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Training, Practice and Competition

A question we often get is: what is the blueprint for how we approach the training week?

First, let’s look at our workout stimuli:

  • Sprint- Burning fuel at a pace we cannot replace it (Fran).
  • Threshold- Moving at an absolute threshold pace we can maintain without slowing down (Helen).
  • Pacer- Need a thoughtful approach to maximize our ability over a longer time domain (Kelly).
  • Grind- Heavier workouts, less metabolic (Linda).

So how do we choose how many of each workout show up in any given week?

We look at each week through the lens of training vs. practice vs. competition and which workouts are best suited for each of these.

To break down what we mean, let’s look at how an NFL team functions. For example, if we were to take the New England Patriots and break down their work week it would look something like this:

  • Sunday– Game Day (competition).
  • Monday– Watching game film and discussing ways to improve (practice).
  • Tuesday– Walk through what they talked about on Monday with no intensity (practice).
  • Wednesday– Confirm these plays with pads and speed, get back in the weight room, start building intensity (training).
  • Thursday– This will look like Wednesday (training).
  • Friday– More intensity to get lungs ready for the coming Sunday (training).
  • Saturday– taper off before Sunday (practice).

The easy thing to see here is the percentage of competition. There is only one day that is competitive: Game Day. This means that only 10% of their work week is competition.

The other two are about an even split with practice making up 50% of their week and training making up 40% of their training.

If we take this model, we can transfer it to what we do within CrossFit. This is what we do when planning the amount of pacers vs. sprints within our week.

Oftentimes we want to slow our workouts down and focus on proper movement patterns with appropriate weights so when the time comes for competition, we can perform well.

The way we program, we want to avoid what we see in many gyms which is athletes competing around 90% of the time if not more. It is easy to get wrapped up in competing with our gym buddies and wanting to get a better score, but this means we may sacrifice our form or strategy.

If we program workouts that force you to move well and think about strategy, this means you will have to practice over compete.

With that said, leading into the 2021 CrossFit Open, each Friday should be looked at as our day of competition. Take what we’ve been doing during the week and apply it to these Friday workouts.

Hopefully this gives some insight into why we program the workouts the way we do. Please keep asking questions in the app and if you want to watch a video on training vs. practice vs. competition, watch here.

Edit from video: we are currently in week 9 and Friday we are performing the Open workout 16.4.

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