fitness level

04 Apr 2015 – Déjà vu WOD

The boys getting ready for their deadlifts in our Throwdown Final!

A) 5 rounds for time:
6 Deadlifts
9 Box jumps (24/20")
12 Toes to bar

B) Beyond the Whiteboard Fitness Level Workout: 'Speed'*
Row 250m
Or
Row 500m
*Choose one you have not logged on BTWB

Don't Forget the Easter Schedule this Weekend!

Saturday 4 April
9 am and 12.30 pm classes (Regular Schedule)

Sunday 5 April
No Classes

Monday 6 April
10 am and 11 am classes (Sunday Schedule) 

31 Jan 2015 – Do you know how to effectively mobilise for squats?

Check out our blog on how we do mobility at CrossFit 1864, then get ready for some serious knowledge bombs....

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Skill: The three pieces to effectively mobilising the squat position

B) 3 rounds for time of:
12 Front squats (60/40 kg)
12 Burpee pull ups
*Time cap: 15 minutes

This is a BtWB Fitness Level Workout under the 'Heavy' category

  • Remember, only log this as Rx if you do the workout EXACTLY as it is written above.
  • If you scale please select the 'scaled' option, and update the movements/weights, when logging your scores.
  • We have a long time cap for this WOD, so even if it's going to take awhile, try and do it as Rx.

17 Jan 15 – Beyond the Whiteboard: Improving Your Fitness Level

This is our third in a series of blogs on Beyond the Whiteboard, the system we use at CrossFit 1864 to log workouts, identify strengths and weaknesses and track progress. Our first post looked at the Fitness Levels in general, and our second post was focused on how to accurately log your results.

Today, we will focus on how you increase your fitness level.

Beyond the Whiteboard's “Fitness Level” and “Weaknesses” features (in the anaylsis section) are designed to give you more information about your workouts and your present physical capacity. Everyone has their “Fitness Level” calculated which is represented as a number from 1-99. This number captures how your performance stacks up to the rest of the Beyond the Whiteboard community, worldwide.

"On average, it takes 19 Months to improve from a level 50 to a level 80."

New & Intermediate level CrossFitters can improve their fitness levels very quickly. The folks at Beyond the Whiteboard have found that If you’re currently between 1-60 and you stay committed and consistent in your training then you can increase your Fitness Level by up to 20 points per year.

"This rate holds true until you get to Level 80. Going from level 80 to 90 can take over 8 months, on average, which is 45% longer than it takes to go from 70 to 80."

Advanced CrossFitters have a tougher time (sigh)... on average it takes these guys about 5-6 months to improve their Fitness Level by 10 points.

To make Regionals, you need to be near a level 90, and top level CrossFit Games athletes will be around level 95! The difference between one or two levels at the top is huge and a single point progression can be a result of months of hard work.

Making progression

If you are new to using Beyond the Whiteboard you will find that your Fitness Level jumps up and down as you add information to each of the eight different categories: Power lifts, Olympic Lifts, Speed , Endurance,  Bodyweight, Light, Heavy and Long.

beyondthewhiteboard1864

But what workouts actually improve these levels? It's simple to find out. If you click through one of these categories you can see exactly what workouts or lifts are used when determining these numbers. Lets look at 'Bodyweight'...

If I click on the 'Bodyweight' category it takes me through to this screen

This is a list of all the bodyweight workouts (there are lots which you cannot see on the screenshot) that if I perform as Rx'd, will contribute to my Fitness Level number. To give you an idea of how many there are:

Bodyweight: Over 45 workouts

Light: Over 65 workouts

Long: Over 35 workouts

For a more comprehensive explanation of Fitness Level Workouts check out this blog post available on Beyond the Whiteboard. You can also view all 288 Fitness Level Workouts by going to “Explore > Workouts” on Beyond the Whiteboard, clicking the “Fitness Level” filter, and selecting “All”. From there you can easily log any of these workouts when you complete them.

