CompTrain FAQs

Who should be following the CompTrain programming?

Any athlete who wants to compete in the sport of CrossFit. Specifically those who are focused on maximizing their Open and/or Regional performances. What we mean by that is, our program is built around getting you ready for the CrossFit Games season (Feb-June), not necessarily getting you ready for a competition you have in October or November. 

Should I do the Open or the Regional Programming?

Most athletes should be following the Open Programming. 

Regional programming is reserved for athletes who more likely than not will have no issues getting through the Open and into their Regional. Even more specifically, it is written for those athletes who are capable of repeatedly competing at the CrossFit Games every year. 

The Open programming is for those athletes who want to maximize their CrossFit Open experience, and for those who want to get to the Regional level. It’s a very specific program that takes into account what we know we will see during the Open. (For example, we know we won’t see rope climbs during the Open, so we don’t program that often or at all.)

How long will each training day take me?

Start to finish, the Open programming should take you roughly 1.5-2 hours per training day.

Start to finish, the Regional programming should take you 2-3 hours per training day.

Should I do the Programming straight through, or can I break it up over the course of the day?

Unless noted, these sessions can be broken up throughout the day as needed/desired.

Is there any periodization to CompTrain Programming?

As we get closer to the Open and Regional, we will begin to peak and tailor our work for the tests at hand, but we do not believe in classic, Russian-style periodization. 

We are looking develop what we call the Three-Headed Monster. The top athletes in our sport have Strength, Skills, and Conditioning.

Your goal is to be feeding the monster at the same time, every day. 

Conditioning: This is the “Sport of Fitness,” and we define fitness as work capacity. 

Do you have the conditioning and stamina to move quickly, regardless of how light or heavy the task is, and regardless of how long the effort may take?

Strength: Simply put, the sport of CrossFit rewards strong athletes. 

Assuming you have the conditioning and skills to keep up with the top athletes, the stronger you are, the better you’ll place.

Skills: Few aspects of the sport separate the good from the great more than their skills.

Conditioning and strength are vital, but if you can’t do big sets of Muscle-ups, HSPUs, Pistols, Double Unders, Butterfly Pull-ups, and Handstand Walks, it doesn’t matter how strong you are or how good your engine is. 

If you can’t do the high-skilled stuff, you’ll be stopped in your tracks during competition. 

How should I read the Weightlifting portion of the programming?

CompTrain weightlifting is being co-programmed by Fred Callori of Beantown Barbell Club. Katrin has been working with Beantown Barbell for several weeks and has already seen tremendous results, so we are incredibly excited to bring their expertise in coaching and programming to the CompTrain community. 

The weightlifting programming will start with a general 4 week cycle that will end with heavy singles in the snatch and clean & jerk. From there, the programming will build into longer cycles with various points for testing of the back squat, front squat, snatch and clean & jerk. The programming will adjust appropriately as the CrossFit Open/Regionals season nears. 

All programs will be written as percentages, which should be taken off of your existing 1RM max numbers for the snatch, clean & jerk, back squat and front squat.

All exercises will have their percentage calculations keyed off of one of these four numbers. Calculation of percentages for the pulls in this program should be based off of the snatch or clean & jerk. For example, if you have a 100# snatch, and the program calls for snatch pulls at 80%, you would use 80# for those pulls.

When the program is written as snatch (75%/4)3, that should be read to mean: 3 sets of 4 reps at 75%. Snatch 60%/2; 70%/2 should be read to mean 2 reps at 60%, then 2 reps at 70%. When the program calls for something like clean & jerk 60%/2, that means one set of 2 clean & jerks at 60%.

When the program calls for something like clean & jerk 60%/(3+1), that means you should do the following: clean, clean, then clean & jerk. (2+1) would be clean, clean & jerk.

No exercises in the weightlifting programming should be performed as touch-and- go. Come to a rest and rest for each rep.

When the program calls for a heavy single, it should be a heavy single for the day. You should limit yourself to 2 or 3 attempts at the heavier weights.

You should count misses as reps in this program, especially if they were misses based on simply not making the lift for technical reasons or otherwise.

Please do not add reps or sets to this programming as it is designed to fit into an already volume intense CompTrain programming model.

Are there any CompTrain Benchmark workouts?

Yes:

Hulk Hogan

Every 2 minutes for 20 minutes:
5 Power Cleans (185/135)
3 Strict C2B Pull-Ups
7 Burpees

Macho Man

EMOM for as long as possible
3 Power Cleans, 185/135
3 Front Squats, 185/135
3 Jerks, 185/135

Bergeron Beep Test

EMOM for as long as possible:
7 Thrusters, 75/55
7 Pull ups
7 Burpees

This is my test for pure conditioning (not skill, not strength). This test makes it easy to compare athletes across a spectrum of sizes, locations, and irregardless of skill or equipment.  

In other words, size, strength, or skill don’t play a huge role (muscle ups and oly lifting would favor the skilled, heavier weights the strong, and rowing and airdyne favors those with mass). Nor does the running route, height of the wall ball target, or the model of airdyne matter.  

Some might argue that it favors lighter athletes, but the thruster weight equalizes this more than you might think.  

Now no test is perfect, and if there is any bias it would be to shorter athletes.  

This is also an incredible test of mental toughness, as it is very easy to give up on this workout mentally before your body actually reaches failure.  

Basically this is a test of "Whatcha-got?"

Sgt. Slaughter

3 Rounds of:
1 minute to complete:  100 yard sprint (50 yards out and back)
2 minutes to complete:  200 yard sprint (100 yards out and back)
3 minutes to complete:  300 yard sprint (50 yards and back, 100 yards and back)

Do this on a football field if possible.

With a running clock:

On the call of "Go" sprint to the 50 and back.  
On the 1 minute mark sprint to the 100 and back.
On the 3 minute mark sprint to the 50 and back, 100 and back.  
This concludes one full round.  

On the 6 minute mark start the cycle over again with the 50 and back.  

Complete three rounds, for 9 total sprints.

Both hand must touch the ground on the far side of every turn around line.

Record times for all nine intervals.

Mr. Perfect

10,8,6,4,2 of: Parallette HSPU (head to the ground is RX)
2,4,6,8,10 of: Power Clean, 225/155 

Jake the Snake

15-10-5
Muscle ups
Squat Clean Thruster, 135/95

Is there a suggested CompTrain Warm-up?

Yes:

Set aside 30-75 mins:

  • 5-10 mins of foam rolling.
  • 5-10 mins of specific mobility work
  • 5-10 mins of active stretching
  • 15-30 minutes of light monostructural work (ie, emom of running, rowing, ski erg and or biking)
  • CrossOver Symmetry Activation protocol
  • 5 mins of warming up with an empty barbell

If I don't have Crossover Symmetry, can I just use bands and do the same protocols?

It's necessary for our athletes to be doing proactive shoulder work. We choose the Cross Over Symmetry system for its effectiveness, compliance, and pretty ridiculous results. 

There are dozens of protocols that have the potential to move the needle for you, but to reap the benefits we have seen with our athletes, I highly recommend making the investment and getting one or two COS bands and following the activation protocol daily.

I'm a Masters athlete, should I do any specific to scale or adjust the CompTrain workouts?

We've created a separate, Masters-specific training plan for you. Check it out here.