The Base Programming Explained
At CrossFit Athletic, we pride ourselves on providing programming that is effective, safe and enjoyable for our members. It has taken us over 7 years to get it to where it is today through plenty or trial and error. I mean, a lot of trial and error!!
When we started back in 2010, we didn’t realise the program was such an integral part of the business and would determine the success of the gym. For anyone programming, it is always hard to take out your own bias towards a program and write a balanced program to deliver results for a broad community. In fact, the hardest part of programming for a group setting is trying to deliver a response for all participants involved. With differing fitness levels, training ages (number of years a person has been training), actual age, etc, trying to elicit the same response is near impossible. It was this challenge that brought us to offer different programs so that we can cater for the majority of members and help them achieve results.
By getting the programming right, it means that your gym is going to be busy everyday. When you get it wrong and get the volume wrong, you know about it the next day when the classes are smaller. I still remember programming a WOD about 7 years ago, it was 50 Wall Ball 100 Walking Lunges 50 Wall Ball. The gym was quiet for 3 days after that. Everyone had massive DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) and I realised that I had let my members down by programming that way. This sort of programming is what leads to injuries and niggles. I got sucked into looking on the internet and looking at what other CF Gyms were doing and copied a program. The end result was I got a program that was not fit for our members. I learned from that situation and now I program with our members abilities in mind.
The Base Program was designed for the everyday athlete who wants to get fit, lean and strong. We do plenty of strength training as well as lots of aerobic training and make them balanced.
Our strength training in the Base Program includes the staples like Deadlift, Squat, Bench and Pull-Ups, but we also include plenty of single leg and arm movements. It’s amazing how strong people can be on two legs, but so weak on one leg. This approach to strength training has allowed our members to become stronger, more balanced and injury free. In addition, we utilise a lot of tempo on these movements to allow for greater adaptation and increased lean muscle mass. This type of approach seems to work well for the untrained or new to training athlete.
The conditioning component is really where the magic happens in the Base Program. With knowledge and understanding of energy system training, we use the principles of this and blend it together so our members can train 5 days per week. Most of the conditioning efforts in the Base Program are longer aerobic pieces. We were finding that when we programmed the smaller lactic style WODs (3-9 minutes), some of our members didn’t have the strength or fitness base to effectively wind up their engine to get a response. On top of that, this style of WOD (Lactic Acid Belters) are not necessary for the everyday athlete. If you plan on competing in the sport of fitness, then yes it is necessary, but as it is very stressful on the body, if you are not competing in a sport that requires you to utilise this energy system, then you’re best off if you can avoid it.
Since taking a strength and aerobic approach, we have noticed that our members are more regular with their training as they are not so beat up from the WOD the day before. People are completing a workout and feeling better than when they walked in. It’s not always about falling to the floor in exhaustion at the end of a workout and feeling depleted for the rest of the day. Mentally you are going to feel that you want to train again the next day when your body is feeling great and uplifted, which allows for greater consistency which leads to greater results.
So when you are looking for a gym to join, be sure to check out the program that is on offer and ask questions. Is it going to fit your needs and help you achieve the goals that you desire?
To book a free consultation with one of our trainers today to discuss if our programming is a good fit for your goals and aspirations, click here.