The Ox Box Gymnastic Cycle

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Through the year we have a complimentary speciality program that is designed to "round out" the current CrossFit Programming Cycle. In Cycle 2 of The Ox Box Method we tackle... Strength + Power

As we will be spending more time with a bar in our hands the cycle lends itself perfectly to a concentrating more on gymnastics. We describe Gymnastics as the ability to run your body through full ranges of motion without the use of an external load. 

The thing that I have found with Gymnastics is that it is WAY harder than moving a barbell with the main reason being time under tension. With a barbell, we only hang onto it for a small amount of time in order to build capacity. Gymnastics, on the other hand, requires A LOT of time under tension. 


Gymnastics is an incredibly important component to the overall health of our body and in fact the Hierarchical development of Fitness, CrossFit deems gymnastics to be a more important base to work on that weightlifting. What this means is that we should be developing more virtuosity in controlling our body through space before we worry about controlling a barbell. 

The main change from 2017 to 2018 is the format. We are spending less time on the skill development i.e. how to muscle up, to more time on building the strength necessary to perform the muscle up i.e. Strict pull-ups and dips. 

The class focus itself has changed also from our first training cycle.

Straight Arm - Pull/Push (Week 1/3/5 etc)
Bent Arm - Pull/Push (Week 2/4/6 etc)
Core and Posterior chain strength (Week 1/2/3 etc)
Joint ranges of motion

Each class will include the following most sessions but not necessarily in this order.

Warm up
Joint Prep
Cool Down

Something I have noticed after my years of Coaching is that spending time developing this important area of your health helps improve everything else, increased body awareness, increased stability and joint strength, increased core strength and condition, just to name a few. 

Think about it like this analogy, you are sitting down for dinner with meat, potato and broccoli.
Weightlifting is the meat, you want to eat it first.
Metcons are the potatoes, delicious.
Gymnastics is the broccoli, it is the most important part but not necessarily your favourite but you still need to eat it.

I pose these couple of questions... 
Do you think to improve your upper body pull strength will help with a workout like Fran (which involves pull-ups)?
Do you think improving the mobility in your shoulders and elbow to be able to lock them out completely will help you in the receiving position in the snatch?
Do you think improving your core strength will help your back squat which requires large amounts of core bracing?

If you said "yes" to any of these, then it makes me happy as you have been listening in class. If you said "no" then you need to pay more attention in class ;).

Everything is everything and the development in 1 area will help improve others. There is a reason why the best athletes in the world win the CrossFit Games and that is because they work their weaknesses.

There are 26 Gymnastics classes programmed over the next 13 weeks with 36 spots available to our athletes to spend time developing this important aspect of your health. Try to make it a priority, turn up to all 26 and watch how the cycle improves your capacity in all the other areas of your health.

I hope that this next cycle turns out to be your favourite and the team are excited to see how you all improve.