For the past few weeks we have been following the conjugate method of programming. This method was made popular by powerlifters, but it turns out that it is also has a very good application in the CrossFit world. The conjugate method consists of four main days per week of programming. We have split those four days up as follows:
Monday - Lower body strength day
Tuesday - Upper body speed (or dynamic) day
Thursday - Lower body speed (or dynamic) day
Friday - Upper body strength day
Wednesday is typically a low skill GPP (general physical preparedness) day and Saturdays and Sundays we continue to run metcon programming. These days are useful in the CrossFit/fitness sense, but not directly related to conjugate method.
The basic idea is to train heavy one day per week and train speed one day per week. These days are ideally spaced 72 hours apart and they feed off of one another to push quicker gains with less injuries. The belief is that by changing the specific strength lift from week to week, we can keep your body guessing and always working to adapt to the stress (that means getting stronger). You are also less likely to hit those plateaus where you struggle to go up in weight week after week performing the same lift each time. In addition, it keeps each week fresh and interesting and because the lift is always changing. This also gives us the added benefit of being able to miss a week (if necessary) and being able to jump right back in the next week without missing a beat.
On dynamic day, the idea is to focus on moving the bar as quickly as possible (but remain in control at all times). If you have a 400# max squat, you want to try to move a 200# bar with 400#s of force on these days. We are trying to improve the rate of force development and work on explosive strength. Dealing with a weight between 40-60% of 1rm can also help to dial in your technique on the lifts. To get the most benefit out of this program it is important to keep to the suggested percentages and keep the bar moving quickly.
I hope that people are enjoying this new cycle. I encourage everyone to give it a fair shot and see how its working after at least a couple of months. Since the main lifts are always changing, there is no defined 'end' to this cycle, however the plan is to run it at least until December. I encourage everyone to give me any feedback they have on it...positive or negative...to help me decide whether to keep it going into December or change it up again.
If you do have any feedback or have any other questions about the programming, don't hesitate to send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.