Many within our gym have been asking about our Comp Programming, where it’s going and what it will be. For the last however many years we’ve been writing programming geared towards the competitive athlete and we’ve pretty much written it as a year round, broad and inclusive training program. What we mean by this, is that the programming hasn’t really been written with a specific emphasis on competitions, peaking, etc. etc. There has always been a slight change and emphasis towards the Open as that has approached, but otherwise we haven’t written the programming in mind of anything specific in terms of events. It has always been kind of a year round train hard, and as individual athletes the expectation has been that you all as individuals will back-off as needed based on your personal schedules, life, events, etc.

Going forward that will be changing. With the huge shake-up in the CrossFit competitive space the last 12-18 months it has actually left us in a position where we can have a little more focus on specific events. With the CrossFit Games becoming more out of reach for anyone who isn’t the very, very best, or from some obscure country, and Regionals gone, it now means the new Sanctional events will be carrying more and more importance for both the elite as well as the novice.

What does this mean. At least for this coming year we’ll be focusing on two key points in the year. For the next 12 weeks we’ll be building up through 3 x 4 week blocks leading to Wodapalooza (we’ll be starting with an emphasis on raw strength with less conditioning, and shifting that more and more over the 12 weeks) and then a quick de-load and another short push prepping people for the Atlas Games. These are the two Sanctionals that as a community we are personally interested in so this is what our programming will be geared around. For those not competing in either of these events we will be planning to write the programming to the best of our abilities to be a mock competition weekend when these events happen. From there the other focus will be prepping for the Wodapalooza Qualifier and the Open as these two events are the gateway to participating in the majority of the Sancationals worldwide.

This will essentially leave us with two parts of the season we are looking to peak athletes for that are about 4-5 months apart so our programming will be built out around that. In addition we will be programming this for the Sport of CrossFit as is displayed at the Games and larger Sanctional events, meaning swimming workouts, getting outside with odd objects when possible, long endurance pieces, etc. etc. We want this programming to truly encompass the Sport of CrossFit at the broadest spectrum possible. This will not be geared towards what we would call the Sport of Arena CrossFit, meaning the confines of a small building or arena. This programming will require time spent inside and outside of the gym to get the training done.

This may or may not be what you’re after. Something as you think about following this programming is also what you are you personally after. Do you actually want to be a competitive CrossFitter or, do you just like to train more than the average person and spend time in the gym. Those are two drastically different things, and I think it’s important you understand where you fall there, what the differences are, and what work needs to be done on your part as an athlete to make each one a reality.

In terms of physical ability requirements this programming will be written out in mind of the capacities needed to compete at the Rx/Elite level at Sanctional Events. What this means is that if you can’t perform standard advanced CrossFit movements like Muscle-ups, Pistol Squats, running a sub 7:00 mile, Snatching your bodyweight, performing 50 Wall Balls unbroken, then this likely isn’t the programming for you. If you’re in this boat and think of yourself as a competitive athlete you should be thinking about a couple of things. Once again do you really want to compete, or do you just like to train, and if you do want to compete, at what level/ability is a reality for you as an athlete based on the time you put into not only your training, but your food, sleep, and other aspects of your wellness as well as just your natural physical abilities. Competing in CrossFit at a high level is INCREDIBLY demanding on the body and mind, and takes doing everything right, and also being willing to throw aside the stuff you like to work on because you’re good at and spending all your time working on the stuff you’re bad at. Working out and training and spending lots of time in the gym is fun, training to be a competitive CrossFit athlete not quite as much…restricting what you can do in your social life, spending much more time working on your weaknesses than the things you’re good at it.

If you’re interested in competing in more of the Novice/Weekend Warrior aspect than you should likely look more to our Sport programming, as ultimately as an individual your focus is on being fit and healthy first, and competing on the side for fun second.

In the end ultimately we want people to have fun with what they do, regardless of their goals, and regardless of the programming they follow. If you just like to train a lot and follow our Comp programming but don’t necessarily have the capacities to perform everything that’s written, that’s fine to, just know you’ll need to scale and sub movements, or omit them completely and instead work on skills and drills to develop them if they are movements you truly want to develop, and for some that could mean a couple of months to get a Muscle-up for instance, while others might be years.

As our entire programming structure will be changing in the New Year, we think it will give all of our athletes great options, and a great progression to get themselves to a competitive level if that’s what they’re focused on. I grew up on the slopes, both on my Skis, and Bike, and for me this is always the easiest correlation. You’re not a competitive Ski racer just because you Ski a lot, you just like to Ski. And you don’t start Skiing Double-Diamonds before you progress through Green Circles, Blue Squares, and Diamonds, this is almost obvious to just about everyone, but we’ve seen too often that people want to be a competitive CrossFitter before they’ve even gotten the basic down. They want to be able to do a Muscle-up, but can’t do a Strict Pull-up or Dip yet, they want to Snatch their bodyweight, but can’t Overhead Squat it yet. Progression is key and we hope every person in our gym remembers that in their quest for whatever they may be after in the gym. We hope our thoughts here can help you all to think about what you’re truly after, where your goals truly lie, and what the best way to go about that is whether you truly want to be a competitive CrossFitter or you just like to train.

Have a great week training!

Jade + Dani