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Behind the Whiteboard at CrossFit Newstead



What Goes on Behind the Whiteboard for CrossFit Newstead: Programming Overview, including this weeks De-load/Testing Sessions



 Training Phases: Periodisation

To give you an insight into what goes on behind the whiteboard for each phase/block, below is a template I predominantly follow and is one of my more favoured periodization templates influenced by guru strength coach Christian Thibaudeau that I’ve adapted to CrossFit.

When programming, Strength is the priority and our met con is programmed accordingly around the demands of the Strength programming.

For the purposes of this periodisation overview it is referring to our strength programming and not going into depth about our programming for met con and skills etc. In short the type of met cons, meaning; load, intensity and volume programmed will be generally dictated by the strength program parameters prescribed.

To improve physical performance our programming will always  aim to improve general strength, body awareness, mobility and work capacity. 

Our usual format is as follows:

Week 1: Re-Introduction Loading.

Usually week 1 into a new phase the volume and intensity (CNS intensity) will be lower than week 2 & 3, especially if day 5 & 6 from the previous week (week 4) were big testing days.

Week 2: Foundation Loading

Volume is usually much higher, these are generally the weeks you will experience the greatest amount of DOMS (delayed onset muscles soreness).

Week 3: Shock Loading

The shock week is usually based on increased intensity (CNS intensity), the loads lifted are heavier across the week and the volume is reduced for the major lifts.

Week 4: De-Load and Test

De-load weeks are essential to let the body regenerate in particular our CNS, in doing so will have you ready for the next block of training to achieve continued success.

Often – depending on the block just completed we will de-load for 5 days (Sun-Thursday) then test on the 5th and 6th (Fri and Sat) to test how much as a group we progressed, from there the next block can be modified accordingly.

If we are testing on the 5th and 6th day reducing the volume and intensity for a week after an intensive block has you ready to hopefully PR for the maximal test days

On the reduced intensity days as part of the de-load week it is a great opportunity to have some fun and allow us to program in plenty of skill development work for the more technical components of CrossFit.

Block Template

The below is a template I often work off,  to mange the met con, volume, balance of movements and intensity.  It is imperative to have a template to guide our programming.

The amount of reps, sets and intensity can and often will vary to deliver on the CrossFit philosophy:

CrossFit advocates and develops is deliberately a broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

Week 1: 3-4 x 5-12 (70-85% of max)

Week 2: 3-6 x 3-5 (80-90% of max)

Week 3: 3/2/1/3/2/1 (90% / 95% / 100% / 92% / 97% / 102%)

Week 4: 2 x 3-5 (85-90% of max) Mon-Thurs, test on Fri & Sat.

Focus of Session

This is very broad, but a guide I work off. Sometimes I will flip the week or days around to keep the cherry pickers guessing.

Met cons are programmed accordingly throughout the week with 2 sessions of the 6 being the highest intensity met con sessions of the week.

Day 1: Lower body focus

Day 2: Upper body focus

Day 3: Met Con Focus

Day 4: Lower body

Day 5: Upper body

Day 6: Met Con Focus

Day 7: Off

Types of Phases

Our phases are made up of strength, power and hypertrophy.

Depending on the programming phase we can have a predominant focus, usually focusing on a strength block works well for CrossFit.

Below are some examples of what it will look like depending on the phase.

Strength Phase

This is the predominant phase we will program dedicating a considerable amount of time across the week to improve limit strength.

Strength work will constitute around 70% of the total training volume while 20% will be dedicated to power work and 10% to hypertrophy – For newer athletes with many of the scaling options we prescribe the hypertrophy % will be considerably higher to build conditioning and structural strength as per Hypertrophy below.

Power Phase

During this phase the Olympic lifts and other power development methods will be programmed in a lot more to develop more power, compromising around 60% of the training volume, limit strength around 30% and hypertrophy around 10%. \

A power phase will be more for individual programming if any athletes have specific weightlifting goals or comps. Not so much for our CrossFit programming.

 Hypertrophy Phase

The hypertrophy block or structural strength is of particular importance to newer athletes. This is where our Foundations Program we provide new athletes comes in, along with our scaling options for new athletes often delivers higher volume (more reps).

The reason for this is we want to develop the muscles and tendons and build the athletes general conditioning to be better  handle the demands of the heavier loads and more complex movements down the track.

Ideally we’d like the phase for new athletes to be around 70% hypertrophy and 30% skill development providing conditioning and technique for the more challenging CrossFit movements.


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