What’s the difference between programs? CrossFit, Extreme Bootcamp, Team Lab explained

To grasp and understand the EXTREMELY WELL THOUGHT OUT AND EXCPETIONAL programming that exists among Heavy Metal Crossfit, Extreme Bootcamp, and Team LAB, you must read this…

Also, if you plan to test out any of these programs 1 day is horribly inadequate of an experience to fully understand what the program is all about and what it delivers. At least a full week is recommended.

There are 4 basic types of classes/groups you might fall into…

1) CrossFit
2) Extreme Bootcamp
3) Team LAB
4) ‘Cross-breeder’

· Heavy Metal CrossFit: CrossFit aims to optimize a blend of all fitness qualities. Heavy Metal CrossFit Advocates a mix of body weight exercise, gymnastics, strength training, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, running, sprinting, jumping rope, plyometrics, rowing, etc. Come prepared for the unknown. We specialize in not specializing; no two classes are ever alike. While this may sound intimidating, CrossFit is infused with a principle of ‘scalability.’ Meaning, all exercises can be regressed or progressed to similar elements that achieve a similar capacity/goal for that individual. Common exercises used are: body weight squats, jumping rope, box jumps, kettlebell swings, snatch, clean & jerk, overhead squats, pull-ups, dips, muscle ups, rowing, pushups, burpees, deadlifts, squats, thrusters, etc. We will bring it, so be ready to deliver.

· The Lab’s Extreme Bootcamp: The Lab Gym’s own unique blend of all things fitness. A fast paced high intensity melting pot of strength training, body weight exercises, plyometric, conditioning, speed, power, endurance, core, flexibility, you name it…WE DO IT! With a global objective of fat loss and lean muscle gain you will achieve the best shape and conditioning of your life with this dynamic, fun, and ever evolving class. Some days are inside, some outside, and no 2 days are ever completely alike. It is blend of Bootcamp, strength training, sports performance, Olympic weightlifting, Crossfit, etc.

o So, you may wonder what the difference is between Bootcamp and Crossfit? First, Bootcamp has been ‘influenced’ in its programming by Crossfit but is NOT full blown Crossfit. You will see some very similar elements at times but much less time spent on skill progression for the advanced Crossfit exercises (kipping pullups, muscle ups, Olympic lifts, double unders, etc). Basically, we do not go as far down that rabbit whole…Also, realize that in order to do this Crossfit is programmed off of a 6 day schedule in order to adequately work on all elements required. There is also more of a SLIGHT tilt in the theme towards body composition training vs. performance training.

Bootcamp weekly structure:

Tuesday: Chest, back, hams, core, etc.: where you will see movements that complement the deadlift, bench press, pullup, row, etc

Thursday: Quads, shoulders, arms, core, etc.: where you will see movements that complement the squat, press, chin-up, dip, etc

Saturday: Everything!

Also: there is weekly ‘homework’ given on our blog that is meant to complement this training. It is more anaerobic and aerobic conditioning based work (running, sprinting, tabatas, etc). This is to fulfill the 6 days of exercise requirements (for body composition & optimal health/fitness) and complete the well roundedness of the program to meet all fitness objectives. Classes for this are currently under consideration. Les Mills cardio based classes may be used to supplement here.

· Team LAB: The LAB Gym’s specialty! Team LAB is our Group Olympic Weightlifting class focusing on mastering the snatch and clean & jerk. General enthusiasts, national level competitors, and Crossfitters all collaborate and train together coached by Justin Thacker and national level lifters Pat Mahoney & Jimmy Duke. Team LAB hosts some of the best Olympic Weightlifting in the United States with School age, Junior, and Senior level national champions and even some Olympic hopefuls!

· ‘Cross-breeder’: is someone who may normally attend one class or even personal training but may also decide to regularly attend Crossfit classes. And you will run into 1 of 2 scenarios.

o Scenario 1: If you are a part of these other programs you will likely routinely see the structured foundational strength training exercises that we mandate within all of our programs (squat, deadlift, press, pullup, bench, row). Therefore, when you come across an overlap point/day we have alterations ready for you (ex: you show up for the squat, press, chin-up day but you already did them that week. We will change up the exercises to allow for variety and practice other Crossfit exercises)

o Scenario 2: You may opt to go to a Crossfit class instead of your normal class (example: Bootcamp). But, you don’t want to miss out on your foundational strength training exercises. It is ok as they are programmed similarly for those specific exercises on the same days of the week (see below for more detail).

Moving on, let’s look more closely at the details.

Currently (yes, this may in fact change a bit at some point…but don’t plan on it), both Bootcamp AND Crossfit have a similar strength training template worked into it.

Tuesday:
A1) Deadlifts
A2) Bench Press
A3) Pullups (CF does ring rows)

Thursday:
A1) Back Squats
A2) Military Press
A3) Chin-ups

1) This is to develop ‘foundational strength.’ These are mandatory pre-requisite, foundational, essential core movements that all other lifts stem from or evolve from. Simply put, if you can’t do them well you will do nothing else well. So, it is vital that ALL participant s get a steady dose of these routinely in a progressive fashion (there are 3 week cycles programmed into each with 10s, 5s, 3s). This will allow for consistent practice over time to increase strength/power, form, and positions that will transfer to ALL other physical fitness tasks.

These are staple strength training movements that MUST be part of any solid exercise program. Be it Bootcamp, Crossfit, Sports Performance, etc. Building a base of strength in the basic planes of the bodies’, ‘push/pull’ capacities. ALL muscles/joints are balanced with muscles on each side of the joint that make it either push or pull. For example: the elbow. The biceps on one side pull and the triceps push. This is how it works across the whole body. To have proper balance, posture, and no weird orthopedic dings/pains attention to this is vital… And thus, proper formed, progressive strength training is essential to attainment and preservation of this system.

