threshold method

17 August 2016 – The Deadlift: A Guest Blog by Intern Salt

Good deadlift form = happy coach!

‘The deadlift is unrivalled in its simplicity and impact while unique in its capacity for increasing head-to-toe strength.’ – Greg Glassman

There are loads of articles drilling into each part of the deadlift. You can geek out on your foot placement, grip, hip height, bar path… But despite reading many of these great resources, I still really struggle with my deadlift! In this blog I want to share some challenges I have faced and some cues and drills I have tried. I hope that some of it may be helpful for you as well!

Learn how to engage your hamstrings

The deadlift is not just a squat with the bar starting on the floor. Your hips should be much higher in your set up. Not only will this allow you to pull the bar up in a straight line without taking great big lumps out of your shins, but it will also allow you to fully engage your posterior chain (read: big strong muscles running up the back of your legs, butt and back). Don’t rely on just your quads to stand the bar up as you won’t shift as much weight and you will fatigue quickly.

Two things I have found really useful here are:

  1. Work on your hip hinge. You can do this using a wall, a band or even the shed-load of good mornings we have been doing recently. Focus on finding that point where your hamstrings light up and remember the feeling. When you come to your deadlift set up feel for the same sensation before you start your lift.
  2. Apply tension to the bar before lifting. Even if you have an absolutely ninja set up, ripping the bar straight from the floor will throw something out of whack - maybe your hips will rise too soon, maybe your arms will bend, maybe you will get really creative and do something totally unexpected, but regardless of what it is, it won’t be good! Once you are in your set up, drive through the ground until you feel that bar is just ready to rise off the ground. The tension in the bar will ensure both the bar and you are primed and ready to lift.

Think of pushing the floor away from you

I don’t fully understand the science behind this, but Intern Beth shouted this at me a few months back and it worked! I instantly felt a better connection with the ground, my upper back didn’t round and my hips didn’t shoot up in the air. 

I remember hearing an interview with Mike Tyson where he said he aimed to punch the back of his opponent’s skull. The principle is the same, aim to deliver the power through the bottom of the floor and your lifts will become safer and stronger.

Watch out for technique degrading at high volume or load

In most WODs, the first thing you are going to do is a deadlift. OK this isn’t strictly true, but to lift a barbell off the floor, your first movement is going to be a variation of a deadlift, or a first pull in the snatch or clean. Regardless of if the WOD calls for a high volume and a light load, or a lower volume of heavy loads, it pays to spend time to sort out your set up in every single rep.

We have all been there, mid-WOD adrenaline rush, music blaring, potentially a cheeky look to your left to see someone sneaking a few reps ahead of you. You drop the hammer. You’re ripping through your deadlifts double-time, bouncing the bar off the floor as hard as you can. This weight feels super light and you could probably just lift it by rounding out your back and forgetting about your legs altogether. However, the next morning you can’t get out of bed or face the Box for the next 3 days.

On a more serious note, treating every rep individually and aiming for consistently good technique will ensure you maintain your deadlift form throughout an entire workout, and make it back into the box again tomorrow. Focusing on each rep doesn’t mean you have to move slowly, but move efficiently with purpose. Become familiar and comfortable getting into your set up, and obsess over the execution of every rep. 

Useful links, get swotting up:

CrossFit – The Deadlift (Coach's note: Please disregard the photos in this article...)
Strong Lifts – Deadlifts aren’t Squats
Juggernaut Strength – Squats and Deadlifts for Crossfit


Thanks Salt! Time for us to start practicing on our deadlifts!

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning: Threshold Method
5 rounds for time of:
500m Row
10 Box Jump (24/20 in)
10 Deadlifts @ 75% 1RM
- Rest 3 minutes between rounds -

10 August 2016 – WOD

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning - Threshold Method
Perform each workout in a 4 minute window, resting 4 minutes between workouts:

A1) 800m Run
In remaining time, max rep overhead squat (42.5/30 kg)

A2) 750m Row
In remaining time, max rep toes to bar

A3) 800m Run
In remaining time, max rep overhead squat (42.5/30 kg)

A4) 750m Row
In remaining time, max rep toes to bar

* If your 800m run/row time starts to exceed 3 minutes 15 seconds, cut the distance down

08 August 2016 – Threshold Method

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning: Threshold Method

A1) 7 minute AMRAP:
10 Kettlebell swings 32/24kg
10 Burpees

- Rest 4 minutes -

A2) 7 minute AMRAP:
15 Wall Balls (9/6 kg)
15 Calorie row

- Rest 4 minutes -

A3) 1 Mile run* 

* Here lies the true test in today's programming... Can you maintain a hard pace after the previous work? Your body can stand up to almost anything, it's your mind that you have to convince.

25 July 2016 – Threshold Method

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

To get the most from these workouts you have to push hard, keep rest minimal, and be prepared to suffer a little. These workouts are a mental challenge as much as phsyical one.

