Coach G’s Weekly Blog – w/e 20th April 2018 (Week 23)

Something to think about...............

So, another CrossFit Games Open is behind us, time to look back and reflect on your performances. How did you do? Hopefully it has identified some strengths and more importantly some weaknesses. What really caught you out? What do you need to work on going forward so that you’re better prepared for next year? Whatever it is, apply yourself, don’t be disheartened but be encouraged that you’re not perfect, life would be boring otherwise!



Sara and I have been away for a couple of weeks, so not really had the opportunity to physically see how you guys have gotten on, but we've been keeping an eye on the community page and the daily WOD posts and you look great! Hopefully, I've managed to leave you a program that has been challenging but more importantly fun. The last few weeks have been tough, lots of strength work, lots of weightlifting and of course, MURPH! I'm not going to summarise the weeks I haven't been here but here's a look at this week!


This week in particular has been a hard one, starting with a 'power hour' on Monday which included plenty of aerobic work initially and finishing wish some strict and technical work with the snatch, strict pull ups and strict ring dips. Tuesday was no easier, an opportunity to establish a new 3RM Back Squat then hit a bit of volume on Front Squat. Then the WOD, Abmat sit ups into hollow rocks, what's that all about? Hopefully this short little WOD really taxed the core as it was intended to.

Wednesday saw us hit some high volume HEAVY Strict Presses then a tasty little 'Death By' to really challenge not only your aerobic capacity but your mental strength and willingness to make the next minute and go deeper into the pain cave. 

Thursday was all about pulling! 5x5 Deadlift at 85% is just an all-out assault on the Central Nervous System and to make it worse finishing with 3 x max effort distance intervals of 1000m, 500m and 250m on the rower in the 26-degree heat. 

Friday provided a much needed respite from the onslaught of strength training from the previous 3 days, allowing you to focus on the more technical gymnastic movement, the Handstand Push Up.



So building on from the previous talk about energy systems and muscle fibres etc. I want you to reflect on the training for this week and use the below illustration to think about what energy systems were being used during the different elements of strength and WOD this week.

Energy Systems.png


You will likely see that the majority of the time we have been working somewhere between 10% and 40% in the WODs, hitting predominantly the aerobic (or oxidative) energy system. As an example, Thursdays strength and workout would have required us to encroach into the realms of all three energy systems with the Deadlift and rowing testing both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Strength wise we have been working around the 85-95% region of power output, working predominantly the phosphagenic and Glycolytic pathways (anaerobic).


So how does this relate to use and development of the different muscle fibre types? And why do newer athletes make all the gains? We’ll have a look at that in more detail next week as we analyse the weeks training.



Shout out to Sam for making it into the 13thminute of the death by on Wednesday and not quitting, that’s true determination when you know that the harder you push the longer the suffering is going to last! Well done mate!



Something I personally struggle with is the so called 'Pain Cave', which basically means going into a dark place and putting yourself through personal suffering. A lot of the time I hold back, not wanting to feel the burn in the lungs, the burn in muscles, the burn in your gut as you physically want to vomit due to pushing yourself so hard. It is not a place that I have the mentality to push myself into a lot of the time, but this mentality can be developed over time.


Some of you will know what this feels like, some of you will not!


I challenge you all next week to walk into the box, look at the board and say 'I'm gonna have this one today'. I don’t care what day it is or what the WOD is, I don’t care whether you're scaling or not. I want you to come in, attack the workout and try and go to that dark place to get the best time or score you possibly can!

You never know, you may love it! And if you do, keep challenging yourself frequently to go to that place. The gains you will make will be on another level!



Saturday will see your coaches spend the afternoon in the box, working out together, sharing learning and experience and cementing standards and expectations for the benefit of you all going forward. In the early days of CFNS myself, Sara and Murf were a few cogs in a small machine. Over the last 3.5 years that small machine has grown significantly and we've introduced a few more cogs along the way to keep things going and growing.


Hopefully you will agree with me that we now have a fantastic team of CrossFit Trainers and Personal Trainers in the box. 


Saturday will be the first of many future coaches training days where we can begin to ensure that we are cohesively working, learning and adapting together to keep the CFNS machine moving in the right direction.


Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the other.


This is one of my favourite verses from the bible and something I am a firm believer in. As far as your CFNS coaching team goes, the whole unit is significantly greater than the sum of its individual components. It's my commitment to you that we will continue to work together to sharpen each other to make us better and more knowledgeable coaches for the benefit of you all.


I look forward to sharing some feedback with you next week!


Coach G’s tip of the week: Look after your hands! Shave and file your callouses routinely to reduce the potential for your hands to rip during high volume pull ups. 


Coach G.