Each week, we at CrossFit 1864 aim to program at least one workout from this exhaustive list so you guys can continue to fill out your Fitness Level. From now on, we will make sure to note on the blog when we are doing this workout and what it is contributing too, that way you can make sure you get yourself in to hit the workout! Starting with today's WOD... #sorrynotsorry

We are confident that if you stay consistent with training and eat/sleep/rest well you will be able to increase your Fitness Level at a similar rate to those we mentioned above. Although in the beginning you may see big jumps (and the occasional dip) you will definitely see results and become a lot fitter if you work hard, remember our blog on Intensity vs Technique? Yes, it will take some time to become very fit (Level 80+), that’s the harsh reality. I have been at level 87-89 for some time now, but I love the challenge of trying to nail that level 90! Here you can see how my level as undulated over the last 6 months...

My drop off between September and November came as I tried to fill out some of the categories I had no results for. It was a little depressing at the time, but it gave me a new drive and some weaknesses to work on.

All this means we will always have something to focus on and give our training some meaning, new targets to smash and new goals to reach

 In Fitness, just like life, the journey is the reward. Enjoy it.

WORKOUT OF THE DAY with COACH TOM!

This contributes to your Fitness Level under the 'Long' category

CrossFit Open 14.5

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps, for time of:
Thruster (42.5/30 kg)
Burpee (Bar Facing)
*Time cap: 40 minutes

20 Dec 14 - Beyond the Whiteboard and your Fitness Level

Enjoy today's blog (complete with pictures!) on Beyond the Whiteboard. This is the first in a series of blogs we will be publishing explaining Beyond the Whiteboard and all its different features you can use to help with your training. 


One of the many reasons we like Beyond the Whiteboard is their ‘Fitness Level’. This is a representation of your general level of fitness - complete with strengths and weaknesses - based on eight different categories: power lifts, olympic lifts, endurance, bodyweight, light, heavy, and long workouts.

Let’s take a look. Log in to your BtWB and follow along with the instructions as we go...

 When you log in, you are presented with this screen:

Btwbintro1864.jpg

When you click on your ‘Fitness Level’ (the number in the top left) you are taken to a new screen that shows you a breakdown of this number. The bars in blue show areas of strength (in relation to your overall level) and red indicates areas of weakness (again, in relation to the overall level). If you do not have a bar in one of your categories, it is because you have not logged enough workouts of that kind; therefore, your Fitness Level may only be comprised of 3-4 different categories and so may not be completely accurate.

Btwblevel1864.jpg

This Fitness Level is important, as this is how we differentiate our athletes into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced and that dictates certain points on our programming (like the strength days!)

1-60 = Beginner level
61-80 = Intermediate level 
81+ = Advanced level

As you begin to fill in information for your eight Fitness Level categories, don’t be worried if you see your Fitness Level fall as well as rise. This is all part of creating an accurate picture of your strengths and weaknesses. That, and fitness is an undulating journey, not a steady progression…although that would be nice!

Breaking down your Fitness Level & Targeting Weaknesses

At the top of the screen is a menu bar, click ‘Analyse’ and then ‘Weaknesses’. From this screen you can start to identify the areas that you may need to focus on to increase your Fitness Level, but more importantly achieve a broad and well-rounded fitness (the goal of CrossFit!).

Take some time to look through the tables and read the information attached to each one.

If you have an area of weakness how do you go about addressing it?

1) Train CrossFit regularly and consistently: Yup, it’s obvious, but often overlooked. Coming in to the box once or twice a week isn’t going to cut it, no matter how hard you work during that session! Training consistently is the best way to progress.

2) Skill development: Skill is more often than not the limiting factor when it comes to progression in technical movements (snatch, clean, muscle-ups etc). So to improve this you obviously need to turn up to class, especially on our skills days, but you can also get some personal training sessions with the most awesome coaches around…. that’s me or Maria, obvs. 

Let us know if you have any questions about your Fitness Level or any questions about Beyond the Whiteboard in general. 

Now bring on the WOD!

Santahandstan1864.jpg

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Handstand skills

B) 5 rounds for time:

5 Power cleans (60/40 kg)

10 Front squats (60/40 kg)

30 second handstand hold

Rest 90 seconds

An Insight into our Programming

Programming at CrossFit 1864 is guided by our three key principles:

First, quality of movement and coaching are imperative and at the core of every good CrossFit box. They should be sought after tirelessly. 

