Regionals Changes: When the Dream is Over
Without a doubt, the news from a few weeks ago about the CrossFit Games season shook up the functional fitness world. Some of you readers weren’t impacted, but many of you (including myself) had a heart string tugged on by this news. Essentially, it was announced unofficially that the competitive sport of CrossFit is going to have its format altered significantly. The stated reason? CrossFit wishes to hitch their wagon to Health rather than Sport.
As a result, much of what a wide fitness audience has come to know and rely on will be changed. No more stages to the Tour de France, just one sprint to determine the winner. Major league baseball playoffs will move to single elimination style. Olympic trials will now be held by private for-profit companies and only one representative from every country, regardless of qualifications, will be allowed to compete at the Olympics. Could you imagine any one of these scenarios? It would be a shock to the sporting world. Well, this isn’t far from how the news about Regionals being gone is landing for many people.
Why is this important to discuss? In my opinion it highlights a reality of life that many of us are intimately aware of, fearful of, and try to deny. That reality is that life is completely uncertain, and we have little to no control over what happens with many of the things we surround our lives with. CrossFit as a sport has served as a way for people all over the world to structure their life focus, schedules, family vacations, and businesses for years. Training purpose was attached to a pipe dream of competing in Regionals, gyms structured their programs based off the competitive season they saw unfold every year, and over 200,000 people every year participate in the sport from around the globe.
Over the past 9 years being in and around the sport of CrossFit I’ve learned some valuable lessons. I’ve spent time in the hurricane that is the CrossFit season, relentlessly pursuing the title of the Fittest. I’ve also spent time on the outside looking in as a once competitor. And all along the way I’ve been a coach and business owner who has coached people in and around the sport.Some big take aways that are appropriate to mention at this time:
- Having your full calendar year dedicated to a sport makes building relationships, advancing your career, and spending quality time with loved ones difficult.
- The intensity style and fatigue based training we see year round is very attractive and sexy looking when we are constantly being hit with media of event after event.
- NOBODY who pursues a career, has a family, and wishes to also have personal growth time can survive the intensity chasing training and competing style for the long term. NOBODY.
- Sustainable training practices and the pursuit of longevity are not the same as competing in sport.
- With Functional Bodybuilding training principles one can practice sustainable training and pursue health and longevity while still advancing their skills, strength, and moving better with time.
- If point number 5 is being implemented then with proper program design implementation and guidance from a coach, an individual can have the ability to shift gears into competitive mode and train with intent for a period of time to prepare for INTENSITY before returning back to a sustainable training practice.
The final point is KEY for those who feel shaken up by the news. With a solid training foundation that builds consistency for months and years, you will retain the ability to turn on the competitive juices with some minor changes to your program and guidance from our coaches when the time comes. So as the details of your competitive fitness future unfold, you will be able to rest assured that you aren’t losing ground and can be ready.
How is this done? Let me show you with three workout examples that showcase our training methods, delivered in three different styles.
Sample Session #1 – FOUNDATION
During a phase of life when the goal is to LOOK GOOD and MOVE WELL, I have a bias towards simplicity and lots of control points within training. You will see in each of these sessions there are a lot of basic simple movements. Furthermore, you will see lots of tempo control points in the strength work, and a conditioning piece that keeps you out of the RED ZONE of intensity, but allows you to work hard.
A1) Front Squat
5551 Tempo; 5, 5, 5; rest 30sec
A2) Staggered Stance Deadlift
3131; 5, 5, 5 per leg; rest 3mins
B1) Front Foot Elevated Split Squat
Dumbbells loaded at sides; 4-6″ step; 2020 Tempo; 6-8/leg; rest 90sec x 3
B2) Jefferson Curl
3131; 6-8 reps; rest 90sec x 3
Sample Session #2:
PROGRESSING STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
Even in these long cycles of LOOK GOOD MOVE WELL training we still value progression. This doesn’t have to come in the form of more volume and mind numbing intensity. Instead, it can look like slightly more complex FBB movements and it can look like fast tempos or lower reps that allow you to challenge your loads a bit more. Conditioning can take on a look of slightly longer time domains or more challenging movements as well.
A1) Front Squat
2221 Tempo; 2, 2, 2, 2; rest 30sec
A2) Barbell Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
41X0; 6-8/leg; rest 3:00 x 4
B1) Front Foot Elevated Split Squat
KB Mixed Loading (1 KB in Rack + 1 KB in Suitcase) 4-6″ step; 3011; 3-5/leg; rest 90 sec
*switch arms when you switch legs
B2) GHD Back Extension
3131; 6-8reps; rest 90sec x 3
*really focus on the spinal flexion and extension segment by segment – rounding is encouraged here.
C) Building Effort
3min Assault Bike for Calories (consistent effort)
3min KB Front Rack Tall Kneeling to Standing (35/18)
3min No Push Up Burpee to Plate
3mins Farmers walk 70/53
Sample Session #3:
REFINING + PEAKING + INTENSIFYING
With a few subtle tweaks to the training you can start to see how we inject a little more intensity into the sessions. Intensity is a requirement for sport and if you plan to make a run at doing some competitions, peaking for the OPEN each year, lining your training up for one of the many online qualifiers out there, you will want to get your proper dose of intensity before you get on the competition floor.
3 Sets – Not ForTime
6 Single Arm KB OH Reverse Lunge @2121 Tempo
15sec Ring Star Side Plank/side
10 Landmine Oblique Twist/side
*slow controlled movements with purpose to warm up and activate
A1) Front Squat
20X1; 2, 2, 2, 2; rest 20sec
A2) Back Squat
40X0; AMRAP at strict Tempo (performed at the same weight as the previous Front Squat set – as soon as you break tempo the set is over); rest 20sec x 3
A3) Sled Push
30m TOUGH; rest 3-4mins x 3
B) Split Stance Good Morning
2010; 8-10/leg; rest as needed x 2 sets
C) 3-4 Sets – For Times
50 Double Unders
10 Dual Russian Kettlebell Swings (choose a tough unbroken weight)
10 Dual Kettlebell Front Squats
5 Dumbbell Burpee Box Step Over 24/20″ (challenging load)
50m Farmers Walk (HEAVY)
REST 2mins between sets
Whether it is a peaking phase for competition, or a longevity phase of Look Good Move Well, rely on sound training principles that build on themselves so you can continue to progress for life, maintain a sense of control over your health and wellness in an uncertain world, and avoid burn out that is all too common in those who have been swept up in the past 12 years of Fitness for Sport.
In a world full of uncertainty, how do you approach your own health and wellness for the long term?
What is your purpose?
Have you discovered your why? What gets you into the gym every day?
How are the answers to the above questions changing as you get older and your life circumstances evolve?
Is it time to reimagine your approach?