Contributed by Coach Karen & Coach Josh
Seven weeks. Dozens of athletes. Community support. Experienced coaching. Disciplined programming. Skill focused. And almost 200 PRs.
The May / June Strength & Power cycle was the longest to date, and the results posted by CrossFit Arlington Heights athletes of all experience levels were well worth the work … and wait. So many athletes logged their best 1 Rep Max on Power Lifts (Back Squat, Deadlift, Shoulder Press, Front Squat & Bench Press) we ran out of space on the white board. (scroll down to see lift PRs)
The PRs didn’t stop with the Power Lifts. The increased strength and power gained over the seven-week cycle parlayed into PRs for the 400m Run, Mile Run, 500m Row, the EAD Baseline, the girls — “Karen”, “Helen”, “Annie” — 50 Barbell Burpees, and just about every category listed on the Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights Wall of Fame. And thanks to the Pull Up Progression Intensive which ran concurrent to the Power Lift cycle, many athletes completed their first Dead Hang Pull Up, with more still thisclose. And if that wasn’t enough, how about aesthetics? Body composition improved (lean muscle mass to body fat), and many athletes report they need (yet another!) shopping trip to replace too-large clothes.
Finally, athletes logged PRs on their Baseline 1 Rep Max for the Snatch and Clean & Jerk — even though those lifts were only occasionally trained during May and June. The Snatch and Clean & Jerk will be the lifts of focus for the upcoming July / August Strength & Power Cycle.
The athletes who PR’d last week shared a few behaviors. They:
- Suspended Disbelief. Committing for seven weeks to the Strength & Power Cycle challenged the training norm for many existing and new athletes; it’s tough to leave your comfort zone. You took the risk, however, and it paid off big — both in overall strength and metabolic conditioning.
- Ate “Clean”. Not every athlete ate strict Paleo, but they were mindful of dietary choices and looked at food as fuel for performance.
- “WOD Snacked”. The athletes experimented and fine-tuned their pre- and post-workout snacks for optimum recovery.
- Scheduled Active Recovery & Rest. Whether taking ice baths, spending a bit of extra time with the stretching rope or foam roller, attending Sport Yoga or the Mobility & Recovery Workshop, athletes took time to rest and recover.
- Focused on Form, Technique & Mechanics. You trusted us when we asked you to back off (way off, in some cases) the weight you wanted to lift, pushed aside that little voice calling you a wimp, and re-loaded your bar to weight you could lift with precision.
- Banished “No Pain, No Gain”. Not every training session ends with you a sticky, sweaty, breathless mess, or unable to move in 48 – 72 hours.
- Progression, Not Perfection. You can’t PR every lift, every time. Period. Many of you fight this on a regular basis, and you leveraged this Strength & Power Cycle to exorcise the “all PR, all the time” demons.
Weigh In. What was the highlight for you over the past seven weeks? What are your goals for the upcoming cycle? What’s different about how you feel about barbell movements today vs. when you first started? If you haven’t committed to a Strength & Power Cycle, why not? Let us know what is on your mind …