The workout:

Cycle Explanation: Fikowski

Since I’m a proponent of informing our clients of what we’re doing but also why we’re doing it, this post will provide some insight into our current training cycle. Also, I’m a proponent of avoiding stupid questions, so hopefully this post helps achieve that end as well.

First off, this cycle is named Fikowski after Brent Fikowski. A soft-spoken Canadian who missed qualifying for the CrossFit Games two years in a row, Fikowski qualified last year… and finished in 4th place overall. He only missed a spot on the podium, losing to fellow Canadian Patrick Vellner, by 2(!) points. He’s a fascinating and cerebral athlete, so I decided to name this training cycle after him.

Below our the basic tenets of this cycle as well as the daily breakdown. Refer to the image above to see how the workouts fall into each week.

1) This program will run on a 5-day rotation programmed on Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri.
2) Our focus on gymnastics strength (ring dips, chin-ups, pull-ups) will shift into dynamic gymnastic skills, most notably kipping.
3) We spent a great deal of time focusing on WL technique in our previous cycle. We’ll be working with heavier weights more consistently in the snatch and clean & jerk.
4) We’ll be dialing back metcons just slightly and inserting some accessory hypertrophy work. Why? Because it’s tank top season goddamn it!

Weekly Breakdown
Day 1: gymnastic skill (kipping) / snatch / push+pull combo / direct arm work
  >>The kipping practice will range from bar muscle-ups all the way down to tap swings, so all levels can participate. Snatch work sets will be low, but %’s will build each week. We’ll then do an overhead press supersetted with DB rows followed by some direct arm hypertrophy training. No metcon on this day.

Day 2: back squat / classic CF metcon / accessory
  >>We’ll be testing the back squat and then keeping it heavy throughout this cycle. Expect to see stuff like “build to tough triple, then 2x3x90%.” Then we’ll do a metcon with a more CrossFitty feel i.e. couplets, triplets, burpees, thrusters, etc.

Day 3: gymnastic skill (hspu) / clean EMOM or metcon / cross carries
  >>We’re gonna spend some time working on HSPU development. Stronger folks will work with a deficit if possible, others will do negatives, or pike push-up negatives if necessary. We’ll then do an EMOM (or a traditionally structured metcon) involving cleans. It may be just cleans or paired with other movements, depending on the week.

Day 4: deadlift / short metcon / hypertrophy
  >>Finally bringing deadlifts back into the program after a hiatus. In order to account for the time deadlifts usually take up, we’ll do a shorter (5-10 min) metcon on this day. More direct arm (or shoulder) hypertrophy training to finish the session.

Day 5: overhead squat / MAP session
  >>We’ll start with overhead squats (low reps, low sets, moderate weights) to get people more comfortable with the movement — hopefully it carries over to their snatch. We’re gonna focus on MAP (maximum aerobic power) sessions again. I’ll explain those in more depth when they come up.

Wednesday Open Gym: CF skills / long endurance
  >>Wednesday sessions will vary based on which workouts are surrounding it within the week. If a MAP session falls on Tuesday or Thursday, we won’t do a ton of aerobic training in the Wednesday session. If there’s no MAP session in a particular week, you can bet there will be a long aerobic endurance-focused workout on Wednesday.