What is this stuff?
This “stuff” is the home of the workouts posted daily for Southern Maryland Strength & Conditioning. We pride ourselves in being the premier strength & conditioning facility in the southern Maryland area. We are rooted in functional fitness done and coached correctly. That means that standards are upheld for bodyweight movements, barbell movements, and anything else in between that has a standard rooted in a strength sport (powerlifting, weightlifting, strongman, or kettlebell), we will hold you accountable to that standard.
We believe that people want results from their fitness program, not fluff and “just having fun.” If you want fun, we suggest that you find a free place such as a park and go throw a frisbee around to work up a fun, free sweat. No one will worry about critiquing your frisbee toss technique no matter how much you want to get better at it, because you are just having fun. Plus you are not paying anyone to coach you on frisbee toss.
However, if you are a member here you are paying us for the application of this fitness program, mainly in the form of coaching. Coaching to get stronger, coaching to get better, coaching that will pay off in the form of evidence based results on:
1)better movement patterns
2)positive body composition changes (increased lean muscle mass & decreased body fat)
3)increased strength through full ranges of motion that mimic real life application
4)confidence that bleeds through to your daily life that stems from numbers 1-3
What is this Sport/Performance/Fitness I see listed?
We have three levels that run concurrently during each class time. Fitness, Performance, and Sport. First is Fitness. This is most of our athletes. This is for the human who sometimes has life interfere with their fitness but wants to commit to a real program. Everyone who comes into our doors starts in Fitness.
Fitness is rooted in classic CrossFit. These are a brutally elegant doses of mainly couplets and triplets, but there are also chippers on occasion. These are mostly workouts that are moderate in volume and in weight. Most of the time you will see weights that are less than 115lbs for men and 75lbs for women, as well as 50 or less reps per exercise. Most of these workouts should take 15 minutes or less. We are working on General Physical Preparedness (GPP) for our Fitness crew.
That being said, we still want you to be as strong as possible while getting “in shape”/developing metabolic conditioning/working on GPP. We still have a strength portion that is listed for our Fitness athletes. In an ideal world, we use a linear progression for these athletes to add 5lbs per week to their lifts. This allows us to develop strength over the long term all while being able to use technique at lighter weights and learn new cues to properly apply newfound strength week by week.
We also have skill work in the form of progressions and drills for our Fitness athletes that allows the development of some higher functional fitness skills such as double unders, handstand pushups, chest to bar pullups, toes to bar, and muscle-ups. Most of these drills and progressions are NOT posted on this website and are only done in-class for our members under the direction and instruction of a coach.
Any and all parts of these Fitness workouts can be scaled down and will be assigned by our coaches for those who attend our box. We can scale pullups all the way down to ring rows, we can scale ring dips all the way down to girl pushups, and we can scale the weight down to a youth training bar, 5lb dumbbells, or a PVC pipe. No Fitness workouts are scaled up by our coaches for you if you attend our box.
If you Rx the warmup (“A”), and you Rx all the workouts in Fitness and you are consistently a top 3 athlete in terms of time in Fitness then you could be ready for Performance. We have a test for our Performance athletes. This test is offered each month to any athlete who feels they would like to move to the next level. Why? Because we want people to have the necessary skills to do these Performance workouts with constantly having to scale them. It is pointless to have to scale nearly every workout if you just want to do one workout that “looks cool.”
The real reason we make people test in however, is so that they will be consistent while they are exposed to higher skills, heavier weights, and more volume. We expect if you test in that you will be here 3x a week at minimum, otherwise, the often percentage based strength is pointless for you to try to do because inconsistency will leave you struggling to hit said percentages over the course of 6-8-12 weeks.
Performance is for any athlete looking to close up a hole in their fitness game. But mainly this is for increasing your skills in the functional fitness, the sport of CrossFit, weightlifting, or powerlifting. Once you have a decent motor, things that separate athletes on the playing field are: high rep gymnastics (chest to bar, ring or bar muscle ups, handstand pushups, & toes to bar), general and specific strength (for heavier weight in workouts and tested 1RMs in competion), and exposure to workout combinations and movements (people who had never done dumbbell snatches before didn’t put up good times in 17.1).
Sport is the highest level we offer at our box. These are athletes who are serious about their fitness level. We are trying to put these athletes on podiums at local competitions, we are trying to qualify these athletes for large scale cash prize competitions, we are trying to put these athletes in the top 200 in the region for the functional fitness competitions.
Again, we have a test for these athletes. If you are here you are most likely qualifying for things like USAPL Raw Nationals or USAW American Open Series all while training functional fitness (because many of our athletes have done this). Most of these workouts look like competition workouts, and that is by design. We have many high skill EMOM pieces that we do through the year to make sure we can do high rep gymnastics while tired. We also use EMOMs during the strength portion to mimic the short times to find maxes during functional fitness competitions.
Got it. How do I read the strength portion?
Underneath either Sport/Performance/Fitness you will see a number followed by a strength movement and some reps and sets. We always write reps first then sets if indicated by an ( x ) which means “by”. If you see a dash mark (- ) that means try to increase weight each set. We might also indicate percentages (%) of your known maxes or recently done weights for some days.
1.squat 3 x 5
This means: back squat three reps by five work sets which are to be done all at the same weight. You should warm up for these sets. For example, a hard training male will do 3 reps at 315lbs for five sets. None of his warmup sets of 3 reps each which include the 45lb barbbell, 135lbs, 225lbs, and 275lbs are counted in his five sets. Only the work sets at 315lbs are counted.
This means: back squat three reps ascending in weight for five sets. This time all warmup sets are counted and the dash marks ( – ) mean increase weight each set. The same hard training male would do three reps each time, this time counting all his sets of three reps at 135lbs, 225lbs, 315lbs, 335lbs, and 350lbs. All sets would be counted in this instance.
1.squat 50% x 10, 60% x 10, 70% x 10, all % off 1RM
This means: back squat 50% of 1RM for 10 reps, 60% of 1RM for 10 reps, 70% of 1RM for 10 reps. 1RM means 1 rep max.
What about when I see 1a. & 1b. or 2a. & 2b.?
These are supersets. Old school bodybuilding super sets. A super set is done one exercise right after another one with minimal rest. After all this is CrossFit and we are squeezing more work into less time. Often even during our strength work. For example:
1b.max UB strict pullups x 5
This means: we know from above that we will back squat three reps ascending in weight for five sets. This time all warmup sets are counted and the dash marks ( – ) mean increase weight each set. The same hard training male would do three reps each time, this time counting all his sets of three reps at 135lbs, 225lbs, 315lbs, 335lbs, and 350lbs. All sets would be counted in this instance. However, after each set of back squats we would superset them with max reps unbroken (UB) strict pullups for five sets, one set after each set of back squats.
Got it. Then after the strength stuff is a conditioning workout?
Correct. And all of this is done in a class setting in under 75 minutes. Each portion from warmup “A”, to strength “B”, to skill work “C”, to the workout itself, and a small cooldown is done daily at our box in 75 minutes.
The workout itself is metabolic conditioning or a “met-con” this is traditionally known as the WOD which stands for Workout Of the Day. Everything we do in here is planned and periodized depending to fit a larger scheme for the year.