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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:00 AM   #1
Pete Mongeau
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Programming from day 1

My biggest struggle today is the 80% rule, I personally follow competitive programming from proving grounds and I know how to scale most if not all WOD's once underway, however how do we keep members excited..a squat cycle is not exciting or sexy, when I do one on one work its easy to est a starting point with each client. I would like my WOD programming to include meso macro and micro cycle programming is what but I'm assuming that everyone starts at day one attendance is going to be such that your membership is going to be able to benefit from it. Any thoughts guidance or feed back welcome.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:05 AM   #2
Jeff Enge
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Re: Programming from day 1

If you expect your starting clientele to be mostly beginners, you need to keep it simple obviously. If this is the case, your first wave of programming can almost be done in the same way you'd do an on-ramp cycle.

Start with the basics - air squats, pushups, situps, pullups, running, things that everybody can learn quickly and can provide a challenging workout no matter how they are scaled. For most beginners, doing heavy weights or doing complex barbell movements in a MetCon is a bad idea.

At the lifts from basic on up, first as skill work - with a PVC or barbell with light weight - then as strength work - not "find 1RM," something more like a basic linear progression - then when form is spot-on and consistent, you can put them in MetCons.

In that way, your programming can grow with your gym's clientele. At least, that's the way I see it if you are starting from scratch.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:25 AM   #3
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Programming from day 1

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Originally Posted by Pete Mongeau View Post
My biggest struggle today is the 80% rule, I personally follow competitive programming from proving grounds and I know how to scale most if not all WOD's once underway, however how do we keep members excited..a squat cycle is not exciting or sexy, when I do one on one work its easy to est a starting point with each client. I would like my WOD programming to include meso macro and micro cycle programming is what but I'm assuming that everyone starts at day one attendance is going to be such that your membership is going to be able to benefit from it. Any thoughts guidance or feed back welcome.
The answer is you don't program that way in the beginning or even later on for your new regular members. (dedicated competitors are a different story).

I'm like you. I want results and if I have to do hard miserable squatting sessions to get them fine. The majority of my members are not motivated this way. I had to program to keep people interested and progressing without it becoming a grind.

Is it the fastest way to get people fit? No.

But if they quit then you have failed to help them (and it is harder to pay the bills).

What happens is people scale everything in the beginning. After they get comfortable with the movements they start to pay more attention to their times and the times of other members.

Soon Rx'ing becomes a goal for some. Now you have them. They will be willing to do anything you suggest to accomplish their goals. If that means a tough grinding squat program so be it.

Combine interesting constantly varied programing (doing real work) with a strong nutritional message and people will get the results they want. Then many change their goals from looking good to preforming at a high level.

Use benchmarks repeated regularly to help people see their results. If they have friends who CrossFit then they can talk about common workouts to see how they are doing. If you custom write everything, no matter how brilliant, they can't compare with their friends. Most members know people who CrossFit at a gym other then yours these days in major cities. They compare notes all the time.


How well you can move people through this process will determine largely how successful you will be as a coach and a business.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
Adam Morden
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Re: Programming from day 1

Great Post Brendan.

I agree that is can be a huge mistake to program competitor style training (even scaled down) to beginners. I disagree as to why. The biggest problem I see when programming advanced style lifting and metcon cycles with beginners is that those programs fail to take advantage of the linear strength and metabolic progressions that beginners can make. Most beginners will make more gains in fitness (all 10 domains) by following a simple linear progression starting with the fundamental bodyweight movements and then barbell lifts. Starting from scratch with a group of beginners I would focus on mobility first, then strength, then metabolic conditioning. Meaning that I would fist make sure that members can move through the requisite ranges of motion, then that they had the strength to perform basic standards (I'm not talking about a 600lbs deadlift here - more like a bodyweight deadlift) safely and with correct form, Only then I would challenge them to use weights in their workouts. I like to program an expanded mobility portion, then either bodyweight or barbell strength work (untimes focus on form and ROM) then a short easy metcon (with bodyweight movements) if they need more for new members/onramp.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:31 AM   #5
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Programming from day 1

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Originally Posted by Adam Morden View Post
The biggest problem I see when programming advanced style lifting and met-con cycles with beginners is that those programs fail to take advantage of the linear strength and metabolic progressions that beginners can make. Most beginners will make more gains in fitness (all 10 domains) by following a simple linear progression starting with the fundamental body weight movements and then barbell lifts.
I completely agree with this and have been a champion of this type of progression for a long time. We are currently conducting an experiment for a couple of 3 week cycles but I had been using a very simple LP system for my new people for a long time.
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