3 Pros & Cons of New Programming
by Andrew Killion
Programming is a funny thing. It’s so easy to get lost in the weeds, add complexity and end up with too much accessory work, tempo and optionality.
While I’m all for keeping things up to date and modern; I’m also willing to admit sometimes the old school had it figured and if it wasn’t broke you shouldn’t try to fix it.
So what’s that mean for you? Well for the month of July we’re going to do things a little more old school with our normal Group Class. We’re going to go back to the old days of CrossFit where there’s one WOD variation instead of 3. We warm up, do strength, and then do a metcon. Potomac and Patriot will still have different WODs, but they’ll be more similar than they might seem at a glance.
We’re gonna try this out for July and then see what you all think. All we ask is that you give it a try and let us prove to you why it’s an upgrade. Then we’ll open things up to feedback about whether to keep it, improve it, or scrap it. So after July if you hate it, we’ll figure it out.
1.) Simplicity is King
In the words of Albert Einsetin, “if you can’’t explain it to an 8 year old you don’t know it yourself.” I think the same thing applies to workouts. Let’s be clear: that doesn’t mean boring, lack of creativity, fun or purpose. It just means things don’t need to be overly complex to be fun and effective. Ask any coach worth their salt and they’ll tell you that a simpler program is a better program. Our aim is to streamline the programming to make it work better for you.
2.) Faster Progress
People are creatures of habit. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since joining you guys it’s that interrupting habits can be dangerous territory. However, one of the core tennants of CrossFit is that habit and routine are the enemy. People get stuck in ruts/routines and I’m concerned our current format encourages this. But I’m 100% confident that this shift in programming (while admittedly disrupting your habit/routine in the beginning) will create MUCH greater fitness gains for you.
3.) More Workout Bang for your Buck
A lot of people like to bandy about the idea of “train smarter and not more often.” To which my normal reply is “how about both?” I subscribe to the “golden hour” theory of training. At PCF we have one hour to get in as much smart work as we can possibly muster. So we’re going to make it as dense as we can. So expect to see more intense and shorter lifting portions as well as more (but not too many) longer metcons (think somewhere between the normal WOD and SweatCon at least twice a week). I’ve been developing programs for gyms, 100lb weightloss clients and CrossFit Games athletes for over 10 years now, and this is by far the most effective system I’ve developed in that time.
1) No more levels.
I know this is absolutely going to be the biggest cause of contention. I’m more than up for taking the heat for this but let me explain my rationale.
As I mentioned above in the “faster progress” section I think levels cause people to stagnate. We are creatures of our habits and when you’re used to doing L2 you’ll stay in L2 even if you could’ve potentially done more.
I firmly believe we have the best coaches in the DMV and I’m going to challenge them to come up with a perfect workout for you. You aren’t expected to make it up yourself or go up to them, they are coming to you. We’re going to provide the template (the WOD) and they’re going to make that workout fit where your level is, not expect you to fit into some arbitrary level that was designed for a different set of circumstances.
I’m fully aware this is going to disrupt your routine, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that if you give it an earnest try you’re going to love it.
2) Intimidation Factor.
Some of these WODs are going to look intimidating as hell. You’re 100% going to look at some and think “I can’t do that.” You’re also 100% wrong. You’re going to see WODs with RX’d deadlifts at 355 lbs for men and 245 lbs for women. Do not talk yourself out of it. Again, the goal here is to lean on the coaches and let them show off a little bit in how much they can tailor the workout for you. No one expects you to do every WOD RX’d (full disclosure: some of you need to be doing RX’d+). But, if you show up, we’ll make this an awesome workout for you every single time.
Change. It’s different. And I know there’s comfort in routine. But to quote to common sayings in CrossFit: “get comfortable being uncomfortable” and “routine is the enemy.”
We’re taking it back old school CrossFit. For those of you from the N. Highland days this will look and feel very familiar. I did the levels thing, the remote program following thing, the tempo thing (yuck); and none of it has out performed just some good ol’ fashioned CrossFit.
To cite another favorite CrossFit saying of mine: “The magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation, and the fun is in the community.” I think by bringing everything together into one big community (instead of 3 levels x 2 gyms) you’re going to see just how powerful that magic can be.
All my best,