CFNYC Programming Update: Summer 2019

Here are some upcoming highlights of the skills and movements we are focusing on for our next programming cycle:

Sunday: Straight Arm Strength

Straight arm strength is foundational to all pressing and pulling movements as well as trunk strength and core stability. It requires that you move the body via the shoulder joint while minimizing bending of other joints to create a stable body position. This action often elevates the intensity and difficulty of the skill, for instance: toes to bar, front lever, planche, or iron cross. Other times, straight arm strength work allows for a decrease of intensity during a workout. For example, it’s easier to hang from a pull up bar than it is to hold mid pull up, and the same could be said for top of plank versus middle of push up. The main result of straight arm strength work is a significant strengthening of the connective tissues (ligaments and tendons), which is important for injury prevention, while also improving body weight strength and gymnastics skill development.

Beginner – Expect to see movements like: Support Holds, Farmers and Suitcase Carries, Plank Variations, Turkish Get Ups, and Toes to Bar.

Experienced – Expect a focus on the preparatory movements designed to develop balance for the handstand hold: Headstand, Crow Holds, Overhead Carries, L-Sits, and Tuck Holds. There is a skill, strength and flexibility component to the handstand – all of which we will look to develop during Sunday’s workout.

Note: Sunday is a day where many members choose to take a Rest Day. As an alternative to the BWOD/EWOD some will attend a specialty class instead (OlyWOD, CFE, Functional Strength, Open Gym) depending on their previous week’s class attendance.

Monday: Press and Pull

Beginner – Strict Press
We are building our 1 rep max strength. We’ll focus on rep ranges of 2-5 and build volume using drop sets. A drop set is when you complete a final set(s) at a lighter weight using higher reps to build volume and completely fatigue the muscles used to press.

Experienced – Bench Press
We will use the following progression listed below:

Week 1: 3 second eccentric
Week 2: 5 second eccentric
Week 3: 2 second pause
Week 4: No tempo, building
Week 5. No tempo, across
Week 6: Test 5 Rep Max

We are using the eccentric (or lowering of the barbell) for movement pattern building. We want you to learn how to pull the bar down and build tension. This will both protect the shoulder and create a stronger press. We are using the pause at the chest for one week to reinforce your ability to build and hold tension on the eccentric phase of the movement. If you’re unable to pause and/or the weight lifted significantly drops it will indicate that you were relying on momentum, “bouncing” the weight off the chest.

Tuesday: Squat

Beginner – This is the 1st back squat cycle Beginners have seen in 12 weeks, therefore there is no need to focus on a specific rep range or load with our squats. Instead, we will focus on descending rep schemes and waves so members have an opportunity to feel both light and heavy loads in varying rep ranges. The type of wave we will typically be following is a format of descending ladders back to back, for example:


Descending wave ladders will allow you to experiment with loading at different reps and lower the load on the second wave and build back up again. Wave ladders are an excellent way to get more comfortable at certain percentages under fatigue and clue in to when your form starts to break down.

Experienced– The focus will be on moderate rep ranges, 6-8 which will culminate into a 7RM. We’ve focused on both high rep (10+) and low rep (1-3) back squat cycles in the past, so this will expose members to a new stimulus. We will progress this into a lower rep, higher load cycle at the end of the summer.

Specialty Classes – Endurance, Olympic Weightlifting, Gymnastics

We are starting a new gymnastics cycle that will last for 6 weeks called “Skills and Drills”. Coach Stephanie and Coach Dustin will be introducing new movements like the cartwheel and pistol, while building on the basic handstand drills that have been taught in past cycles. There will also be some flexibility work added into each class. As a friendly reminder, ALL LEVELS of members are welcome to participate in our Gymnastics classes. Depending on the skill of the day members may be given different progressions based on their current strength, mobility, and CrossFit experience.

Note: This is a day where many members choose to take a Rest Day since we recommend taking off at least every 2-3 days. As an alternative, you can attend a specialty class. If you workout on Wednesday, consider taking a Rest Day on Thursday or Friday to minimize movement overlap. Please review the programming at the start of each week to make class choices that are best for you.

Thursday: Power Snatch

All Levels – This cycle is focusing on pulling off the ground and developing an aggressive turn over to finish the lift. Expect to regularly see tempo pulls and muscle snatches, especially in the warm up. The tempo pull will reinforce proper position from the floor by building strength through your feet, calves, hamstrings, and glutes. The primary goal here is to maintain the back angle off of the floor and not have hips rise up first.

Friday: Hang Clean and Jerk

All Levels – We’ll mostly be working complexes to keep the weight lighter and focus on technique. This will culminate into a max of the following complex:

2 Hang Cleans + 2 Split Jerks

Beginners just finished up a hang clean cycle, so this complex should be a nice transition to continue to develop proper technique for the hang clean and split jerk

Saturday: Partner/Team/Benchmark

Beginner and Experienced – Workout and movement selection will be dependent on what was performed in previous days.