Monday, August 31, 2015

Programming sources and strategy

Hi everyone! Just wanted to let everyone know exactly what we're doing for programming at Sigma CrossFit! In case you guys haven't realized it already, we have actually been on this program for 2 weeks already (we started as soon as Wendler finished), and are about to start week 3 on Monday, Aug 31st. Some of you may already know that our old programming (since mid-November 2014) was being sourced from Ben Bergeron's CFNE/CompTrain programming. Ben Bergeron is a well respected CrossFit coach for MANY CrossFit Games athletes, including Chris Spealler, Mat Fraser, Katrin Davidsdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Rebecca Voigt, etc... However, after much analysis and consideration, we feel that the program is very complete for the CrossFit Games athletes, but has left some holes in our fitness for those of us who are not at that level. Certain movements are neglected if you're not following the Games level programming, such as handstand push ups and ring dips in particular, and even running. After much consideration for our competitors who want to reach higher levels of fitness and for our general fitness athletes who need more variation in programming, we've decided to source our programming from MisFit. Keep in mind that MisFit is a competitor's program designed for Regional-level athletes and has even brought 2 individual athletes to the Games (Jordan Cook and Travis Williams), as well as teams (CF Maximus took 7th place at the Games). So why have we switched over to a program that has brought less athletes to the CrossFit Games than CompTrain has? The biggest deciding factor was Travis Williams. Personally, I remember during my Coach's Prep Course (which has now become the CrossFit Level 2 Trainer's Certificate Course), Chris Spealler was one of my instructors and said to watch out for anybody that can take someone who is a nobody and send him or her to the Games... When evaluating a program, you cannot just look at how many athletes they have sent to the Games, but you must also consider the prior athletic background of those athletes before they started CrossFit. Many CrossFit Games athletes were already elite athletes in other sports prior to their exposure to CrossFit. Teach them how to squat snatch and do a muscle up, and they're well on their way. However, if you could take someone who was just an average athlete in the beginning and build them up to a Games level athlete, that is truly impressive. Check out the YouTube video to learn more about Travis Williams and how he went from being overweight at 5'9" and 270# to the CrossFit Games.

I'm a big believer in what CrossFit teaches during the Level 1 seminars, and as it still says on, "The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind." However, instead of taking a program that is designed for general fitness (such as and trying to add to it to make it suitable for our more advanced competitors, we believe it's easier to start with a complete program designed for competitors and simply scale it down (or remove some of the extra workouts) for our general fitness athletes. Since MisFit provides 4-5 workouts each day of their program, it gives us a good variety to choose from. This also allows our competitors to workout with the class, which is one of the major benefits of CrossFit: the community! We've seen several gyms where the competitors are doing something completely different than everyone else, and we feel that isolating the competitors is both bad for the community (with the general fitness athletes feeling left out), and bad for the competitors as well (due to poor effort when working out alone). You all know you push harder in a workout when you've got someone next to you who is just one rep ahead or behind you... After the class is over, competitors will usually have one or two extra workouts (which will still be listed under the CompWOD section of our chalkboard) to do on their own to complete the full MisFit program for the day.

This will bring about a few changes as well. You'll see that Thursday's workouts are actually taken from MisFit's Saturday programming. MisFit recommends (and we've recommended this before when we were following the CompTrain) that Thursday should be a rest or active recovery day. If you're doing the full competitors' program, we suggest you follow the recommendations and take Thursday off (or as an active recovery day and do something OUTSIDE the gym), then do Thursday's WOD on the following Saturday, as it was originally intended to be. However, we do understand that many of you are committed to family time on the weekends and can only workout Monday through Friday, which is why we're making Saturday's programming available on Thursday so you are still getting access to the same workouts, just in a slightly different order.

Timing-wise, everything worked out almost perfectly that we were able to finish our last Wendler cycle and start MisFit on Cycle 1 Day 1 of their programming for the 2016 CrossFit Games season! For those of you who like to be prepared for the WOD (or like to cherry-pick), we will be following MisFit with a 2-week delay. This allows us to program Saturday Skill Workshops based off what movements we are planning to see the following week. Keep in mind, even though MisFit programs additional workouts to be chosen based on your weaknesses, sometimes we will make the executive decision and choose one of those optional workouts for everyone, since we know they're a weakness based off our past programming. For example, last Friday we chose to do the pistol squat workout for the class, which was one of MisFit's optional workouts for that day. But over the last 9-months of CompTrain programming, we've only seen pistol squats in the main WOD only ONE TIME, so we know pistol squats are a weakness for most of us simply because of lack of practice.

Lastly, we will for the first time in Sigma CrossFit history, try posting the WODs in advance the night before! Although, since you all know where the WODs are coming from, if we ever fall behind in posting the WODs you can just look it up on MisFit yourself (remember the 2 week delay) and try to guess which workouts we will choose for the class. However, we have built a community that often doesn't even like to be tempted to skip WODs if they know what they are in advance, so we will only be posting the WODs to our website,, and not on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, so we can try to avoid any accidental spoilers for those of you that just like to show up and find out what the WOD is when you see it on the chalkboard. This is also helpful for those of you who want to follow our programming even if you're traveling but have access to a hotel gym! This can also be helpful when planning your extra accessory workouts to work on your weaknesses! For example, if you want to work on butterfly chest to bar pull ups for extra accessory work, you can look at the upcoming WODs on MisFit and figure out if doing that extra work will leave you too sore that you cannot participate in tomorrow's WOD... If any of these situations sound useful to you (or you simply like to cherry-pick your WODs and show up only on bench press day), set a bookmark on your phone and computers to and feel free to discuss the WODs, workout strategies, and post your scores and PRs to the comments on our WOD posts!

No comments:

Post a Comment