Method behind the Madness (The Workouts)
Those that know me know the lengths I go to provide what I feel is some of the most thorough programming around. When I talk to newer members I am occasionally surprised to find out that newer folks thought we get sent our workouts from headquarters or we just make it up that day.
Depending on the cycle (focus) we are in I write the workouts anywhere from 12 weeks ahead of time to 4 weeks. Some basic tenets we focus on:
1. The Weeks use undulating/concurrent periodization model in both volume and intensity. So we have Hi-Moderate/Low/High/Recovery wave when programming this way it allows ample time to recover and adapt. We look to stimulate not annihilate your capacities.
2. All of our movement frequency is prescribed with the idea that most of our member’s needs differ by degree not kind. So we focus on a 2:1 push to pull ratio to balance out upper and lower crossed syndrome issues (tight chest and shoulders, tight hip flexors, etc) based on our last test results. If we are lacking in our Cardio Output tests as a community the programming will shift to bring that up. If we are lacking in the core stability tests we will have additional corrective work, etc.
3. Our energy system work hangs out mostly in the 10-15 minute range to get the most bang for your buck without pulverizing you into the ground. We have seen through years of experience in the trenches that this time gives us the most bang for our buck with general fitness in mind.
Mobility and Flexibility in our Programming
(No Fitness on top of Dysfunction)
This is an area often neglected by many programs. We prioritize it. Once you have improved this ability, your recovery will be quicker. You will get through your daily life more pain-free, and your workout times will improve as you no longer have to fight against your own mobility issues while training. We will have warm-ups and cool downs that will serve to both release tensions from the workout just performed, and to improve typical problem areas.
Strength is a Priority
(Get Strong….it fixes a lot of things)
If one is to continue progressing in fitness, adequate levels of strength are vital. Strength is a physical skill and is the foundation that your fitness will be built upon. Endurance without strength will lead to lack of progress and even eventual injury. With this in mind we have strength development in the programming almost daily.
Emphasise Shorter WOD’s with More Power Output:
There are many reasons to emphasise shorter metabolic conditioning workouts (metcons) or to perform them in more of an interval style with prescribed rest between rounds. Long workouts necessitate pacing yourself and a game plan, just as if you were going to run a marathon you would not start sprinting at the gun ! Shorter workouts allow a trainee to attack and leave it all on the table, leading to a higher intensity workout.
Also, we can limit some of the negative hormonal responses from exercise by training this way (Don’t chase being fatigued. Getting beat up by your workout is not a sign of fitness). You will get an overall lower release of stress hormones (that will break the body down) and a larger release of anabolic hormones (that will accelerate repair and regrowth).
Programming is designed around Form-Consistency-Intensity:
If you are not regularly hitting Rx (either weight, ROM, or Skill) on a daily basis then you should aim to get there first before you start to worry about posting a time. Progress is made more quickly when you practice. We spend blocks of time, often 6 week periods, with a greater focus in some areas (rowing most recently). Remember this is a long game.
Tailor the Workouts to what the Majority of People Need. General Population Focused:
I try to program workouts for where a majority of our clients are at. The excessive volume of some programs can simply be too much for the average trainee. More is not necessarily better when it comes to athletic conditioning. Connective tissue takes much longer to adapt to new workloads than muscles do. I would rather see the few people who are ready for more, scale up or do our ‘RX+’ WODs.
Most of the time, we vary the muscles worked or energy systems trained. One gray area in programming the WODs is not knowing everyone’s training schedule. I plan as if everyone will come 4 days of the week. In reality, with the exception of a few, no one comes every day. However, many will come on back-to-back days, so usually we complete workouts that will not exhaust the same movements (e.g. front heavy Back Squat on Monday and heavy Front Squat on Tuesday) on two consecutive days.
Hopefully, this gives you a clearer picture of how things are planned here, and what some of our priorities are. If you have any additional questions, I am always glad to answer them.