Solcana blog

Happy New Year! As we head into the new year, we are also heading into a new programming cycle. This cycle is our 2019 Open Prep Cycle. In our year-long macrocycle, this time of year is our “performance” cycle. The rest of the year we are in cyclical strength training cycles, and now is the time of year where we put all of that training into action. Of course, some of ya’ll are new enough where none of that really matters for you yet, so this is just a time to keep getting fit and having fun!

The Open takes place every year in February and March. It’s an international event that CrossFit HQ puts on. Each week for 5 weeks in a row, CrossFit HQ releases a workout online. It comes out on Thursday night, and that same night I send out an e-mail to the gym letting you know what the workout is, and what all of the scaling options are, plus I provide some hot tips to make the workout the best it can be for you. Then, on Friday, every class will have the Open workout programmed.

As a gym, we make this a fun competition and a chance to have fun! On January 14th you will have the chance to sign up for an Open team. Your open team is a group of 4 people, randomly chosen to be your bad-ass teammates for the duration of the Open. I will explain more about that on Jan 14th, but for now you have a week to warm up the idea of registering to compete with us!

We ended the year with some awesome new PR’s from our recent strength cycles, and have built some basic gymnastics strength. Now is the time to use our strength and build up gymnastics technique along with honing our engines so we can be explosive and fast during those metcons.

What to Expect in the Open Cycle:

  • More emphasis on higher intensity conditioning workouts, with a focus on shorter high-intensity efforts, as opposed to long “cardio” style workouts. You will see purposeful rest built in between intense portions, and workouts that are built to be max effort for the entire duration of the workout.
  • Heavier Olympic lifts (Snatch, Clean and Jerk) worked into metcons, as well as Olympic lifts tested after metcons.
  • Higher rep touch-and-go reps of Olympic lifts to focus on maintaining technique and posture while learning to cycle efficiently.
  • Larger blocks of basic gymnastic movements in workouts (Pull Ups, T2B, Push Ups, Dips) to develop muscular endurance, as well as understand how to manage fatigue on these movements.
  • Technical practice on gymnastics movements to improve performance inside of metcons and hopefully find some new skills for folks that you have never done before (handstand pushups, muscle-ups, etc.)
  • Strength Maintenance¬†through moderate volume Back squats, Deadlifts and Presses to keep up the strength outside of metcons. Strength will be sub-maximal and you should always choose weights that allow you to complete quality reps.
  • Strength Classes will be focused on unilateral work to improve stability and prevent injury, as well as static holds, and of course, Benching on Wednesdays for all you Bench lovers!
  • EVERY FRIDAY we will do an Open workout from years past, which is a great opportunity to come practice what they feel like! Thursdays will be Body-building/prep days.

Things to think about for you:

  • The amount of gymnastics can put a lot of stress on the shoulder, be mindful to spend extra time giving your upper back and shoulders some TLC this season.
  • Another way to exacerbate shoulder aches is to do olympic lifts sloppily or with too much tension in the upper body and no legs. Come check out Tuesday night strength class for extra work on barbell cycling, and when you are practicing, keep your movements light and crisp, don’t fall into the trap of just using your arms for everything.
  • The Open workouts will take you to an anaerobic threshold you never thought possible, so start training for it now. Pick 1-2 workouts per week where you really push that threshold now, trying to see how much you can challenge yourself.
  • Have fun! Try new stuff!

This year the Open workouts take place Feb 22, Mar 1st, Mar 8th, Mar 15th and Mar 22nd. Our new cycle runs from now until March 29th. Next week you will get the opportunity to register for your team, but you can already start thinking about your matching team outfits now. Yes, that is a thing.

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