your conditioning.
For another example, let’s say you train the CrossFit Classes only. You should see progress in overall strength, conditioning, and skill work. Maybe your technique with the gymnastic movements is preventing you from really excelling in workouts and accomplishing some specific goals (e.g. strict pull-up, handstand walking, muscle-up). To achieve these goals, your next cycle should be the “GPP w/ Gymnastics Focus” so that you can fine tune your technique without losing the GPP you have already achieved.
As always, your Fathom Coaches are always available to help guide you in proper direction to accomplish your goals. If you think you have specific weakness that are not being addressed in any of the classes, contact us and we can provide individualized programming that can be tailored to your needs–and most important of all–will not interfere with your class workouts.
~ Coach Mo