Welcome to Cycle 4 of programming, as we continue working towards your goals. The premise with Cycle 4, the same as it is with every cycle, is to build. To build towards new skills, strengths, and capacities. This cycle we are going to continue building towards toes to bar and handstand push-ups, and building towards the new skill of handstand walks! As well, we are going to begin different Olympic lifting movements to take a break from all the snatching and clean and jerks. Different ways to build strength, to move, and to improve.
Below, you will find a detailed overview of the warm-ups, strength, skill, structure, and metcons. To begin, here is the template for Cycle 4:
deadlift + gymnastic pushing development + “work capacity” metcon
snatch balance/overhead squats + gymnastic pulling development + metcon
bench press + gymnastic pushing development + metcon
back squat + gymnastic pulling development + metcon
shoulder to overhead + “work capacity” metcon
Let’s dive into the details!
Olympic Lifting – Snatch Balance/Overhead Squat + Shoulder to Overhead
We have been working for 3 entire cycles on the specific movements of the snatch and of the clean & jerk. As well, we have spent a lot of time working on strengthen our bottom positions for both lifts. This certainly showed this week with our 1RM testing, Anchor athletes are beginning to be more comfortable catching lighter loads in a squat and moving stronger through these positions.
For Cycle 4 we are going to take a break from the traditional lifts. The snatch balance and overhead squat will be used to replace our snatches, and the shoulder to overhead movements will be used to replace our clean and jerks. Focusing on overhead strength, speed, and a fun change of pace to keep introducing new movements to the community.
Strength – Back Squat
This cycle reaches the end of our 16-week Back Squat cycle. That means that we will be doing 1RM testing at the end of Cycle 4. With the end of Cycle 3 comes the end of the back squat “waves” that we have grown accustom to. All of the squats going up and down in weights. To finish our back squat cycle, we are keeping things simple and heavy. Over the first three weeks of this cycle we will be squatting 90%-95% for reps, working through simple linear progression to have us peak with a 1RM test come week 4.
Building off of Cycle 3, we are going to have 4 days this cycle that work towards gymnastic development. Strength will always be included in some way, traditionally in Cycle 4 it will be done through time under tension upside down, things like handstand holds, box handstand walk progressions, and dips, while we will continue with lots of L-hangs and tempo ring rows for our toes to bar and chest-to-bar development.
In this cycle we will continue to progress with our kipping handstand push-ups being upside down two times a week (Monday & Thursday), with at least one workout a week that includes HSPU to give each athlete the chance to work on their new skills and strengths. As well, this cycle we will continue on the pull-up bar towards toes to bar. Working through the kipping progressions we’ve done, to now bringing the knees in tight, and eventually the toes touching. Like our handstand push-ups, we will be working on our kips two times a week (Tuesday & Friday).
Lots of small gymnastics EMOM’s this cycle to work on these newer movements more consistently. Which will especially begin to show improvements as we re-test each of the 2018 Open workouts in Cycle 6!
The Aerobic Capacity days (i.e. Wednesday’s for Cycle 4) have done great so far and as promised, they will continue for the entirety of Cycle 4 and Cycle 5.
Leading towards Coach Jason’s desired workout of “Triple 3”
The template for this cycle will include 2 days a week of “Work Capacity” style metcons (Monday & Saturday). These days will be focused on longer workouts, ones with lots of barbell movements and cycling. Specifically, Monday’s will be highly focused on some sort of squat variation (aka thrusters), with Saturday being all power and shoulder to overhead movements.
This leaves our Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday metcons to be shorter, “open style” intensity workouts. Traditionally, you will see Tuesday workouts include snatches from the floor in some form. Because we are not snatching from the floor in our Olympic lifting work, we need to ensure we are still doing it in our metcons to keep building. Thursday’s will be a “grunt work” style day with everyone’s favourites (i.e. lunges and db box step ups). While Friday’s will be squat focused, with lots of overhead squats and thrusters.
Cycle 4’s metcons will begin to fill up our “Wall of Fame” with the following workouts to be completed: “Karen”, “Isabel”, “Grace”, and “Fran”. These workouts are all CrossFit benchmark workouts and are traditional stimulus and movement combinations that are tested in CrossFit for a reason and are tested in the Open year after year for a reason. They are similar to many of the workouts we have done: wall ball volume, cycling our Olympic lifts, and the deadlift/hspu combo. The remainder of the workouts on the board that need to be filled out will be done in Cycle 5. Then going forward, at least 2 of the workouts will be completed each Cycle, giving our community an opportunity to constantly measure their improvements across the board.
Cycle 4 will be full of gymnastic development, heavy lifting, and a lot of sweat. We are gearing up and progressing towards our big “open test cycle” in Cycle 6 where we will be retesting all of the 2018 Open Workouts. There is lots of fun to come with 1RM testing, more aerobic work, lots of workout re-tests, and even more gymnastic progressions.
Here is to the net 4-weeks of working on ourselves, and to working with this amazing community!
- ANCHOR team