Legion Strength & Conditioning Podcast

Legion Strength & Conditioning Podcast

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Coaches Jon, Luke and Todd have decades of combined coaching experience, and they’ve each worked with multiple CrossFit Games athletes. They’ve seen every coaching method, programming trick, and mindset hack under the sun, and, in the Legion Strength & Conditioning podcast, they deconstruct what works best to get CrossFit athletes results — better and faster.


#52: How to Motivate Yourself to Train with no Competitions
Aug 3 • 26 min
Yearly training plans are often built around competition schedules. Even casual athletes who just enjoy participating in local events will usually have a few events that they plan their years around. For some, that’s the Open and a few local…
#51: What’s the point of this training session?
Jul 20 • 28 min
“What’s the point of this session?” “What time should I be shooting for on this?” “What muscle group is this working?” While these questions are often relevant, coaches need to be able to help athletes zoom out and see the bigger…
#50: How should qualification for the CrossFit Games work?
Jul 6 • 43 min
With all of the upheaval in the CrossFit world, it’s no surprise that we will likely see huge shake-ups in the qualification process for the Games starting in 2021. How can CrossFit take the best of the Regionals era of qualification and potentially…
#49: Reducing Variance in Performance
Jun 22 • 26 min
It’s one of the most important things that an athlete can improve in the sport of CrossFit. However, it’s not very exciting. It’s not something that people can post about on Instagram and get a bunch of engagement. We’re talking about reducing…
#48: Improving Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
Jun 8 • 40 min
This week, we’re getting super tactical and specific and discussing improving chest-to-bar pull-ups. Many athletes are capable of hitting gymnastics movements when they’re not too tired, but things unravel quickly when they have to do big sets in…
#47: Getting Back Into the Gym
May 26 • 34 min
As athletes start to get back into the gym, a lot of people are going to be touching barbells and pull-up bars for the first time in months. Even if you’ve been doing a lot of push-ups, running and DB snatches, that doesn’t mean that you’re…
#46: What will next season look like?
May 11 • 37 min
In a break from our usual efforts to provide evergreen content based upon solid training principles, we instead theorize recklessly and rampantly about what the 2021 CrossFit Games season may look like. With the precarious financial state of many…
#45: MaryKay Dreisilker Interview (Part 2)
Apr 27 • 65 min
This is the second part of our interview with MaryKay Dreisilker after our got cut short due to some internet connection issues. MK qualified for the 2020 CrossFit Games with a 35th place finish in the Open, and she recently did a well-received…
#44: MaryKay Dreisilker Interview (Part 1)
Apr 13 • 33 min
MaryKay Dreisilker qualified for the 2020 CrossFit Games with a 35th place finish in the Open. She’s been working with Legion since 2017, so we figured it would be good to get MK’s thoughts on training - especially in times of wild uncertainty….
#43: Am I going to lose all my gains?
Mar 30 • 36 min
It may seem a bit crass to be talking about “gains” in the middle of a global health crisis, but - with a lot of people moving from training in gyms with barbells, pull-up bars and assault bikes to training in their living rooms with a dumbbell and…
#42: How much does recovery matter?
Mar 16 • 39 min
There’s been a shift over the last several years in the fitness community towards a better understanding of “training as a stressor.” This is a fantastic thing, since folks seem to recognize that more is not always better, and training is not…
#41: How much additional strength should I do?
Mar 2 • 32 min
Lots of athletes are doing most of their training either on CrossFit classes at their affiliate - or in small groups of friends who are following an online program. In these situations, athletes are often trying to figure out how much additional work…
#40: Michele Fumagalli (Fit Plate Nutrition)
Feb 17 • 58 min
Michele Fumagalli finally made it to the CrossFit Games as an individual in 2018 after several near misses at Regionals - and sitting out the 2016 to have a baby. But, her Games were cut short when she crashed on her bike a few yards from the finish…
#39: How Often Should I Test?
