Strength & Conditioning: James FitzGerald - Week 4, Day 1

James FitzGerald


Strength and Conditioning, CrossFit, Strength Training


EDITOR'S NOTE: These workouts are designed by athlete and coach James FitzGerald. A long-time athlete and coach, James is the director of training at Optimum Performance Training, a multi-national educational and coaching program. The four weeks of programming were designed to prepare a CrossFit athlete for the CrossFit Regionals. Click here to read more about James and his work with athletes.


This is an exact training split in a specific preparation phase for a male CrossFit athlete. This athlete has been close to qualifying two other times and began training with us in the summer of 2011.



He is what we call a true "grinder” - mentally tough, physically resilient, stronger than he is fast, and mobile. His long-term plan has been to get to a point where the volume was high enough to allow him multiple intense pieces over a few days to be controlled and methodical. This year, this athlete qualified for the CrossFit Games and will compete in Carson, CA in July. The end of this program brought us to ten days out from the Regional qualifiers, the most important date in the two-year plan.


This was the prescription for him and some of the reasoning for the programming:



  • A 2 on, 1 off, 3 on, 1 off split was used to prepare for the 3 day piece to come in May for competition.
  • In season, this athlete works well on a M/W/F only training days, where there are 3 pieces in each day for 9 total workouts in the week.
  • 12 workouts per week for this athlete is very doable when the balance is there in the aerobic work and intense CNS work.
  • The athlete knows his own engine and knows when to call an audible or go hard when needed. In this phase it's important to learn where the competition format scenarios are in the mixed modal setting.


Week 4, Day 1


This last week the focus was basically on prepping through various pieces to ensure we had touches on all movements. We also wanted to ensure we had variation from the middle zone work that causes most CNS fatigue to be at its peak and to ensure the CP battery felt good and that his weight was right on for the high rep sequences.


The closer one gets to competing in a CrossFit test, the more it looks like all the tests to ensure the sequencing of energy production and recovery and speed of contractions is right on par for the upcoming test.


AM Workout
Row 30 seconds @85%
Row 30 seconds @50%

(NOTE: AER intervals)


PM Workout
3 Rounds for time:
Run 400m
21 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood/24kg
7 Parallete Handstand Push Ups

(NOTE: Comparative workout to see where we were on breathing and CP battery)

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