November Focus

You blink and it’s almost been a full year! Let’s wrap up 2019 with a few more months of solid training then onto 2020, folks! Before chatting November, let’s recap October and (most of) the 2020 Open. In October, we were trick or treated to the first Fall CF Open. It was a bit strange to have another 5 weeks of Open workouts, but we got through it. In October, we also saw the retest of the NCFIT Benchmark, Death Row. This is the last time this year we will hit Death Row. We also saw a few NC Classics repeat...Eliza-Plus and Power-Plus Amanda. In handling the Open, we trained hard MTW, hit the active recovery TH and smashed the Open on FR. Pre-Open, we mixed up our Active Recovery workouts this time around. The change in format allowed us to play around with some new “prep” style workouts...hopefully, the athletes enjoyed the variety. Post-Open, we opted for chipper style workouts and mixed modal workout with 4-5+ movements. We decided this was the best way to handle training immediately after the Open...spread the volume out and allow easy subs if needed. Then on Sunday we were back at it!

Let’s chat November. This month we will focus on wrapping up the final few workouts of the 2020 Open. After the Open wraps, we will take 2 weeks to “deload” mentally and throw really fun, pure GPP programming at the athletes. We’ve got some absolute classics to get after this month as retests...two of our favorite overall fitness benchmarks -- Jackie & Helen. These both will show up the week after the Open. In addition to these classics, we will also be moving very heavy barbells from the ground to overhead with the NC Benchmark, Cali Bear. Again, expect to see all of these earlier in the month. As we come toward the middle of November, we will be introducing a Wendler-style (5-3-1) lifting cycle for the Front Squat and Push Press. We will test these 1RMs before getting into the cycle. In many of my conversations with Coach B (Mike Burgener) over the years, he highlights the importance of these two lifts in building raw strength but also transferring over to the Clean & Jerk. We like Wendler because it is a very simple, easy to follow, and time-tested progression.

The Wendler four-week building cycle will occur in a traditional format. Week 1, we will hit a 3x5 of each, Week 2 a 3x3 of each, Week 3 a 5/3/1 of each, and then Week 4 we will deload. With each lift we will also provide percentages to base off of 1RM. If the athlete didn’t get to hit the 1RM, you can also make the calculation off of the 3RM numbers we’ve tested this year. This will be a really great way to progress through November and also will offer great carry over when we test the 1RM Clean & Jerk in December! Happy lifting, folks!


Have you wondered why?

If you ever wondered why we do up-downs (instead of burpees) or why we are seeing a lot of 10 rep lifts lately… I’ve got the answer for you below courtesy of Matt DellaValle at NCFIT. I hope this sheds a little light into the “Why” and reassures you that there is absolutely a method to the madness!

Why Up-Downs?

“First, it should be noted that we still program burpees...lots of them actually. It's just that we also program the up-down as well. The up-down is a perfectly valid and fantastic movement...it's not a lesser movement to the burpee, just different. We like the up-down in some cases because it takes the press out the burpee. So we can use it in workouts or in a sequence of workouts where we don't want to over-tax the chest/tris (main pressing system). Second, the up-down is a higher cycle time movement than the burpee but also includes a closing and opening of the hip and long ROM of moving the body. The up-down also takes the "ground resting" position away from the athlete. Lastly, the up-down is obviously a building block to a great burpee. It helps the athlete build and master the sprawl back and jump up.

We will continue to incorporate both up-downs and burpees because they both have a lot of value. I think you might "notice" the up-down more because we definitely use it more than some other programs out there. However, that doesn't take away from any of the above. It's a fantastic movement.”

Why 10 Rep Lifts?

“Through the Open we wanted to continue to give the opportunity to work on strength and cycling without completely destroying the athletes. 10s offer a good way to do this. Also, the demand from the athlete to prioritize mechanics over load and giving a nice dose of time under tension is huge. The 10s offer a direct transfer of skills into metcons. It's a realistic set that you would ask your athletes to perform in workouts...here you a better opportunity to coach them up and give them things to work because after they finish the set they aren't sprinting to the next station. As we transition past the Open we are going to move into a more traditional Wendler 5-3-1 phase.”

Push Pull for Pancreatic Cancer

One of our goals at CrossFit Petram is to be a “community centered gym.”  Here’s how we came up with that:

  • Our gym consists of a “group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common”  which is the definition of community. What we have in common is that we come to the gym to work hard, have fun and get a little bit better every single day so that we can live longer and more fulfilling lives.

  • Location -> being on Main Street downtown is a perfect match for our desire to be connected to the community we serve.

  • Giving back to the community we serve.  From day 1 we’ve made an effort to walk the walk and not just say that we are community oriented.   We participate in town events, host fundraisers and do our best to contribute.

In the spirit of being community centered we have hosted many fundraisers and special events. These events have an important meaning to us, and we are grateful to have our gym community behind us to step up to the plate and deliver. That brings us to this week’s Friday Night Lights (20.3) which is a fundraiser for Push Pull for Pancreatic Cancer.

Push Pull for Pancreatic Cancer is a special opportunity to support two members of our Petram family (Josh and Molly M.). I asked Molly to remind us of the “who and why” that makes this such an important event honoring their brother-in-law Dan:

“On June 29, 2018, Dan received the diagnosis that he had stage IV pancreatic cancer. An active member of both the national, Eastern PA local, and collegiate soccer communities through refereeing and playing, we supported Dan as his did everything he could to give his cancer the red card and send it off for good. Dan fought bravely through every moment, often not letting on how tough the cancer was for him. Dan passed away on January 22, 2019 in the company of his wife and parents in the comfort of his home. A lover of the beautiful game, an avid runner of road races like the Broad Street Run, a son, husband, friend, colleague, and family member, Dan touched the lives of so many people. Please join us in showing our love for Dan as we honor his incredible legacy.”

The Push/Pull for Pancreatic Cancer is a fitness event designed to encourage personal fitness and raise awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer. This disease has the lowest survival rate after five years of all top ten deadliest cancers — only 8% — yet it’s also one of the least funded. Do your part to end pancreatic cancer by making your daily workout more meaningful. The money raised last year from the Push Pull events are already having impacts, click the link to read more: https://www.nhregister.com/valley/amp/Project-Purple-donates-1-2-million-to-NY-13417184.php 

To register and donate click below and join the CrossFit Petram fundraising team:

https://raceroster.com/events/2019/20974/push-pull-for-pancreatic-cancer-2019/register?team=208800

Join us this Friday and wear purple to show your support for Push Pull for Pancreatic Cancer!