We are a gym that is partially strength-bias. This means that while we have some days that have a strength portion, we rarely have strength only days. By now you’ve noticed that on our wall by the rowers there are 10 words on 10 different posters. Those are the 10 general physical characteristics CrossFit strives to improve. Out of all of them, the one that best helps build all of the other, reduce injury, and improve performance is strength! As our year goes on and we get closer to the Open we will see a shift to more conditioning and less strength pieces in the programming. We initially focus on building strength immediately following the Open, then as the year goes on we gradually switch our foci to peak in the Open, where conditioning is crucial. This is why we had a pure strength cycle for 12 weeks, and now we are in a power cycle that either works different odds and ends lifts or Olympic Lifting.
By its own definition, CrossFit programming needs to incorporate constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity. We use functional movements in our programming to effectively build strength and power. This includes a multitude of movements ranging from gymnastics, traditional cardio, weightlifting, strongman, and so much more.
Intensity is perhaps one of the most necessary components in a CrossFit workout, as without it power is not built effectively. We aspire to push intensity in most of the workouts we do, though it may be higher or lower depending on specific workout. Of course, we want you to develop the mechanics of movements first, then consistently get those mechanics down and feel comfortable in the movements, and then push the intensity. This creates the safest environment for you all to perform these workouts and get the biggest bang for your buck.
Lastly, constantly varied in the sense of our MetCons, and even in our strength portions depending on the cycle, where we use a variety of movements on different days to try to capture general physical preparedness. This means we want to use a multitude of movements that can help prepare you for anything you may encounter in life, whether that would be lifting and carrying boxes or bags, running a 5k for charity, running an obstacle course, playing games outside, or any other endeavors that require physical activity. “Constantly varied” also includes time domains. The most optimal time domains for workouts to build power and push intensity range from 8-12 minutes. This is where most of our workouts will fall so we can get the most gains! However, we also include workouts that are shorter to push intensity even more, and on longer workouts to focus on endurance and the grind. The longer workouts that are 20 or more minutes are used less frequently as you cannot push intensity well. Dave Castro himself says, “These here (4 or 5 movement chippers), I’d like to see occasionally.” They definitely have their time and place, but the most effective way to build power and general physical preparedness is through the 12 minute or shorter workouts.
Hopefully this helps give you an idea of why we program how we do and maybe learn something new! As always, if you ever have any questions feel free to contact me or Coach Josh, in the gym or by email. We’re always here to help!