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6S Programming Recap: Where we’ve been and where we’re going!

With our 12-week squat cycle coming to an end and a new cycle beginning (keep reading to find out what it is!), we wanted to take this opportunity to explain the method behind our madness.

CrossFit training should not be random. CrossFit should prepare you for random. CrossFit is based upon the premise that high intensity, constantly varied functional movements will better prepare you for life – physically and emotionally. The movements that fall under the umbrella of “CrossFit” span a wide spectrum, and this can sometimes be mistaken for randomly selecting movements to better prepare you for the unknown. However, randomization should not be mistaken for preparation. In order to better prepare you for “the unknown”, programming needs to have structure. There needs to be a WHY attached to every movement, every workout, every day. This structure inevitably will improve overall fitness with the goal of being better at life. Structure looks different to everybody and takes different forms at different gyms.
At CrossFit 6S, we have started implementing specific cycles (6-12 weeks) with the goal of building a strong foundational strength base which will transfer to any CrossFit workout – STRONG IS STRONG. Additionally, these cycles have and will continue to be geared towards improving technique, specifically with the more technical movements. Here’s a recap of what we have done so far and why. To test the effectiveness of the cycles we have and will continue to test and re-test the intended focus of the cycle at the beginning and end, respectively.  
1.       Snatch Cycle

  • This 12-week snatch cycle was not only geared towards improving athletes’ snatch weight, it was designed to get athletes more comfortable with the movement (at all percentages – light and heavy) and the positions. We incorporated a wide range of movements and exercises to improve overhead stability and strength (e.g. behind-the-neck strict press, sotts press etc.). We also incorporated a variety of different complexes, training the different starting positions of the snatch, at the same time building up strength in the legs (e.g. pause OHS, squat snatches, snatch grip DL etc.).
  • We tested the power snatch and squat snatch at the beginning and the end of the cycle and almost everyone hit a new PR! However, more important than the number on the bar, was the confidence and poise with which every athlete carried (and continues to now) going into their lift. Great job, 6S!
2.       Squat Cycle  

  • This week marks the end of our 12-week squat cycle. We chose to implement a squat cycle into the programming because a strong, stable squat is the foundation to practically any lift and/or movement in CrossFit. Imagine how light that 95# thruster would feel if you increased your back squat by 20#! Or those box jumps, wall balls, rowing etc. The list goes on!
  • Throughout this cycle we tested athletes strength and stability in the various positions, with an emphasis on building strength in the posterior chain. We started the cycle with a linear progression of 5×5 squats, with the goal of increasing weight each week. Afterwards, different squat variations (e.g. box squats, speed squats, pause squats) were the focus. We also included a variety of accessory movements to isolate and strengthen the posterior chain. These exercises included Romanian deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, kang squats, hamstring curls and so on. The idea was to continually challenge athletes with new movements, focusing on posterior and core development.
  • We tested the back squat and front squat at the beginning and the end of the cycle and we saw some HUGE PRs! We are so proud of you all!

​With the squat cycle ending this week, we are extremely excited to announce that our next cycle will focus on building confidence and proficiency of the Clean & Jerk.  Here’s what Luke has to say about this new cycle:

“Most people are comfortable at certain percentages (usually below 80%) and certain ranges of motion (less than full extension, where they spend most of their time). Most athletes are plenty strong and stable, but lack both of those things at the ends of their ranges of motion. This is often seen when people shorten their split during a jerk due to an increase in weights.

In this cycle, we are going to challenge you in different ways, with different focuses – possibly for the first time. This will help you develop what my coach always strived for: “your warmup and your 1 rep max should look the same”. Yes, warmups are important! And here’s how we’re going to do it:

We aren’t going to challenge your strength, you’re already strong. We’re going to challenge your patience and your confidence. We are going to be spending time at the ends of your range of motion, getting you stronger and more comfortable in those positions. So don’t worry about the number on the bar, it doesn’t matter. Don’t think about WHAT you lift, think about HOW you lift. By doing this, we are going to extend that strength you already have all the way throughout the entire movement. As your strength grows – and you spend more time in those positions – so will your confidence. And that’s what is going to get you that PR.”

We are so incredibly proud of every single one of you, for showing up and working hard every single day.

Thank you for believing in us and our vision!

We love you!

-Julia

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