CrossFit 46 Programming

April 13, 2015


Crossfit 46 Programming


We are changing our programming at Crossfit 46. Our mission at Crossfit 46 is to make our members as fit as possible, and we believe the new programming will help us reach that goal. By writing our own programming we are able to better address the weaknesses, strengths, technique, and mobility, of our clients. We hope to propel our members to their next level of fitness.


The focus of the programming will be general conditioning, basic strength, and quality of movement. Crossfit is filled with tonnes of flashy movements which are fun and challenging, but it is important that we develop our general fitness, which includes adequate strength and mobility, as well as an awareness of midline stabilization and hip movement, before moving onto more technically advanced movements. Until the above mentioned areas are mastered, moving onto more complex movements will hinder performance, slow progress, and potentially lead to injury. Basically, we need to be able to walk before we can run. We will be introducing more “tempo” work into our swods, and this will be explained below.




Once our new programming begins, you will start to see even more numbers on the board. For example, an swod might include Back Squats 4x8 (22x1). The first set of numbers 4x8 represents the number of sets and reps respectively, while the last set of numbers represents the tempo. So 4x8 means 4 sets of 8 reps. 


Now the tricky part: (22x1)


First Number: The first number represents the Eccentric or lowering phase of the movement. In              a squat this would be the coming down part of the squat.


Second Number: The bottom or loaded position. In a squat this would be the bottom position with the crease of the hip below the knee. 


Third Number: This is the concentric or ascending phase. In a squat this would be the standing up from the bottom portion of the squat.


Fourth Number: This is the resting, or extended position of the movement. In a squat this would be standing straight up. 


So, a tempo of (22x1) means that you will count to two on the way down in the squat, pause for two seconds at the bottom of the squat (while maintaining tension), ascending out of the squat as fast as possible (x), and pausing for a count of one at the top in the extended position (1). 


Why Tempo?


The benefits of training with tempo are immense. There are three main reasons for training with tempo. Stated simply, you get stronger faster and more safely. 


Gains in strength- Utilizing tempo training increases the “time under tension” of a movement. This can be thought of as the amount of time a muscle is loaded, or stressed, during a movement. Time under tension is what breaks a muscle down, so that it can regrow bigger and stronger. A set of 8 reps with a tempo of (22x1), will provide roughly 45 seconds of time under tension, compared to a set of 8 squats without tempo, that will bring roughly half. You get more bang for your buck training this way. 


Quality of Movement- When we train with tempo we are forced to slow down the movement, maintain tension, and focus on perfect technique. It is difficult to do tempo squats without solid technique. When training without tempo, it is much easier to lose tension, allow our weight to move onto our toes, and lose midline stability. Furthermore, when utilizing tempo training, less weight is needed to tax the muscles, and that reduction in weight allows for better technique. 


Reduced Risk of Injury- By using tempo we reduce the risk of injury by reducing the load, focusing more on technique and midline stability, while maintaining tension throughout the duration of the movement. Although bouncing out of the bottom of the squat may make things easier, we are relying on the stretch reflex of our muscles to get out of the bottom, and not challenging ourselves and our muscles to improve. 




Basic and Advanced Programming:


Each day there will be two different sets of programming. Basic and Advanced. When selecting which of these options to follow, consider the following. 


Your Goals 


Is your goal general health and well-being? 


Are you using Crossfit to prepare for another sport?


Are you working towards competing in Crossfit? 


Depending on your answer, the basic side may be where you will get the most benefit from your training even if you have been Crossfitting for over a year. If you intend on eventually competing in Crossfit, you may reach your goal quicker by spending extra time on the “basic” programming to develop your general strength and fitness, as well as mobility, before moving into more complex movements. 





Intensity,Technique, and Complexity 


Any athlete will get more out of the movement which their ability allows them to perform at the highest intensity. For example:  if the “Basic Wod” has goblet squats, and the “Advanced Wod” has Overhead Squats, the athlete should consider if their lack of mobility and technique in the overhead squat is going to limit them to the point where they will not be reach the intended purpose of the workout. 6 rounds of a workout performing more basic movements with higher intensity and solid technique is far more beneficial and will garner a great response from the body than 3 rounds of a workout performed with more complex movements at a lower intensity with poor technique. 


Training History/ Ability


The old adage of “Leave your ego at the door” applies here. It is important to note that the “Basic” programming is designed to be beneficial and challenging if performed with intensity and attention to technique for any athlete, even a high level athlete. With this in mind, do not view the “basic” programming as something that is only for beginners. For some members, depending on their goals, mobility, and training history, the basic programming will provide the most benefit even years into training. If you are new to Crossfit, but see yourself wanting to compete, or move into the advanced side of the board, it is recommended that all of the movements on the basic side are mastered before moving over to the advanced side. Once again, an athlete will progress quicker, and reach a higher level of fitness if they don’t skip the important initial progressions of training. 


Training vs. Practise


With the goal of improving fitness as efficiently as possible it is also important to consider how we mentally approach each training session. Each of our training sessions at Crossfit 46 should be thought of as practise, especially in the Interval or Swod. This does not however mean we should go easy. Instead we should be extremely strict with our movement, and technqiue; pushing ourselves right to the limit where our technique starts to fail, but no further. For example consider the following: there are pushups in an AMRAP workout and Athlete A ends up performing a total of 34 pushups from the knees, with no loss of midline stability, and no flaring out of the eblows, while athlete B performs 56 pushups from their knees, but their elbows flare out to the side with each rep, and they are worming (loss of midline stability) for 90% of the reps. Who will develop the necessary strength to perform solid Rx pushups from their toes quicker? Even though athlete B completed 20+ more reps than athlete A, athlete A will progress quicker because they focused on technique which ensured that they were training the muscles intended to be trained with the pushup (shoulders, pectorals, triceps, and midline). So, at the end of a workout, is there really a benefit of letting your technique slide just to grease out some extra reps? Not at all. Focusing on quality of movement and greasing out those last few reps with perfect technique will get you where you want to be quicker. Quality is far more important than quantity.


We hope you enjoy our new programming.


Crossfit 46 Coaching Staff

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