Feb 3 • 26 min
Test and retest. Most people have an understanding that they should be checking in on their numbers by retesting workouts that they’ve done before. If those numbers are getting better…then great! Progress! But, if they’re not, then something…
#38: Rep Math
Jan 20 • 32 min
When figuring out pacing for a workout, there’s a few common ways that athletes calculate what they can expect to accomplish. The first (and most common) is to pace off of someone else who you know is typically around the same fitness level - maybe…
#37: Skipping Steps
Jan 6 • 27 min
Some athletes are able to get pretty good at CrossFit pretty fast. But, these athletes often find themselves hitting glass ceilings in their performance. Even though they are able to do most of the gymnastics movements, hit decent weights, and grit…
#36: How to Pace Heavy Metcons
Dec 23, 2019 • 36 min
Pacing is important in just about any workout, but it’s particularly crucial when there’s a heavy barbell looming. If you don’t have a good understanding of how quickly you can move with different weights in conditioning workouts, and if you…
[Todd Nief’s Show] Evan Peikon (Training Think Tank)
Dec 9, 2019 • 88 min
Anyone who has coached or competed in CrossFit for awhile sees things that kind of don’t make sense. Athletes with 15+ unbroken ring muscle-ups and a 6:30 2k row who are surprisingly bad at “metcons.” Athletes who can only do 5-10 unbroken…
#35: How to Split up your Reps
Nov 25, 2019 • 25 min
Most people have some sort of plan going into a workout, but there are 3 key things that need to be considered when creating that plan. Getting a bigger max set of chest-to-bar pull-ups won’t necessarily improve your ability to do large sets during…
#34: They’re Not Just Metcons
Nov 11, 2019 • 34 min
In this podcast, we’re going to break down how to effectively design conditioning workouts so that you can actually get better at doing the things that you struggle with under fatigue. Struggle with pull-ups? Do a bunch of metcons with pull-ups in…
#33: Learning How to Pace
Oct 28, 2019 • 28 min
Athletes typically go through a few stages when learning how to pace in CrossFit. First, they go way too fast, fall apart halfway through a workout, then barely hang on in order to finish. Then, they learn that they should pay attention to…
#32: Training Masters Athletes
Oct 14, 2019 • 34 min
Most masters athletes have some understanding that they may need to train a bit differently than their 24-year old peers. But, what exactly should they do differently? And what about masters athletes who haven’t really done serious training…
#31: Acquiring skills in CrossFit so you can actually do them in workouts
Sep 30, 2019 • 28 min
When we talk about skill acquisition in CrossFit, we often think about things like “getting a muscle-up” or “improving double-under technique.” These are all important aspects of improving your abilities in the sport, but there’s a…
#30: How Often Should I Peak?
Sep 16, 2019 • 36 min
What do we actually mean when we talk about “peaking?” How should an athlete structure a peaking phase in their training? And, how do we get CrossFit athletes to be be able to do competitions when they’re not in top shape without…
#29: Why You Shouldn’t Stop Doing Conditioning to Get Stronger
Sep 2, 2019 • 35 min
If you want to get strong, you have to stop doing conditioning, right? While you may find that athletes do often get stronger by focusing only on strength development, this does not carry over well to mixed modal sport. Instead, a concurrent…
#28: CrossFit Games 2019 Wrap-Up
Aug 19, 2019 • 43 min
As has been the case throughout the entire 2019 season, there was much controversy surrounding the 2019 CrossFit Games. Luke coached two national champions this year, so we get some “behind-the-scenes” insight from him - and learn about…
#27: Conditioning Progression for Advanced vs Intermediate Athletes
Aug 5, 2019 • 34 min
As we’ve discussed many times on the show, the way that elite athletes train for the sport of CrossFit can be confusing and often negative for people who aren’t yet at an elite level. Many athletes want to improve their conditioning and…
#26: Michael FitzGerald of OPT Calgary
Jul 22, 2019 • 71 min
This week, we have a rebroadcast of the audio from a webinar that we did with Michael FitzGerald of Optimum Performance Training Calgary a few months back. Many athletes want to improve their endurance in the sport of CrossFit, but what…
#25: The Lifecyle of a CrossFit Athlete
Jul 8, 2019 • 29 min
What is the lifecycle of a CrossFit athlete? How does one progress from starting CrossFit as a fitness program, deciding to do a bit of additional work, then progressing into doing competitions. How do athletes balance training with a group…
#24: Muscle Endurance in Conditioning Workouts
Jun 24, 2019 • 35 min
Many athletes are limited by their muscle endurance in conditioning workouts. Their shoulders blow up and their burpee cycle time turns into a crawl. Their grip is shot and they can’t hang onto the bar for another 75# power snatch. Their…
#23: Sustainable vs Unsustainable Work
Jun 7, 2019 • 30 min
When designing conditioning sessions, it’s a challenging to understand how much sustainable work should be done (meaning paced, repeatable efforts) vs how much unsustainable work should be done (meaning high effort testing or competitive…
#22: What does it mean to have an engine?
May 24, 2019 • 32 min
People often talk about wanting to improve their “engine,” but this can mean a lot of different things. Some people struggle with cyclical pieces based upon rowing, biking and running, but are great with mixed pieces of double-unders,…
#21: Can I Do Too Much Cardio?
