Mar 26th, 2012
By Mike Minium
Connie and Mune going chest to bar in CF Games Workout 12.5 on Saturday
(This is a long post…if you do nothing else, read the last three paragraphs AND look over the attached PDF file.)
Beginning April 2 (a week from this Monday), CFO will be converting over to a three-tiered programming template. So what the heck does that mean?
It means that each day there will be three different workouts, and you’ll be doing the one that is best suited to your current level of fitness. For an example of this kind of programming template in action, check out here or here, or even the strength workout here. This is something I’ve wanted to do for some time now, but for one reason or another, it’s been pushed aside (most recently, we had some issues related to moving into our new building, as many of you may recall).
At its core, this type of programming template is an acknowledgment that different people are on different levels of their fitness journey. Some require more specific work towards achieving their first X (whether X is a pull-up, a push-up, a muscle-up, a bodyweight back squat, etc.), and this kind of developmental work (whether skill-based or strength-based) needs to come with greater frequency. Others may be proficient in all the movements we throw their way, but need to increase their ability to do these movements with repeat exposure within a workout that’s testing work capacity (e.g., you can do one muscle-up or pull-up, but can you do sets of five or ten of them after doing a bunch of hang power snatches beforehand?).
In many ways, this is also nothing all that new; it simply formalizes a lot of what already goes on in our classes. For many of the workouts that go on, the trainer you’re working with will come up with a modification for an exercise if you can’t do that movement (whether it be reduced weight, reduced reps, or both, or a different movement entirely). This takes a lot of that guesswork out of the equation.
The primary reason we’re doing this is so that you’ll get the movements you want (and with more efficient technique) quicker, so that you’ll get stronger in the most efficient way, and so that you’ll get better conditioned overall.
If you don’t care a lick about getting proficient in certain movements, and are just wanting a good workout and to sweat a little, then this will still be a great template for you as well.
If you care about doing well in local CF competitions or even the CF Games, then this will also be a great template for you.
So what’s required on your end? Nothing more than taking a few tests this week.
We’re using this week as a testing week, and all of the workouts will allow us to figure out which tier you’re in. Once you know what tier you’re in, you’ll know which workout to do when we start up with the tier-based programming on April 2. Make sense?
There are 9 tests in total, and all of them will be done this week. I’ve attached the PDF of each of the tests so that you can see what we’re looking for in terms of performance levels for each tier. We’ll also be listing the performance standards for each tier for each workout this week.
My recommendation for the barbell exercises is to be smart and simply try and meet the performance standard you’re going after for each barbell exercise. No need to go for a 1-rep max PR in a barbell movement, especially if you’re pretty new to our program or pretty far off from the next tier of performance. You could even turn it into a max-reps type of scenario. For example, if you’re a 200-pound male and you’re going for the Tier 3 standard (T3) in the back squat and you know you have 334 pounds in the bag, try for 334 for max reps.
This post is already getting long. I’ll be doing a follow-up post on this topic this week. For now, simply bring your A game this week so that we can make sure you get solid test results, and also review our performance standards PDF.