Over the last three years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of CrossFit Affiliates and learn a little bit about their operations. The funniest part is that almost every Affiliate owner has the exact same questions, concerns, and statements:
“I just don’t have the time for programming.”
“We are an average gym with regular people.”
“I leave it until Sunday night (programming) and I’m not really sure if I’m putting as much effort into it as I should.”
If you own your own gym, you know how much work goes into running it, and you know that as the owner you probably wear multiple hats. Programming is very time consuming, and outsourcing your programming can take quite a bit of time and worry off of your plate. Below I outline all the commonly asked questions I get from Affiliate owners:
Q: How do I sign-up for programming?
A: We highly recommend that you book a free call under “contact” before signing up for our programming. We want to be sure that our programming is the right fit for your gym and prefer to fill potential clients in on all the details first before they sign-up.
Q: How much programming do I receive?
A: You will have access to four weeks of programming at a time. With each passing day, a new day is added to the calendar, so you essentially always have programming in advance. Your billing date is determined by the day you sign up on; i.e. if you sign up on January 4th, you’ll be charged on the 4th of every month, etc.
Q: How long have you been writing programming?
A: I have been a strength and conditioning coach since 2004 and a CrossFitter since 2006. I started programming for myself in 2004 and then for my own clients in 2011, so there have been over 10 years of refining this system before offering it to the public.
Q: Do I need special equipment to use your programming?
A: No, you do not. Most people associate the Conjugate System with bands, chains, and specialty bars. If you have those things, we can certainly use them, but they are not a requirement.
Q: Is the programming customized to my gym?
A: Our programming is not customized to each gym, but there are multiple scaling options for equipment/space constraints. This programming is geared toward the general population; specialization in this setting is not necessary, as we are taking into account the “greatest good for greatest number,” which allows us to prioritize building our clients’ bases and giving them the tools to improve their health.
Q: Do you run cycles?
A: Specific Cycles are commonly associated with linear periodization, and with the Conjugate System, the only linear part of our training is speed work, which goes in three-week pendulum waves. Max Effort Work (heavier lifting) rotates weekly. Unilateral/GPP work also rotates weekly. Linear periodization (read more here) simply is not the best way to train (particularly in a group setting), and we’ve found that people accommodate to movements after as few as six exposures, so it’s important to have a great deal of variance with your training. More specifically in a group-setting, where we do not have the luxury of knowing our clients’ schedules, block-training is the last form of training we want to use.
Q: Do you program for the CrossFit Open?
A: The implementation of past Open WODs up to 8 weeks before the Open is common, but the CF Open is a test of aerobic power in which your athletes need to improve their ability to sustain their efforts without crossing their Anaerobic Threshold. Our program design is a well-rounded plan with which we are able to bring up multiple areas of our fitness concurrently. Aerobic power, improving lactate shuttle, and cycling light barbells through a range of motion are staples in this programming making a need for “specialization” not necessary for the general population.
Q: What about Competitor Training?
A: We offer a Competitor Training that runs on the same template as our Affiliates. This training is similar and will give your competitors chances to train with your community, but most of the work is separate from your Affiliate’s programming, so athletes must be proficient with higher skill gymnastics movements, weightlifting, and be able to work independently. This training is geared specifically towards those who that want to take their results in the CF Open to the next level, so there is more emphasis on aerobic capacity and performing higher skill movements while under fatigue.
Q: What about CrossFit Benchmark Workouts, Hero WODs?
A: Benchmark workouts are fit into the programming systematically from an energy system standpoint. Typically, benchmark workouts repeat on a 12-16 week basis. If you have a particular workout planned for say, a holiday, I can easily add this in by request. Along with staple CF Benchmarks, BP has roughly 30 “named” tester workouts as well as roughly 30 tester strength movements that repeat on the same basis.
Q: What type of improvements have you seen with your programming?
A: With my Affiliates that have been with me the longest, I’ve seen 100-150# increases in squat and deadlift (this isn’t an exaggeration), and drastic improvements in benchmark conditioning pieces. At my own Affiliate, we had close to 20 ladies that could deadlift in the mid 300s and close to 10 guys deadlift 500+, and we were consistently in the top 50 every year in the CrossFit Open. All of those whom I mentioned are regular people, not competitive athletes.
Q: Is there a minimum commitment?
A: No there is not, but we do ask for 30 days notice to cancel your subscription, as you receive 30 days of programming in advance at all times.
Q: What about information about equipment, space size, average class size?
A: Our programming includes multiple options for workouts that require specialty pieces like Sleds, Assault Bikes, Ski Ergs, or any other pieces of equipment that may fall outside the norm. If you have these pieces of equipment, you’ll be able to utilize them, but otherwise, there will be options available to your classes can run seamlessly.
A few things to expect:
- There is absolutely zero guesswork with this programming. You and your coaches will know exactly what the intent of each training session is and will be able to articulate that to your athletes if they ask. You will also know exactly how long each task domain workout should take.
- Less emphasis on movements that may not be as valuable to the overall health of your members, but opportunities to work on higher skill movements in controlled settings.
- A plan that is systematic and well-thought out. The risk of overuse and overtraining has been completely minimized with this plan.
- Attention to detail. Your programming will include a complete class plan with time layouts, which has a warm-up/mobility that is relevant to the training of the day. Strength modalities are balanced with energy systems work in terms of volume and intensity.
- An account dashboard that has information about my programming, links to all YouTube videos, and your account information, as well as content to enhance your coaches’ knowledge of strength and conditioning.
- A email content series after signing up to make it easy for you and your coaches to find our most valuable content and videos.
- Your athletes to make serious progress! After 16 weeks of using Box Programming, the value of this training will be proved to your athletes, and anyone that had doubts will now be a believer. Your athletes will be healthier and more fit than ever before.
- Integration with SugarWOD
For more information feel free to book a free call.