Programming for Fitness and Thriving Blog
Another week were just about everyone called it! I was really hoping we’d see ring muscle ups again and maybe some shuttle runs or ‘bootlegger burpees’. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year!
And if you are still struggling with stringing double unders together, maybe after you lacerate yourself 300+ times in this workout you will actually listen to your coach and start practicing them a few times per week.
Ah... we finally get the repeat!
I am going to post my recommendations from last year below. Here is a brief video with a couple updates:
This year's HSPU standard is slightly different with the box on the ground again. I am not really sure why they brought it back since we have the line on the wall! Personally (being 6' 4" or so), I liked being able to go a bit wider with my hands and not having to worry about the lines.
Chest to bars? I feel bad for those people who tore their hands last week! Another great workout though. I love workouts that get progressively heavy/hard so that more people can participate, and the real ‘go getters’ have to work hard to separate from the pack. I also think it is pretty cool that you can have ‘friends’ load your next bar for!
(Notes on the pacing chart below)
The workout may seem...
Open 17.2 is here!
I learned a long time ago that ‘farm boy’ strength meant a strong grip and a strong back (and there aren’t people that are more functionally strong than farm boys). This workout will really reward those people who have been doing workouts (like Thrivestry) that create strong grips and strong backs!
I do have to say that I am pretty happy with this workout. It is still ‘approachable’ for many people....
The 2017 season opens with another 20 minute workout as the first in the Open!
Video Overview: https://youtu.be/DW2S3LYt10Y
Pacing will be key on a workout like this. We have come up with a pacing chart that should help you start at a pace that will allow you to finish strong.
Chart A is for the badasses, Chart B is for the 'mortals', and Chart C is combined with all of the data as well as extra rows for each 10 dumbbell snatches (on every round and not just...
Are you building as much community as you can without wasting time? Circle Questions and Ice Breakers
(Read Time: 3:30)
Are you using ‘circle questions’ or ‘ice breakers’ in your classes?
Some gyms make it an everyday thing, others may make it more sporadic, but if you aren’t using them at all you are missing out on a huge opportunity!
Most people think of ice breakers when it comes to building bonds between strangers and avoiding the awkward invisible ‘ice’ that seems to keep people from getting to know each other. As we...
The CrossFit Open is just about here! Here is a summary of the workouts to date:
The shaded workouts are ones that have been repeated (or very similar ones repeated as in the case of 12.2/3 and 13.1).
Every year they have repeated at least one workout. If I had to predict which workouts were likely to show up it would be:
- 2012: 12.3,
- 2013: 13.4, 13.5 (the ‘FranRap’)
- 2014: 14.3 (DL increasing and Box Jump), 14.4 (row, t2b, wb, p clean, mu)
- 2015: 15.1, 15.4, 15.5 (row...
Cheating reps, fixed mindset, and ego. (Read time: 6:44)
Members shaving or cheating reps is always going to be a factor when recording scores. But why? Why is it that some people are known to ‘fudge’ and others don’t seem to care at all? What does it say about someone that doesn’t like to record their numbers?
Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset
As educators and coaches we should be intimately familiar with the growth mindset. We know that if we put in the effort...
We all know that client reviews and testimonials can be an important part of growing the business, but leaving an awesome review isn’t generally at the front of a client’s mind when they have been with you for months or years. (Read time 2:37)
When I get a nice note or comment from a member I'll say "Thank You! Actually, do you know what would be a huge favor? If you could leave a review on Yelp or google or whatever. We want to let the world know how much we helped you!" ...
"Iron sharpens iron." (Read Time 4:11 plus an optional 12:00 video)
How do we leverage our enthusiastic competitors to make each other better and create community chemistry that benefits the gym?
(Photo From Thrivestry Gym: Ascendence)
Great training partners can go a long way in people's progress and long term motivation. In many cases, having people to train beside and push you on a 'good' program will surpass a lonely individual on a 'great' program that was custom designed for...
(Read Time: 2:44)
The CrossFit Journal Interviewed a couple of you about programming and made an article out of it! ! Click here for the PDF
Emily actually interviewed me as well, but since it made me a contributor (and she has quoted me in articles in the past), she didn’t want this to look like an ad for Thrivestry.
Jan does a great job of talking about the benefits of outsourcing the programming, but more interestingly is Josh who hadn’t pulled the trigger on the programming yet. ...
(Read Time: 3:48)
I was on a forum for gym owners recently and the subject of ‘corporal punishment’ came up for people coming late or leaving equipment out, i.e. making people do burpees as penance. The replies were pretty split down the middle, but it definitely seemed like the more veteran owners had figured out that shaming people and punishing them isn’t usually the best strategy. I thought it was a good point of discussion for what the difference between being an adult’s...
