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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 09-30-2007, 11:23 PM   #1
Jon Knutsen
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Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

This spring I'll be heading into my third year as a high school jump coach for track and field. I've been using CrossFit workouts for the last two years and have seen some good success but it's always hard to tell if "something" is simply working because it's better than "nothing."

My dilemma is trying to balance consistency with variety and making sure that the overall program increases that which matters most - strength, speed, power, etc. Between plyos, powerlifts, oly lifts, metcon workouts, and sprint workouts, there's never a shortage of workouts to do and I find prioritizing to be tricky. Especially considering that most of the athletes can only lift three days a week in the off-season. For the last month I've been working with one athlete and we've followed the schedule below:

Mondays: CrossFit workouts (metcon driven)
Wednesdays: Olympic lifts and/or powerlifts (heavy)
Fridays: CrossFit workouts (metcon driven)

I know there are people with a lot more experience than myself when it comes to strength and conditioning programming and I would love to hear what they recommend. By the way, I know volumes could be written in response to this question but I'm not expecting that from anyone. Simple suggestions will be fine to get the ball rolling. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:17 AM   #2
Brian Degenaro
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

Create your own Crossfit workouts taylored for jumping (include box jumps w/multi response, bounding for distance, sprints, med balls, metcon, etc) along with using the WODs that are "power" based (Elizabeth, Isabel).
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:05 AM   #3
Jason M Struck
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

High powered Plyometrics by Radcliffe was one of the best books I read on the subject.

Not for illustrations of techniques (of which there are plenty) but for perio and other planning programming concerns

Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:04 PM   #4
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

Look up Josh Everett's article on his Baseball team conditioning.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:50 AM   #5
Jon Knutsen
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

Thanks for the info. I actually dug up Josh Everett's article on strength and conditioning for the UCR baseball team and basketball team. Both great articles and very informative.
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:43 PM   #6
Josh Everett
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

Working at the college level may be a little different because the student-athletes train in the wt room & on the track year round but here...
we use classic crossfit workouts 4 days per week for 1 month after the season ends...at this time they have no "track" workouts. The other 11months of the year all conditioning is done within their track workouts. In the wt room we do 3 days a week of oly lifts, squats, bodyweight exercises, KB's ect.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
Jon Knutsen
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

Thanks everyone for the input. Here's what I've come up with...

I wanted to give beginning athletes a period to focus on learning the lifts and working on form without the presence of oxygen debt while also allowing them to get stronger and improve conditioning.

For Phase 1, each week introduces three lifts used in CrossFit and incorporates metcon workouts that use bodyweight exercises (which most people are already comfortable with). The 3 x a week schedule is only to accommodate the weightroom hours at the HS. Generally speaking the sets x reps are higher rep-lower weight during Phase 1.

In Phase 2 athletes focus on approximately two lifts per day + a WOD. Off-season the WOD's often incorporate running, box jumps, jump rope, etc. Once track starts, the WOD's are based on bodyweight exercises and all running/conditioning is done on the track. This is just a general overview and doesn't include the taper (Phase 3) towards the end of the season.

PHASE 1 - WEEK 1 (3 workouts a week)
Lifts: Squat, Press, Deadlift
Conditioning: Bodyweight exercises mixed with running, plyos, etc.

PHASE 1 - WEEK 2 (3 workouts a week)
Lifts: Front Squat, Push Press, Sumo Deadlift High Pull
Conditioning: Bodyweight exercises mixed with running, plyos, etc.

PHASE 1 - WEEK 3 (3 workouts a week)
Lifts: Overhead Squat, Push Jerk, Clean
Conditioning: Bodyweight exercises mixed with running, plyos, etc.

PHASE 1 - WEEK 4 (3 workouts a week)
Lifts: Thruster, Kettlebell Swings, Snatch
Conditioning: Bodyweight exercises mixed with running, plyos, etc.


PHASE 2 - WEEKLY SCHEDULE (in general)

MONDAY
Lifts: Power Cleans, Squats
CrossFit WOD: Pull oriented (deads, KB swings, etc) + bodyweight exercises + runs/jumps

WEDNESDAY
Lifts: Clean & Jerk/Press variations, Snatch variations
CrossFit WOD: Tabata variations, Squat jumps, bodyweight (always short)

FRIDAY
Lifts: Cleans (AKA: Squat cleans), Deadlifts
CrossFit WOD: Squat oriented (air, front, OHS) + bodyweight exercises + runs/jumps

* Each week I incorporate a upper body WOD (like "Lynn") into the WOD's and replace the typical WOD for either Monday or Friday (alternates).
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:56 PM   #8
Brandon Oto
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

Very cool and very Crossfitty progressions, Jon.

I noticed that you've got them doing clean and jerks later, but never introduced them to the jerk?

And for what it's worth, a lot of Oly coaches advise starting with the snatch; it's a harder move, but if you get the snatch, you've basically got the clean.

Will you work on pullup technique at all, i.e. kipping?

Advise that you ensure they have good form on air squats in your first week before you put them on back squats. Even if they insist they've been squatting for years.
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:33 PM   #9
Jon Knutsen
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

Brandon,

Thanks for the feedback. To answer a couple questions, the jerk is introduced in Phase 1 - Week 3. This occurs after teaching the press and push press which takes place in weeks 1 & 2.

As far as teaching the snatch before the clean, I understand what you mean and I actually agree - the clean comes easier after teaching the snatch. I went to one of Burgener's Oly classes and he made that point which really played out during our day of lifting. If I was to exclusively teach an oly class I would follow that pattern. However, I modeled my lift progressions after the CrossFit certs that I've been to which taught the deadlift, then SDHP, and then the clean (taught with med balls).

When it comes to teaching the pull-up techniques, I'll try to incorporate various skills sessions as the workouts take place. We'll see how that goes.

Let me know if my responses and rationale makes sense.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:27 AM   #10
Brandon Oto
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Re: Strength & Conditioning for High School Track

So they'll be doing clean and push jerks?
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