March 2020 Programming Update - Amoskeag

March 2020 Programming Update

CrossFit Amoskeag is the only area CrossFit gym to offer open gym all the time. If we’re open, then our open gym area is open. Come drop into a class and then check it out. Interested? E-mail Dan at

A-Side.. Our 60 Minute Group Fitness Class

Well, January felt like 50 days long but you blink and now it’s March — crazy! January and February were all about a new year reboot. We wanted to refocus on classic conditioning and skills. In January, we pushed the Pull-Up and Double Under to the front while in February we really got much deeper into the Muscle-Up and Handstand skills (both the HSPU and HS walking skills). In February we saw the following benchmark tests: Death Row, Isabel, and the 3RM C&J / 3RM Snatch. Each of these will repeat 3x this year. We also reintroduced some NCFIT Classics, Straight 100 and Ripcord, and we got familiar with a new Classic…Uppercut. We loved Uppercut so much that you can expect to see it again in a few months — get ready for that opening set of 20 Muscle-Ups…an uppercut right to the jaw. The last little wrinkle in the February focus was the mini 5-3-1 progressions we fed into for the back squat, strict press and deadlift. These evolved nicely along with our skills and conditioning focus really rounding out the program at the beginning of the year.

In March we will evolve our focus to barbell and odd object cycling. This doesn’t mean we will be hanging it up for the conditioning and skills…just means that we will see an increased focus on cycling. Our benchmark tests in March touch an element of cycling in a different way. We will see the Cali Bear, Gwen and DT — get ready! Cali Bear will hit the heavy barbell with the 225/155 EMOM x 30 clean & jerk. Gwen will allow the athlete to pick their poison for loading in the unbroken moderate to moderate-heavy cycling. And finally…DT the most classic barbell cycling test we’ve got — 5 rounds of fun with the moderate-heavy barbell.

In addition to the focus on barbell cycling we will be bringing plenty of DB and KB complexes into the equation. We’ve tested a few through the beginning of the year but expect to see some more odd object complexes through the month. Last but not least, we will begin experimenting with some higher rep scheme lifting assignments. The 20-rep and 10-rep markers will be layered in throughout both March and April to give athletes exposure to some of our core lifts in these high rep formats. You’ve never really lived until you’ve gone for a 20-rep max Back Squat…oh, it’s an experience. Let’s get after it in March, ladies & gents!

301 burpees for Liberty House. 1 Burpee for every canned item donated. Great job!!!

Sweat30 – A half-hour of fitness fun. No barbell necessary.

March is upon us and the Sweat30 fitness train keeps on chugging along. Last month, we practiced more skill-specific workouts in the form of double-unders, cycling dumbbells, box jumps, pike push-ups etc. Do not worry…these movements will not go away, but our minds and bodies will be shifting gears slightly into building more or our cardiovascular endurance. We are only able to move so fast for so long…but by building that engine we will add to those max capacities. There is a lot more science to it, but to put things simply, we want to increase our heart rate, find a high yet sustainable pace and breath through some Rowing, Running and Biking. Of course, these won’t be the only movements you see…we’ll throw in some favorites like Burpees, Wall Balls, light weight lifting etc. in higher rep schemes to get into that similar cardiovascular endurance zone — OH YEAH! 

When working through strength training or endurance based workouts, breathing and control of your heart rate obviously plays a crucial role. As we focus on our aerobic capacity this month, let’s also focus on our breathing — in particular, nasal vs. oral breathing. Some of this may come down to personal preference and what works for each individual athlete, but the one thing we want to stress is the fact that we don’t want athletes getting to the point of hyperventilation. And this type of labored breathing typically occurs through the mouth when there’s a loss of control. At this point, you are desperately trying to get oxygen into your lungs and bloodstream. We want to control our breathing before getting to that point. This is where nasal breathing comes into play. Nasal breathing tends to be more controlled, where oral can become more hurried. It’s good to understand how and when to use both or even just when one or the other is occurring. Practice these breathing techniques in both your strength and endurance training this month!  

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Competitive CrossFit Programming

You know the drill! Check out the A Side programming focus for your look into the crystal ball about what’s coming for your GPP in March. In February, we worked on a few different areas of our conditioning, skills, and strength in addition to our GPP. Conditioning-wise we worked our way from shorter monostructural efforts gradually into longer monostructural efforts. In our skills, we tested our 30MU for time and 50HSPU for time as well as layered in some classic skills tests and development including some of our favorite skill-driven Open workouts. In the strength portions, we moved the needle on a handful of our core lifts working down from heavy 5s to heavy 1s as well as introduced some higher rep lifting as “pre-testers” for March. With these higher rep movements, we wanted to give the Compete athletes a baseline to work off of for the 20-rep back squat and the 10-rep clean before seeing them show up in March for A Side.

In March, we will get a little more comfortable in one of the most uncomfortable aspects of conditioning — repeats. This time we will start long with extended rest periods and work our way down to shorter efforts with shorter rest. For most of the efforts, we will see a 1:1 work-rest period. Usually not enough for COMPLETE recovery but enough to allow tough next effort. In our strength elements, we will start to test heavy OLY after pre-exhaustion…usually the recipe for how it’s managed in the Open. Often in the Open, we see a sprint effort followed by some short rest into a heavy OLY effort. We will practice more of these formats in order to get comfortable lifting under duress. In addition to replicating some popular Open lifting formats, we will continue to see at least 1 Open workout per week…the idea here is that some of these will repeat and all of them are tough tests — why not get more exposure to the actual workouts themselves. This will also make doing Open workouts “less shocking”. If you are consistently saying to yourself “it’s just another workout”…it will be just another workout when it comes time to really get after it. Happy fitnessing, you fitness animals!

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