The 204 Bootcamp starts Jan. 5 and runs at 9 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s available to members for $15.75 per month, and to new clients for $105 per month. Class cards with 10 passes are available for $126. There is no on-ramp requirement, and we’re looking forward to working with athletes at any skill level.
In December we’ve been focusing on a lot of positional work in the Olympic lifts, and we’ve been adding in more conditioning. At first, these two things look to be at odds with each other.
Olympic lifting is about getting the most weight overhead in two different ways, and conditioning is not a large factor in lifts lasting less than eight seconds. In CrossFit, the Olympic lifts are employed as the most efficient way to get loads overhead in a variety of workouts, and we vary the rep schemes. Because we are not training solely for max-effort singles, we have a great deal of liberty in how we program.
December has been characterized by a lot of lighter technique work on the lifts, and, interestingly enough, we’re seeing form improve and loads increase. We’re certain these improvements will result in better technique during workouts involving many lifts, as well as heavier loads when singles are tested. There isn’t a single lifter in our gym who couldn’t add 10-20 lb. to a PR simply by improving technique, and technique is only improved at lighter loads, not maximal loads. So this has been a period of investment.
Also keep in mind that learning the snatch and clean and jerk takes focus, which is exhausting. We’ve been training your nervous systems with this skill work, and we’ve been working on balance, speed, agility, coordination and accuracy–all while snatching and cleaning. As we’re explained in classes, improvements in the Olympic lifts usually result in dramatic increases in overall athleticism and fitness.
December’s conditioning has for the most part come in small, intense doses that reflect our philosophy that longer is not better. We’ve been working to create couplets, triplets and interval work that makes you push very hard for short periods of time.
The principle is basic, but it’s regularly ignored by people who want to over-complicate things: the longer you go, the lower the overall intensity. For example, how far could you sprint at max speed? Not very far. But what if we asked you to sprint at max speed for 50 m, then gave you 2 minutes of rest before asking you to do it again? What if we repeated that interval five times? All of a sudden, you’ve found a brilliant way to amass a lot of work at a very high level of intensity.
Of course, we sometimes do longer workouts. They’re also part of conditioning. But we use them less frequently, and we find ways to make them more intense. Recall the Dec. 24 12 Days of Christmas workout: It took 25-35 minutes and taxed the aerobic system. But if you look at that workout, you’ll notice all the movements and loads were chosen to allow (mostly) unbroken sets that required hard but brief effort before you got to rest as you moved to the next station. The movements were also chosen to be complementary and allow one body part to rest while the others worked: Box jumps were followed by rings dips were followed by squats were followed by sit-ups were followed by handstand push-ups were followed by deadlifts.
So, in reality, you had a 30-minute aerobic workout with some smaller anaerobic intervals slipped inside. It was a lot like 20 rounds of pulling 8 hard strokes on the rower followed by 16 easy ones. The result was 30 minutes of breathing hard with regular bouts of increased intensity occurring throughout.
Though one of the body’s energy systems is usually dominant at any one time, they’re all working in every workout to some degree, and we play with workout structure to take advantage of that fact. We believe this allows us to improve fitness and produce athletes who are good at long workouts as well as short ones.
In January, expect more of the same, with some new options available outside our CrossFit classes. Our brand new 204 Bootcamp program starts Jan. 5, and it will feature interval work as well as straight-up conditioning. The emphasis will be less on strength and power and more on aerobic capacity, muscular endurance and core training. In CrossFit classes, we’ll be lifting heavy at times, then cranking up the intensity with short, tough workouts that blur the lines between aerobic and anaerobic work.
Our coaches always explain the point of the workout before class, but if you’d like more info, grab one of us and ask some questions. We’re happy to explain why we do what we do.