What makes our Programming better than our old CrossFit programming.

I talk about this all the time. We rebranded from CrossFit Fernie, dropping our affiliation with CrossFit HQ in 2020 for a number of reasons, but it had been on the table for quite some time. Our programming and class structure had changed over the years to better suit our Fernie demographic and we were definitely not a CrossFit as a “sport” gym at all. We weren’t (and aren’t) training people to be better in the gym, or to be faster exercisers. We are training people to live their life OUTSIDE of the gym. To be healthy and happy and live the active Fernie lifestyle well into their senior years. (YES!)

In my consults I explain that we have a hybrid of what we considered the best part of the CrossFit methodology with the great, time tested elements of the traditional Strength and Conditioning world. It is no secret that that traditional S&C world has a laundry list of criticisms of CrossFit. Some we agree with, others we don’t. But either way, learning and changing is always key to improving.

Our programmer Jacob Hill with Box Programming recently sent an email addressing this exact subject and we wholeheartedly agree that what we do now, is by far the best programming we can provide for our members.

Take a read and enjoy learning the ins and outs of what we do and how we train our amazing members:

I’d argue that what we do improves on CF methodology. Strategically varied, mixed intensity, unilateral and bilateral functional movement in multiple patterns and planes. Doesn’t fit great on a T-shirt but does wonders in the gym!

  1. Strategically varied > constantly varied. Variance is great, but when there is no rhyme or reason to that variance other than that it’s different than the day before, it leaves a lot to be desired. There are 6 primal movement patterns that every human uses, squat, hinge, push, pull, lunge and carry. You can see in my review of CAP programming for Sept, in the first week you have overhead pressing 5 days in a row, and in the entire month only one workout with carries, and one workout with horizontal rowing. 
  2. Mixed intensity > high intensity. Of course we need to train in higher heart rate zones, but not putting an emphasis on training in lower heart rate zones shows a fundamental misunderstanding of our biology. Better insulin sensitivity, improved mitochondrial efficiency, eccentric hypertrophy of the heart, and increased oxygen uptake are all adaptations that only occur at lower HR zones. They cannot occur when HR exceeds a certain threshold. So to only focus on high intensity in every workout leaves a lot off of the table. Just for clarity, just because a workout is longer does not mean that it is necessarily not high intensity. Sure a 30 min AMRAP is going to be less intense than Fran, but I’ve seen people go for 30 mins with their HR at 170+. Zone 2 is not just a time domain.
  3. Unilateral and bilateral functional movement in multiple patterns and planes > functional movement. Of CFs nine foundational movements, all of them are bilateral, sagittal plane movements. Going back to the program review from Sept, we can see that over 95% of the programming that month is in the sagittal plane, and is bilateral. Part of Glassman’s Rx for world class fitness in 100 words or less was to “regularly learn and play new sports”, which is fantastic, but a huge majority of most sport occurs in the transverse or rotational plane and frontal plane, which are rarely seen in classic CF training. 

I owe a huge debt to CrossFit, it allowed me to own my own business(es) and I will never forget that. But that doesn’t preclude me from asking questions about how we can improve it. I believe we should always continue learning, and striving to improve all aspects of our lives. Fitness is an ever changing landscape as new and exciting research is constantly being done. 

“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday” – Abraham Lincoln

Thanks Jacob.

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