Invictus Athlete Cynthia Snatch
New Invictus Competition Training Cycle Begins Monday!
Written by C.J. Martin

Every year following the CrossFit Games I get a surge of excitement for the upcoming season. I love the Games, but it’s the preparation and journey of helping athletes get there that is the most rewarding part of my job.

The off-season is now upon us, and I am extremely excited to start preparing athletes for the 2016 season. Our new Invictus Competition training cycle begins on Monday, August 3rd and will focus on developing the strength and aerobic foundation athletes will need to build upon over the next several months of training. Our off-season program will be built to allow for small peaks along the way for major competitions, with the overarching goal of having all of our athletes peaking for the 2016 CrossFit Open.

Our initial phase of post-Games training will be a 6-week cycle focused on developing maximal strength, Olympic weightlifting technique, upper body pressing strength and aerobic base. We will have touches on short, lactic threshold training, but the main focus will be on establishing the foundation upon which we can build our athletes over the next 6-9 months – which means getting you all strong, healthy, mechanically sound and tolerant to volume.

Our initial 6-week training cycle wraps up to coincide with the Kill Cliff Granite Games – September 11-13, 2015. Whether you are competing at the Granite Games or not, that will be a good weekend to push your limits before we launch into our second post-Games training cycle the following week.

Our weekly template for this cycle will be as follows:
Monday – Single Training Session
Tuesday – Single Training Session PLUS Optional Additional Conditioning Session*
Wednesday – Single Training Session…the return of the Wednesday EMOMs 🙂
Thursday – Swimming Technique Work by Heidi Fearon and Active Recovery
Friday – Single Training Session
Saturday – Single Training Session PLUS Additional Running-Intensive Conditioning Session*
Sunday – Full Recovery and Meal Preparation

*The optional conditioning sessions on Tuesday and Saturday are highly recommended for those who are not 100% confident in their aerobic base.

If you have questions about the upcoming cycle, please post them to comments and I will answer reasonable questions to the best of my ability.

Whether you have been a long-time follower of our program, or you’re just hearing about it now, please make a concerted effort to log your results on a daily basis. We have a team of coaches, including myself, who will review the results throughout the day to provide feedback and answer questions, and we’ve created a very supportive community that will help give you some comparisons by which you can push yourself each day of training. We love our online community and it only gets better as it grows, so please help us spread the word and encourage your friends to join you in this new Invictus training cycle.

Update: The Invictus Olympic Weightlifting Program is now available, too!

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louwrens FourieAhmed DiaaCrossfit Invictus Affiliate | IbizzGoogleRusty Recent comment authors
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louwrens Fourie
Guest
louwrens Fourie

Good Day Team Invictus…

I am new at following your Competition Program, just would like to have more info. On what week are we on, in this Cycle currently. And will this be a 6 or 8 Week Cycle

Kind Regards
Louwrens

Ahmed Diaa
Guest
Ahmed Diaa

Hello Coaches, I used to be following the Invictus Competitors program for a while last year and stopped around Sep’16 for an Oly program, however now I am off training since 1.5 months (as I was travelling a lot and relocated in a different country) Now I want to start the competitors program again and not sure where to start, should I start from the date mentioned in this article ? 3rd Aug’15 or where I can find the 2016th program.. Kindly guide me *Note: I know the opens is around the corner however I will just join for fun… Read more »

Rusty
Guest
Rusty

Morning guys, hope you had a great Halloween! I wasn’t sure where to ask this on here but as a relative newbie could you tell me what the different training cycles are I keep reading about, how they’re different and the times they change. And love your programming and site, thanks!

Gina Cacchiotti-Wellner
Member
Gina Cacchiotti-Wellner

I feel so blessed to have your programming to guide myself and all of our competitors from our box in our journey to set and work towards our individual goals in this great sport of Crossfit. I am also excited to be competing at the upcoming Granite Games. With that in mind and only 3 weeks out, would you recommend continuing to follow your day to day competitive workouts or start adjusting based on workouts they have released, etc?

moneypenny
Member
moneypenny

Want to primarily thank you for such fantastic and free online programming.. you have changed the life of my training, and I am ever indebted to u all and i have been following you like the bible, and been putting in alot of hard dedicated work since i started following your programming from the end of the open this year, and have seen such tremendous improvements so far. As I’m on vacation now..( my body needs it though i will do some workouts whilst I’m here of course with the stuff i brought with me..and my mind needs it -i… Read more »

Michele Vieux
Admin
Michele Vieux

Hi Penny! Just hop in when you get back. This is a restoration cycle for the next few weeks so you can easily jump in with the others!

moneypenny
Member
moneypenny

Thanks michele.. that makes me feel better!

