2019 Games Prep
The recent changes to the CrossFit Games brought an interesting twist to what seemed to be an already difficult journey. As I take on the 2019 season I wanted to share my thoughts on how I will set up my training to ensure a trip to my 7th consecutive CF Games appearance.
The first thing Alex and I did after hearing the news was to revisit my desire to compete in the sport. The news was a bit of a shock and it wasn't easy hearing it from a third party. If I am being 100 percent honest, I initially felt there was an attack on the sport and I really was not sure why.
I'm not the only one who felt this, it was as if our parents CF and CFG were getting a divorce and somehow we needed to find loyalty to one or the other.
This, of course, was the initial response and while we still feel there is more to this than we know publicly, the reality is, there isn’t anything we can do to bring the Games back to what it once was. I've luckily been around long enough to see change, both in CrossFit and in the CrossFit Games that after a couple of weeks I am again ready to move on and follow ranks.
So how do we attack the season?
Through the OPEN, and trust me, this will not be easy but in 2019 season, the best opportunity is to place top 20 in March.
Historically, looking at my past performances, I've placed top 20 once and top 30 twice while last year taking a fall in the world ranking. I'm aware of this but I'm not overly concerned because as coincidence may have it, is my decision to avoid the '19 harvest.
After the 2018 CrossFit Games, I had a talk with Alex and we both agreed it was not fair to continue pushing a fantasy of trying to farm 3 months after the Games. This left me rushing and cramming for a test the rest of the season fighting to get my fitness back to what it was. Essentially what we were doing was driving home immediately after the Games and instantly starting the harvest which didn't end until late October. This left little time for training and it put my capacity in a defecit, it was visible trying to clean in the Open on 18.2 where I was cleaning 235 and power cleaning 230 rested, but unable to recover after the AMRAP struggling to hit 217, while so many other people were setting PRs.
So what do we focus on?
The Open has traditionally favored endurance in gymnastics and this will be a huge component in our training.
Bar Muscle Ups
Chest to Bar Pull Ups
Toes to Bars
HSPU and now
Economy of training and adaptation to volume will be huge components in what we do. Below is an example of how we structure a week.
To the right of the spreadsheet, you will see a target goal of reps we are seeking to achieve. The reps each week will grow to what most would believe to be obscene but again, the goal here is adapting to the volume over time and not at once. This will prevent injury, unwanted soreness, and mental fatigue. By the end of December, we see ourselves hitting 400 pull-ups a week for example with 2-3 metcons 5 days a week.
When I say economy of training, I am referring to time management inside the gym. Placing HS walking and HSPU together, for example, allows me to get the reps and distance needed for the week while also shortening the duration in the gym. Other examples of economizing my training are seen in the max effort gymnastic movements after run intervals.
Aerobic capacity will also be vital, the following 6 months. Aerobic capacity to me is not only the ability to maintain an aerobic state but also the bodies to recover and continue to work. A runner for example that can sustain a 5-minute mile pace in a marathon versus a runner who has a 6-minute mile PR are clearly very different physiologically. If both ran together at a 5:50 pace, the athlete with a 6-min mile might PR at the mile marker but he would convert to an anaerobic state around the 400m mark and crumble soon after the mile marker, while the 5-min mile runner would smile at the mile mark in an aerobic state and wave goodbye as he/she then picks up the pace.
This is easy to understand but difficult to master and is also relevant in all domains we train. While Lance Armstrong was a boss on the bike he was not shattering marathon run times nor is Michael Phelps. The complexity of this sport requires as close to perfection as one can attain to each domain ie. running, rowing, hs walking, muscle ups, pull ups, barbell cycling.
Strength and weightlifting is also an important variable that requires a lot of attention. As I was recovering from Harvest the previous years, we would focus a lot on strength and increase aerobic and anaerobic attention in January. This is not possible now and looking at how good the CrossFit community is becoming in weightlifting we have to be realistic in how important all the lifts are. My deadlift of 415 is not a concern as I look ahead so while we will continue to implement accessory work, I will instead focus on the following goals:
Front Squat 265
Bench Press 215
Clean n Jerk 245
Power Snatch 180
Power Clean 240
What do you think is this the way to go, comment below and let me know and if you want more insight to my Games Prep, we offer my program for 12$, just click here.
Stay tuned for more!