What does addicted rats have to do with the gym business? Should CrossFit gyms be worried about Globo gyms starting programs like 'GoldsFit' (non-CF CF classes copying as much as possible)?
First lets talk about the big gyms copying the movement side of what we do. The people who need to be taking notice of trends like this are the ones...
Now that the dust has settled and the some of the torn hands have healed, I figured it is a good time to do a 'round up' post of a lot of the coaching that went into the CrossFit Open this year. If you guys were following along week to week, none of the below stuff will be new (other than a few comments here at the top).
(Summary of the Open Workouts above)
As in previous years, I'll be programming throughout the year for we've found is best for long term retention, coach-ability,...
My post last week about class structures that fostered human connection spurred some great discussions and I thought these questions from Craig K. were particularly insightful.
The longer workout debate with clients will always be an issue as long as the prevailing wisdom is ‘longer is better’ and ‘no pain, no gain.’ (Read more about “Exersubmissives” here). Hopefully some of the stuff I talk about below will help arm you all as coaches as you encounter...
It takes a lot more time and energy, but it pays off in the long run.
I am always surprised by how many “life” lessons can be applied to work and business. I am sure that this correlates directly to the fact that businesses and customers are generally comprised of actual humans… but I do think there are some principles that represent this more than others. (1048 words - Reading Time: 5:15)
A great article that came up on my feed this week was one from Lifehacker about “The Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret When We Get Older”. As I worked my way...
"Goals without a strategy are just wishes with a deadline.
Strategies without routines are just theories without action."
Last week I got a question from Brian down in Indonesia:
A few people been bringing up to me about their 2016 goals and requested of running a Goal setting seminar this Saturday as Saturdays is a big traditional team workout day at our community where everyone brings their friends.
Was wondering if you have any notes or suggestions for the...
Something ALL business owners should really put some thought into...
What is your time really worth?
Think about it, if you are currently subscribed to our programming, and it is saving you as much time as most of the gyms I work with, it means that by letting us do the programming you will save 26-32 eight hour work days this year.
The short version: Invest your time. Don't spend it.
Side Note: Personally I use an app called Atracker to track all of my duties and tasks so I know...
Stop being a fitness masochist or what I like to call an: “Exer-submissive”
Beating your body into submission is not healthy. Going to war on your fat is not good for you long term. There is no enemy inside of you that need to defeat and punish. It is not your (or your coach’s) job to exact retribution on yourself.
There are varying degrees of ‘Exer-submissives’ in the fitness realm, but I feel like there is an inordinate amount that gravitate toward CrossFit (and Bootcamps for that...
When looking at each day's programming, it can be easy for coaches and clients to become overwhelmed with the amount of different layers and prescriptions that we use to create the best experience for everyone.
I personally like the term 'layer' because it reminds me of how famous television painter Bob Ross used to paint. He'd start with an outline here, a smudge there. Then some trees, a lake, then all-of-a-sudden BOOM. An amazing painting.
In this video I discuss the importance of "Alive" programming (programming that is constantly being updated according to the days of the week, time of the year, holidays, etc.). I also talk about and show how the programming is build using layers from most important down to least important.
Direct link video on YouTube.
If your programming isn't "Alive", it isn't as good as it could be and you are probably doing your clients and your coaches a disservice!
For those of you who aren't...
In addition to creating programming for gyms and athletes I also help mentor gyms in the gym business. Recently the question came up about retaining clients past the 3 year mark.
Many gyms in the CrossFit world (as well as other Group Exercise Studios/Gyms) struggle with the long term retention side of things. As members get fitter, their hard work goes into just maintaining the status quo instead of setting PRs every day or every week in the gym.
(The Arthur Murray Dance...
Got this article from my buddy Eric LeClair at Team CrossFit Academy Good Stuff!
I was just talking to a client of mine who buys our gym programming (which is decidedly HEALTH based vs competition), they used to do another great program that was more focused on competition and considered one of the best.
His members HATED it. It was monotonous. Everything had to be scaled (can a cake that has every ingredient changed...
I updated the Free tool "Smart Cash Outs" to have not only a poster size, but also a version you can print out on two pieces of 8.5x11!
Below is a video talking about how and when to use cash outs to mold general programming to the athletes goals and schedule as well as notes on how to implement Cash Outs into your own gym's programming.
You can download the documents here, print them out and put them in the gym. Just remember to educate people on how to use...