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Non-Functional Fridays

CrossFit Orangeville programming balances volume and intensity through functional movements, covering all major muscle groups and body parts as evenly as possible. Lifting, squatting, lunging, pulling, and pushing in various directions covers all of the human body's main movement patterns. This allows us to not only get stronger and more powerful, but it also increases our body's structural integrity (bone density, for example), and improves our neuromuscular system (the brain being able to tell the muscles what to do and in what order).

That's all fine and dandy, but sometimes we just want to get swole...

That's where the picture of the chocolate cake comes in. I always refer to bodybuilding-type exercises as "workout dessert." You see, you should spend time every day warming up and activating the proper body parts and muscle groups (could be called your workout "appetizer") so that you are ready for the "main course" - our constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity, also known as the WOD (workout of the day), that we perform in class every day. The cornerstone and main course of any meal (workout) should be mostly focused on getting in healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, all rich in vitamins and minerals - or for our purposes, a wide range of functional movements.

But then, every once in a while, it is fun to have some dessert and spoil yourself. In this case, exercises that are more about "the pump" and vanity than functionality. Some of you who have been working out with, or around the time I usually workout (8:30am daily) may have been a part of, or seen one of these "Non-Functional Fridays." We usually like to throw in some bicep curls and tricep work after the main course, because, well, its fun, and it gets the pump going.

So, every week, I will be posting a weekly "Non-Functional Friday" workout in our members-only private Facebook group. This post will be scheduled to go up on Friday mornings so that if you have some extra time to hang around after class to get your pump on, you can follow this optional workout. If you are not in our private group already, but would like to join in on the fun, make sure to friend me on Facebook so that I can add you to the group!

There are a couple main reasons why I personally do these on Fridays:

1. Not unlike my diet, I like to focus on consistency throughout the week and then have an opportunity to "cheat" a little bit on weekends. I workout Monday thru Friday, so Friday after all is said and done, that tends to be the best time to have my workout dessert.

2. By pre-fatiguing or working our smaller isolated movements earlier in the week (bicep curls, for example), we are increasing our risk of overtraining said muscle group in one of our other primary movements throughout the week. For example, if I hit a bunch of bicep curls on Monday, but then try and move some heavy power cleans on Tuesday with sore biceps, I set myself up for not only a lack of performance, but a potential for injury as well. If you like to workout on Saturdays, it may be in your best interest to save your workout dessert for after Saturday's WOD.

3. Workout dessert should only occur once/week or so. Training our smaller isolated muscle groups too much can promote bad/inefficient movement patterns. For example, if my biceps are worked all the time, I may have a tendency to pull early in a power clean or snatch because my biceps are trying to do more work than they should be.

Any questions? Let us know!

Tyler Robbins


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