Chelsea Fitness Training Centre

The Method Behind Our Programming Madness

Click on the following video if you want to watch and hear a summary of this information and don't want to read the following. We recently had our coaches meeting at the box, where all our coaches get together to discuss what’s working, what’s not working and what we can do better for our athletes. As is frequently the case, we spent the majority of our time talking about how we “program” our workouts and our “problem” members!  HAHA!  Just kidding!  Luckily, we have NO problem members, however, we did talk a lot about how we can make our programming better! Let me just say right off the bat, so you do not have to read this entire piece if you do not want to (although I REALLY WISH YOU WOULD read the entire thing!): We are CONTINUOUSLY listening to our athlete’s feedback and do EVERYTHING in our power to ACCOMMODATE EVERYONE’S NEEDS AND WANTS!  It is unfortunately not possible to satisfy everyone; however, we do really try, and this case is no different.  We understand and recognize that those athletes who can only make it to the box a few times per week and happen to only get a strength session and no WOD each time they come, or vice versa, are not happy and we are working to rectify this. Our programming team is diligently working to accommodate all of our athletes needs in our future programming.  We thank you for your feedback and patience as we make changes! While we are continuously trying to tweak our programming to optimize it for ALL our athletes, the overall CrossFit philosophy and methodology behind our programming of

  1. Constantly Varied
  2. Functional Movements
  3. Done at High Intensity
HAS NOT CHANGED!  Why?  BECAUSE WE KNOW THIS WORKS FOR EVERYONE!! When I recently attended my Level 2 CrossFit certification, the great minds of CrossFit who instructed us were advocating that we program fewer days with heavy lifting AND a metabolic conditioning (a.k.a. METCON or the WOD/Workout of the Day where your heart rate is elevated for a certain amount of time) workout in the same hour class period for our athletes who are not competing at a high level.  These people know WAY more than I do so I wanted to start to implement these ideas in our program. Their reasoning for this is the fact that we achieve the best results and improvements in our health and fitness through: 1.) Proper Recovery; 2.) Proper Nutrition; 3.) Proper Mobility; 4.) Workout Consistency and also consistency in all of the above and 5.) Workout Intensity (sorry, yes that is in order of importance!) and NOT through MORE workouts (also known as VOLUME).  For MOST people it is not possible to maximize intensity in our strength, mobility AND in a METCON in one hour.  We may think we can, but the fact of the matter is most of us cannot, and your results in your overall fitness, health and injury prevention suffer. Crating a workout program for a group fitness class like CrossFit is EXTREMELY difficult. We must simultaneously try to have athletes achieve their desired results, achieve PRs every week, look good, feel good, improve their mobility, improve their skills, not get injured, have fun and have them feel like they had a great workout. Any time we make a change to our programming we have athletes who love it and athletes who hate it.  In general, people do not like change and this time is no different.  In addition, over 70% of the respondents to our recent client survey said they wanted more coach led mobility work and for classes to end on time. I have been doing this and studying this subject intensely for quite some time now and am very confident when I say that our current programming (assuming our classes include coach led mobility) WILL lead to maximizing the results and improving the overall fitness of ALL our athletes.  I would make the case that if we are truly focusing on maximizing our intensity and form in every lifting session, without having to worry about leaving anything in the tank for the WOD at the end of class, and vice versa, followed by a coach led mobility session at the end of class; that your overall total fitness and health will only benefit.  However, again we understand and recognize that those athletes who can only make it to the box a few times per week and happen to only get a strength session and no WOD each time they come or vice versa, are not happy and we are working to rectify this. Another misconception that some of our athletes have is that we schedule working on certain body parts or lifts on certain days of the week (i.e., Tuesday and Thursday “Shoulder Days” and I can assure you that this is simply not the case.  Again, our continued philosophy is Constantly Varied, Functional Movements done at High Intensity!  Yes, sometimes this is unavoidable simply due to the way programming works with respect to the strength cycles we build in, however, again it is NOT in any way intentional!  Just keep coming, and this too shall change! One caveat to what I have said above is for athletes who wish to compete at a high level.  For the competitive minded athlete more volume is definitely warranted, however, we should all understand that this usually DOES NOT translate to better health, longevity or overall fitness, which is OUR overarching goal for all our athletes.  When we compete at ANYTHING at a high level we have to SACRIFICE something, and in the case of high volume CrossFit type training this usually means our general health and longevity.  Sorry, it’s a fact.  Ask any truly competitive athlete and they will tell you the same thing.  Are competitive athletes generally healthier than your average person?  OF COURSE!  However, many also have injury and longevity issues due to their high volume of training.  The fact is that the vast majority of OUR athletes are not focused on, and do not have the time required, to compete at a very high level.  Most of them just want to be as healthy and fit as they can be coming three to five times per week to a one-hour class. I hope that this has clarified any confusion regarding our workout programming and again we thank you for your feedback and patience!  We are committed to continuing to provide the best experience and results to all our athletes, always! I hope this answers your questions! Please let any of our team know if you have any questions or need anything else! Sincerely, Coach Cyril 

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