Coming to you from Africa!

Skipjack Athletes,

Hi.  This is Coach John writing from Central Africa.  I am looking forward to meeting all of you when I get back in April.

Since I have been developing the WOD programing from over here, I thought I’d send you some notes on where it is coming from and where it is going.  It may seem random, but there is some logic behind it and I will try to convey some of this logic through a series of emails over the next few days/weeks.

First, and obviously, you will have noted the general daily flow: stretch and warmup on your own, group warmup, a skill review or a strength movement, a WOD, and then individual cooldown.  This will remain generally consistent with a few additions and variations.

Second, I want to point out how we alternate skills and strength days.  I program what I call ‘A’ (skill) and ‘B’ (barbell or strength) days in alternating fashion.  The ‘A’ day will feature a short session on some skill (pull-up, slam ball, wall-walk, etc…) and you will likely see that skill in the WOD.  The ‘B’ day will entail a dedicated strength session (back squats, shoulder press, etc…).  ‘A’ and ‘B’ days alternate and change from one week to the next.  For example, week1 will have ‘A’ days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and ‘B’ days on Tuesday and Thursday and then this will flip on week 2 with ‘A’ days on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, etc…  This ensures that all athletes will be exposed to both skills and strength no matter which days they may consistently attend.

Next, there are a couple of important strength movements that are critical to the development of everything else with the barbell and you will see these quite regularly; deadlifts, squats and shoulder presses.  Getting these moves down well and developing the basic strength necessary that these provide will greatly assist with your future development of the more complex cleans and snatches (which we will be getting to in a few weeks).  So, you will see deadlifts, squats and overhead pressing variations at a minimum of once per week, sometimes in the strength session of a ‘B’ day or maybe in the WOD on an ‘A’ day.  And these will also move to different days each week to ensure everyone receives consistent exposure.

Finally, next week we will introduce a new component to the daily session; the ‘Skill-of-the-Week’ (SOTW).  This will entail a week-long focus on a specific skill(s) to ensure everybody receives instruction and repeated exposure over the week.  This will address some of the more complex skills like pull-ups, double-unders, etc… and, yes, they will feature in the WODs during or at the end of the week.  NOTE:  In a couple of weeks, the SOTW will be double-unders, so if you have not yet purchased your own rope, you may want to talk to your coach for some suggestions.  Using the same rope that is sized appropriately for you can significantly aid your double-under development.

That’s enough for today.  Next time I’ll write more about the specific programming for strength development and how you can expect it to evolve over the next several months.

Enjoy Open 17.3. 

Coach John