May 10, 2019 • 31 min
As coaches who generally love us some aerobic work, we’re generally onboard with athletes getting in a bunch of sustainable, well-paced training. We also often have folks asking if they can do “too much cardio” - between their high…
#20: Training With Intent
Apr 26, 2019 • 18 min
Athletes must have intent when they train. They must understand exactly what they’re working on, and be relentlessly focused on observing their experience and learning both tacitly and explicitly how they can improve their pacing, their movement…
#19: Why Layering Strength Programs Doesn’t Always Work
Apr 12, 2019 • 30 min
We all know someone who has done a Smolov cycle or a weightlifting program in an attempt to get stronger - and they usually throw that on top of their typical CrossFit “metcons.” But, is layering a strength program on top of a typical…
#18: Don’t Negotiate with Yourself During Training
Mar 29, 2019 • 26 min
“I’m not feeling so good right now - I’ll just move through this at 80% to finish it off.” Athletes can get themselves in trouble when they start negotiating with themselves on pacing during a workout. As coaches who…
#17: Phil Mansfield & James Jowsey (RedPill Training)
Mar 15, 2019 • 64 min
You may recognize Phil Mansfield from his recent hit appearance on the Legion Strength & Conditioning Podcast a few episodes ago. Oh yeah, and he’s also Sara Sigmundsdottir’s coach. This time, the gang is all here - as Phil and his…
#16: Doing the Stuff That Isn’t Fun
Mar 1, 2019 • 30 min
There’s a lot of “fun” stuff to do in training. Snatches and muscle-ups, long grindy chippers, heavy squatting or clean and jerks… But these aren’t always the things that we need to do to get better. How do we set ourselves up to spend the…
#15: How are all these sanctionals going?
Feb 15, 2019 • 28 min
What’s up with the programming at the Sanctional events? Are events doing a good job of selecting and testing the athletes that are going to be moving on to the CrossFit Games? Should HQ step in and create specific standards surrounding how…
#14: Phil Mansfield (RedPill Training)
Feb 1, 2019 • 58 min
Phil Mansfield is a multi-disciplinary coach with a history competing and/or coaching in rugby, cycling, swimming, triathlon and more. In the CrossFit world, he is best known as the coach to multi-time CrossFit Games podium finisher Sara…
#13: How long until I get good?
Jan 18, 2019 • 27 min
As soon as someone training in CrossFit gets past that initial hump and starts to see some improvements in their training results, a common question starts to haunt their thoughts. A question vocalized by Peter Steele in…
#12: Quit Talking About 10,000 Hours
Jan 4, 2019 • 29 min
You’ve probably heard of the 10,000 hour rule.And it probably sounded really good.Put in 10,000 hours of work and become a world class expert at anything!Problem is, the common…
#11: Andy Edwards (Dragon CrossFit)
Dec 21, 2018 • 78 min
Andy Edwards is one of the CrossFit OGs on the British Islands. He’s been on the CrossFit Level One seminar staff for years, and he’s also coached Jamie Greene to an 8th place finish at the CrossFit Games in 2017, an 11th place finish in…
#10: Do Cyclical Aerobic Intervals Make you Better at CrossFit?
Dec 7, 2018 • 19 min
The training of many elite athletes involves seemingly endless intervals suffering on the assault bike and the erg. While there seems to be a general understanding now that the flashy 1RM PRs clogging up our Instagram feeds don’t necessarily…
#9: Kristin Miller (CrossFit Mayhem)
Nov 16, 2018 • 54 min
Jon and I both worked with Kristin during the NPGL’s amateur GRID tournament - remember GRID? We put together a team of misfits and went out to LA to compete, and we actually did pretty well. We took second overall, which meant that we got an…
#8: Auto-Regulation vs Specific Prescription
Nov 2, 2018 • 18 min
In competitive CrossFit, most people tend to either consistently go out too hot on every workout (and have a melt down a few minutes in), or they tend to overpace everything and always feel like they had more in the tank to give. Based upon…
#7: You Turn Your Skill Work Into Training
Oct 18, 2018 • 19 min
When it comes to “effort” in skill training, it seems that less is more. Athletes who compete in CrossFit often thrive on giving full effort. They enjoy the process of pushing themselves - and they also believe that, unless they’ve given…
#6: Planning a Competition Schedule for the 2019 Season
Oct 4, 2018 • 40 min
Todd and Luke continue to talk through the changes to the 2019 CrossFit Games season. The incentives for people to participate in the different competitions will change significantly - and we will see people having to put much more thought into their…
#5: Changes to the 2019 CrossFit Games season
Sep 20, 2018 • 30 min
Jon and Luke talk through some of the changes to the 2019 CrossFit Games season (which are still not fully clear yet) - but we do have enough information for athletes to start planning their training. The structure of the season for most athletes will…
#4: How much variation in daily results can I expect in training?
Sep 14, 2018 • 24 min
For many athletes, every training session is a competition and they’re constantly evaluating themselves on their results. While having an idea of where you sit and what you need to work on is generally a good idea, this can also swing too…
#3: How often should I redline in training?
Aug 23, 2018 • 17 min
Athletes love to get wrecked by a really difficult workout. People training hard often feel that they didn’t do anything productive unless they’re completely destroyed at the end of a session. While this desire to push to maximum…
#2: Why use tempo in strength training?
Aug 9, 2018 • 15 min
Tempo training has recently become quite popular in the functional fitness space - probably thanks largely to Marcus Filly’s popularization of Functional…
#1: When to modify training and when to do it as written
Jul 22, 2018 • 18 min
Jon, Todd and Luke break down when to modify training and when to do it as written. People tend to either constantly tinker with their training - making modifications without understanding what they’re doing or why they’re…