In the last year we’ve seen some drastic, and what we feel are great changes to the CrossFit atmosphere, many of them specific to the competition season. The last 12 months have been a mess for everyone, training has been off for some, while others have had more time than ever to train. Programming has been a little all over the place because of so much unknown, certain equipment not being able to be regularly used, etc.

After over 10 years running a CrossFit gym and helping numerous athletes succeed in the Sport of CrossFit it’s given us a lot to think about how, what, why we program. One of the things that has made CrossFit so interesting on the competitive side is the enormous amount of different ways to train.  There is no one right way, but their are definitely wrong ways. Over the last 10 years what we have seen and experienced ourselves has shaped how and what we do. As we look at every other sport on the planet, they all have off-seasons, yet for some reason in the CrossFit space this has largely been kicked to the side for almost all athletes. We believe a lot of it comes from the huge variance of movements and capacities used in CrossFit which have made many athletes feel they constantly need to train, any time they take a break they’re missing out on getting better at something, meanwhile arguably the most important thing the athletes needs to get better at is taking time off, and getting better at resting and recovering. The combination of large variance in CrossFit training, along with a general mentality/mindset that finds most high level CrossFit athletes treating their training almost like a drug. It often leaves athletes with an amazing feeling about themselves post-workout (similar chemical responses are happening when training as when using certain drugs, but we don’t need to get into that here), and just like drugs and other substances, constant use leads to problems. CrossFit is no different. Hammering your body day in and day out, year round, years on end, is a recipe for lack of progress, injury, and burn-out. 

For most of our everyday athletes doing class CrossFit their training days is fine, inevitably there will be days missed, weeks off for vacations, and day’s where the intensity just isn’t pushed because of mindset. But if you’re the individual who rarely misses a day training, is more focused on where and how to train on vacation than actually relaxing and enjoying your vacation, you’re the individual who needs a different training plan. This is where one needs to differentiate are you training to compete at CrossFit or do just fucking love to train and be in the gym and you’re not concerned about competing. Those are two different things, and over the last 10 years we’ve seen often, just because someone trains a lot, they believe they need to follow a competitive CrossFit training program because they have more volume, it gives them more to do.

With the recent changes at CrossFit HQ and the new setup to the competition season, we are really starting to see just that, a season. We have the Open, this is for everyone, multiple divisions to accompany a wide range of abilities and capacities. This isn’t so much a competition, but more a a global celebration of fitness and testing yourself again 100’s of thousands in what is a pretty damn cool event. From there we now have Quarterfinals which we just finished, and was awesome. Quarterfinals, really gives us an in between for many athletes, and provides a much needed event to what our CrossFit season used to be. With 10% of the Open athletes going on, and with CVCF having always had a wide depth of talented athletes, this will likely turn into more of an event for us next year as I suspected we could have 20-40 athletes qualify.

So, moving forward you will see our Comp programming being structured for a sport, for a season, geared towards having our athletes as prepared as possible for Quarter Finals. Programming a season means just that, we are treating this as a Sport and not an Exercise program. While this will be a constant work in progress and design, you will see that we will only be regularly doing “CrossFit” (what we and the everyday person thinks of as CrossFit, high effort Met-cons) about half of the year, roughly December to end of Quarter Finals. The rest of the season the programming will be focused on building different capacities in of themselves, and early on focusing on overall body health. This means moving forward the Comp programming will not line-up at all with our classes…again, one is a training program for a Sport, another is an exercise program for everyday life and fitness. As the season progresses the Comp programming will fall more and more in line with our classes. The Comp program will be written and designed for the well rounded athlete, meaning no huge deficiencies in any of our 3 main modalities, cardiovascular capacity, weightlifting, gymnastics. Different parts of the season will be geared towards different areas, but as a whole, the program will be biased to the overall athlete, focusing on bringing up capacities in all movements.

Over the last couple of years we’ve really gotten big on asking you, our members, what are you training for. For those who maybe have or are following our Comp programming now is the time to ask that question, are you looking to prepare yourself as best as possible for the Open/Quarterfinals, or are you just looking to do CrossFit everyday because you like it and it’s fun. Those are two different things and require two widely different training protocols.

– The CVCF Team