A) Conditioning: Threshold Method
4 x 3 minutes on : 3 minutes off
500m Row
15 Thrusters (42.5/30 kg)
In remaining time AMRAP kettlebell swings (32/24 kg)

13 Nov 2015 – Threshold Method

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

At 00:00:
Run 400m*
9 Burpees
9 Wall balls (9/6 kg)

When the clock hits 6 minutes:
Run 400m*
12 Burpees
12 Wall balls (9/6 kg)

When the clock hits 12 minutes:
Run 400m*
15 Burpees
15 Wall balls (9/6 kg)

When the clock hits 18 minutes:
Run 400m*
18 Burpees
18 Wall balls (9/6 kg)

When the clock hits 24 minutes:
Run 400m*
21 Burpees
21 Wall balls (9/6 kg)

* You can also change the run for either a 400/ 350m row or 30 / 20 cal airdyne, for some variation
** Each round should be performed at max effort. 
*** The rest period is until the start of the next 6 minutes.

09 Nov 2015 – The 10 General Physical Skills of CrossFit

Have you ever wondered why we train the way we do? Why we play with handstands and double unders just as much as we deadlift heavy, smash sprint-style workouts, and tell you to hit the target when you do your wallballs?

In its pursuit of GPP (General Physical Preparedness, i.e. ready to take on the unknown and the unknowable), CrossFit aims to develop 10 General Physical Skills. In the CrossFit definition of fitness, “you are as fit as you are competent in these 10 skills.” No idea what these skills are? Let us enlighten you!

The first four of the 10 skills are developed through “training” or “activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body”, such as our Conditioning and General Strength WODs…

Cardiovascular / Respiratory Endurance: The ability of a body’s systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen, i.e. how far can you go?
Stamina: The ability of a body’s systems to process, deliver, store, and utilise energy, i.e. how long can you last?
Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force, i.e. how much can you lift?
Flexibility: The ability to maximise the range of motion at a given joint, i.e. can you get into a good front rack or overhead position? How are your wall squats?

The second four are developed through “practice”, or “activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system”. Think drills, progressions, the barbell warm-ups we do before Olympic lifting sessions…

Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement, i.e. can you jump, whilst spinning a rope in two quick circles before your feet hit the ground?
Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another, i.e. can you rebound your box jumps?
Balance: The ability to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity in relation to its support base, i.e. how are your pistols and your handstand walks?
Accuracy: The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity, i.e. does your wall ball hit the target, or does it fly up in the air and come crashing down to hit you in the face instead?

The final two skills are developed through both training and practice:

Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time, i.e. your one 1 RM snatch.
Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement, i.e. your 100m TT.

Want to learn more about these 10 General Physical Skills or the definition of CrossFit? Check out our bible, The CrossFit Journal's What is Fitness, where all of these definitions were taken from. 

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Threshold Method: Single Modality Madness*

A) 5 minutes to get as many reps as possible:
Row or Airdyne for calories

- Rest 5 minutes -

B) 5 minutes to get as many reps as possible:
Thruster (42.5 / 30 kg)

- Rest 5 minutes -

C) For time:
Run 1000m, as fast as possible

* This is what happens when Coach Phil gets to name WODs...

04 Nov 2015 – Threshold Method

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Threshold Method

A) For time:
800m run
30 Barbell-facing burpees
15 Hang power cleans (60/40 kg)

When the clock hits 9 minutes, complete
B) For time:

Run 800m
30 Kettlebell swings (32/24 kg)
15 Over the box jumps (30/24 in) 

When the clock hits 18 minutes, complete
C) For time:

800m Run
30 Barbell-facing burpees
15 Hang power cleans (60/40 kg)
(8 minute time cap)

The goal for this workout is to work at +/- 5BPM of your threshold heart rate. This is the average heart rate from your Airdyne Ramp Test You should be able to keep moving at a hard pace, keeping rest periods short (<12 seconds). 

28 Oct 2015 – Reminder: Zombies attack this Thursday, 29 October!

Are you ready to run from the zombies? To carry your fellow athletes to safety, away from the masses of the hungry walking dead?

Don't forget, this Thursday 29 October, we'll be hosting a special Halloween WOD to see just how ready you are for the Zombie apocalypse! Wear your best halloween costume and come prepared for anything.... you never know what tricks or treats the devilish Coach Phil has in store for you...

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Threshold Method

3 x 5 minutes on : 3 minutes off
30 Wall balls (9/6 kg)
20 Burpees over the bar
In remaining time AMRAP:
15 Power snatch (35/20 kg)
30 Double unders

The goal for this workout is to work at +/- 5BPM of your threshold heart rate. This is the average heart rate from your Airdyne Ramp Test. You should be able to keep moving at a hard pace, keeping rest periods short (<12 seconds)