CYCLE 3 COACHES LETTER
Dear Anchor Members,
Welcome to Cycle 3 of programming, as we continue working towards your goals. The premise with Cycle 3, the same as it will be every cycle going forward, is to build. To build towards new skills, strengths, and capacities. Below, you will find a detailed overview of the warm-ups, strength, skill, structure, and metcons. As always, to begin, here is the template for Cycle 3:
snatch & overhead squats + metcon
“aerobic capacity” metcon
back squats + gymnastic strength development and kipping development + metcon
clean & jerk + “work capacity barbell” metcon
bench press + gymnastic strength development and kipping development + metcon
deadlift + metcon
Let’s dive into the details of each component, before we go any further
Strength – Bench Press
Each cycle we have one movement added for strength and power work to develop specific needs of our community. We have done a great job with adding in overhead stability that translates to the jerk, the snatch, and the overhead squat with the snatch grip push jerks we did on Saturday’s in Cycle 3.
For Cycle 4, we will be benching. Mainly because summer is almost here, but also because of the tremendous upper body strength development that can come from benching. Benching, unlike some of the past movements we have implemented, is not simply an accessory movement. The aim of this is to add in additional strength work to the upper body for pressing, jerks, overhead stability, etc. With the bench press we will be continuing it, starting with a 1RM test and working through a specific strength cycle before retesting later in the summer.
Olympic Lifting – Snatch + Clean & Jerk
The following 4 weeks complete this 9-week Olympic Lifting cycle we have been working through. A cycle focusing on pauses in the catch position, strengthening our overhead stability, and getting faster and stronger and moving under the bar. We began this cycle with a lot of pausing focus and we have continued this. However, over the course of this cycle you will begin to see the complexes and lifts move closer to the traditional snatch and traditional clean and jerk.
After we complete our 1RM test in Week 4 of this cycle, the coaching staff will go through where we go next. Aiming to always identify what worked and why, and what needs to be focused on and how we can do that. Excited for all the bell rings in week 4 for everyone!
After 2 full cycles with tireless amounts of strict chest-to-bars, strict handstand push-ups, hollow holds, arch holds, and so much more. We are excited to begin working on the skill of “kipping”. Kipping is a skill in itself that involves using dynamic action from the midline and hips to complete movements like toes to bar, chest-to-bar, handstand push-ups, muscle-ups, etc.
This cycle will have two days focused on gymnastic skills, they will be EMOM formats that combine strength work in one minute and skills in another minute. One day will focus on the bar kipping, progressing from the hollow body and arch bodies we have strengthened. Learning to take those positions and develop them into dynamic movements before building towards specific pull-up and toes-to-bar in Cycle 4. For the other day, we are upside down, working on progressions towards kipping handstand push-ups.
This cycle will be different because of this and will certainly have different movements. As we have never worked on these specific skills before. As a coaching staff, we ask one thing of you, the same thing we ask of you every day. To simply show up, put trust in the programming and coaching, and reap the benefits!
We have a new style day. A day that is a bit of a test for our programming that we hope to continue going forward. Tuesday’s will be “Aerobic Capacity” day. There will be no barbell, no gymnastics, simply showing up, working on your engine. These days will consist of four specific components.
First, a general warm-up.
Second, a specific warm-up that is designed to focus on the pacing of the workout.
Third, the metcon itself. Traditionally, this workout will include variations of running, biking, rowing, skipping, and burpees. Workouts will be designed to work on pacing, moving at the same overall pace from start to finish for anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes.
Fourth, a cool down. Time spent specifically to bring our heart rates down and to treat the muscular fatigue of our bodies.
A part from all of the benefits these days will have towards our aesthetic and fitness goals, these days will be working towards one of #ANCHORWORKINGHARDER’s ultimate goals for the summer. That is to program a real CrossFit Games workout. Traditionally, these workouts as prescribed would not be able to be programmed for a class workout. However, thanks to Coach Jason’s idea, he proposed to have the Anchor community complete the “Triple Three” workout. A workout from the 2014 Games and a workout that was also at the 2018 CrossFit Regional competition. We will be building into this workout, to let you know now the workout is as follows:
3km Row, 300 Double Unders, 3-mile run
Over the course of Cycle 3, 4, 5, and 6 we will be working towards building our aerobic capacities, our engines, and our skills with all of these metabolic conditioning movements. With our final “test” or grand finale of this conditioning cycle taking place by completed a Games workout.
The metcon’s this cycle will include 3 shorter workouts focusing on specific skills that we have worked on and are working towards. Monday will focus on challenging newer gymnastic movements and building on the bottom overhead squat position through overhead squats, squat snatches, and other positions. Tuesday’s will be our new “Aerobic Capacity” day focusing on longer “simple movement” workouts aiming to build our engines. Wednesday’s will be back to a shorter workout focusing on gymnastic skills and db specific movements. Thursday’s will be work capacity with a barbell focus, pushing our abilities to cycle barbells through movements like sumo deadlift high pulls, push press, thrusters, etc. Friday’s will be our final shorter work out of the week focusing on increasing our handstand push-up progressions and volume. Finally, Saturday’s will be a long metcon made up of multiple short AMRAPs, these days may include anything and everything.
Cycle 3 will build on the foundation we established in Cycle 2, it is designed to develop us towards further skills and strengths for the future and to improve upon the opportunities we found in Cycle 2. From being inverted on the wall to becoming stronger in the bottom of your squat, this will set us up for even more success as summer approaches. Leading us towards lifting weights we never thought we could, to doing movements we once believed to be unattainable, and to finishing workouts that once seemed impossible.
Here is to the next 4-weeks of working on ourselves, and to working with this amazing community!