A new style of programming starting at GEO in November
I just wanted to let you in on some changes that will be occurring to the way workouts are programmed at GEO for the month of November, and if all goes well, beyond.
Depending on how often you attend training or how much you delve into the programming (some of you don’t care, you just come in and do what you are told, which is fine), some of you may have thought that it was quite random with no real formula used to decide on what was done on any given day. It’s quite the contrary. Each month I program for the month ahead. That’s why when some of you ask me, “what’s tomorrow’s WOD?” I can’t answer straight off the bat because I programmed it month ago.
For the last year or so I have made a conscious effort to design a monthly program that will see you focus on 2 or 3 different skills/movements where we will set a benchmark at the beginning of the month, work on technique or small aspects of the skill/movement over the course of the month, and then retest at the end of the month. I am very happy say that the programming has worked and this has been proven by the constant PR’s and improvements we (Coaches) have seen in your efforts.
Around these “focal” movements though, there is obviously still a need to program a combination of strength, conditioning and skill in other exercises so that we achieve a well rounded fitness that will allow us to attack any challenge thrown our way. And I guess at the end of the day, that is what our fitness goal at GEO is – to be a jack of all trades. There are some gyms that focus on strength, there are others that focus on conditioning, there are those who keep things very simple, and there are those who are dedicated to competition. I like to think that we cover all of those aspects without really specialising in one. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? There is no right or wrong answer. It is up to you as the member to decide what your goals are and what you are prepared to do to achieve them.
Since the beginning of the year, I have been following and performing the programming from Brute Strength. They are a group of highly respected and experienced Coaches in the US who are all experts in different fields of fitness – Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit, Gymnastics, Mobility, Endurance. Together, they formulate weekly programs to cover all bases of what we do in CrossFit, with the ultimate goal of preparing athletes for competition. There is a lot of volume and a good mix of simple foundational movements and high skill exercises.
What I like about the programming is that each day of the week is dedicated to a certain area of fitness. For instance, Mondays are Squat days (back squat, front squat + another auxiliary squat movement like weighted lunges), Tuesdays are Snatch and Clean days, Wednesdays are endurance days (rowing or running) etc etc. Each day also has some sort of conditioning piece after the main focus movements, so it’s not just lifting. You are still getting in some heavy breathing, heart rate increasing, and sweaty workouts. If you have seen me at the end of a 4pm Open Gym session the you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Moving forward, I will be programming in a similar fashion for all of you at GEO, minus the volume. I want you all to get stronger but I also want you to improve your conditioning and progress with your skills in a linear fashion and I think this will be an improvement on what we are already doing.
Part of being a good Coach is being open minded, seeking knowledge, learning new things, and being able to accept that there is more than one way to do something. I want to give you guys some exposure to this style of programming and see if we can get even better results.
Mondays will be “Squat day” followed by a MetCon
Tuesdays will “Clean or Snatch” day followed by a MetCon
Wednesdays will be “Bodyweight only” day with one long, or 2-3 smaller bodyweight MetCons
Thursdays will be “Strongman” day with workouts involving sleds, yoke carries, single leg/arm work, sandbag carries etc
Fridays will be “Hero WOD of Benchmark Girl” day
Saturdays will be “Team Workout (Talon)” days.
The consistency in the programming from week to week will kill two birds with one stone:
- For those who train 3 to 6 sessions a week, you will see more progress across all aspects of your fitness as you will have regular benchmarks to measure against and more exposure to key movements which you can tweak to improve technique;
- For those who only train 1 to 2 times per week, you can now plan your training days each week to come in and do the style of workout that you enjoy the most or the one you need the most to achieve your goals.
Please don’t confuse this for every week being the same thing. You will still see lots of variety in what you do so boredom or plateauing will not be an issue. Below you will see and example of one of the weeks in November. Check it out and let me know what you think. It is highly likely some of you may not like this new style, but please just give it a go for the month before you make up your mind. As always, I am open to hear feedback, good and bad.
Oh yeah, the way we scale and modify workouts will not change. Our goal as Coaches will continue to be having you work at the level of skill and fitness that is right for you.
From what I have seen in recent months, and heard from the Coaches, everyone is really kicking arse with their training. I will be very surprised if November does not follow suit.