02 Jan 2017 – Programming Update for 2017

2017 is here!

Before we discuss the plan for your continued gainz, let's take a second to re-visit just what was achieved in 2016.

Here are some interesting facts about the programming from the past year, overall we had the following percentages amongst the common domains*:

Weightlifting 47%
Gymnastics 30%

*This is an approximation based on your regularity of training, and which days you attended.

It is clear we have had a strength-biased program the past year. Strength is a necessity of all athletic performance. The stronger you get, the better you will perform. In CrossFit and other athletic endeavours, there is no exercise that does not involve strength.

With that, the most common barbell movements were deadlifts, back squats and power cleans. The observant amongst you may notice that these are all hip dominant movements, and the very eager enthusiast amongst you may also notice we have two 'slow lifts' (deadlift and squat) along with a 'fast (or explosive) lift' (power clean)

Why is this important?

The primacy of core strength and conditioning in this sense is supported by the simple observation that powerful hip extension alone is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athletic performance. That is, our experience has been that no one without the capacity for powerful hip extension enjoys great athletic prowess and nearly everyone we’ve met with that capacity was a great athlete. Running, jumping, punching and throwing all originate at the core. - Greg Glassman

In gymnastics, it was the burpee (a lot of them), followed by pull-ups and then toes to bar, and you ran way more than you rowed (so stop complaining about rowing wods!)

17% of our workouts were sprints (<5 minutes), 70% of our workouts fell within the short or medium time domains (5-15 minutes), and just 7% of workouts were long (15+ minutes).

"Anaerobic activity (short, intense work!) is unique in its capacity to dramatically improve power, speed, strength, and muscle mass. Anaerobic conditioning allows us to exert tremendous forces over a very brief time. Perhaps the aspect of anaerobic conditioning that bears greatest consideration is that anaerobic conditioning will not adversely affect aerobic capacity! In fact, properly structured, anaerobic activity can be used to develop a very high level of aerobic fitness without the muscle wasting consistent with high volume aerobic exercise!"

I also know that this last year of programming worked extremely well, and I know this because Beyond the Whiteboard has all the information for me! To highlight our 2016 Golden Kettlebell Award winners for "Most Improved Athletes", Melissa has gone from a fitness level of 47 to 70 and Dutch fromlevel 60 to level 68 (so I think your votes were pretty accurate!)

This progress has not been limited to just these two... all we have to do is take a look at the results and PBs from the Christmas Crackers to see the phenomenal improvements each and everyone of you has made. It is worth noting that progress is much more than just the physical improvements, but the mental state as well, and some of you have taken great strides recently with your approach to your training and your health, kudos team!


So what do we have in store for 2017?

The beginning of the year means the CrossFit Open is approaching, and we have around eight weeks until it kicks off.  So the next cycle is going to focus on the Open.

Whilst we never know what Dave Castro will give us, we can look at previous years and spot some trends. If we look at the more complex gymnastics, we can guess what we are likely to see…

The 2014 Open: Toes to bar, chest to bar pull-up, muscle-ups (rings),
The 2015 Open: Toes to bar, chest to bar pull-ups, muscle-ups (rings), Handstand Push-ups
The 2016 Open: Toes to bar, chest to bar pull-ups, muscle-ups (bar), Handstand push-ups

…Ow and lots of burpees and double unders!

More Gymnastics!

Each week in the lead up to the Open you will be working on everything from skill work to strength work for all of these gymnastics movements. This will be the core of the next 8 weeks.

Each day, the first portion of the class will be very specific with the primary goals of increasing positional strength, stability and mobility. There will also be focused days on double unders and kipping efficiency, muscle-up strength and improved overhead strength and mobility.

The general programming will keep its underlying strength bias and we will be enjoying a little squat cycle (back squat on Monday and front squat on Wednesday). The volume of squatting will be low, but the intensity will be high. You have experienced some of this very recently with the wave loading patterns.

Finally, the conditioning components will take on more of an Open workout feel.

New Classes for 2017

Don't forget, we've recently sent out an email announcing our new Strength in Balance and Specialist Sunday classes. These classes start week commencing 8 January and will be a solid complement to our new programming cycle.


A) Strength: Back squat
5 @ 80%
1 @ 85%
5 @ 80%
1 @ 88%
5 @ 80%
1 @ 91%

B) Snatch technique
B1) Cuban press complex x 10 - with dowel rod or training bar, go slowly!
B2) Snatch balance: 3 x 3
B3) Snatch pull-under: 3 x 3

C) Conditioning
3 Rounds for time:
30 Double under
15 Burpees over the bar
10 Squat snatch (60/40 kg)