As a CrossFit coach, you are responsible for designing programming that adheres to the core principles of CrossFit: constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity. Your programming should challenge your members while also keeping them safe and avoiding injuries. To achieve this, you need to have a solid understanding of CrossFit movements, modalities, and programming methodologies. You also need to be able to adapt to different levels of fitness and skill among your members, providing appropriate scaling and modifications.
By following the tips in this article, you will be able to design effective CrossFit workouts that ensure your members have a good experience and the opportunity to achieve their fitness goals, whether they are looking to improve their overall fitness, lose weight, or compete in CrossFit competitions.
1. Keep It Varied
To further expand on this tip, it’s essential to understand the philosophy behind CrossFit programming. CrossFit is designed to prepare individuals for any physical task or challenge that life may throw at them. This is achieved through constantly varied, high-intensity workouts that utilize functional movements.
To keep members engaged and motivated, provide a mix of movements that challenge them in different ways. This can include gymnastics movements such as pull-ups and handstands, weightlifting exercises like squats and deadlifts, and metabolic conditioning workouts like running and rowing.
In addition to varying the types of movements, vary the duration and intensity of the workouts. This can include long, endurance-based workouts, shorter high-intensity intervals, and everything in between.
One way to ensure that your programming is varied is to follow the CrossFit methodology of constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. This means that workouts should never be predictable, and members should be constantly challenged in new and exciting ways.
2. Use the Whiteboard
The whiteboard is an essential tool for CrossFit programming. It allows you to communicate the workout of the day (WOD) and any additional information that your members need to know. Make sure to write down the movements, the number of reps, and the time cap for each workout. You can also use the whiteboard to track your members’ progress and to write down any modifications they may need. This will help you keep track of everyone’s progress and ensure that they are getting the most out of each workout.
3. Warm-Up Before Turning Up the Intensity
A proper warm-up is essential to avoid injury and prepare your members for the WOD. Start with a general warm-up that raises the heart rate and gets the blood flowing. This could be a simple jog, jumping jacks, or some rowing on the erg. Follow this up with dynamic stretching exercises that mimic the movements in the WOD. For example, if the WOD includes squats, incorporate leg swings, hip openers, and lunges to warm up the lower body. If the WOD involves pull-ups or push-ups, incorporate shoulder stretches and rotations.
4. Program for the Individual
It’s easy to get caught up in the group dynamic and forget about individual needs. However, it’s good to remember that each member has their own unique fitness level, goals, and physical limitations. Programming for the individual is about creating a supportive and inclusive community that encourages each member to push themselves to their own personal limits.
One way to program for the individual is to offer scaling options for each workout. This means providing modifications for certain movements or adjusting the weight or reps to accommodate different skill levels. For example, a beginner may need to start with modified push-ups instead of full push-ups, while a more advanced member may need to increase the weight of their barbell for a particular lift.
In addition to scaling options, consider any injuries or limitations that a member may have. This means providing alternative exercises that work the same muscle groups or modifying the workout to avoid aggravating the injury. By programming for the individual in this way, you’ll create a safe and effective workout environment that helps each member reach their fitness goals.
5. Encourage the Use of Tracking Software
Still keeping track of everything in a notebook? If it works, that’s cool, but there are performance-tracking apps that are a lot easier and have a lot of great features. CrossFit software often comes equipped with features that allow athletes to track their progress over time. This can include workout history, personal records, and leaderboard rankings. By using these features, athletes can see how they’re improving and can identify areas where they need to focus more attention.
Even better — coaches can use this information to adjust programming and provide targeted feedback to individual athletes.
Need a suggestion? SugarWOD is the #1 workout app for CrossFit athletes, coaches, and affiliates, with over 500,000 affiliate athletes using it to track their workouts and personal records. Track progress over time and identify areas to improve. Watch personal records and leaderboard rankings to get a sense of community with other members of the gym. Coaches can use this information to adjust programming and provide targeted feedback to individual athletes.
An Awesome CrossFit Box Starts With Effective Programming!
By following these tips and keeping your members engaged and motivated with constantly varied and challenging workouts, you can create a safe and effective workout environment that helps each member reach their fitness goals and create a supportive and inclusive community that fosters growth, progress, and camaraderie within your CrossFit box.
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