Hi guys, how about some Programming talk.
There are different types of athletes. We have the people just wanting to stay healthy and keep moving, then we have those who enjoy training as a sport and regard it as a hobby, they are the enthusiasts, and on top are the competitors and the professionals.
Let’s address programming for the enthusiastic athletes today, people who enjoy it so much, they give it 3-5 training sessions a week and will seek to put something extra into it throughout the day. Here we enjoy talking about it, chase specific goals and have a gang of friends we spend a lot of time with during and outside of training. And I’ll guess it’s the majority of you guys reading.
Programming for enthusiasts
Programming comes in different sorts and you can get it different places. From a hobby athlete, we assume consistency, those who will train every week except for resting weeks (not exactly the same as a deload week) and holidays but will still sneak one or two fun and easy sessions during a holiday because it’s fun. These are also those who will peak for a period of the year, that period where we want to shine brightest and see how far we have gotten.
A reasonable programme will keep the athlete in balance, and also use periods of time to focus more on specific aspects. In weightlifting we want to be good at pulling and at pushing too, strength on the front is just as important as on the back. In CrossFit we want to be strong, be good gymnasts and obviously move really fast for 7-12 minutes chunks too. Before I forget, yes we are human and most of us have imbalances. This is why we have to keep the eyes open for the programming to contain well-thought accessory work which will target stabilization and balancing of strength. Some simple examples would be Bulgarian Split Squats, L-Seated DumbBell Strict Presses, and let’s throw some Side Planks in there, too.
Bulgarian Split Squats
L-Seated DumbBell Strict Presses
How many sessions per week?
Depending on your sport, your programme should give you more or less training sessions per week. In Weightlifting, Strongman and Powerlifting you will most likely train 3 times a week, maybe 4. In CrossFit 4-5 training sessions are fine.
Why more in CrossFit, simple, aside of heavy training we also work endurance here.
Too much heavy training is not sustainable for the body, recovery is crucial, better recovery will allow you better heavy training. Especially at this level where we have adapted our body to higher volumes, we have to be even smarter about recovery.
So good programming should contain: technique training, accessory work, strength and cardiovascular training. Additionally, and this is often each and everyone’s own
responsibility, mobility stability, and a good warm-up.
How much intensity?
Weight, repetitions, and timeframe equated together give us the intensity. Both the heavy and the cross athletes have to be well acquainted with different levels of it. From going long
and easy to quick and explosive we train crucial abilities to prepare the body for new top performances.
Here the styles will vary, the heavy athletes for the most part, will have sizeable amounts of rest inbetween sets, yet high loads and high peaks of intensity during the working sets.
Imagine picking flowers in a field and every couple of minutes ripping a tree or two out of the ground.
CrossFit athletes meanwhile have to incorporate different approaches. For strength same protocols as the heavy athletes, for endurance low loads and long timeframes of continuous
work, and for those typical CrossFit workouts they will take moderate to challenging loads and execute at high intensity either to finish all repetitions as fast as possible, or to do as
many as possible within a time cap.
At the end of the day a good programme will aim to make us equally good in all aspect relevant to our sport. In CrossFit training we will often address intensity in percentages. The general goal is to have a better 75-80% intensity capacity, since that will be the bulk of all workouts both in training and competitions. Every now and then we will of course go all out 100% in workouts which are meant to be completed in 5 minutes or less, for example Fran. And a workout like
Murph would rather be a 60-65% intensity due to its length.
How much volume?
Quality over quantity. Generally speaking, an hour of training where you focus and dedicate will always be better than two hours of aimless movement, this excludes the time required
for warm up and cool down.
There is no universally agreed upon method of calculating volume, so by addressing volume we mainly talk about amount of training.
Volume is something you increase gradually. To start, I generally recommend training for 1 hour per session, and when you feel like your body is comfortable with the training load, you can consider adding some. Before increasing the heavy and intensive training I genuinely believe it is best to add skill training between warm up and training, or into the warm up itself, so that your heavy and intensive part of the session will further improve in quality.
Remember, quality is key.
What goes AM and PM sessions, for almost everyone, one session a day is enough, you do
not need a second one. If you earn a living by training and your schedule allows for it, you
may consider training twice a day. Pay attention to fully recover between sessions, if you
love a good lunch time nap, you love for napping may only increase.
Take your hobby into your everyday life.
Someone once told me something I believe to suit it best, “actually we train for the recovery, during training we damage our body, and during recovery it builds itself up and adapts to our training”. Be mindful about your training and how you execute it, then keep in mind, the training session is just one small peak of the entire day, all the things happening before and after influence what will happen next time.
Eat well and healthy, keep on moving (don’t be a couch potato or don’t sit for too long in the office), pay attention to your posture, get enough sleep, do your stretching and mobility (10- 15 minutes a day are already huge), and last but not least, enjoy your fitness outside of training (being playful is fun).