The thinking behind what goes on the whiteboard.
We have such an awesome community.
Our people come in the doors for an hour of CrossFit and we aim to have them leaving our box with a massive smile on their faces and good vibes flowing everywhere. We do this through amazing coaches, and a programme on the whiteboard that will keep our crew happy and healthy.
If this post is TL;DR, then know this: We programme because we love our crew, and want them to hang around for the long term.
Today’s blog is for the people that want to have a glimpse behind the curtain and look at the how & why of our CrossFit Whanganui programming. Matt as our Head Coach has been writing the programming for CrossFit Whanganui since 2013, and on our website we have over 800 days’ worth of workouts. We have evolved over the years with our programming and in 2018 we have come to a very awesome space with the how and why.
Relationships – know every single person within our community and can modify any WOD for that individual while maintain the intention of the workout. Because our Kaiarahi place so much emphasis on building a good athlete – coach relationship, we can take into account all the data points that we need to modify appropriately: Sleep, nutrition, injury, training frequency, training capacity, your goals etc.
We are athletes at CrossFit Whanganui too – We stand in the trenches right next to you and there is nothing that we programme that we are not prepared to do ourselves. We know what our wods feel like, we know the frustration of learning a pull up, and can programme our sessions according to the needs to our community. Many online “coaches” will happily prescribe you a programme (or sell you one) but they have no idea of you, your goals nor are they standing right next to you in the trenches. We are. We know what the vibe in the box is like when certain WODs are prescribed and try to feed more awesomeness in to the experience.
The Long game – Our goal is to keep you with us, injury free, happy and progressing over the next 10+ years. This macro view of your progress is taken into consideration every single day, and during every rep. We often hear “Bro, they do beast mode wods at CrossFit xyz”, most of these people are no longer training, or burnt out/injured. We sprinkle Hero WODs and longer 30-40-minute wods into our programme every now and then, but you cannot do these every day and expect to stay happy, healthy and consistent. You should be able to train at CFW 5-6 times a week and be able to give love and energy to your work, family and friends. Going “Beast Mode” every single day is not sustainable. We are pretty keen on having our crew around us for many more years to come.
The Formula: Constantly varied, functional movements done at high intensity. This formula is set around a four day cycle of Squat-Push/Pull-Midline/Mobility/Movement-Olympic Weightlifting.
Constantly Varied – Every single day you walk into the box, the workout is different. We do this for two reasons. 1 – Its fun! Having a different workout and focus every day, means that you never get bored of doing the same old thing. I remember back to when I trained at a Globo Gym, and the routine was Chest and Biceps on Monday, Back and Biceps on Tuesday, Cardio and Biceps on Wednesday and then repeat all over again. Legs were never trained. By varying our programme we aim to break the monotony and pour as much fun into your hour as possible. 2 – The goal of CrossFit is General Physical Preparedness. This will make you as strong as possible and still be able to run as far as possible. We want you to be able to lift heavy things and run a 5km race within the same day. To achieve this broad level of fitness, you need to vary your programme, hence, some days we will be lifting low reps at heavy weight, and then other days will be focused on bodyweight. Real fitness, for the real world (and the Zombie apocalypse).
Functional Movements – This is one of the secret ingredients for life long health and fitness. The movements we programme at CFW should mimic the requirements of the real world. So, we will coach you how to squat properly, and we’ll aim for full range of motion. We will teach you how to brace your midline properly so that when the real world needs to you pick up a weight, you are 110% ready to do so safely. Functional Movements make humans better at almost everything. We wont have you doing isolated bicep curls whilst staring into a full length mirror. But, we will have you doing handstand walks and Deadlifts.
High Intensity – Every single workout with our community is done a high intensity. This is for two reasons. 1 – Its fun! CrossFitters are notorious for enjoying hard workouts and there is truly nothing better than giving your wod buddy a high five after a wicked wod, knowing that you both busted your butts to finish. 2 – Intensity is where the results are. Nothing worth doing is worth doing at half pie, you need to use the whole pie.
The way we vary up our programming is loosely based on a 4 day cycle:
Day 1 – Squat.
We try to vary the load and movements as often as possible to ensure our crew get exposer to heavy squatting and still have time to recover adequately to hit the next Squat day with intensity.
Day 2 – Push/Pull
This is either pushing a weight overhead, or floor press type movement or a pull e.g. Deadlift/Pull up. Some days we mix this up for an alternating set of push strength + pull strength. These are fun, and the real-world benefit of this focus is huge. A conversation I had with one of my bros (who pays lock) was that lifting the forwards in the line outs has been easy this season, because of the strength training at CFW. A more common real world cross over is being able to put your 7kg luggage in the overhead compartment on a plane. It’s shocking to see how many people struggle with this task.
Day 3 – Midline/Mobility/Movement
On this day, the focus will be on putting the barbells and weights away for a day and focus on creating a solid midline (so when we grab our barbells again we have an impressive core to hold it up), mobility which will able us to get through the full range of motion and keep our bodies functioning healthy, and movement. The movement part is typically a longer bodyweight wod, that is still done at high intensity. As much as I love hitting a heavy barbell every day, our bodies need a rest, and this is our chance to coach the community through mobility and movement so we can keep coming back for 10 years+
Day 4 – Olympic Weightlifting
Since the beginning of CrossFit, the introduction of Olympic Weightlifting has been the most effective training tool for generating explosive power and strength. One these days, our focus will be on the Snatch, Clean and Jerk and all the variations that we can manage. These days are truly my favourite days.
Day 5 – Start all over
This way, you will always be getting exposure to a different strength focus every day. If you are awesome enough to train 6 days a week, every single day will have a different strength bias. If you train twice a week, you’ll still be exposed to a strength set, and an awesome conditioning piece. Also having the strength focus rotate on a four day cycle means that if you train consistently on certain days you wont be getting the same strength set over and over and over. Some Mondays will be squats, and the next Monday could be Push Press. Cycling our strength focus in this manner also helps to keep you coming back often and feeling happy and healthy.
If you made it this far through he blog, you must really love this stuff. We do too.