So you are interested in understanding the “what” behind your programming. I am going to give you some tools to educate yourself a bit more in programming and training in general.
Basics of understanding training/programming:
This one is my favorite to make sure athletes understand. Anyone who has been in a Crossfit gym long enough has heard someone say “man, I just need more volume”. That brings me to think about the… “You keep using that word, but I don’t think you know what it means” joke…
Think of “volume” as how much work you are completing during a workout. This can be seen in many different ways: total reps of a movement per training session, total weight lifted per session, total reps per training session, etc… THERE is a point of diminishing return when working with volume. 10×8 is not always better than 4×8.
4×8 Back Squats @ 70%
Think of this as how hard the work is you are completing (EFFORT). This is easily put in most training protocols as % of perceived effort or % of 1RM. This could be how hard you push yourself on a run or how heavy you lift during a set of squats. THERE is a point of diminishing return when working with intensity. Attempting the below rep scheme at 97% of 1RM will be impossible, and mean that your gains will not be as great as sticking with 70%. MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.
4×8 Back Squats @ 70%
Think of this as how many sessions you hit per week. It is important when training for neural adaptation (SKILL or STRENGTH) to make sure frequency of training is consistent and “high”. “High” frequency means different things for different populations and goals, so we will not go down that rabbit hole, but when it comes to training frequency make sure you are consistent THERE is a point of diminishing return when working with frequency. Training 7 days per week is NOT always better than training 3 days per week.
Different modalities require different approaches including loading of (volume/frequency/intensity) so be aware of this. There is no way for me to break them all down now…. but realize there is a difference. What is a “modality”?… to break it down simply: body-weight exercises vs running vs. lifting. Different energy pathways…etc… So what works well for a push press (set/reps/intensity/frequency… may not translate perfectly over to training your HSPU.)
Point of Dimensioning Returns:
1+1 = 2…. but in lifting that does not mean that 100+100 = 200. I.e. just because you stop seeing results when training 3x per week, that DOES NOT MEAN that you have to bump up to 4x per week. You are only focusing on one point of the three things we spoke about earlier.
You can alter any three to get a desired change and stimulus. Now with that being said, depending on who you are and what your goals are there are “better” ways to go about this! It can be very individualized in order for you to see the desired results you want as an individual.
So at the end of the day remember that you can alter any of three above, but most of that should be left up to your coach and programmer. What you can always control is your output and effort! Let your coach and programmer tweak the above things to get you results, you worry about hitting the work as best as you can to reach your goals!
NEXT WEEK! “The PERFECT Travel WOD”