In a recent Instagram post by CrossFit New England owner and coach of multiple CrossFit Games champions, Ben Bergeron stated, “The goal is to not get your members to do the workout prescribed. The goal is not to get your athletes to the CrossFit Games.The goal is to get your regular members to preserve the stimulus of the workout today.” A Performance Menu (the monthly magazine of Catalyst Athletics) article on the same subject appeared shortly after CrossFit really started to takeoff in the early 2010s. Written by Pierre Auge with contributions from Mathieu Lalonde, Barry Eidlen, and Josh Everett; this article laid out a relatively in depth method for CrossFit programming based on creating the proper “dose response”. As many of your are aware, we are constantly adjusting reps, weights, rounds, movements, and time domains in order to offer the correct dose response to a workout as best we can. (Currently OPEX is the only company, in my opinion, that has this nailed down 100% providing only one-on-one personal training and individual program design). When we design a program we break it down into general cycles–macro and micro. Our “macro” scale for our classes is based around the CrossFit Open, which begins in late February. Yet, throughout the year, we break the weeks and months down until micro cycles lasting anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks. An example of this was post-Open we allow for a time of regeneration and allow time to address any dysfunction that may have been created in the build to the Open. We also stepped back and allow our bodies (and minds) to find homeostasis. This is vastly important after a long building cycle.
I think it’s also important to understand the difference between “the sport of CrossFit” and CrossFit. The original idea that was so attractive about CrossFit was it’s efficiency. It was short. You could get a full workout in under an hour, with the same results as someone who spends 2-3 hours in the globo gym jaw-jacking with friends and grabbing a set or two around their conversations…an then hitting a certain piece of “cardio” equipment so they could stay lean. Ah, yes, the good old days. And, that did work–for a bit. But the intent around a regular CrossFit class at CrossFit Hershey is to, the best we can, provide you with a safe and engaging warm up, a workout to address whatever our goal was that day to address, and then a cool down. The end goals are: better mobility, increased aerobic capacity and increased strength through energy systems training. If you’ve been tracking your workouts for some length of time, you would be able to see the development of all of these “systems” and hopefully have felt growth in each one. This is all due to creating the correct dose response for each workout–discussed each day before the workout begins.
Several Monday’s ago, I programmed this:
5-4-3-2-1 Cleans @80% *if you’re able to do TnG here, increase load
15-12-9-6-3 CTB/pull ups/seated ring pull ups *scale up to MUs 10-8-6-4-2
40 DUs *scale to 100 singles
*12 min cap
The correct dose response to this workout was quick singles on the cleans (being that they were 80%), chipping through the vertical pulling, and splashing in a little bit of work (ad skill) to keep that heart rate up throughout. If you would have over-scaled this and done touch-and-go reps and scaled back the pulling so much that ring rows were unbroken and cut back the single jumps so you would assure yourself of a finish nowhere near the time cap–you did this all wrong. The intent was to chip and grind through this, sticking to a pace best you could throughout the entire workout. Did have proficiency with both pull ups and DUs help? Absolutely. However, if you don’t yet have those movements, by over-scaling you likely never will. When you are in doubt of the intended dose response of the workout, please always ask a coach. They may not be able to tell you exactly what weight to use on your bar (simply due to the amount of people we see daily and they may not be completely familiar with you individually), but they will be able to help you figure out accurate scaling options. Our coaches are well-educated and you are paying them to do this, so please speak up so we can best serve you!