Welcome to the end of 2019! This is one of my favorite times of the year, we have an opportunity to look back on the year of programming, analyze what worked, what didn’t, and move into the next year with lessons learned. We’re entering year eleven, and every year we still continue to learn and grow! I’m so excited for the 2020 programming! We have really cool things planned, from some old school tried and true cycles to a few of our new concepts we tested in 2019! Before beginning to build another year of programming, it’s important to revisit our purpose and goals. While everyone has their unique and individual goals, globally we have the same purpose: improving fitness and health.
First, before building a year of programming, I like to remind myself of the definition of fitness and health:
“Fitness is defined as increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Health is defined as the ability to maintain high fitness across your lifetime.”
To improve fitness and health we build a program that is constantly varied, balanced, uses functional movements, and is performed at high intensity.
To accurately see where we’re going, it’s important to further define some of the terminology above. What does increased work capacity mean? Increasing work capacity means showing the ability to do more work in less time. This includes, lifting heavier weights, being able to perform more reps in a given amount of time and being able to cover more distance in less time. It is also important that we train within broad time domains. These range from explosive lifts (1 second) to marathons (3-4 hours) and longer. To meet our fitness goals, we should perform these using a variety of modal domains. Which is defined as varied weightlifting, gymnastics and cardiovascular exercises, using varied implements, sets, reps and distances.
Now to define health. If we want to maintain a high fitness level across our lifetime, what does that mean?
First, to be able to maintain a high fitness level we need to maintain an injury free lifestyle and one that reduces the chance of chronic disease. Both of these can be accomplished by continually striving for full range of motion through the joints, consistently working towards building strength, lean muscle, increasing work capacity, and maintaining a healthy body composition. Each of these things can be accomplished by eating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy sources of fat, and following a balanced fitness program that uses measurable, objective and observable data.
So the big question is, how are we going to increase your fitness in 2020?
We’ll do this by building a fitness program that has the purpose of increasing your work capacity across broad time and modal domains; one that is constantly varied, balanced, and uses functional movements performed at high intensity.
Below is an overview of what to expect throughout the year. In the upcoming months, before each phase begins, I’ll give you a detailed overview of what to expect within that particular cycle.
We believe a safe, varied program that increases work capacity is planned far in advance. “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Without a game-plan, variance can become random and random can lead to plateaus, injuries, and distract us from the long term goal of fitness and health.
In the following phases we’re creating variance with a different focus in each phase. However, each phase builds upon itself. For example, in Phases 1 and 2 our goal is to build lean muscle and increase metabolic rate. This is beneficial for weight loss, improving body composition and creating muscle that can hold onto strength for Phase 4.
By building muscle and building an aerobic baseline first and adding strength and high intensity interval training second, we’re setting you up for success to increase your work capacity using varied time and modal domains through the year.
Here’s the overall plan for 2020, it will include seven phases, each with a slightly varied focus.
In Phase 1, we kick off the New Year from January 6th to February 28th. The purpose of this phase is to build lean muscle using some basic lifts and exercises. Essentially, the plan is to hit the reset button and practice the basics. This time of year we’ll build an aerobic baseline for the rest of 2020.
Phase 2 runs from March 2nd to May 8th. Our goal is to continue building lean muscle and work on increasing metabolic rate with more frequent aerobic interval training.
With Phase 3 from May 11th to June 19th. Expect to see varied reps and sets within skill work, strength and conditioning with a high variety of time domains. This cycle contains the most variance of any cycle within the year. This is a ‘fat burning’ phase.
Phase 4, from June 22nd to July 1st, is a big strength cycle. In a nutshell, we’ll be adding strength to the muscle you’ve built in the last three phases. You’ll see additional Olympic weightlifting and a fair amount of lactic buffering training in the conditioning.
Phase 5 runs from August 3rd to October 9th, this is the second muscle building cycle for the year. In this cycle, we’ll begin prepping for the CrossFit Games open with mid-tempo interval training in the conditioning.
Within Phase 6, you’ll see a second ‘fat burning’ cycle from Oct 12th to November 7th. This cycle contains a variety of sets, reps and strength & conditioning pieces, our goal in this cycle is to increase aerobic capacity and participate in the CrossFit Open.
Then finally, for Phase 7 from November 10th – January 31st, we’ll hit up a final strength cycle for the year. This is a great time to do so after focusing on aerobic capacity for the previous two phases. Our purpose is to increase back squat, deadlift, and pressing & pulling movements as we build a strong foundation heading into the New year.
It’s going to be a fun year! One filled with lots of PR’s, improved work capacity and improved health & fitness!