Second, your development as an athlete (and ours as Coaches) never ends and we should continue learning from as many different sources as we can get our hands on. 

Finally, the only thing that comes close to the importance of quality movement is the importance of having fun and enjoying your training.

So you can get a better understanding of the finer details of what we do, we have detailed our basic programming structure for all levels of athletes, both for our strength pieces and our conditioning and gymnastics work....

General template

The general training week template follows a simple structure of a strength biased day followed by a conditioning biased day. 

*Please note that the description below is purely an example of how we structure our programming. This will evolve and adapt as our community grows and your needs change.

Strength Bias Days

Each of our strength days has a main lift: a squat variation (e.g front squat, back squat), a hinge variation (e.g. deadlift, power clean) or a press variation (e.g. strict press, push press). Each movement rotates through a five week cycle and each fifth week will be a ‘Benchmark Week’ where we will test certain rep-maxes on the present lift, as well as hitting some benchmark workouts. The following week, we will change the movement variation in order to keep providing a fresh training stimulus.

For beginners we follow a linear strength progression based on adding load to the bar each week and performing that weight for a given number of sets. 

Here is an example:

Week 1: Back squat 2-4 x 8 

Week 2: Back squat 4-6 x 5 

Week 3: Back squat 5-7 x 3

Week 4: Back squat, new 1 Rep max

New cycle & new movement variation 

Week 1: Front squat 2-4 x 8

Week 2: Front squat 4-6 x 5 

…etc...

When you see a set and rep range like 4-6 x 5, this means perform 4-6 working sets of 5 repetitions at the same weight across all sets. This is after a warm-up in which you build up to your working set weight. The use of 3-5 sets allows for a little individual variation based on how you feel that day. 

This linear progression works very well for beginner to intermediate athletes as they have the advantage of ‘the novice effect'. Explained simply, when a person fairly new to training begins to lift weights, they get stronger very quickly due to rapid Central Nervous System (CNS) and muscular adaption. 

What is very important in the early stages (and also for more advanced lifters) is ensuring that load is increased in a controlled manner and only added to correct and consistent technique and proper movement mechanics. By adding small amounts of load each week, the training stimulus can still be applied in a safe and controlled manner.

This 'novice effect' can last anywhere from 3 to 18+ months. When results start to diminish then new training methods need to be applied and we move to more advanced strength progressions...

For Intermediate & Advanced Athletes you will follow the same movement cycles as beginners, but your strength work will vary slightly in how it will be presented on the whiteboard and how it will be performed.

Here is an example of what you might see:

Back squat @ 75-80% 1RM. Perform 2-4 reps per set. Totalling 18-21 reps.

This means you perform sets of back squats at any load between 75-80% of your 1 rep max back squat. Each set should be between 2-4 reps, and you will do as many sets as needed to total somewhere between 18-21 total reps.

There are several reasons we use this approach with more advanced lifters. The main reason is that the use of percentages and rep ranges allows us to account for variation between individuals. Depending on your genetics (e.g. muscle fibre make-up) some people could perform 4+ reps at 80% while others may only be able to do 2 reps.

The use of these ranges also allows for each individual to go ‘by feel'. Some days your sleep and nutrition has been spot on and you're ready to go in and crush the workout, while other days you may feel a little fatigued and have to go easier.

Why these specific numbers? The percentages and ranges come from years of widely respected Russian Weightlifting literature. Researchers looked at what percentages work best for different adaptations – Hypertrophy (growth and increase of muscle cells), Endurance, Speed, Max strength, etc. – and what rep ranges need to be used to ensure the right amount of stimulus is applied in order to achieve the best results.

Advanced Athletes

When athletes reach a higher level of fitness, they need more volume/intensity to keep pushing their progress. After the main lift session, we will sometimes program  ‘advanced methods’. These methods may include (but are not limited to) tempo method, shock method, complex method, dynamic effort etc, and they will vary along with the movement cycles (see example below).

Regardless of your level, all athletes will perform an additional movement that will usually be gymnastic-based e.g. a horizontal push or pull (push-ups, ring row), or a vertical push or pull (ring dip, chin-up). These movements will build strict gymnastics strength through the addition of load, tempo, deficit etc.

