Question of the Week: It’s Open Gym What Should I Do? Part 1

You can probably find yourself in one of the four following categories when it comes to open gym time.

1. AHHH this is too much freedom I don’t know what to do!!! I’m not going!

2. Hmm… I’ll do what everyone else is doing.

3. There’s so many things to work on what should I do!?!?!?

4. I have a game plan and I’m sticking to it.

If you’re in one of those first three this article is for you! Lets start with the basics to help you first establish what is going to be the productive use of your time. We’re going to assume that we all have the same goal here, to improve our fitness. There are 3 methods in which we will highlight our efforts.

1. Technique, Consistency then Intensity of the 9 Foundational Movements. (Today’s Topic)

2. Following the Skill Level Chart

3. Using and Analyzing Benchmark workouts to define your programming.

Today we will be discussing Method 1:

The 9 Foundational Movements of CrossFit

Squats: Air Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat

Presses: Shoulder Press, Push Press, Push Jerk

Pulls: Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift High Pull, Medicine Ball Clean

These nine movements are the platform in which your fitness future will be built. Perfecting these movement will take time but training them well will raise your fitness ceiling beyond any gimmicky routine. These may seem boring but perfection of these nine will quickly lead to more challenging and fun movements. Start each session with a warm up of your choosing. Each session is going to be broken into three parts: warm up, drilling, WOD(workout of the day). Each session will have 3 drills, one for squats, one for presses and one for pulls. During the workouts during this phase of training the focus is first on technique, consistency and only then intensity.

Week 1:


3×5 Slow Air Squat to a Target, continue to lower target as you’re range of motion improves.

3×5 Slow Shoulder Press with a 3 second hold in active shoulder position at the top.

3×5 Slow Deadlift with a 3s pause at the knee to ensure a flat back is maintained throughout.


Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) for 10 minutes

5 Air Squats to a target

5 Shoulder Press with a empty barbell

5 Deadlifts with a kettlebell


Week 2:


3×5 slow Air Squat to target

1×5 Find front rack

3×5 Slow Front Squat to target, raise target as necessary

2×5 Dip-Drive

2×5 Press

2×5 Dip-Drive Press

3×5 slow deadlift with kettlebell

1×5 slow high pull

2×3 deadlift+high pull

2×3 deadlift+sumo deadlift high pull

2×5 sumo deadlift high pull


10 Rounds:

5 Air Squat to Target

5 Push Press(empty bar)

5 Sumo Deadlift High Pull


Week 3:


3×5 Slow Front Squat to target

3×3 Slow Overhead Squat to target with PVC

2×5 Slow Shoulder Press with 2s Active shoulder pause

2×5 Dip-Drive

2×5 Push Press

1×5 Power Drops

1×5 Super Slow Dip-Drive-Power drop and Press-Stand

1×5 Dip-Drive-Power Drop and Press-Stand

1×5 Deadlift with medicine Ball

1×5 Deadlift-Shrug with medicine ball

1×5 Drop Squat

1×5 Front Squat

1×5 Shrug-Drop Front Squat

1×5 Deadlift-Shrug-Drop-Stand


10 min EMOM

5 Front Squat to target

1 Shoulder Press

1 Push Press

1 Push Jerk

3 DSDS(Med Ball Clean)


Week 4:


3×5 Slow Air Squat with 5s pause in bottom

3×5 Slow Front Squat for best elbow position

3×5 Slow Overhead Squat to target

3×5 Shoulder Press

3×5 Dip-Drive

3×5 Push Press

1×5 Power Drop and Press

2×5 Push Jerk

1×5 Deadlift

1×5 Sumo Deadlift High Pull

1×5 Med ball Clean



30 Air Squats

30 Shoulder Press

30 Deadlift

20 Front Squats

20 Push Press

20 Sumo Deadlift High Pull

10 Overhead Squat

10 Push Jerk

10 Med Ball Clean


This program is simple and technique based. Cycle through it several times at the start of each cycle add: weight, reps or faster pace to each workout. For example your first cycle may be done with only 20# the next cycle 30#. These simple workouts and drills will help to build a solid base for more advanced training. Chances are you’re working with awesome coaches during your other sessions during the week and this once a week program will help you hone in your basic skills which you may not have as much time to work on! More to come on the Skill Level Chart method and the Benchmark Testing method soon!




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