When me and Staff were first given the opportunity to create a class at CrossFit Nottingham, we were super excited. A year later and FHT (Functional Hypertrophy Training, 8-9 Tuesday’s and Thursday’s ;)) is still running and has a regular crew that show up week in, week out. This style of training is something me and Staff are passionate about and we still get excited to coach this session every week.
Matt has been in the game for decades (don’t be fooled by that boyish face) and has a wealth of knowledge that is never ending which he’s always learning and developing and his training reflects this. When I first met Matt, I was trying to do everything; bodybuild, Crossfit, Weightlifting with no true structure. He would tell me not to do too much and to stick to a periodised and structured plan as he’d once been in the same situation as me before however injury struck giving him a better perspective. As a 23 year old, I listened but I didn’t really hear what he was saying until I started getting little niggles. I started training with him when I got the chance and I was always amazed at how disciplined to a programme he was, how strict to movements he was, strict movement patterns first before increasing the weight, no ego. That is something that has stuck with me and the way that I train.
We are both big advocates of being able to do a movement in its purest form before progressing onto the more complex skills. Being able to perform strict pull ups before developing the kip and butterfly will help progress those skills further down the line. If you can first develop the strength to perform strict pull-ups, you will be building up the muscles in your lats, biceps and traps as well as all of the smaller muscle groups which will also prevent you from injury when you learn the more complex skills. This strength will also translate to and benefit you in other movements.
We like to look at it metaphorically, if you were to build a house you wouldn’t put the roof on without having a strong foundation. Well, the foundation is the building bricks, the strict pull ups. The roof is the butterfly/kipping pull-ups.
We programme FHT in blocks which last around 8 weeks. In the current block and the next, our focus has been on variability. A study by Fonseca et al. showed that changes in exercises are more effective than in loading schemes to improve muscle strength and hypertrophy. For example, performing a peroidised squat programme will improve strength and hypertrophy in your quadriceps however training your quads in a multitude of ways will also have the same desired effect, by doing lunges, leg extensions, deadlifts etc. Plus its more fun, Variety is the spice the life.
‘Variety is the spice to life’ William Cowper.
See you Tuesdays and Thursdays