This post is for you intermediate athletes.

Our FITNESS programming stream has a heavy emphasis on the basic strength movement patterns, and low tech, 'grunt work' conditioning pieces. The PERFORMANCE programming has heavier and more technical lifts, with higher intensity, gymnasticy metcons that are often still too difficult for you.  I know that some of you are a little frustrated/confused/curious about making the jump over what can appear to be a large divide between the two programs, so hopefully this will clear things up.

When it’s a case of load, it’s a simple fix of course, just go lighter.  The coaches can help you choose the correct weight.  But note, there is a point where it gets too light to be productive (when it feels like you are pedalling a bike downhill, that's what I'm talking about...),  the coach will help you with that.  If they suggest dumbbells, or a less technical movement, it is not necessarily because they think you aren't good enough, it may be that the other movement will present a better challenge to you, and thus greater results.

What about gymnastic movements?  We NEVER scale range of motion during metcons (only during skill development), as that is a crucial part of your training.  However, we can always play around with the rep scheme.

Yes, that’s right, just because it says 30 Pullups, doesn’t mean your only choice is to do ALL of them, or else it’s the FITNESS metcon.    Scale it to 20, or 15, a rep scheme that allows you to move through the circuit at roughly the same rate as a fitter athlete doing the full 30 reps.  Again, if the coach feels that 15 reps means you will miss out on some metabolic intent of the workout, they may suggest 30 reps of something else.

Another example is a descending rep scheme.  Say there are 5 sets of 10 Handstand Pushups in a metcon.  How about doing 10-8-6-4-2 reps respectively, to account for the muscular fatigue that rapidly incapacitates the athlete new to this movement.

And over time, as you get stronger and more skillful, much like your barbell weights will increase, so you’ll hit higher and higher rep schemes in gymnastics.

Darren Ellis