Wilson Ospina
Guest
Wilson Ospina

Thank you as well from Ave Maria Florida , it’s truly an amazing opportunity to join you guys and continue to grow and learn from a distance, thank you for the amount of effort and heart that you place in guiding us through this journey of fitness. Many Blessings CJ to you and your team.

Wilson

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Can we sign up to get these through email? The daily workouts?

Michele Vieux
Admin
Michele Vieux

Hi Lisa,

These workouts are available for free under our Competition Program on the blog!

Enjoy!

jennifer haley
Guest
jennifer haley

Thanks for the great programming that you make available to us. If my next competition is Pensacola Beach Brawl September 26 (2 weeks after cycle 1 ends), would it be better for me to follow along but a week or so behind so as to peak at the competition or follow as is and compete 2 weeks into cycle 2?

CJ
Admin
CJ

No, I would suggest staying on schedule. You’ll still be in great shape for your Pensacola Beach competition.

Joshua Krehbiel
Member
Joshua Krehbiel

Last year I always had trouble completing those wonderful Wednesday EMOMs. Question, should the focus of those EMOMs be aerobic conditioning? Meaning if we know something in it will put us in an anaerobic state early should we scale it from the beginning? Also, having followed the program for 2 years I know strength work is always done as drop between movements in a complex. If we struggle with TNG snatch and clean should we try to focus on this during the WODs? I also know it’s been mentioned that each person is different in terms of quick singles vs… Read more »

Tyler Burton
Guest
Tyler Burton

Same question here- the box step overs with the dumbbells never let me finish

CJ
Admin
CJ

Yes, the EMOMs should be for volume accumulation and teach you how to pace and keep moving for 30 minutes. I try to select simple movements that athletes can keep moving through. If a movement is selected that will make it impossible for you to keep moving, then yes, scale it down.

Yes, drop the barbell during strength work, but make a concerted effort to keep the barbell in your hands during conditioning workouts.

Justin Pfaff
Guest
Justin Pfaff

Just had some questions as a new member to the invictus cycle. First of all I’m a former college athlete, and athlete at crossfit affiliate in indiana. I had some friends refer me to your programming after doing some catalyst and my local affiliate programming. First, due to my hectic schedule, I will be doing most of my training from my garage gym, in which I lack some equipment like rowers, ropes, etc. Could things like that be improvised in WODs? Thanks guys.

CJ
Admin
CJ

Do your best, but understand that to prepare for competitions, we need to simulate the environment and movements to the greatest extent possible.

Kristen Dwan
Guest
Kristen Dwan

Hey thanks for the awesome programming! Would you ever consider using beyond the whiteboard for logging? It’s a super cheap and convenient way to track and I would love to have the ability to use it with the invictus community!

CJ
Admin
CJ

Kristen, we love having our members log results here, and all you have to do is click on your name to see all of your previous posts – which allows you to review your results and progress over time.

Corey Christensen
Guest
Corey Christensen

This will be my full first year at Invictus and I cant wait. I just wanted to thank you for the programming and all the amazing coaches for all the help and motivation. I have made more gains and improvment in the last 8 months than I have in the last 2 years. Invictus has changed my outlook on what I am capable of!

david silva
Member
david silva

Hi CJ, I am a member of Pt. Loma (6 AM class). Have never competed (except Sea of Green a couple weeks ago 🙂 ). I am 52 (53 in Sept). The list of skills I don’t have is significantly longer than the “can do” side. Should/Could I try the Masters program vs continuing with the Performance programming? How would I incorporate that into my schedule? I do the 6 AM class as it’s really the only class that I can squeeze in (family, work, business travel, etc). I also attend running club when I’m in town. Thank you.

CJ
Admin
CJ

David, chat with Lindsey or Bryan in the morning. They will know you as an individual athlete and will be able to provide the best advice. If you let them know you’re interested in pursuing competitive fitness, they will work with you within the 6:00 a.m. training sessions.

Camille Douglas
Guest
Camille Douglas

Hey CJ! I was at the Houston Invictus Athlete camp. I have just moved to a super small town in New Mexico. I don’t have access to any sort of public or private pool. My parents and I are still considering the possibility of getting a pool in our backyard. Until then, what do you suggest doing for active recovery on Thursday? It was great seeing you and Maddy at Regionals. Thanks!

CJ
Admin
CJ

I remember you Camille!!! Remember, taking a day off is always an option! 🙂 If you can’t convince yourself to rest, do some very light rowing or hiking – get outside and enjoy some scenery.

