The #1 goal of our programming is to develop a scientific method for scaling the workouts of the day (WODs) in an effort to maximize power output. Power = Work / Time, so if you can do more work in the same amount of time, or the same work in less time, your power output has increased. This formula is complicated by the fact that we constantly get stronger and increase the loads we use on the WODs. So, you increase your work, but sometimes it may take you more time. Has your power increased? Have you maximized your power output on that WOD? That depends. (If you're not sure why you should care about power output, read this.)
How do we scale the WODs to maximize power output? It makes sense that if we do fewer reps, we can handle larger loads, and if we do more reps, we can move faster with lighter loads. But, we want something a little more scientific. A.S. Prilepin performed a study in 1974 to determine the optimal training ranges for Olympic weightlifters. He based his optimal training ranges on the percent of 1 rep max (1RM), the number of total reps, and the number of reps per set. Based on what he found, we developed a method of scaling our WODs to maximize power output. Scaling the WODs using a percent of 1RM means the relative intensity of the WOD is similar for everyone, regardless of strength. Which means the times on work-based WODs and the number of reps completed on time-based WODs should be fairly close for both beginners and advanced athletes. In order to scale this way, we need to know our 1RM’s of the various lifts, which means we need to test for our 1RMs. And since we don’t want to be stuck at the same 1RM forever, we need to get stronger.
That brings us to the 2nd goal of our programming method, which is to gain strength. If we scale the workouts to maximize power output, you might use lighter loads on some WODs than you would otherwise. So, we need to balance the WODs with a solid strength program. Not only do we need to test for 1RMs, we also need to do consistent strength work. The consistency of moving heavy loads will have a domino effect of increasing our 1RMs, which will increase the loads we use during the WODs.
The final goal is to increase everyone’s familiarity with the barbell movements. By consistently doing the movements, over time you will develop muscle memory, which will allow you to think less about what you are doing and focus on lifting more. Also, we want our members to be walking, talking, fit athletes. We want to you to know, and be able to perform, the difference between a snatch and a jerk, a deadlift and a back squat, and a shoulder press and a push press.
What about scheduling? In additional to the Workout of the Day, we have a planned out strength / lift cycle. We focus on one lift per lifting day and then perform a short to mid-length WOD. These shorter time domain WODs are fast-paced, so storm through knowing you will finish in 15 minutes or less. Shorter time domain WODs have been proven to vastly increase overall fitness…even fitness capacity in longer efforts. Finally, on non-lift days (or when the lift is shorter) give us the opportunity to do a WOD a little longer in duration, spend a little more time on the warm-up, and / or work on skills like double-unders or gymnastic movements.
Our programming is tailored specifically to the athletes at CrossFit Rockwall and is designed to improve overall health and fitness. Nothing you find in our programming is random or haphazard, but rather planned out in advance and with purpose.