Programming- April, testing is over!

Testing is over and you are wondering which direction the programming is going to be heading?

The answer….


Over the past three months we have been working on improving our overall General Physical Preparedness (otherwise known as GPP), while having a bias towards absolute strength in the lower body and upper body with a more specific focus on upper body pushing.

As a gym that strives to be the best, we ensure that our programming reflects the needs of the average members.

How do we do this I hear you ask?

At CrossFit Cambridgeshire we add in aspects of periodisation. For those that are unaware, periodisation is defined as the “structuring and ordering of a training stimulus into given periods of time or phases”. In other words, for you to get the most out of your training you can structure it so that it culminates on a given day.

At the end of each phase we test our members, group together the average results and base our programming on the weaknesses that have been highlighted.

The issue with this in fitness for the everyday recreational athlete comes from the fact that our aim isn’t always to compete on a single given day, this becomes a very specific problem and needs a Specific Physical Preparedness program, SPP.

Our aim is to compete every day with the challenges that life throws at you. Being successful here is known as, “Winning at Life”.  Whether that is running for the bus, lifting some heavy luggage, or playing basketball with your friends at the park, you need a fitness level that allows you to do this to the best of your ability.

So when programming for GPP we try to ensure that every base is covered (which is hard to do). When doing this on a large scale (in group classes) this becomes even more of a challenge, however we believe that with structure and education around where the gym is heading in the coming months and phases, you as a member can build a picture of what you may need to do to ensure that you maintain balance throughout the ten physical domains (see below the ten physical skills):

Cardio respiratory endurance

If you want to know more about our definition of fitness why not check out CrossFit HQ’s “What is fitness article”

I digress…!

So, after the recent phase of testing we have seen a large increase in the fitness of every single member in the areas that we have biased towards. We have seen some huge personal bests, many first muscle ups from both the girls and the boys. We have seen several body weight clean and jerks and many more deadlifts that have exceeded people’s expectations.

So the aim as I hinted at the start, is to go back to basics and programme more specifically for GPP. This means there will be a wide range of variety in movements but there will still be the underlying themes of absolute strength, levels of lean muscle mass and cardiorespiratory endurance – sometimes known as VO2 Max – three large predictors of health and mortality.

We will still see a gradual increase in levels of intensity as we move through the next phase, this can be seen as Rates of Perceived Exertion (RPE) or percentages of your rep maxes.

As some of you may have noticed, testing week is f***ing hard, it is high intensity and very fatiguing. These levels of intensity cannot and should not be maintained for a long period of time, or even attempted until you are structurally sound, and able to move with a high level of efficacy.

We will, as always, follow the three mantras…


  • We love this part, move well before you move a lot!!


  • Ensure that your technique is consistent, every time you squat it should be perfect, no less is acceptable, so aim high and achieve your goals!!


  • Only once you have proved yourself able will you be allowed to add intensity so trust your coach’s ability to assess whether you have proved yourself.  We are here to keep you safe and get you fit. If you show that you cannot act responsibly when adding intensity you open yourself up to injury!

If you are looking for ways to improve on specific areas of your fitness, whether that be Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics or nutrition whilst maintaining GPP, why not contact one of your coaches for information on how you can become a hybrid member and include personal training alongside the classes.

Coach Lee


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