9 Critical Principles for a Successful Off-season Program (Part 3) - FITNESS PAIN FREE

9 Critical Principles for a Successful Off-season Program (Part 3)

We’re up to part 3 in our series.  If you missed the previous parts you can find them below:

Now onto the finale…

7: Go Strict

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love me some kipping.  Practicing how to kip properly is a key to success.  We simply have to be proficient here to be competitive.  However, building a strong foundation of strength will not only keep you a bit less prone to injury but it should carry over to a better kip.  I think most athletes just lack the strength to perform them well.  Since we don’t have peak until the open next year, now is a great time to cut back on kipping and to add in a bunch of strict work.

Often times the major reason why people can’t complete more dynamic movements like muscle-ups is simply because they just aren’t strong enough.  Check out my buddy Duke above, if you can pull this high on the rings do you think you’d have trouble turning over muscle-ups?  Doubtful.

The off-season is also an excellent time to build strength in all positions of movements like the muscle-up.  Practicing strict transition drills as shown below will carry over exponentially when it’s time to start incorporate more kipping muscle-up variations later in the season.

I see a lot of athletes that struggle with the transition portion of the muscleup. I find they lack strength at the top of the pull-up, bottom of the dip and transition strength. For these athletes I emphasize deep dips with a stable and comfortable bottom position and pull-ups focusing on top end strength (strict chest to bar, 1 and 1/2 reps and pause reps in the top). To help put it all together I like transition drills like these. Emphasize a strong false grip and keep the rings as close to your chest as possible during the transition. Use your feet to give as much help as needed for technique. I used to miss the top of the pull-up and bottom of the dip during strict muscle ups. Only recently have I been able to perform the drill on the right after a few years of emphasizing it. Thanks to all of my #powermonkeycamp friends who helped me pull it off! @powermonkeyfitness @davedurante @rupert.egan @bimflip @drmelzar @vanvleetd @andybsox @shift_movementscience @colinpgeraghty #coyoteden #twitter @crossfitverve

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8: Get Some Variety

I do a lot of funky movements in the off-season.  The human body has a tremendous capacity to perform an amazing variety of tasks.  Sometimes I think we forget about this with our training.  Variety in training can help to prevent overuse injury while still training the energy systems and muscle groups we need to for success.  It’s also a fun change of pace.  I don’t know about you but if someone tells me to do one more damn burpee after I just finished the open I’m gonna go on a rampage.

Here are some ideas to help create some variety in training:

  • Use dumbbells in place of barbells
  • Learn kettlebell skills (Get-up, 2 hand swings, cleans, snatches etc…)
  • Battle ropes, sang bags, medicine ball circuits

Here’s a fun conditioning variation I like to use in the off-season to create some variety.

9: Take it Easy on Your Energy Systems

Paul Buono (Team captain of Crossfit Milford #2 at Crossfit Games in 2015) told me a great story one time about his training.  He was training so hard for the upcoming games season that he started losing his hair.  At first he blamed his barber.  When he figured out that wasn’t the issue he went to several doctors and no one had an answer.  Eventually Paul figured it out.  He was training with so much volume, intensity and frequency that he was losing his hair because of this (at the age of 22).

Eventually Paul adapted his training and lo and behold his hair came back.   Training like a madman takes its toll on your body, especially with some of the very high intensity met-con.  Your endocrine system is probably going to need a bit of a rest following the open.  Let your hormonal systems normalize and body recover.

Some tips for recovery

  • Avoid training at or above lactate threshold like you have been over the past several months
  • Train higher threshold energy systems (phosphocreatine, ATP) with higher intensity and longer rest period training
  • Emphasize building your aerobic capacity with longer duration exercise at a lower heart rate
  • Substitute energy system training with classic strength training

As you know I’m a huge fan of programming and have been writing it for gyms and individuals for years.  I’m currently releasing 4 months of training designed to have a fruitful off-season and gracefully launch you into the next phases of training.

For this week only you can save $20 on the FPF off-season training program and see exactly how I implement these principles into training.

Just make sure you use the coupon code OPEN20 at checkout.

Click HERE to learn more and get instant access!

Here’s to your best off-season yet,

Dan Pope, DPT, OCS, CSCS

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