There are inherent risks to simply taking workouts off of the internet and using that for your group programming. The most important thing to keep in mind is that thoughtful programming is built on science, not just random ideas.
Trying to go against the laws of human biology is something that happens all too often in the fitness space where coaches need almost zero prior to knowledge before opening a gym.
If you’re pressed for time, don’t take the easy way out and take something you saw off of the internet just because a CrossFit games athletes suggested it. This completely disregards many important aspects of a well-thought-out plan will likely lead to injury. Not to mention being a CrossFit games athlete does not necessarily mean they are a qualified coach.
Moreover, if you’re not able to clearly see into the future (or even in the past) it will be tough to align your pieces with someone else’s.
Here are some reasons why you should NOT program this way.
- Mindset: It’s nearly impossible to know the mindset of the coach from whom you are taking your programming. Although it would seem obvious based off of the program design, and if you did your homework researching weeks leading up until this day of programming, then you may be able to speculate, but speculation is simply is guessing – do you really want your clients’ health based on a plan of “guessing?”
- Overtraining: The risk of overtraining is real. This is a phenomenon that athletes may not recover from and lose all motivation to train using CrossFit again. Other deleterious effects are a loss of appetite, weight, depression; clearly, all things that will not lend themselves to longevity. Consequently, without having background information, there may not be ample recovery between sessions which, over time, will run your clients into the ground.
- Overuse injury: This I see all too often – people squatting everyday or going overhead every day. Without knowing what has happened before and what is happening after a specific day of training, there are risks that can play into our last point but put simply, overuse injuries will take your clients out of the game and diminish the trust they have in you and your coaches.
- Negligence: It’s perfectly fine to use other peoples’ workouts, CrossFit benchmarks, Hero Workouts, etc., but they MUST fit into a PLAN and be accounted for. By taking someones else’s programming, there is no way that you can know this. Also, how much time and effort are you putting into the health and welfare of your clients if you’re simply taking your programming off of the internet the night before your classes?
- Research: Who are you taking your programming from? It may be from someone that has zero background in program design or basic exercise physiology. Even taking a workout from an advanced programmer may not yield the long-term results you’re hoping your clients will obtain. Anyone can write a cool looking workout, but being mindful of the “bigger picture” outweighs the “cool factor” a workout may have. And just because someone has competed at a high level in the sport of fitness doesn’t mean they are an “expert” in programming – based off of the nonsense that I see on social media most have zero business programming for anyone.
- “The Why”: If you cannot explain why something is in your programming than it simply has not earned the right to be in your plan. And you won’t necessarily be able to receive background information when taking programming off of the internet; things like the desired outcome, recommended loading, how a workout should “feel,” overall objectives, RPEs, energy system notes, and special strengths considerations, as well dates of the previous testing. These are things that can be instrumental in your athletes receiving the proper stimulus and therefore improve their chances of long-term success.
- Scaling options: What about your folks that cannot cycle a barbell efficiently yet? What are they going to do? Having a piece that aligns with multiple abilities to ensure people are receiving at least a modicum of intensity when appropriate is important.
- Programming for the best: GHD sit-ups, heavy Olympic Lifts in a fatigued setting and inordinate amounts of kipping pull-ups aren’t going to lead to longevity really for anyone. Please stop making your clients do that shit because you think it looks cool OR because you do it. Tearing your clients’ labrum certainly doesn’t look cool. To read more about why you should avoid high-skill work on the regular for general fitness check this article out here.
- Clients needs: Always consider the reality of what the majority of your clients want in terms of their goals and what they actually need to get them there. If a workout or even a movement doesn’t align with that goal, then what’s the point?
Overall, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Taking workouts off of the internet and using them down the road assuming they fit into your template/plan is perfectly fine though.
Taking programming the night before and posting for the next day, you’ll miss the boat on key aspects of program design that will help increase the chances of success for your clients. Not to mention, this shows a complete disregard for your clients’ health.
Staying pain-free and feeling motivated is the name of the game. No one is going to trust you or stay at your facility if you injure them.