TST: WZA 2023 Cycle

With the completion of our Base Building or Off Season and our Pre Season cycles, it’s time again to shift the focus of our training to an Event Prep Cycle. Our competitive year starts, as it always does, with Wodapalooza. Arguably one of the biggest events in the sport of CrossFit. If you are a longtime follower of ours, then this should not come as news to you, WZA has always been a staple of Team Soul since it’s inception, our competitive year has started with this competition every single year and there’s a reason for that aside from the fact that, as we said, it’s one of the largest CrossFit events in the world. It also happens to be in our back yard and it’s a couple of months before the open, which makes WZA the perfect fit for our program. However, this cycle is not only a great fit for athletes that are competing at WZA, this cycle fits in the spectrum of anyone who wants to compete in the open and qualify for Quarterfinals, Semifinals and any in-person event that happens in the beginning of the year. This cycle will also set a base for our next one which will be our Open Prep cycle.

As you know, for the last several months Team Soul Training has been focusing on what we call “Off Season Training”, which means we have been putting a lot of emphasis on segmented training, taking all of the elements that comprise the Sport of Fitness and separating them so you can become a better athlete in each individually. Whether it is Weightlifting, Gymnastics, Aerobic Capacity, etc. we have been working them individually to make you better in each one. This means we’ve been lifting with more volume and technical work, strict gymnastics segments outside of workouts and conditioning with a big aerobic focus.

If you have been following our program then you might also have noticed that as online qualifiers approached we tuned up the intensity, changed some structures and started to blend in elements to create more mixed work. In this next cycle we will continue to progress this and continue blending things to create sport specific training. This is where we take all of the elements that you have gotten better at individually, all your new established lifts, aerobic markers, skills and any areas that you have been getting better at and blend them together into a new training modality.

In this new cycle you will see the reintroduction of Daily Minimum work. Daily Minimum is the heaviest you can go on a lift while staying technically sound. You will see this on a regular basis within the cycle, while we’re not going to be pushing heavy singles and PRs that much, the expectation is that this Daily Minimum will change throughout the cycle and this number will increase as you progress. These Daily Minimums become more and more important as we take on qualifiers and even more so when we get to in person competition as, sometimes, we are required to hit maximal lifts with sub optimal warm up times. Your Daily Minimum will be that number that you can hit no matter what with very minimal warm up attempts.

We will also see the reintroduction of Battery work, where we test how efficient, repeatable and resilient you are at higher percentages. As the cycle progresses you will also notice how we take these percentages we establish in our heavy lifts and put them into mixed pieces. This gives us the opportunity to personalize your training even more, taking the markers that you hit that day and using them to test your repeatability and efficiency during a workout instead of using the usual, arbitrary weights that you commonly find with the sport.

Gymnastics and Conditioning will take more sport specific approach. As far as Gymnastics, you will be encountering less strict and strength specific work in favor of more skilled movements, kipping movements, EMOMs and complexes whether its on the rings or the bar. Basically, this is the style of gymnastics that you will encounter in an in person competition. This is the style of gymnastics that we will start building and dosing more and more as the cycle progresses.

Conditioning will take a more event style approach. Workouts will look and feel more like a workout that you would perform at an in person event, this cycle will also include past workouts form different competitions that we have previously tested. Another important piece is that we ask athletes to mimic and perform workouts as they would in competition, make lanes, lay the floor out, set up a start and finish line, etc. These are all things that will help you iron out deficiencies and get better at all the little nuances of in person competition, the more you practice the better you get until they become second nature to you.

The last thing we will see is something called Repeated Exposure. While in training we usually separate movement patters such as pressing, squatting, hinging, pulling, etc. Preparing for competition also requires you to be able to take on several workouts or events that sometimes have the same movements or patterns. This is why we believe that Repeated Exposure will prepare you for that, being able to perform several workouts back to back where the same muscle groups, movement patterns are targeted. An example of this would be two squat heavy workouts in a day, one with wall balls and one with front squats. Often times in competition you will need to perform in this environment that is not ideal. This is why we utilize this type of training so you are exposed to it and the first time you’re encountering it is not on the competition floor.

As we previously stated, this cycle is not only for those trying to prepare for Wodapalooza, this cycle also will help those who are competing in any in person even or preparing for the start of the CrossFit season in February. If you would like to know more about this check out our video on this Wodapalooza Prep cycle in our YouTube channel.

As always, we always appreciate the feedback that our community gives us, if you have any questions hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you!