We're coming off of deload week right into the last cycle before the Open! This cycle will be 4 weeks long, with an even heavier focus on conditioning. Here are some details:
You will still have strength sessions. However, all but one day will be labeled Barbell Conditioning. That means that almost every lift will have a time component tied to it. The goal is to build awareness and competency cycling through "touch-and-go" reps, while simultaneously challenging your stamina, capacity and comfort with a barbell in hand. As you probably know, Dave Castro likes to test strength, but he wants you to suffer first or during. These Barbell Conditioning segments are designed to simulate that.
Mechanix is the name of many of our interval pieces, originally coined by my business partner David Barnett. They are 20-minute pieces in which I am looking to increase cycle time and improve your rest management. We've seen incredible results from these intervals, especially in Open-style workouts. People become better at suffering (an actual skill) and more comfortable moving fast through basic CrossFit movements. You will see Mechanix four times per week, instead of the two from last cycle. Do them. Hit them with intensity. Try to hold your pace interval-to-interval.
These are a staple in the Open (as of 2015). If you have not already, anytime you see handstand push-ups in a WOD or gymnastics session, use the Open standard (tape or mark a line on the wall). Either video or have a coach/training partner watch your heels go above the line every single rep. If this is a struggle, it's time to start adding in more work. Handstand push-ups can singlehandedly raise or drop your score in the Open by hundreds of spots, just because of that simple standard.
These days will look identical to the previous cycle. They are basically a programmed "recovery day" as the volume is significantly lower. You will have a Hinshaw running interval piece, plus some handstand walking. The handstand walks this cycle will be mixed with other things that can "interfere" with your balance upside down.
For this cycle, I will still post days that I recommend splitting everything up into two sessions. However, for the next 4 weeks in particular, do it as often as your schedule allows. I want intensity on every piece and after a few things, that starts to drop for anybody. So just because it doesn't say two sessions, doesn't mean you cannot split it up.
This is the last bit of fine tuning before 17.1. Dial in the diet (if it isn't already) and get your mind and body ready for some fun!
Coach Steven Willis