July Newsletter


July Newsletter

Metropolis Newsletter
July 2016

Greetings from Metropolis Fitness!

Let’s talk individual programming. Each daily workout has a purpose, and you’d like to do all of them. On top of that, you have your own goals and weaknesses to work on. You also have a job, a family, and a social life too. Even if you could adequately recover, you wouldn’t want to work out 7 days a week. So how do you decide what to do on any given day?

You can simply come to the gym when it is convenient for you. If you are exercising at least 5 days a week, you are good to go. Eat well, don’t drink too much, get enough sleep, and you will get darn fit.

However, if you have been doing CrossFit for a while, and want to take your fitness to the next level, you might want to optimize your training schedule. This may take sacrifice. You may need to get to bed a little bit earlier on Saturday night than you’d like. But if you really want to excel, you need a plan.

Here are some templates that will focus your constantly varied training:

Strength Focus:

  • Monday – WOD
  • Tuesday – Rest / Soft Tissue Work
  • Wednesday – WOD + Oly / Oly
  • Thursday – WOD
  • Friday – Rest / Stretch
  • Saturday – WOD + Work on a Goat
  • Sunday – Oly

Conditioning/Variance Focus:

  • Monday – WOD
  • Tuesday – WOD
  • Wednesday – WOD
  • Thursday – Rest / Soft Tissue Work / Stretch
  • Friday – WOD
  • Saturday – WOD + Work on a Goat
  • Sunday – Endurance WOD

High-Level Performance Focus:

  • Monday – WOD + Work on a Goat
  • Tuesday – Rest / Soft Tissue Work
  • Wednesday – WOD + Oly
  • Thursday – WOD + Work on a Goat
  • Friday – Rest / Stretch
  • Saturday – WOD + Your Choice: Tuesday’s or Friday’s WOD
  • Sunday – WOD + Oly / Endurance

Some explanatory notes:

  1. If you want to get strong, come to Oly Class. Spend time under the barbell. We squat, we deadlift, and we pull heavy weights off the floor and put them overhead.
  2. You need to rest, especially if you are trying to get strong.
  3. If you want to excel at the sport of CrossFit, you must put in a lot of time. The athletes on ESPN are putting in at least 15 hours a week.
  4. In the templates above, Monday is generally a heavy squat/deadlift day. This is the case at many CrossFit gyms, including Metropolis, at least for the time being. Tuesday is generally a lighter day, so athletes seeking strength will often rest on Tuesday.

Which template is right for you?

If you just want to get stronger, choose the Strength option. Come to Oly Class. Don’t miss squat day.

If you just want to improve your body composition and endurance, then the Conditioning option, combined with proper diet, is your best bet.

If you want to Rx every workout, and be in the top 5% of CrossFit athletes (i.e. top 0.1% of human athleticism), you want a high volume program like the Performance option. Most people don’t have the time for this amount of training, and that is A-OK!

If you want to get better at CrossFit, but can’t commit to 7+ hours a week of training, you should probably choose the option that is least appealing to you. Many strong folks would do well to consistently perform endurance wods, skip some lift days, and bias their training toward gymnastics skill work and sweaty metcons. Likewise, lighter, skilled athletes should attend Oly Class frequently, and occasionally skip those light and long workouts. CrossFit is all about balance.

Here’s a quick study I did: For top-level athletes, the ratio in pounds/reps of a one-rep max back squat to a max count of pull-ups tends to be between 6 and 8. Compute this ratio for yourself. If you’re way above or below 7, that’s wonderful! You’ve got a weakness, and that’s an opportunity.

Upcoming Events

19208609540_b9f62be26dphoto credit: Old Glory via photopin (license)

  • Independence Day – 7/4, we will run the USMC Initial Fitness Test in Central Park.
  • July 30th – Suns Out Guns Out Throwdown, stay tuned for more info!



Time to check up on your progress! We’ve got a few benchmarks coming up:

  • “The Seven” – 7/2
  • Isabel – 7/5
  • Nancy – 7/8
  • Whole Life Challenge Baseline – Bergeron Beep Test – 7/10

Bodyweight Skill of the Month


Each month I select one gymnastics skill for you to focus on. You’ll see this focus in the daily WOD, but if you want to master the move, you’ve got to put in some solo time as well.

June’s Skill: Core Strength

This month’s “skill” is more of a theme. Core strength is necessary for every functional movement, from running to pull-ups to the olympic lifts. Because it’s always active, we are constantly challenging our cores, and need to do very little supplementary core work. Bicycle crunches and ab wheels and planks are excellent, but for true core strength, nothing beats a heavy set of squats.

That being said, superior core engagement does not come easily to everyone. A little dedicated core work can go a long way towards improving every aspect of your fitness.

This month, you’ll see more specific core work than usual. We’ll also spend some time working on Ice Cream Makers, a challenging movement that will pay off big time for anyone working towards pull-ups, muscle-ups, front levers, a six pack, or just all around fitness.

If you really want to strengthen your core, make a habit of setting aside 5 minutes after the WOD, and do something simple. Some of my favorites:

  1. Accumulate 60 Seconds in an L-Sit, or 6 x 10 second active pike hold
  2. Tabata GHD Sit-Ups
  3. 3 Rounds: 30 Second Hollow Rock, 1 Minute Plank

CFM Book Club – This Month’s Selection


From Amazon.com:


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.

By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.

Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.

Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Read this book so you can put your CrossFit skills to use when the singularity comes.

Links to Cool Internet Stuff

The Rip Dive Crash Technique And Why It Will Kill You – Catalyst Athletics

Hands-down the best article I’ve ever read about overhead mobility: Simple stretches, and some modifications to the basic overhead lifts. No gimmicky mobility hacks. Real World Overhead Mobility for Weightlifting – Catalyst Athletics

The Unstoppable Power of Your Small Daily Choices from the Whole Life Challenge folks

Fatigued Explained by Dr. Mike Israetel of Renaissance Periodization and professor of Exercise Science at Temple University

One more thing…

This month’s strength focus is on heavy pulls. When we can, we’ll take squats and the oly lifts from the floor, and put some mass on that posterior chain with plenty of heavy deads.

Happy Training!