Hard and Heavy




Hard and heavy has long been the watchword at CF West Santa Cruz.  It is the CF West official programming philosophy.  Our athletes have made their biggest gains by constantly pushing the limits of their strength.  The most effective way we have found to do this is through the heavy metcon.  Heavy weight moved at high speed for 4 to 12 minutes produces a CrossFitter that can excel at workouts ranging from longer light or bodyweight WODs to shorter heavier WODs, not to mention sports and other physical activities.

The heavy metcon is almost always proceeded by a movement, either a power or Olympic lift or one of the auxiliary movements, performed at 3 or 1 rep maxes (although we are currently experimenting with a new idea).  Many have commented on the supposed contradictory thinking of doing an extremely heavy movement right before a heavy metcon, but the near constant PRs achieved by even the most advanced CFWSC athletes, as well as the performance of CFWSC athletes in and out of the box, seem to allay this.

Of course CrossFit West did not invent this hard and heavy philosophy.  I leaned upon other people’s training ideas and programming, most notably that of Jason Highbarger, a trainer at the old HQ in Santa Cruz.  He called his programming heavy and high-heart-rate and it is the largest single influence on the CF West programming.  My experiences training and powerlifting with Amundson and Big Matt in the late nineties are also a big influence, especially the idea of weight lifting immediately before sport (water polo) practice.  Another influence was the physical conditioning I did, particularly short all-out sprints combined with exercises, as a fighter in Japan lo a hundred years ago. But, hitherto now, the hard and heavy concept was fairly unique.

I am happy to see that this kind of programming is starting to become more and more widespread in the CrossFit world.  The introduction of CrossFit Football has helped a great deal for the hard and heavy training philosophy to gain mainstream acceptance within a CrossFit community still largely concerned with long and light.  Some of the WODs programmed for the recent CrossFit Games Regional Qualifiers are also examples of the hard and heavy programming.

The hard and heavy programming philosophy is just so effective that it would be plain selfish not to wish it upon our brother and sister affiliates.

What are your thoughts?  Please post to Comments.

Congratulations to Molly McV on her 1:42 500m row today.  And that is nothing short of smokin’.  She prefaced the row with an oration listing various tweaks and hot spots, declaring how she hasn’t been able to train hard lately, and ending with a disclaimer that she was just going take it easy and not worry about the time.  And all in vain, cuz she killed it.  Nice job Molly.

And, please remember that Monday and Wednesday evening classes are now at 5 and 6pm effective immediately.



5 Rounds

10 Back Squats bw

20 Box Jumps

10 Hang Power Snatch 135/85#

Post WOD completed and score to Comments.