Many people who walk through our doors, or who have no experience in CrossFit don’t really understand how it works. They have an idea of what CrossFit is either because they saw it on TV, or heard about it through a friend. What they do know, is that it’s intense! It will make you indefinitely sore, and you’ll feel like you want to puke after every session. That sounds awesome… But, that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
We’ve got a few different programs running that allow members to train at the level of experience and ability that they are capable of. The general misunderstanding that we hear from new, interested prospects, is that you NEED to be able to lift certain weights that are prescribed during workouts. You NEED to be able to squat to wear your cheeks touch the floor with two times your body weight on your back, even if you have a knee injury. You NEED to be able to do a pullup, or handstand pushup. –ALL of this is a very big misunderstanding, and much of the reason for our CF Fitness Program.
Our CF Fitness program is designed for people with little to no experience, who want to get into a legitimate strength & conditioning program. Most of, if not all of the lifting is done “by feel” using weights that are a bit more ‘moderate’. In other words, as coaches we help you to determine appropriate training loads and modifications to achieve a desired response to the training for the day. The daily training tends to have a bit more volume of strength training (at lighter loads) which is better for improved body composition, but also aims to build a technically proficient, solid foundation of the basics, especially with new members. Or, even those with experience looking to get back into training after a significant amount of time off. When we write our programming for our CF Fitness program, it mirrors our Performance program, but we might note that we want your goblet squat to feel ‘moderate to heavy’ for 8-10 reps, while at the same time in our Performance program, we may want our athletes lifting 85% of their 1RM back squat for 5 reps. Therefore, from person to person, what feels ‘moderate to heavy’ for 8-10 reps may be very different and that’s okay, because everyone will still be training with CrossFit, working at a capacity appropriate for them.
Our Performance program on the other hand, is designed for those with more training experience. They’ve already put in the time to build relative technical proficiency with the basics, and even the more complex movements. Members training with this programming typically aren’t limited by mobility, or experience in the more complex Olympic weightlifting movements, or gymnastic movements like pullups and handstand pushups. The strength work and even some of the conditioning work within the Performance programming tends to be more based off of a percentage of each athletes rep-maxes in certain lifts, and much less “by feel” training. Conditioning training within this program also tends to be a little more interval based, or focused energy system training, whereas the CF Fitness program maintains more aerobic based conditioning.
We structure our programming this way in order to provide the best possible training to a variety of members with training experience ranging from beginner to advanced. Most gyms provide a one-size-fits-all approach, which only works to a certain extent. The problem is; grouping members into either ‘RX’ or ‘Scaled’ for one particular generic WOD will always leave many within a gym community labeled as ‘Scaled’ for a programmed workout that is too complex in the first place, or trying to complete it as written and just reducing the weight. However, movement complexity should be a concern with programming. There is an order of operation in training. Proficiency with the basics NEEDS to be the priority for EVERYONE. If a new client or gym member cannot yet squat properly and/or safely, they have no business going for a max snatch.