T Nation

Training Crossfit Athletes

Coach,

I understand most top crossfit athletes do not necessarily train crossfit style all the time. Not sure if that is truth. I am curious if you’d maybe put together a week/month long view of what a typical CF athlete you have trained would look like. I am slowly getting into the CF idea. I like some of the workouts but also like adding in strength plan as well.

Thank you

It would be like asking how a week of training for a football player looks like. First they wouldn’t all train the same way, but also the training will change quite a bit from phase to phase.

For example, if you are someone who has done a lot of more traditional training. At first you should do a lot more crossfit and skill work. Basically the first order of business is developing the capacity to do all the required skills (olympic lifts, muscle ups, bar muscle ups, handstand push-ups, etc.) and your energy systems.

When you do that the amount of strength work will be lower because you need to put your focus on the first two elements. During that time you shouldn’t do the complex skills as part of “WODs” or metcon work because you need to master technique first. For the energy systems you should either use single modalities like rower, assault bike, KB swings, prowler, skiier, running. Or WODs made up of lower skills exercises. I would also use this phase to strengthen the tendons to prevent injuries when you switch to more complex work.

When you have mastered the skills you can start to reintegrate strength work into your program and include some skill work in WODs. We would often do one strength lift and one olympic lift per workout. Then 2 assistance exercises and 1-2 WODs of 5-12 minutes.

When that is done (should take about 12 weeks) you can start to follow a crossfit plan. I suggest reading the work of Jason Brown with his Box Programming site.

Basically the further away from the open you are, the more you focus on building strength and on short but super intense WODs, the closer you get to the open the less strength work there is and the more “crossfit specific” WODs there are.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I will look up the info on Jason Brown as well. Have a great day!!

Great info coach!

What kind of work would you do for tendon strengthening?

One example would be, lets take arms for example, use a band and conduct around 100 push-downs. This will not only pump your arms, bring good nutrient rich blood to the muscle, but strengthen the tendon and ligaments.