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I want to share with everyone a blog post from James FitzGerald, owner of Optimum Performance Training (OPT) first CrossFit Champion and coach for dozens of Regional and Games athletes. James has been a friend and mentor to me since 2008 and is the reason behind many of the things we do at CrossFit Redline. I think his post is timely and coincides perfectly with some of the recent programming each of you has completed in the last few weeks.

Here it is…

Hank wants to get better at CrossFit. How does one train for CrossFit then, to get better? If the definition is constant variation with intensity then everyone who gets to the opens then into regionals then into games MUST be doing that right? Not everyone!

If it was that way then Hank’s program would look like this?


Push Press – 3,3,3,3,3,3,3

Run 10K

21,18,15,12,9,6,3 rep rounds for time:
KBS 2pd
BJ – 24”
PS – 135#


As many rounds in 20 min:
5 L Pull Ups
15 OHS – 95#

Dead Lift – 3,3,2,2,2,1,1,1,1,1

21,15,9 rep rounds for time:
Thruster – 95#
Pull Up


“HANK on HANK’s PROGRAM” (his actual program)

AM – Row/AD intervals
AB 30 sec @90%
AB slow spin 30 sec @50%
x 28
– rest 5 min after 14 sets
AB 15 min @Z1 cool down

PM – BS ME + Upper pull Abs strength + Density sets + Upper density gymn
A. BS @20X1 – build to a heavy double
B. Emom 5 min – BS @20X1 x 1 (with weight from A)
C1. OH walk x 100m; rest 60 sec (185#)
C2. Strict HSPU amrap in 90 sec; rest 3 min
for time:
30 strict chin up
30 cal AD
50 CTB chin up
30 cal AD
5 RC (15′)

AM – AD long (build)
AD 60 min @ Z1
– every 5 min get off and complete 20 DU

PM – Snatch/Clean set up + Post chain + Tng PC/PS work + CP grind
A1. Segmented clean DL; 2,1,2,1; rest 30 sec (2s@295#, 1s@310#) – video
A2. Tng snatch pull x 3; rest 3 min
B. Build to a heavy set of 5 – Tng HPS
C1. Axel bar pendlay row @21X1; 2-3 x 5; rest 30 sec
C2. Wtd. GH raise @41X0; 5-7 x 3; rest 30 sec
3 sets:
AB 33 sec sprint @HARD effort
rest walk 4:07 min b/t sets

rest as needed

9 min @ 80% constant movement:
3 stone 2 shoulder
5 ring dips (top of MU)
7 strict TTB
50m FW

If you want to get better at CrossFit the sport and you have not done it before, get a sound movement coach and do CrossFit….for a while…Then after 6-12 months, stop doing that and start doing Strength and Conditioning if you wish to get better in the sport, like any other sport. We are all different as humans. If the sport requires balance in all areas but you score a 1/10 in some areas like Hank did based on comparisons to thousands of others in:

  • upper body gymnastics density work
  • low absolute front end power endurance
  • positional work on pulls off floor 
  • aerobic base building to sustain high levels of effort in training 

Then 9/10 in other areas like:

  • aer power repeatability in cyclical areas
  • abs speed to speed strength
  • jumping abiity
  • attitude and willingness to learn

THEN you CANNOT do varied stuff all the time. If Hank was to follow constant variance like that he would get weaker, get better at long mixed workouts, and burn out fast due to his speed potential. Instead he is getting stronger, getting more confident and improving on re-testing of specific areas he needs improving and becoming more balanced!

If balanced fitness is your goal, doing anything and everything to create balance is like having an orchestra with a loud flute and an out of tune violin and just saying to everyone just play harder and longer, without actually taking the time to adjust the flute and violin noise. And we all know now that you can’t set aside the violin if its not working, cause it will show up (in the form of HS walking) at the show.



10 Power Cleans @ 50% of your 1RM; rest 15 seconds

30 seconds Box Jumps

30 seconds Burpee

1 Minute Hard Row

rest 2 minutes X 3

Rest 5 Minutes

10 Front Squat @ 50% of your 1 RM, rest 15 seconds

30 seconds Double Unders or Singles

30 seconds Burpee

1 Minute Hard Row

Rest 2 minutes X 3

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