I’m really confused as to why so many affiliates have a A warm up, then strenght, then the WOD and others just have a warm up then the WOD. In my level 1 seminar, no one mention a strength before doing a WOD. This is something I’ve been wondering myself and if someone please could clarify this about programming. For instance, having strength would count as heavy and W, but then you have you’re WOD lets just say is a triplet WGM. How would you go onto programming the strength part for the rest of the week without bias considering you still need variance. And also, would not this mean that some athletes would save themselves for the WOD and dont try their best on the strength part, which would take all intensity from the strength.
You’d have to ask the individual affiliates to know why they implemented additional strength work. Their reasons will vary as will their approach to what they do as additional work.
Some follow a strength program based on a progression of load and exercise choice, others include gymnastic skills in their pre-WOD training. Some seem to choose what they do fairly randomly, others work to an observable plan.
Brand X coined the terms “Buy In” and “Cash Out”, terms borrowed from poker, for their Pre and post WOD work respectively.
At Brand X a training session often looks like this:
Buy in; Strength work e.g. find your 3RM front squat
The WOD; Normal Metcon style workout. Heavy or light, long or short, task or time based etc.
Cash Out; Normally skill work, e.g. handstand holds. Cash outs don’t seem to feature as much these days in GD’s written programming , but they may be going on still.
The whole concept came from Coach Glassman’s open letter to all affiliates titled “Virtuosity”. GD has posted it here http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/1139/ and the original is a free download in the CF Journal here http://journal.crossfit.com/2005/08/virtuosity-1.tpl.
This bit near the end is what kicked it off for Brand X.
There is plenty of time within an hour session to warm up, practice a basic movement or skill or pursue a new PR or max lift, discuss and critique the athletes efforts, and then pound out a tight little couplet or triplet utilizing these skills or just play. Play is important. Tire flipping, basketball, relay races, tag, Hooverball, and the like are essential to good programming, but they are seasoning like salt, pepper, and oregano. They are not main courses.
Here is a video from a CF Coaches prep course that might be useful, http://journal.crossfit.com/2011/06/cpctragetedvsbias.tpl. I don’t agree with all of it, but it illustrates that HQ do recognise that CF programming can be tailored to address specific needs.
A problem many Affiliates encounter is that their athletes are fundamentally lacking in raw strength. In BX terms, they can get to about Pack level scaling but can’t make the final step to Big Dawgs because the weights are to heavy for them. Home crossfitters and people looking to start CF deal with that in lots of silly ways, the dumbest being:
Thinking they need to get strong before they start CF.
Even worse, stopping CF to do a strength program and then coming back to CF, thinking that their strength gains will transfer to metcons.
GD published a strength biased system of programming to counter those two concepts which were appearing with frightening frequency on the mainsite forum and staring to show up here. His co-author called it “CrossFit Strength Bias” or “CFSB”. You can find the original article in the CF Journal here http://journal.crossfit.com/2009/02/crossfit-strength-bias.tpl. Basically it’s documentation of how GD had been programming for his clients at Brand X. GD is still refining that and what he does now departs from it to some extent. A modified and more generally applicable version is what we’ve called “CFSB lite” which you can find here http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewreply/245169/ and later in the same topic, here http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewreply/245266/.
CFSB lite is possibly more universally applicable because the full implementation of CFSB introduces a definite bias toward developing strength in the programming which requires participants do metcons which support that. It’s hard to do with mainsite programming for example. CFSB will produce CrossFitting powerlifters. Most people don’t need that, they just need to get a bit stronger, so CFSB lite is probably a better fit.
In theory, it’s possible to just do metcon based programming and get as strong as you will ever need to, but in practise it’s simpler to tackle the problem head on and add some additional strength work. And it’s a good opportunity to address deficiencies in technique with the basic lifts, which comes back to Coach’s letter on Virtuosity.
A final note. We recommend that people training on their own don’t introduce additional strength work until they’ve been doing CF for at least 6 months and ideally 12-18 months. At an affiliate newbies will often not participate in the strength based buy in and instead will work off to one side with a coach to develop their technique in the lift used in the strength work, or in a precursor movement. I.e. you don’t let people try for a heavy back squat if their air squat sucks.