On strength-biased days, after the lifting section of the class we will follow up with a short (<10min) heavy met-con. The movements chosen for these will always vary, but they will be based around assistance exercises that complement the main lift of the day.

Gymnastic strength

As well as working on barbell strength, we also have to develop gymnastics. We split our gymnastics into 5 categories: vertical pull, vertical push, horizontal pull, horizontal push and midline. With each lifting session we choose one of these categories to focus on and at the gym we have a series of progressions to cater for complete beginners to the most advanced athletes.

After each set of your barbell lift, your peform a set of gymnastic strength work.

To tie all the above together, here is an example of a strength day:

Beginner

A1) Back squat : 4-6 x 5 
A2) Vertical pull

  • Rest 30 seconds between A1 and A2

  • Rest up to 2 minutes after A2

Intermediate & Advanced

A1) Back squat @ 75-80% 1RM. Perform 2-4 reps per set. Totalling 18-21 reps.
A2) Vertical pull

  • Rest 30 seconds between A1 and A2

  • Rest up to 2 minutes after A2

Advanced only

B) Tempo Method: Back squat

  • Perform 3-5 x 8-10 @ 50-60%1RM. Tempo 2020

All Athletes

C) Workout of the day

10 Minute AMRAP:

12 Front rack lunges
9 Toes to bar
6 Box jumps 24/20"

  • Beginner aim is 40/30kg lunge

  • Intermediate aim is 50/35kg lunge

  • Advanced aim is 60/40kg lunge

Conditioning days

While any training is technically ‘conditioning’, CrossFit 1864's conditioning days refer to non-strength biased days where we will typically have some of our longer workouts.

These days will follow a simple structure where we have two parts: 

A) Gymnastics / Barbell skill work
B) Workout of the day (WOD)

The Gymnastics / Barbell skill work will be 15-30 minutes (depending on WOD length) where we focus on particular progressions for some of the more complex gymnastics and barbell movements such as muscle-ups, kipping pull-ups, handstand push-ups, pistols, cleans and snatches.

We will then move into the WOD which will include the movement (or a scaled variation) that was covered in Part A. Here is an example:

A) Gymnastic skill work: Toes to bar
B) 5 rounds for time:

Run 400m
5 Cleans
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall balls 9/6kg

  • Beginner aim is 40/30kg Hang Power Clean
  • Intermediate aim is 60/40kg Power cleans
  • Advanced aim is 80/50 Cleans

Tracking Results, Athlete Levels & Progressing your 'Level of Fitness'

A training program is only as good as its results. What makes CrossFit so effective is that it enables coaches and athletes to obtain observable, measurable and repeatable data. By measuring workouts through time, speed, load etc, we can track an individual's ‘fitness’ and their progress. For example if you do the CrossFit benchmark workout 'Fran' (21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups) in 9 min 31 sec, and then repeat it 6 months later and your time is 5 min 57 sec, we can say your fitness and ability has improved (LOADS!).

To help us keep track of your progress, we use an online system called Beyond the Whiteboard

Not only can you log your workout results, but we can record lifestyle factors as well, such as sleep quality, nutrition and body measurements.

This system will help each of you discover your relative strengths and weaknesses. As your coaches, we can then use this information to analyse our programming and develop a plan of attack that will turn gym weaknesses into strengths. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to make it to the CrossFit Games, or you are simply looking to stay healthy... it's all about progress!

Here is a great article from BtWB that we suggest you read in addition to taking a look at the video above

At CrossFit 1864 we have set ‘fitness level’ ranges used on Beyond the Whiteboard to assess our athletes fitness levels from beginner to advanced.

1-60 = Beginner level
61-80 = Intermediate level 
81+ = Advanced level

This 'fitness level' takes into account 8 categories (power lifts, olympic lifts, speed, endurance, bodyweight met-con, light met-con,  heavy met-con and light met-con). For your fitness level to be accurate you need a score for each of these categories.

The role of nutrition

You have to complement your hard training with a solid and well rounded nutritional program. The hard work you put in at the gym will only pay dividends if your nutrition matches your goals. So, we also provide nutritional programming which we encourage all our athletes to take up.

If you have any questions about anything, or would like more information on our programme, please feel free to get in touch.