By Andy Boone and Gilly Boyd
As the 2019 CrossFit Open draws to a close, this blog post represents our time to pause and reflect on where we have been and where we are going! We find ourselves in a unique situation, heavily invested in providing two clean, well equipped fitness spaces at both ends of the same town we love and call home. When we pause long enough to zoom out a bit further and consider what we are building, there is a tremendous pride that comes with supporting two locations and offering enjoyable, evidence-based curriculum that’s available seven days a week. One that produces results for all ages and ability levels. We very humbly sleep well at night knowing that our program works. We love and believe in our coaches and know that we have exceptional humans who make-up our client community. We are both grateful for what we have and committed to growing and getting better.
Over the past few weeks, we have been gathering opinions and suggestions about the program. Many people love having two locations within the same membership. Some love the coziness and convenience of the Pacheco location while others prefer the openness Downtown. Many people choose the gym that works best with the crazy schedules we all follow. If something is missing in the gym location you call home, please let us know.
Re: the CrossFit program, we’ve gathered some constructive feedback from several of you. As we move into April 2019, we are going to try and revamp the program in ways that will provide a little bit of something for everyone, while still providing a top-notch general strength and conditioning program. Starting this week, you will see the following changes:
1). The Endurance style philosophy ie longer metcons often reflecting sustainable, repeatable paced efforts, will now be programmed three days/per week. We will no longer have a designated “Endurance” day, however you can expect approximately 18 min to 40 min workouts designed to build aerobic endurance and increase metabolic capacity. These workouts will be constantly varied; sometimes involving interval work, sprint work, and/or long grinds. They will include monostructural movements classically seen in endurance training (running, rowing, biking, etc) along with a mix of gymnastic movements and weighted/barbell movements. We hope that this style will please both the people who loved the Endurance programming along with those who love long grinder CrossFit workouts.
2). Three days per week will be devoted to strength work. Two days per week, this will look like 20 min – 40 min of class time focused on learning about a barbell movement, working on efficiency, and then allowing lots of time to work up to the load of the day. This will allow your coaches much more time to coach and cue each athlete. A conditioning piece at the end of class will either be very short or optional. The third “strength day” will often include a strength accessory piece followed by an eight min to 15 min conditioning piece.
These six days of programming will rotate, so that everyone gets exposed to every stimulus, regardless of the days they tend to take classes. And, as always, there will be some variation week to week (with holidays, special hero workouts, birthday workouts etc). For the most part, the above represents CFN’s basic weekly template.
3). The Fitness track will now be called the “Foundations” track. The Foundations track is returning to its original intention: a track written for the beginner CrossFit athlete building their base of fitness or for the experienced CrossFitter looking for a more foundational and basic approach to the workout of the day. In May, we are planning on hosting a month-long Open House event, and the Foundations track will allow brand-new athletes to feel comfortable in our classes. As always, athletes are still encouraged to scale the Performance track as needed or scale up the Foundations track as desired to meet their needs in a given class.
4). No more prescribed warmup. After two years of the guided, specialized warmup, we feel our coaches are well equipped to provide effective activating warmups on their own. The coaches notes will include some recommendations to the coaches on what to include in their warm-ups to make sure athletes are primed for the work they are doing that day, but the elimination of the prescribed warm-up allows them more freedom to dig deep into the curriculum and really teach the movements. We hope this allows for more learning, work and fun each 60 minute session.
5). An All-New DarkHorse Strength Program:
Previously, the DarkHorse Strength program included two days of powerlifting and accessory work, one day of Olympic lifting focused programming, and one day of Strongman Programming. We have decided to revamp this program to meet the needs of those that want more focused barbell work along with those seeking to advance their abilities in the competitive side of fitness.
The DarkHorse Program will now host two days per week of “Comp” training. This 30 min to one hour of extra programming is meant to supplement the regular class programming, allowing athletes to spend more time developing and honing their advanced gymnastic skills, their strength and extra volume to better prepare them for competition.
On Mondays and Fridays, this extra programming will be available to all athletes under the “DarkHorse” track included in the SugarWod app feed (if you need help finding this track, please ask a coach). Any Unlimited athlete can complete this extra work any time the gym is open, seven days per week. For example, if you take the 5:30 am PV class, you could attend the regular class on Monday morning and then stay after and complete the Comp training extra programming during the 6:30 am PV class. Or, if you take the 8:30 am DT on Tuesdays, you could stay after and do the extra work during the 9:30 am Tuesday class.
Please remember, freedom to access the gym during additional class times requires an Unlimited membership. Two day/week and Three day/week memberships allow you access to instructor led class sessions including Olympic Weightlifting and Open Gym.
The DarkHorse Program will also include two days of strength-specific programming, along with two classes devoted to the programming! The two days of strength-focused programming will be in SugarWod under the “DarkHorse” track on Wednesdays and Saturdays. For Unlimited members, this work can be completed any day, any time that the gym is open. However, most athletes are encouraged to attend the DarkHorse Strength classes on Wednesdays at 6:30pm Downtown and/or Saturdays at 10:30am Downtown (NEW CLASS launching this week!!). This strength programming will by Olympic lifting focused, with some Powerlifting and Strongman mixed in. You will tend to see more Powerlifting on Wednesdays and more Strongman on Saturdays. Any unlimited athletes interested in getting stronger and spending more time under the barbell are encouraged to attend class or do the work on their own. Athletes with Two day/week and Three day/week memberships can attend these classes, but it does count as one of their weekly classes out of their limit of 2 or 3 classes.
CFN has evolved into three days of longer, endurance style metcons. We are offering three days of focused strength work. We also have four additional days of programming for those interested in Comp training and more Strength. Our Unlimited members have unlimited access to two facilities. We have over 20 coaches ready to answer questions and offer advice. Simply reach out to any of our coaches via email and ask away. We really, really, really want to hear from you!
Are you willing to reach out to a coach and wrestle nutrition as a topic? What about prioritizing lifestyle changes or maybe you want to discuss setting a few goals with a coach?
We hope that you give these new changes some time to settle on you and your body and mind. We hope that you are willing to shift and evolve with us! Not sure how this all feels or have more questions? Reach out to Andy and let him know. He can be reached at andy@crossfitnovato or 415-290-2964
If you would like to learn more about the science of programming and the “Why” behind what we do, please attend the next Educational Series on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:30pm Downtown with Coach Gilly. Bring questions, bring curiosity.
And please give our newest CFN7 Podcast (listen here) episode a listen for more background on programming and the most recent changes! Thank you, thank you again for sharing your thoughts and supporting CFN. We are grateful for you!