Invictus Masters Athlete, Nicole Abbot, rowing at the 2023 CrossFit Games.

Invictus Off-Season Cycle: Focus and Purpose
Written by Holden Rethwill

The name of this cycle is very appropriate for the focus. Our first off-season cycle of 2023 is all about getting stronger, improving aerobic capacity, and building some foundational gymnastic abilities. The cycle begins on August 7th and will take you through October 1, 2023 (8 weeks).

Tino wrote an article years ago called “Strength is the Price of Admission” and in today’s CrossFit culture that couldn’t be more true. It seems like every day we’re seeing athletes destroy old benchmark workouts from 5-10 years ago using heavier loading. Basically what it comes down to is that you can be as fit as you want but at some point you will not physically be able to move a load and when that day comes, you fitness will only get you so far.

What’s the best time to work on building that raw strength?

Now. The first segment of any good off-season program should be centered around building strength and getting better at gymnastics movements. We have all year to work on the engine, and later cycles to work on the more “CrossFit”-style training. Now is the time to get as strong as possible so that those medium weights become light and the heavy weights become medium.

Our focus this first phase is going to be on building that foundational strength. You’ll notice that a big bulk of your sessions will be spent both there and on accessory work; with a lesser emphasis placed on conditioning. That said, we do recognize that not everyone is going to compete at the CrossFit Games next year and for many of you, local throw downs and off-season competitions like WZA are going to be the tip of your pyramid for this season. So, with that in mind, we’ll still be getting bits of “CrossFit”-style stimulus to keep you ready when qualifiers roll around.

Additional Sessions = Max Results

To get the absolute most out of this cycle we recommend adding on the additional sessions bundle (Athlete+ and Masters+), especially if you’re someone who has the time to train twice a day. But, if that’s not you, you’re still going to get everything you need to build strength, improve your gymnastics, and create an aerobic base that will carry you through the rest of the season. The powerlifting fundamentals, raw strength, accessories, gymnastics breakdowns, and low impact metcons that you’re going to get in this cycle are going to be your best friends so get ready to make some serious progress.

A general outline for the primary session this cycle is as follows:

Monday – Max Effort Lower Body Day (emphasis on squatting) + Pulling Complimentary Lifts (power cleans and sumo’s) + 1-2 Accessories + Sprint Stimulus Metcon
Tuesday – 1-2 Gymnastics Skills and Volume Pieces + 30-40-Minute EMOMs
Wednesday – Power Snatches + Max Effort Upper Body Day (emphasis on horizontal pressing) + 1-2 Accessories + Interval Based Metcon
Thursday – Swimming + Zone 2 Work
Friday – Dynamic Effort Lower Body Day (emphasis on squatting) + Speed Pulling Complimentary Lifts + 1-2 Accessories + Short Intervals
Saturday – Dynamic Effort Upper Body Day (emphasis on horizontal and overhead pressing) + 1-2 Accessories + Long Aerobic Metcon

All primary sessions can be completed in 75-120 minutes depending on the day. If you’re someone that struggles staying on a timeline and cannot complete all the work in this time, or are someone that trains on a shorter clock, we’ll be happy to help you determine what to prioritize with your time.

A general outline for the additional sessions this cycle is as follows:

Monday – Rowing and Concept 2 Bike Intervals + Strongman + Sleds
Tuesday – Mixed Modal Conditioning + Rope Pulls + Zone 2
Wednesday – Echo/Assault Bike Intervals + Ski Intervals + Strongman/Grip
Friday – Concept 2 Bike and Rowing Intervals + Gymnastics Skills
Saturday – Mixed Modal Intervals + Running + Grip

Invictus Athlete & Masters August Special!

In celebration of our 25 athletes at Games and 15 straight years of Team Invictus representing, we are giving all new sign-ups for Invictus Athlete+, Athlete, Masters+, Masters 50% off during the entire month of August! Sign up in August and receive 50% your first month with us with CODE: INVICTUS50

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