Simply put, the upper body has vertical and horizontal push and pull structures and the lower has vertical and horizontal push and pull structures. So, you can see going into battle without these ducks in a row is CRAZY. In fact, you will be able to attribute 80% or more of your progress in Crossfit, Bootcamp, Olympic weightlifting, or even Sports performance to these basic movements. Again, the better they get, the better everything else CAN get.

To give you a more clear idea (a very simplified look…there is more involved to this):

Upper:
Vertical Push: Military press (shoulders, triceps)
Vertical Pull: Pullup (lats, biceps)
Horizontal Push: Bench press (chest, triceps)
Horizontal Pull: Ring row (rhomboids, lats, biceps)

Lower:
Vertical Push: Squats (shoulders, triceps)
Vertical Pull: Deadlifts (lats, biceps)
Horizontal Push: Hip bridge/KB Swing (glutes)
Horizontal Pull: Hanging leg raise/toes to bar (hip flexors)

2) On the menu of ‘Crossfit’ there is an umbrella under which a few classes fall under. They are: typical Crossfit classes, Team LAB, and Bootcamp. With the diverse nature and needs of Crossfit these classes come with the Crossfit membership and can to a degree be interchanged and fit together (there will be overlap from time to time) also, note: Team LAB is with special invite only and requires a 3 session on-ramp.

To give you an example of what I mean by pre-requisite or foundational movement.

See the scheme below that shows that progressions/relationships of the movements. So, improving the foundational piece will set a better base for the rest….or, you may try the advanced stuff without a proper base and remain frustrated and never understanding why you continually suck.

Tuesday:
A1) Deadlifts>RDLs>Power clean>clean>power snatch>snatch>sumo deadlift high pull>box jump/all jumps>all kipping actions>and basically EVERYTHING!
A2) Bench Press>pushups>burpees>wall ball>military press>push press>jerk>dip>ring dip, etc
A3) Pullups (CF does ring rows)>kipping pullups>butterfly kips>ring pullups>muscle ups>rope climbs>toes to bar, etc

Thursday:
A1) Back Squats>bw squats>front squats>overhead squats>power clean>clean>power snatch>snatch>box jumps/all jumps>double unders>pistols>thrusters>lunges>kb swing>running>all kipping actions, and basically EVERYTHING!
A2) Military Press>push press>power jerk>split jerk>handstand>handstand pushups>dips>ring dips>muscle ups>thrusters>KB snatch>Turkish get-ups, etc
A3) Chin-ups>pullups>kipping pullups>butterfly kips>ring pullups>muscle ups>rope climbs>toes to bar, etc.

Bootcamp: alternates front squats and overhead squats on Saturdays as well as snatch and Clean & Jerk practice.
Crossfit: Practices cleans on Mondays, snatch on Wednesdays, Jerks on Fridays. Additionally, Crossfit has a structured additional day on Monday of:

Monday:
A1) Front Squats
A2) Pullups
A3) Push Press
B) Clean Practice

And

Wednesday:
A) Snatch Grips Overhead Squats
B) Snatch Practice

To review, the structured practice for the Crossfit schedule is (everything else is rotated/randomized a bit):

Monday:
A1) Front Squats
A2) Pullups
A3) Push Press
B) Clean Practice

Tuesday:
A1) Deadlifts
A2) Bench Press
A3) Pullups (CF does ring rows)

Thursday:
A1) Back Squats
A2) Military Press
A3) Chin-ups

Friday:
A) Jerk practice

Saturday:
No structure

Team LAB takes on even more structure as it is meant first as a means to master and improve in the Olympic lifts and then optimize strength and power to excel at them. Second, we have an extra structure that is modeled for the Crossfit competitor type who realizes they need much more Olympic weightlifting and strength training work as well as straight forward anaerobic conditioning work. The schedule is then established to allow for each of these elements to excel and jive together and good as they possibly can….the structure is crucial for recovery and optimization of the most important tasks/skills to develop. (Ex: skill>strength>anaerobic conditioning>aerobic conditioning, etc. More clearly: snatch>squats>metcon, etc)

Monday: heavy day
Snatch
Snatch auxiliary work
Clean & Jerk
Clean auxiliary work
Snatch overhead auxiliary work (snatch balance/overhead squats)
Front Squats
Other auxiliary work needed

Tuesday: Lighter day & accessory movements performed
Snatch (lighter more technical day)
Clean & Jerk (lighter more technical day)
Upper-horizontal push/pull strength training work
Core
CF Competitor: Metcon type work (may do a CF class but drop the squats or deadlifts…and anything very taxing on the legs)

Wednesday: heavy day
Snatch
Snatch auxiliary
Clean & Jerk
Clean auxiliary
Jerk auxiliary work (rack jerks, etc)
Back Squats
Other auxiliary work needed

Thursday: Lighter day & accessory movements performed
Snatch (lighter more technical day)
Clean & Jerk (lighter more technical day)
Upper-vertical push/pull strength training work
Core
CF Competitor: Metcon type work (may do a CF class but drop the squats or deadlifts…and anything very taxing on the legs)

Friday: off day, light technique/barbell work, or in some cases may do Thursday’s workout here

Saturday: heavy day
Snatch
Clean & Jerk
Back Squats (sometimes front squats, sometimes both)
Deadlifts
CF Competitor: Metcon type work (hardest CF workout of the week)

Hopefully this shed some light on everything going on, the unique dynamic structure of all the programs, the methods behind them, and the possibilities that can occur. They can all stand alone to excel in one direction or they can mix and match to a degree and complement each other.