A FEW RULES WE LIVE BY
1. We squat... a lot
(2x a week, almost all year), with full range of motion (ROM). Assume the programs squats are high bar back squats (HBBS). We also go heavy... often. Why?? Because squatting makes you feel unstoppable, for real!!!! Squatting is the best way to make the hips strong! And if you can't squat anymore, well its time to die, seriously...
In all seriousness if you do nothing else, follow the squat sessions in the programming! The whole program is built around the squats!
2.Why such an emphasis on weightlifting?
(a) Snatching, cleaning, and jerking, (especially the full snatch) require a level of flexibility, balance, speed and power. In addition, the neurological muscular coordination / recruitment is absurd. In my humble opinion, if you can learn to snatch efficiently and effectively, you can certainly learn rope climbs, muscle ups, ring HSPU, or any other “high skill” movements.
(b) *Nerd Alert* Another reason so much emphasis is placed on weightlifting is because of the acceleration of the lifts. The reason West-Side uses Accommodating Resistance (AR) (AR: the use of bands and chains) is because through the range of motion there is deceleration, which is not optimal. By using AR, they change that dynamic and teach the body to accelerate through a ROM. Like AR, much of the same can be said for pulls in weightlifting. Pulls should always accelerate through a ROM. It should start out fast coming from the ground, get faster at the knee, and then finally it should be the fastest at the hip!
(c) The last reason is because I love them! The level of difficulty it takes to learn them and the amount of beauty, when executed correctly, is awesome! Weightlifting is a challenge, and I like challenging things!
3. Method to the madness!
We implement the Max Effort (ME) Method, and the Conjugate Method in all aspects of our weightlifting and program. The ME system (compliments of the Bulgarians training system) implies athletes are always attempting ME lifts, in attempt of PRs. The Conjugate System (Compliments of the Russian training program) allows for variance in movements so athletes are not getting burned out, doing the same thing over and over again. Combining these methods breeds success i.e. Westside barbell, the strongest gym in America!
4. Why aren't we Dead lifting more?
Because it is very taxing. Well here is the deal, a true ME DL can cause the central nervous system (CNS) to shut down for 2 weeks (Louie Simmons), yeah they are that taxing. Now most CrossFit athletes recovery quicker than Powerlifters, but regardless we can make better use of our time by squatting.
5. Box Jumps, Deadlifts, Running:
I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with me, but I put all of these in the same category, meaning all of these movements are fairly potent and need to be executed and trained carefully and correctly.
Why? Deadlifts see #4. Box jumps: It’s actually not the jump up, its the jump down (AKA depth jump), which degrades the CNS. I’m sure many of you have had sore ankles or feet after lots of box jumps. You will see them, but not often. Look for jump up/step down options from time to time. Running: Here is the deal, between heel strikes, placing more pressure on the outside of the foot, and other dumb things, we are all running poorly. Because 90% of people run like idiots, running is something we will do like box jumps, meticulously and with purpose.
6. We put an emphasis on the development of "higher level" body weight movements.
For the same reason we snatch, "higher level" gymnastic movements require great amount of nuero-muscular recruitment. Challenge yourself, when it says Ring HSPU, hand stand walks, try them!!!
I do not assume that you are a rock star at anything, but that you have a basic foundation of many of these movements.
7. The whole program is Periodized?!?
I thought with CrossFit you are suppose to be ready for anything at any time, and routine is the enemy? Yes, you’re right! There are two different broad types of people that workout using CrossFit. One group exercises, these are the people who want to feel the burn and get in a great sweat. They workout for no real performance orientated goals, and in turn struggle to see significant gains and progress. The second group are those who train. These people are training for MMA, triathlons, 5ks, meets, and CrossFit competitions, and to get better at life. These people are preparing for something, and because of this, they need a systematic approach to their respective discipline. For us here at Black Sheep, we are focus on the advancement of human performance. As a result, we use a systematic approach in an effort to enhance ones physical performance.
8.This is not perfect, this is not the holy grail of fitness!!!
These are things I find to be seriously effective and I want to share them with you!