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End of Open/New Programming Blog Post

By Head Coach Gilly Boyd

The 2020 Connected Fitness Open has come to a close! We want to sincerely thank everyone that participated, judged, cheered and coached these past 5 weeks. Two Opens in one year (6 months apart!) can be tough, but we were so proud of each and every one of your efforts each week. We witnessed PR lifts, first pistols and toes to bar, and people moving weights they never thought possible to move! The Open is special, but it’s the people who do it that make it magic. 

Connected Fitness Novato would like to honor those clients who excelled week after week and ended on top of the leaderboard. The Rx winner is the athlete who completed (and submitted scores) for all workouts as prescribed and ended up on top. The Scaled winner is the athlete who completed (and submitted) all workouts as scaled and performed the best across all 5 workouts. 

On the Women’s side, Karen Glass attacked each workout as prescribed and ended up with stellar (and often winning!) performances. Karen, Congrats! You are our Female Rx Open Champion! For the Scaled Division, Kayda Cook came out on top with all workouts completed scaled. Fantastic job, Kayda! You are our Women’s Scaled Open Champion for 2020! 

On the Rx Men’s side of the competition, Mike Cattaneo and Andrew Albert went toe to toe week to week, with each winning a couple of workouts. In the end, Andrew Albert came out on top by only TWO POINTS! So close, guys! Congrats to Andrew Albert, our 2020 Connected Fitness Open Rx Champion. On the scaled side, Alex Young is our winner! He showed up week after week, left it all on the floor, submitted all his scores (dudes, you guys all had a lot of missed submissions 🙂 and came out on top of our scaled leaderboard. Congrats, Alex! 

Andrew, Alex, Karen, and Kayda, you will all be receiving a special edition “2020 Connected Fitness Open Champion” Connected Fitness Novato shirts. Congratulations! 

Now that The Open is over, it is time to get back to our regularly scheduled programming. I bet a lot of you are wondering, “what now?”. Well, we have lots of cool changes on board for you to maximize your fitness experience. Take a look below! 


1). 3 Longer-Time Domain Workouts a Week With No Strength Work

We are going to continue to have 3 workouts per week (out of 6) that are longer time domains and that do not contain any strength work upfront. One of these days will continue to be Saturday every week, just like it has been. The other two longer time domain days will be on weekdays and will rotate each week. This means they won’t be on the same day week to week, so everyone is exposed to the longer time domain workouts regardless of what days of the week they attend classes. One of those two days will be more endurance-focused, with little to no weights. This day is meant to be a little bit of a recovery day, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be tiring! The other day will be a longer time domain Connected Fitness workout which will include plenty of gymnastics, weights, and cardio. Just like Saturdays! 


2). 2 Days of Focused Strength Work-

The weeks following the Connected Fitness Open are a fantastic time to either build up your base strength by focusing on accessory work or to focus on increasing the strength of your big lifts. With our new style of programming on two of the strength days, you will be able to choose what YOU want to focus on! For the next 12 weeks, we will be concentrating on squatting strength (with either the back squat or the front squat, your choice), and pressing strength with the bench press. We will progress these big lifts in a linear fashion, adding 5-10lbs to your working weight each week with reps decreasing every 4 weeks. Therefore, it is super important that you enter your weights used in SugarWod to keep track of them week to week! de-load weeks will also be included about every 4 weeks to aid in your gains. 

At the end of 12 weeks, we will have a testing week where you can either test a 5RM, a 3RM or a 1RM depending on how comfortable you are with big weight.  Most of this is similar to what we have done in the past, but here is the new change: 

The two strength days will have a new format, with accessory work, the main lift, and then a short conditioning piece. For example, it will look something like this: 


3 Sets: 

  A1 or B1. Goblet Curtsy Lunges x 10 alternating 

Rest: 30 


A1 or B2. Staggered-Stance DB RDL x 6 per leg

Rest 1:30 


A or B. Back Squat or Front Squat-

      3 sets of 5 reps, across 

[add +10lbs/+5lbs to last week’s weight]


  1. C. Conditioning: 

7 min AMRAP: 

7 Burpee Box Jumps (24/20)

14 Slamballs (50/30)


The important thing to notice about the above programming is that the first two parts of the strength work are interchangeable. Meaning, you can either do the accessory work first or you can do the big lift first! No matter what, the conditioning will be last. So, how do you know which order to do it in? That is going to depend on your goals! 


  1. Accessories first: If you are really focused on increasing the strength of your big lifts, you will want to do the accessories first and treat them as a warmup/primer for the big lifts. Keep the movements light and focus on form. Don’t push it on the accessories! Once you are doing with the accessories, you will move on to your big lift, where you will spend most of your time during class. Take a good amount of time to get to your warmup weight, and then hit the 3×5 hard (although it should be on the moderate to lighter side in the first two weeks or so). 


  1. Big lift first: If you are someone that wants to focus on rebuilding/rehabbing an injury or just interested in staying strong and healthy, you will want to do the big lift first and keep it nice and light to moderate, don’t go heavy. Focus on mobility and quality of movement. Then, after you get the big lift done, you will move on to the accessory work where you can really make them hard. Don’t be afraid to increase the load on the accessories. 

Your coaches will be happy to help you figure out which training style is best for you and your goals. Don’t hesitate to ask! Our hope is that you appreciate and enjoy more flexibility to choose how you spend your time AND that time spent lines up with your individual goals! 🙂 


3). Third Strength Day- 

The third strength day each week will be similar to the strength days of the past. It will include a strength component that will rotate week to week in terms of focus: Olympic lifting, Gymnastic Strength and Core Strength. The metcon will be a moderate time domain workout, approximately 15 min in length. This day will complement the strength work done on the other two days. 


4). DarkHorse Bodybuilding Programming-

Unlimited members will now have even more additional programming to choose from! In SugarWod, if you click the DarkHorse workout track, you will now find 6 days a week of programming. Here is what you will find each day of the week: 

Monday- Upper Body Day

  Tuesday- Core/Glutes Day 

Wednesday- DarkHorse Strength Class Programming (Olympic lifting/Powerlifting)

Thursday- Lower Body Day 

Friday- Gymnastic Skills Development Day

Saturday- DarkHorse Strength Class Programming (Powerlifting/Strongman)


How do I use this extra programming? The important thing to remember is that the extra bodybuilding programming can be done any day of the week! For example, you get done with your regular class programming which included a longer, endurance-style workout and you decide you have an extra 30 minutes after class to get some lifting in. Since the workout was more leg-heavy, you decide you want some upper bodywork. So you click on the Darkhorse track in SugarWod and then go to Monday where you will find the Upper Body Bodybuilding programming, and then you get it done! 

Are you interested in developing your gymnastic skills? Make sure to get the Friday gymnastic skills programming done at some point during your week. 

Are you trying to change your body composition? Add in the upper body, lower body and core/glutes programming at the end of your workouts each week. But remember, adding more work doesn’t equal results if you aren’t also investing in your RECOVERY! That means taking rest days, eating towards your goals, reducing your stress and sleeping more. If you need more help navigating this, don’t hesitate to reach out to a coach. 


Connected Fitness Novato is excited to roll out these programming changes and see everyone work towards their individual goals. We welcome any feedback or comments, so please reach out!

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Connected Fitness Novato - Downtown

Address: 7427 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945

Phone: (707) 534-3713
Email: michael@crossfitnovato.com

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