Good to be Back
I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to write this post, sorry internet I know you’ve missed me. It’s taken a surprising amount of time to find my rhythm again back from Italy and jumping right into a new semester 2 days later, I definitely have gotten swept up in life again. The silver lining to having a head cold this weekend is that it’s given me time to sit down and write again, something that I really miss. I’ve changed a ton of things, and I’m really excited about the next 6 months. The cold brew helps too, imbibe and see what comes.
Let’s start with diet. While I was traveling, I noticed a sale on the Renaissance Periodization Diet. I’ve worked with a nutritionist previously, right after last year’s open, but before I took on twice a day training. Since then I’ve been tweaking and tweaking almost obsessively. I wanted a clearer picture. The RP Diet was a great read, well researched, and gave me all the tools to start from baseline again and fuel properly. It didn’t require me to change a ton of things but at this point the last 10% is what it takes. Overall I think my caloric balance was pretty good, I was holding my weight around 210-215 and making good strength progress. I’ll take slow and steady over large swings. The biggest changes are the meal frequency, really trying to nail down the every 3-4 hours even if it means downing baby food and an Epic bar during class. Further, the periodization part of the renaissance diet means I’m actually tapering up and down more responsive to my volume and training cycles, something which I always felt I was missing.
The other big nutrition change I made is juice. The long and the short of it is that eating the vegetables required to “be healthy” displaces all the other things you need to “perform well”, that is carbs and protein. Vegetables are nutritious and important but they add a ton of volume to a diet, and when you’re trying to get nearly 4000 calories a day, there isn’t much room for them. So I started juicing. So far I’ve been a huge fan, I don’t feel nearly as guilty about eating a big bowl of meat and sweet potatoes knowing that I already drank a bundle of kale, a wad of carrots and a couple of apples. I shrugged off juicing for almost 2 years, but if you can make it fit, I would recommend it.
The next big change I’ve made since being back is my programming. I’ve formally left AthleteWod. I can’t really pin down exactly why I didn’t like it, or what made me switch things up. I really can’t even fault them, I got a lot better in the 9 months or so I was with them. Again, we’re humans, we don’t exist in vacuums, you can almost never say this one thing or that one thing caused a change or a difference. Eating well, training hard, resting properly, you’ll make some big strides. I think at the end of the day it comes down to me understanding myself as an athlete, the ways I like to train, and the types of programming I respond best to. Obviously if you have a weakness, a program should address that, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of doing the things that got you where you are. After a lot of considerations, browsing a lot of blogs and programming choices, I landed on the Conjugate Competitors programming, as well as, the Conjugate gymnastics fundamentals programmed by Sean Lind. I think its a great program, incorporates a lot of “Hotdogs and Cupcakes” like, Westside strength work which I love and makes me happy. The gymnastics work is something I desperately need to keep in my programming, and having it be a separate program with more basic progressions gives me a lot more tools and formal structure. My biggest concern in doing this is that I’ll start missing some vital conditioning, but the program is well proven and thought out, for now I think it will be a great base builder for the 2016 Open. I’m still training twice a day, still keeping volume high, improving where I’m weak and keeping strong where I am strong. Nothing will stop me from trying to be the best athlete my free time and abilities will allow me.
Which brings me to my next point, which I more or less made a few weeks ago in it’s own post, my focus has now turned to the 2016 Open and season. Between school, my back injury, and the trip over the holidays, this year’s team is set and I’m not on it. I’m fine with this. I’m still going to sign up for the open. I will still do better than last year. Will I climb as many spots as I wanted to after last year? Probably not. But I’m certain I will climb, and it will be a great productive year, and I’m ready for more. The other side of things is that I’m doing far more with my life than just Crossfit, and I have to give myself points for that; I think it’s far too easy to forget about these things when you’re trying to find your spot on the 2015 Open Leaderboard.
The last change I made really isn’t a change so much as adding a new tool. I signed up for Rom Wod, which is daily mobility programming in a very different style from MWOD. Anyone who reads this regularly knows I love mobility and MWOD, I owe much of the progress I’ve made and better movement I experience to MWOD and that type of thinking. The side of MWOD that isn’t addressed is a more passive approach. There’s a lot of focus on tissues and joints, but once you’ve sorted out the soft tissue work, and sliding surfaces, and torque! Theres a valid argument to be made to getting those joints into end ranges and finding out that you’re actually making changes. Plus Rom Wod is programmed daily, and entirely guided. There’s no guessing or thinking, maybe I’ll work on quads or maybe I’ll do hamstrings. It’s pretty thoughtless; which I mean as a positive, sometimes you just need to come in, do the programming and stop thinking so hard.
The last point, which isn’t really a point because I’m saving it for an entirely different post, is mindset. I did a lot of reading, philosophizing, thinking, and growing in this time off. I would like to think the opportunities presented to me these last 4 weeks were not wasted. Enough about all this though, let’s look at some training these last couple weeks.
Squat with SSB + 25% Band Tension, No Box – 1RM
335 + thin red bands
5 Burpee Buy in each round
2 strict Pull-ups
3 Kipping chest to bar
Rest 0:45’s each set
Push Jerk Against Singled Mini Bands, 50% Bar Weight – 8×3
135 + Thin Reds
10 x 2
Negative Bar Muscle-ups
Power Snatch @70% – 12×1
Power Clean @70% – 12×1
1 rope climb ( with legs)
Followed by 5 Chin-ups rest 90 seconds
Conventional Deadlift 2″ Block Pull – 1RM
Wrist roll-ups 25-45lbs ( 20 total reps)
Bench Press with Light Bands, Straight Bar – 1RM
315 thin blacks
10 x 3
Negative HSPU ( 7’s from top to bottom) ( +10-45lbs)
Team of 2, divide work as needed:
100 Cals Airdyne
100 Thrusters (45)
100 OH walking lunge steps (45 lb plate)
Workout 2, Individual:
4 Rounds for Max Distance:
Row 2 Minutes
Rest 1 Minute
Box Squat with Buffalo Bar + 25% Hanging Chains – 1RM
345 + 50 Chains
Find 3RM strict Dip on P-bars
20 Minute AMRAP:
20 Calorie Row
10 Bar Facing Burpees
5 Thrusters (185/135)
Bench Press with Straight Bar + 40% Bar Weight + 25% Hanging Chains – 8×3
(3 Sets wide, 2 Sets Middle, 3 Sets close)
135 + 50 chains
Weighted Plank – Max Weight, 4×1 Minute
Snatch Balance – Max or Near Max
Find 1 x Max Reps Ring Dips
then perform 4 x 70% of the reps
Conventional Deadlift @~50% + ~30% Band Tension – 8×1
250 + 130 ( large black)
14 Minute AMRAP:
40 wall-ball shots, 20/14 lb. to 10-foot/9 foot target
30 cleans (135/95)
Okay that was a lot of training stuff. Maybe too much information for one post, but I’m playing catch up. If you didn’t read it what I was trying to emphasize, is that a) there is a good balance between strength work, gymnastics and conditioning b) I retested 14.4 after a 18 day vacation and after 10 days of new programming, and did 5 reps better, which on that workout is muscle ups at the end of a workout, after a full day of training, I feel really good about that, and c) that this is still private programming, so I can’t post anything near all of it, this is just a small sample of the strength, accessory, core, and gymnastics work. I suppose that’s everything for now, it’s good to be back and I have a lot to look forward to.