So, to start off I want to give you a little background on the experience I have before I go into my opinion on programming workouts so you may better understand where I am coming from.
When I first started doing CrossFit, myself and my army squad followed what was called .com programming. We went on CrossFit.com and we did the daily workout that was posted there. It was actually one of the things I loved most about CrossFit. I didn't have to think about what I was going to do the next day. I just pulled it up on my computer (because 11 years ago I didn't have a fancy phone) and boom I was ready to workout. So there was great value in CrossFit from the get go because I didn't have to think.
After following .com programming for my first year I decided to get Level 1 CrossFit certified and at this certification I was able to learn more about what went into programming. It was awesome to see the thought and the careful planning that went into programming each and every day.
I then worked as the head coach at CrossFit Cedar Ridge and coached the programmed workout that was programmed by the owner, Doug Meacham. I then opened up CrossFit The Point and for the first 6-7 years that we were up and running, I programmed each and every workout. So that means in that timeframe I programmed over 2,100 workouts! After about year 6 some great resources with great minds started to come out with their programming and we have bounced around between programs since then with CompTrain being the longest one and we are now doing a program from Mayhem.
What is Programming?
So now that you know where I am coming from, my goal in this blog post is to keep it simple and try to explain why we program the way we do at CrossFit The Point. In all seriousness, I could write a book about this subject but who would read it? ;) So I am going to try my best to keep it short and sweet.
CrossFit has always been touted as a program that prepares you for the unknown and unknowable. From the beginning its main focus was to prepare you for life, to take you out of a routine and to randomize your workouts so to better prepare you for what life throws at you. While this is true, that doesn't mean that we throw structure out the door and just throw random workouts at you and hope you get fitter. When programming for you we must take into account your ability to adapt and program so that each and every day you can come in and complete the work at a high intensity without wearing you down along the way.
The template deployed by CrossFit allowed for programmers to be flexible in their programming. One style doesn't fit all. There are many opinions about how one should go about programming but at the end of the day there are many programs that will make you fitter if you stick to it and are consistent.
When programming for a gym a lot of thought goes into it. The phrase, "Program for the best and scale the rest." is something that I took to heart when I started programming. When I first opened my gym that was easy to do because since I was the most seasoned CrossFitter, if I programmed to challenge myself it usually challenged the whole gym. As time progressed I had to begin to look around the gym and program to best fit our growing gym since everyone had passed me up. :)
My goal here isn't to teach you all the ins and outs of how I program or even how Mayhem programs but to help you understand why we do what we do and to clear up the notion that our workouts are random because they are far from randomized.
Why does this matter to you?
No matter your goals in attending CrossFit The Point, I think it is important to at least understand that what is being programmed for you each and every day has been thought out and tested with the purpose of making you fitter. Understanding that these workouts that are programmed each day are programmed with you in mind and programmed to challenge our best athletes at The Point is very important.
This comes full circle to what Coach Jamie spoke to about Scaling in our last What's up Wednesday. Taking a quote from her, "Modification options are widely available for CrossFit movements which is one big reason CrossFit is for everyone. Communicating with your coach about what’s going on for you will help them choose the most equivalent scaling option for you. It’s our job to provide a safety net for you during your workouts but it is your job to communicate what your needs are that day because everyday they should be different."
Our goal with our programming is to help you progress and yes ultimately your goal should be to Rx the movements but some of these movements must be approached in a gradual process to build up to an eventual Rx. The way we program and the way we modify within the programming will help you progress and become fitter in a safe manner.
I hope this answers some questions about how we program at The Point. Like I said above, I could write a book about this stuff and I would love to discuss it more if you have questions but let me finish here.
Our goal at The Point is to always have you progressing to become fitter human beings so when we program that is what we are doing. Then to back that up we have an amazing training team who can take these workouts and help you modify to best fit your level and fit your abilities. No matter how long you have been doing CrossFit, you can benefit from the coaching staff and their advice for the workouts. They know the stimulus we are trying to create each day and they will help you achieve that stimulus.
Your job is to come consistently and work on your weaknesses. Sometimes you'll have workouts that you hate but don't skip those days! Accept the challenge. Come in and do the work. It was programmed to benefit you.