Monday, November 16, 2009

Introduction to the 12 week Program

I am going to begin this by introducing myself and explaining the purpose of this blog. Here we go...

I am a CrossFit coach and student currently residing in Marin County, California. I am a former collegiate rower and former high school basketball player. I did well athletically in high school and in college despite the fact that I lacked natural explosiveness. I always thought that my sub-par “vert” was merely a product of my genetics, something that I could not change. I bought books, watched video, and basically tried everything I could to improve my jumping ability.

Before entering college my crew coach sent the entire incoming freshman a link to This simple e-mail that I am sure less than half of the team read, changed my life both athletically and professionally. I started out just messing around with the workouts on my own and then I found an affiliate in San Francisco to train at. I trained there for an entire summer and fell in love with CrossFit, but most importantly I fell in love with high intensity training. CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” I did CrossFit for about a year and half. What I realized was that I had never trained hard enough. Implementing high intensity training into my already stringent exercise regimen produced strength, speed, and agility gains that I honestly did not think I was capable of.

I have created a 12-week training template that I am hoping will help me achieve my dream of dunking a basketball. My goals over the course of the next twelve weeks are to dunk a basketball (running start permitted) and have an Olympic Lifting total of 200kg. To create my training plan for my 12-week program I have created a tailor-made compilation of some excellent training methodologies. First off I am going to use Coach Rut’s Max Effort Black Box template, which I believe is the best way to improve one’s strength while still regularly participating in CF WODs. The three main aspects of my program are Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, and CrossFit style met cons.

Olympic lifting—a training modality within CrossFit— has been scientifically proven to enhance one’s vertical leap. In the experiment Olympic lifters were found to have higher verticals than the majority of the members of the olympic volleyball team. This makes sense considering that olympic lifting is essentially a jump (opening of the hips) and a land (a catch). I will be participating in local Oly lifting competitions regularly. Competing is something that I love to do. Rut’s rotating lift schedule will be perfect for me. Also I will be implementing plyometric and sprint training once a week. Once a week I will be using the exercises recommended by the makers of the “strength shoe” (a company that manufactures “jump sole” shoes, which are marketed towards those wanting to improve their vertical)although I will not be using their shoe seeing as it has been found to cause injuries far too regularly. The strength shoe website is The combination of the exercises that they recommend is a very comprehensive plyometric training scheme, which will fit in well with everything else that I am doing.

A sample training week will go as follows:

Monday: Snatch Emphasis—Snatch Deadlift/Front Squat and Snatch/Hang Snatch+ a short CrossFit metcon

Tuesday: Plyo/ Sprint day

Wednesday Clean and Jerk Emphasis—Clean Deadlift/ Back Squat and Hang C+J/ C+J and a short CF Met Con

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Snatch and C+J day (similar to a competition)+ ab and back exercises

Saturday: Coaches WOD/ Competition—Every Saturday morning the entire Crossfit

Sunday: Rest Day

The CrossFit Marin staff has a coaches meeting every Saturday, which is followed by a very intense and competitive workout. We often do one of the benchmark named WODs. If I am participating in an Olympic Lifting competition on a given Saturday I will obviously not be partaking in the trainers WOD and my Friday workout will be more of a tune up than a heavy lifting day. Regardless, Saturday's workout will be very competitive.

The sample training week is just that...a sample. I will be altering my training regimen on a weekly basis. For example, I might not do three CrossFit WODs every week. I am going to base my programming upon how my body and mind feel. I am doing this because I love training and competing with goals in mind. Consequently, I will not be forcing myself to do anything.

I will be testing my one rep max snatch and clean and jerk regularly and I will be testing my max vert every Tuesday following my warm-up and before the plyometric workout. My CF Wods, although "cherry picked," will primarily come from the wonderful programming that Roger Harrell and Andres Del Rosa do for us at CF Marin. I will be posting my workouts everyday and a few times week I will post on a performance related topic (nutrition, sleep, performance psychology, proper warm-up, stretching, recovery, etc.)

Week 1 will begin on November 16th and Week 12 will commence on February 6th. Hopefully I will be able to post some videos of myself dunking before February.

-Blogmaster Ben

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