CrossFit is constantly varied – Sun 9.17.17

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The CrossFit prescription of fitness is performing “functional movements that are constantly varied at high intensity.”  

What does this mean?  Today we are going to discuss The Compound’s Programming.  The picture above is a theoretical picture of the Compound’s program.  It is always subject to change based the “constantly varied” concept.  

Programming can be confusing.  What is good programming?  What is bad programming?  What is too much?  What movements are necessary?  What is training for health and life, and what is training for specific competitions?  You can go off in so many different paths on what training works for what.  So I wanted to talk about Compound’s Programming and how I think it is a great base for everyone and can be individually tailored to fit anyone.

First and foremost, the Compound’s Programming is based on CrossFit’s original prescription of fitness (not necessarily CrossFit Games competition programming):

CrossFit is a program specifically designed to improve fitness and health.  It is constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. All workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life. They move the largest loads the longest distances, so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work divided by time—or power. The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort. By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness.

Using CrossFit, the key is to balance ALL physical markers of performance for long term health and fitness.  So doing this, we subscribe to CrossFit’s 10 General Physical Skills:

  1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance: The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina: The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
  3. Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility: the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint
  5. Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
  6. Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
  9. Balance: The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
  10. Accuracy: The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

If we train and improve on all of these physical skills, we are fitter and healthier.  If we determine one of these to be a weakness, it allows us to shift our focus towards our weaknesses and in turn make greater gains in a shorter amount of time.  You’re only as fit as you are capable in all these skills.

For more on what we like about CrossFit, read their article, “What is Fitness”

We also utilize the classic training model of Push-Pull-Squat.  We think many programs create imbalances in the body, and people train the skills their able to do more, rather than slowing down and focusing on learning skills.  They go for short term volume and “calorie burning”, over long term intensity, skills and fat loss.

With the Push Pull Squat Split, we are able to:

  1. avoid over-stressing the body parts with over use
  2. train more often, by rotating the focus on the body parts.
  3. burn more fat because you can maintain intensity

So, what does our program look like:

Constantly Varied: using the the push pull squat method. Every week we will hit a equal number of push pull squat movements in barbell work, gymnastics (body weight) work, and in the WOD.  We will not squat, press, or pull on the same day each week, and we will not even repeat the same movement each week.

Functional Movements: using multi-joint (or compound) movements, that mimic life, not the gym.  These movements are all core to extremity movements.  Meaning the movement begins in the core and moves out to the extremities.  Push Up, Pull Up, Air Squats, begin as movements involving the core and stabilizes and strengthens the mid-line. Utilizing CrossFit’s 9 Foundational movements (Squats- air/back, front, overhead; Presses – shoulder, push, and jerk; and the Pulls – Deadlift, Cleans, and Sumo Hi Pulls) add into it some horizontal and uni-lateral movements and rotate them evenly on a 4 week training cycle.

High Intensity: Get more work done in shorter times.  This is the key to CrossFit’s efficiency and we agree with it.  But before we can do that, we need to get form in check.  Intensity is the main ingredient to fat loss (outside of the kitchen), but done poorly it can lead to injury and frustration.  Get that form in check, add intensity.  Work on the form again, then add a little more intensity.  Repeat for the next 50 years!

Of course I could talk about Programming all day long and we have barely scratched the surface! If you want to read more about programming at the Compound, here is some past articles written about it:

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