How Our Programming Works

We've been a CrossFit facility for four years now, but we've been in the training
game for much longer. Since 1996, I've been studying; trying; implementing; and
discarding methods of training with myself and clients. 

When we became a CrossFit gym in 2008, the slate was never wiped clean. Crumbs and
residue of that knowledge bank were never erased. 


When people get excited about Starting Strength, I'm glad: they're discovering an
intro-level linear periodization strength model. They're learning about progressive
loading. When folks talk about doing Wendler 5-3-1, I'm glad: it's a simple
iteration of Westside; it's Louie Simmons and Dave Tate with a circle drawn 'round
it to define its boundaries. Westside, in turn, is Zatsiorsky + Prilepin –
Medveyev.....with an emphasis on the accessory lifts instead of the Olympic lifts.

Portions of different training programs seep into our own programming. If one broke
apart our daily workouts for the last nine months, and looked at each piece
individually, they'd probably recognize both Westside and Zatsiorsky. Under a
critical scope, the apparent randomness of our METCON work won't appear so random
after all. Here's how it shakes out:
1. Strength work: one "Upper Body To Max" day, and one "Lower Body To Max" day. The
process of attempting heavy maximal lifts every week has been attributed to the
Bulgarian methods; rotating the max lifts to avoid burnout is mostly the brainchild
of Louie Simmons.
2. Speed work: One heavier Olympic-lift day, and one lighter (rep) Olympic-lift
day. These were the original foundations of the systems of Zatsiorsky, and tweaked
by Verkhoshansky. Typically, our heavy OLY day is Thursday, and Friday is left as a
higher-rep "technique" day...mixed in with METCON.
3. Specialized METCON: METabolic CONditioning, based on the CrossFit principles of
novelty and constant preparedness. However, we also consult Prilepin's Table, at
least with percentages. When the strength portion of the workout is a press, for
example, you'll notice a lot of pressing "assistance work" in the METCON portion,
like handstand pushups and ring dips.
4. GPP (General Physical Preparedness) : Wednesdays and Saturdays, our workouts
don't include extra strength work. For some, these are rest days. Typically
carrying a more aerobic bent, Wednesday and Saturday workouts are usually a bit
longer, lighter, and leave your heart bursting out through your eyes. GPP, though a
referral to overall or 'General' fitness, is specific to the level of fitness
required. GPP for a powerlifter is walking while pulling a heavy sled. GPP for Rich
Froning requires a bit more....
The programmed 'secondary' benefits:
1. Group Dynamic - this is critical for long-term adherence and physical success.
Obviously, we prefer that our CrossFitters train in groups when they're not doing
private sessions. We do a lot of specialty programming in group format to address
individualized weakness, and we REALLY push the Saturday morning classes, where
athletes are teamed or paired.
2. Fun - Our workouts have to be fun. If they're not fun, they're not making anyone
happy. And if no one's happy, why would we want to do it?
3. Bright Spots - the strength work, being by nature objectively measurable (you
either lift more, or you don't) provides constant Personal Bests. Especially in a
group setting, where joy can be shared through the success of others, SOMEONE is
always setting a personal best. Maybe it's you. Maybe you're just clapping for
someone else. Shared joy is still joy.
It may appear that we draw our workouts from a 'hopper.' We do not. Programming is
set to be attractive, a little scary, and provide benefit both to the long-term
student AND the one-time-"I'm looking for a bootcamp!" drop-in client. This is the
model we've been tweaking since September. If you haven't been in since, you're
missing out. If you have, you can now appreciate why you're making so many gains in
such a short time.