Programming, are we on track?

Programming is one of those things that everyone thinks is so simple yet ridiculously complex. Ask anyone and they are an expert regardless of their Exercise Science background or lack thereof. We all have biases and preferences that influence how we approach programming. Some boxes focus on Strength biased programming, some on gymnastics biased, others are Power Lifting biased programming. That was what Kairos was in its infant state evolved. When Kairos was founded the owners and peeps came from a Power lifting background, found CrossFit and married the two. This is NORMAL and typical of most gym owners since CrossFit is still a pretty new species. As the new owner and years in the body building and running world my bias is muscle endurance. I know that about myself so in an effort to eliminate any and all biases I employ the assistance and expertise of our coaches.

We set our vision November 2016 for the CrossFit Open 2018. Working on a year training plan Open to Open. Were we thinking Regionals for our athletes? Well that would be awesome, but that isn’t all of our aspirations. It was a way to measure and test our fitness and programming. To see if cycling the different metabolic energy pathways, power output, strength, Hypertrophy, work capacity, gymnastics, endurance, speed and skill level improved over the year.

At times with four different coach’s brains working toward a YEAR goal it probably looked dis-conjoined and almost like random. Each six weeks was intentional though, and built on the other even though you may not return to that one mile run for weeks it built and prepared us for the next cycle. That is our WHY for putting an emphasis on our community participating in the Open each year. So as a community we can measure how fitter we are from year to year.

To hold ourselves accountable to exceptional programming we compared ourselves to CompTrain by Ben Bergeron, CrossFit Invictus, CrossFit Mayhem and CrossFit Impulse. We found that although not identical we were heading in the right direction compared to these exceptional gyms. CrossFit Impulse in the past season focused on the following prioritizing them in this order:

Stamina (Endurance)

Gymnastics

Aerobic capacity

Hypertrophy

Fast Glycolysis (Anaerobic)

Speed

Oly lifting

We overlaid this with our past year 6 week cycling schedule and found we were pretty on spot.

In CrossFit specializing in not specializing makes us good at a lot of things, but not great at one thing. Ask Rich Froning, he was good at a lot but not great at one. So it is hard to specialize on pr’ing your one mile run and then keep working on it for a year because then you have to neglect heavy lifting. So to get ALL things in that we do in each cycle is impossible. Yes, I know we use to Back Squat on Monday’s, Clean on Tuesday’s, Bench Press on Wednesday’s, and Snatch on Thursday’s and Deadlift on Friday’s we were also focused on absolute strength and suffered in our gymnastics and endurance areas. There is NO PERFECT way to do it, only preference. For most people the things they are already proficient at are the things they love seeing in programming. The things they struggle with and are hard are what they hate seeing in programming. So next time you are in a workout or cycle and you hate it, be THANKFUL because we have found a weakness that we are now working on eliminating.

After all “CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit 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.”

As a staff we work very hard to eliminate any and all biases from our programming and provide a level of programming that prepares members for competitions, fat loss, and general fitness. We hope every member is physically and mentally prepared for all things in life; chosen and unforeseeable.

Every CrossFit gym across the world does programming differently, unless they are outsourcing their programming, as a staff we do not believe in outsourcing our programming at this time because we feel it not meeting our members where they are or meeting our gym’s specific needs.

We do understand each member has their very own specific goals that group programming will not necessarily meet the needs of. Therefore, we are more than happy to work with each member and their goals to determine if Personal Training or Personalized Programming will aid the member in meeting their specific goals.

I hope that as a member you have seen the results of this year’s programming and enjoyed it. From Front Squat, Back Squat, One mile time, acquiring Double Unders, Muscle Ups, Handstand Pushups, Pull-ups, to better cardiovascular endurance and various lift PR’s. Good luck in the Open and thank you for being a part of our evolving journey.

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