Camille Douglas
Guest
Camille Douglas

Thank you so much CJ! Looking forward to it 🙂

Jack LaZebnik
Guest
Jack LaZebnik

CJ, first and foremost- thank you so much as always for the programming. It is truly wonderful programming and an extremely supportive community that is really great to be a part of. My question relates to the intent behind many of the workouts: in the military, units are assigned task and purposes to accomplish the mission. The task is what you’re expected to do, but the purpose is WHY you’re doing it or the intent behind it. I always love getting insight as to the intent behind certain WODs or templates, like this blog post. I certainly know everyone is… Read more »

CJ
Admin
CJ

I would love to say yes buddy, but we’d have to start asking people to pay for stuff like that. The intent behind this program is that we can give everyone our best ideas on programming concepts in a free online format that works for most – not all – of our following athletes. We have other programs where we work one on one with athletes and provide more of that detail, but with two little kids and lots of great athletes who need my attention, I have to safeguard some time somewhere.

Jack LaZebnik
Guest
Jack LaZebnik

Absolutely- I completely understand. Like I said, thank you so much for the awesome programming- it is an amazing resource you are very generous to dedicate so much time to. Thanks!

Eli Joy
Guest
Eli Joy

Hey CJ, I’m a fourteen year old guys looking to improve and prepare for the next open. What plan do you think would be the best for me? Thanks!

CJ
Admin
CJ

Eli, I hate to burst your bubble man, but the most important thing for a 14-year-old is MASTERY of the movements and perfect mechanics. The program will not matter nearly as much as having a fantastic coach by your side watching to make sure you are moving well in these early years of your athletic development.

I would also encourage you to play as many sports as possible right now. Doing so will set you up to succeed for many years to come in CrossFit or whatever you choose to pursue.

Diego Sommariva
Member
Diego Sommariva

Hi CJ, great work with the programming. I’m 45 years old and would like to hit the normal competition programming but don’t know how I’ll stand up to it after a few weeks, especially since I work all day (as a coach but I can’t always find the time to train due to the levels of my trainees) and am limited on equipment (no rower, GHD, pool…). I was wondering about the masters programming and if you recommend I do that one instead or try and stay with the normal comp programme to see if I can keep up with… Read more »

CJ
Admin
CJ

Diego, give the masters program a shot. I think you will really enjoy it, and if you’ve struggled to keep up with the volume of the Competition program in the past, it might be smart to proactively address volume and intensity – which is done for you in the masters program. Nichole and I will be following everyone’s results on the masters program, hope to see your name there!

Diego Sommariva
Member
Diego Sommariva

Will do then! Thanks again!

Zeljko
Guest
Zeljko

Hi CJ, me and few friends have problem getting out of the hole in squat and clean, I was thinking that we could incorporate some pause squats on the squat day, what do you think? And how should we approach it?

Thomas Grønbek
Guest
Thomas Grønbek

When you do any kind of squat, do a pause for some seconds instead of extending at once. Will help you a lot

CJ
Admin
CJ

You can most certainly do that. Maybe set aside a bit of time at the beginning of the session on Fridays.

Anu K
Guest
Anu K

Hi CJ, another question: I have noticed myself and some others on the board that we seem to get really close to 100% or PR weights a week before the ‘test’ week and then hang on dear life during the test week. Have you noticed something on those lines in house/ on this board and what might be your thoughts on that it seems to be a broader occurrence than just one individual.

CJ
Admin
CJ

Yes, we definitely notice it more out of some of the online guys than our in-house guys. Everyone adapts and recovers on a different timeline, so we’re not going to time the mini-peaks perfectly with people following all over the world. Some of it is lack of patience too. We see a lot of guys pushing the percentages the week before (or even earlier) because they feel good, and they may not be fully recovered by the test week. Honestly, I am totally fine with that. I want people to listen to their bodies, and if that means you feel… Read more »

Anu K
Guest
Anu K

Got It. Thank you

Jenn_Scott
Member
Jenn_Scott

Thank you for this programming. I started at the start of the last cycle and will start posting my progress this next cycle. I have been following a day behind with rest days on Friday and Monday only because I’m on the other side of the world and a day ahead so I see the programming come out around 2pm for the next day. I would like to continue on this programming but would love to be able to start this next cycle on Monday and go back to the usual Thursday and Sunday as off days. Would it be… Read more »

CJ
Admin
CJ

Sorry Jenni, our program posts at 9:00 p.m. Pacific – most of the time anyway. If you follow a day or week behind, please be sure to post your results still. We end up looping back to collect data.

Thank you for your service!