Know this: Syn is *STRONG* — & John Dill and Ryan Shultz are not bad either…

Part 2: My CrossFit Programming Philosophy

In the same manner that I explained my coaching philosophy, I will explain my programming philosophy.

This is not an exhaustive list, nor does it touch on every aspect of what we do in the gym and out of the gym.

I said it last night, and I will say it again tonight — it is hard to explain the way I program in one blog post. I have been influenced by many people within the CF Community – and my programming should reflect that. Allow me to cut to the chase…

*Let me preface this entire post by telling you that I Coach at CrossFit Central in Austin, TX and have been since 2008. I have my program there – and that is my home. I also Coach with and for Rudy Nielsen and The Outlaw Way at the OLW Training Camps and Seminars.*

*I have spent the last 5 years trying to improve and perfect my craft. I have learned from many people and many methodologies.  Many books have been read and many seminars and weekend camps have been attended in order for me to attain the level of knowledge that I have. I have been coaching both non-competitive and highly competitive athletes since I began coaching in 2008. I have competed at the Regional level since 2009 and I was on our team that competed at the CrossFit Games in 2012 and finished in 13th place overall.*

My biggest influences have been CrossFit Central, Rudy and The Outlaw Way, Gym Jones and Bobby Maximus, and CF HQ. These 4 sources have provided me with so much information and direction, and I would be remiss not to mention them and thank them for their contribution, guidance and inspiration.

My Programming Philosophy

There is no “right way”. There is only what works. For individuals and for teams – Template or individualized. It is a moot point. You are either the best or you are not. How you get there is a matter of opinion. And that is my opinion.

Strength is king. But conditioning is a close 2nd. NOTE: I am talking about competitors, not amateurs. At this point in the game, the loads are heavy. At regionals and at the games. If you are not strong, you simply cannot compete. Your strength will allow you to express your lung capacity. Small people generally have a hard time. Weak people do not have a chance. Period.

The Close 2nd: Work Capacity across broad time and modal domains. Sounds like… “CrossFit”.  — It is. Thats’s essentially what they have tested at the CF Games for the last 6 years. If you think aerobic work is dead, you are dead wrong. Once you have strength and power, you need to be able to perform at sub-maximal loads over long(er) periods of time. Strength-Endurance (in my opinion) is more important than Absolute Strength.

Some More Detail

The Squat is the Foundation of CrossFit. High Bar Back Squat, Low Bar Back Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat. These will allow you to be more explosive, express more strength, endurance and durability, clean more (in theory) and snatch more (in theory).

I cherish the “Off-Season” and “Recovery Days”. I believe that all athletes should pass through an Off-Season, a Pre-Season and a Season. I also believe all athletes should follow a program and have very strict “Recovery Days”. THERE ARE NO OFF DAYS. Many people “Have not trained hard enough to train that hard”.

Periodization is real. We move through: Foundations Phase – Strength Phase – Power Phase – Strength/Power Endurance Phase and Aerobic Endurance Phase. We train aerobic endurance, aerobic power, maximal strength, maximal power, strength-endurance, power-endurance and train our lactate threshold.

Every athlete needs a Coach. I have all but stopped programming for people I cannot coach in person. Why? If I give them the *perfect* program, and the athlete executes it like complete dog-shit — what good have we done? Athletes require much attention, and coaching and programming for them is a Hands-On process. Period.

The Olympic Lifts will transfer more and greater to all other aspects of CF than any other thing. No explanation needed.

A program is shit without an athlete. I firmly believe that three of the most important aspects to a Cfers success are: 1) Personal Disposition, 2) Training Environment, 3) Training Partners. The “program” could be great or could be terrible. I am of the opinion that a “template” performed around other high-level athletes with precision and intensity will always win out over an “individualized program” done with terrible technique, low intensity and outside of the watchful eye of an experienced coach.

Louie Simmons and the way he has implemented the conjugate method into strength training has only scratched the surface… Thanks Rudy.

An athlete is only as good as her mind. 

***Some mistakes that I made last year that I will not make this year***

Gymnastics: We did not train it enough – and did not train it in enough endurance.

I trained our RBG team as though they were already a Regionals team. I forgot, however, to enforce the reality that they had not yet made it to Regionals. You have to train your athletes where they are at — not where you want them to be.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or want to know anything else about my programming methodology (specifically) then do not hesitate to hit me up on Twitter, FaceBook, e-mail or this blog!

@coachwinchester — Michael Duke Winchester — michaelwinchester@crossfitcentral.com — coachwinchester.wordpress.com

Week 4 Training 13.08.02

Recovery Day.

This is Week 4. Please take the time today to recover. Spend *30* minutes doing some kind of active full ROM movement. Swim. Walk. Squat. Lunge. Punter-kick. Stretch. Mobilize. Jog. Row. Yoga. All or some. Enjoy yourself in the Sun. —THEN— Spend 30 minutes on quality of soft-tissue. AKA: Roll, TriggerPoint, Massage, etc. IOW: #move


CrossFit Jääkarhu is a local community in Austin, Texas that is focused on identifying goals, coaching progress and getting results. If you are interested in learning more about our gym, visit our main website (click here). About CrossFit Jääkarhu Programs Available How to Start

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3 comments on “13.08.03
  1. drusellers says:

    Excellent post coach.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Feeling much better now, though still a little inexplicably fatigued. Made up my squats from Monday at HPG and even tried to do some 3-pos C&J, but I gassed. I know it’s not the prescribed recovery day, but I didn’t train as hard as y’all did this week on account of being down with the sickness.

    About to take a 30 min walk (one way) for some BBQ with my neighbors. Eat big, recover big!

  3. Dr. Wu says:

    Love the post coach.

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