Why Strict Season?

This weekend sees the end of The CrossFit Open, and for most of us, the end of our competition season.

It’s an amazing few weeks were we really test ourselves, push way past our expectations of what our maximum effort is, and experience amazing highs (and lows) with our team mates.

We organise our training year around The Open as for many of us it’s our only competition per year. We also believe it to be the purest test of fitness out there.

After The Open we move into strict season, then build up our endurance, strength endurance, speed strength as the year progresses, finally going back into “pre-season” in January.

For strict season, we eliminate all kipping movements to focus on building up the strength in our joints. Not that kipping is bad, just like anything it has it’s place in fitness. Up until now strict movements haven’t shown in The Open but who knows what will happen in the future.

We also reduce the intensity a bit. But wait? Isn’t CrossFit all about intensity? Yes, relative intensity. We cannot expect to go right to the limits each and every day in class, or we burn out. A longer, 40 minute run is still “intense” but it’s not the same as max burpees and thrusters in 2 minutes “intense”. We’re allowing our adrenal glands to calm down a bit after the season.

We’ll also work on more carries and structural work, building up our foundational strength without too much muscle soreness. (Muscle soreness mainly being caused when you control the ‘negative’ of a movement) This will build up our surplus of range of motion, endurance, and strength for the next year. Essentially right now we’ve been focusing on the top of the fitness hierarchy, and it’s time to bring it back to the foundation of health on which fitness is built.