Why We Do What We Do, and How We’re Changing

Since CrossFit was started by Greg Glassman years ago, the idea that our community is “open-source” has been a vital role in the growth and development of our program. While “constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity” is the constant recipe for making people fitter, the voices that the community has (or hasn’t) embraced has been on the merits of what sorts of empirical knowledge that they can insert to make us all better athletes, coaches, and affiliates. It doesn’t matter if you’re a olympic weightlifter, endurance athlete, gymnast, yogi, nutritionist, etc., CrossFit culture and methodology has always been one that has sought to be guided by expertise from as many disciplines as is functional and backed by scientific evidence. While this sea of knowledge can be overwhelming and cause a “too many cooks in the kitchen” sort of environment, there is still an ability we all have to survey the landscape of expertise and glean wisdom that can help us all make tweaks and improvements in our knowledge base that gives us fewer excuses than ever to not improve.

This includes us at CFA. Since the beginning, we have strived to have as clear of an understanding as was possible about how we wanted to “create an environment that enabled our members to thrive in all areas of life” through our programming, as well as  top-tier coaching in movement and nutrition. To be more specific, our programming template and has followed very closely to what in the CrossFit world would consider a General Physical Preparedness (GPP) program that seeks to provide a constantly ready state with the equipment available and modalities that can be fit within an hour long time slot. To take it further, our class structure has followed suit in order to ensure we’re all doing our due diligence in the areas that are most important for a successful training sessions across all fitness levels. The format has been as follows:

Minutes 0-15: warm-up (general to specific)
Minutes 16-25: mobility, technique work, movement (CNS) priming
Minutes 26-35: workout prep and individual scaling recommendations
Minutes 36-55: workout of the day

As we move forward, the coaches and I have been putting our heads together about how to maintain the proven effectiveness of this approach, but also how to make sure we are continuing to think about how to provide more value to you all and expedite the development of your fitness. With that, here is the new structure of our classes starting this coming Monday (5/23):

Minutes 0-5: general warm up
Minutes 6-15: mobility/technique work, movement (CNS) priming
Minutes 16-25: skill work of the day
Minutes 26-35: workout prep and individual scaling recommendations
Minutes 36-55: workout of the day

You’ll notice that there are a few variations, which are to shorten our “general to specific” warm up, to a more general warm-up meant to raise overall body temperature, then move more quickly towards specific mobility, all with the purpose to move into added skill work led by your coach. Here are a few clarifying points about the purpose of this change and what to expect. First, this is primarily about adding value to your class experience, not volume to your training. What this means is that the primary purpose of this addition is not necessarily to increase each athlete’s energy output each class (even though this may be the case depending on the day), but to help hone skills that are essential to your fitness development that is more difficult to do during our metabolic conditioning session. Whether it be because of the movements that we will include in these sessions are highly technical, impractical because of equipment limitations, or because the stimulus they promote make them counterproductive to include during our “metcons”, we’ve realized that placing more emphasis on these sorts of movements not only has it’s place, but will be a way we can continue to improve our approach to coming along side you all in your pursuit of a healthier, fitter life.

Also, we will no longer designate our Thursday programming as a day for primarily strength development, but will follow the template above Monday-Friday with periodic exposure to movements meant to develop strength during our skill sessions.

Lastly, a practical place of emphasis to put on this is that it will become even more important than ever to be on time for class. I know that many of you have other obligations that make this difficult, but if you will do the best you can to be there when class begins, we’ll do the best we can to make it worth your time! Thanks again for being the best group of people around, I’m excited about us continuing to improve push towards the best version of ourselves together!