Who is creating this programming?
Thanks for checking out this site (and being proactive and reading the FAQs). I'm Ben Bergeron, owner and Head Coach of CrossFit New England in Natick, MA. I have been coaching for over 15 years and I'm a member of the CrossFit Leve1 1 Seminar Coaching Staff.
Why are you doing this site?
I'm not sure. I am frequently asked to program for people individually, but I haven't figured out how to say yes to everyone. So I guess this is my way to say "yes" to the masses. Hope it helps you get to the next level.
Who is this blog for?
Anyone can use it - FREE! It is intended for those hoping to qualify for CrossFit Regionals and The Games.
How do I choose Games, Regional or Open Programming? Or do I do all three?
You should choose one based off your goals - You definitely don't do all three.
OPEN - This means the Open is your big competition for the year, and you want to do everything you can to perform at your best during the Open. Your ultimate goal is to qualify for the Regionals or Masters.
REGIONALS - You are confident that you are going to make it through the Open and you have your sights set on the Regionals with the Ultimate goal of finishing top 10 or getting on the podium and punching a ticket to the Games.
GAMES - You have qualified for the Games and/or are a previous Games competitor.
Is all this work supposed to be completed in one training session or broken into morning and evening sessions?
Assume that it is supposed to be done in one training session. If it is supposed to be done in multiple training sessions it will be noted.
Why is it that sometimes several days are posted in advance and other days we have to wait for the posted training?
While I was at the Games coaching, I posted a week's worth of programming in advance since I knew I would be very busy that week. There was a very positive response to the early posts, which got me thinking... Does it make sense for competitors to know the programming days in advance?
There are obviously two answers to this and one could easily argue both sides. Daily posts allow the athletes to stay focused on the immediate tasks, not think ahead (and possibly save energy and game things they shouldn't), prepares better for the unknown and reduces cherry-picking. Weekly posts on the other hand, allow athletes to work in extra skills, mobility, and schedule their week's better. It also may prepare the athletes better for competition. While preparing for the unknown is huge part of our training, most CrossFit events have a number of events that are known days in advance. Over several days you have throw down with everything you have knowing that you still have a number of known events to come.
So my conclusion is to work with both systems. There will be times that I post several days or a week in advance and other times that I will post day to day.
What is the difference between "Beasts" and "Ninjas"?
Beasts are those that excel at strength movements. Think Khalipia.
Ninjas are those that excel at bodyweight movements. Think Speal.
What if you are neither a Beast or a Ninja?
Pick one, or pick both and scale up, or pick neither - your call.
What is a goat?
Goats are weaknesses. If you want to compete in this sport, you MUST work on them.
What does "OTM" mean?
On The Minute. Complete the work, and rest the remaining time. At the start of the next minute go again.
When it says "clean" is that a squat clean or power clean?
If Power or Squat is not specifically prescribed it is the athletes choice to determine the most effective method.
What should you do for a warm up?
The warm up serves several different purposes and should include a general warm up, mobility work and specific warm up. Here is a suggestion, tweak as needed but create something that is inclusive and individualized.
General warm up - full body movements through a full rang of motion.
Mobility work - break up sticky spots, improve mobility around joints and muscle quality, improve postioning
Specific warm up - if you are going for a 1RM snatch - do some PVC or technique work or the Burgener warm up with and empty barbell.
GENERAL Warm up:
2 Rounds not for time of:
200m Run or Row
15 Hip Extensions
10 Strict Pull ups
10 Push ups or Strict Ring Dips
10 Reverse Lunge Reach (alternating Samson Stretch)
10 PVC Pass Throughs
10 PVC OHS or Wall Facing Squats
10 Band Pull Aparts
Choose one of the following or something else that works for your.
This should be specific to the movements of the training session. Examples include:
Burgner Warm up
Running or Rowing Drills
What is the suggested cool down?
This is one of the most important times for the mental side of your training. Immediately after your WOD is the time to reassess the positives from your session - not second guess your efforts, strategy or ability. Tell yourself that you are happy with your effort, reaffirm that the stimulus you got is going to make you a better athlete, and convince yourself that you loved the pain. This will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you will perform better and become mentally stronger in your training and competition.
A good rule of thumb is to have your cool down last for 20 minutes minus the time of your metcon. For example, if you did "Fran" and it took you 3 mins, your cool down should last for 17 more minutes. If you did "Nancy" and it took you 12 minutes, your cool down would be 8 minutes.
General cool down - Bringing your heart rate back to normal gradually, allowing things to get flushed out properly. Rowing, walking or the airdyne are good options.
Specific cool down - Foam Roll AND Stretch the worked muscles and joints.
What is the difference between "Recovery Days" and "Rest Days"
Rest is just that - nothing. Relax, veg-out, hang with the family, watch tv and generally get off your feet. Rest is important both mentally and physically.
Recovery is about pro-actively speeding up your recovery. This involves getting blood flowing, massage, ART, active recovery, mobility work, foam rolling, yoga, compression, voodoo flossing and anything else that might promote recovery.
What does "across" and "climbing" mean?
Across - do the same weight for all sets.
Climbing - add weight every set. Make sure your first working set is a legit working set and not a warm-up.
What if it doesn't say "across" or "climbing"? Which should I do?
If across or climbing isn't posted. It is your choice.
What is the difference between "5x3" and "3x5"?
On this site we write the programming as sets x reps, so 5x3 means do 5 sets of 3 reps.
What does Unbroken mean?
Just what it sounds like. You must complete the set without stopping. If you rest or stop during a set, you must repeat the entire set starting from rep one.
What does "TnG" mean?
"Touch and Go." No dropping, no resting at the bottom.
What is a Giant set?
These are not for time, but each movement is done back to back with no rest. Focus on quality of movement above all else. Usually you can rest as needed between rounds unless otherwise stated.
What is a "Burner"?
Burners are all out efforts and one of the best ways to build metcon quickly. Burners should be done with fast cycle times and no transitions. "Helen" and "Christine" are examples of some longer, but well programmed Burners.
Here are some characteristics of a well programmed Burner:
Straight Sets - if you are breaking or stopping during the workout you are not achieving the desired goal. Shorten up the reps or lighten the load.
Light Weight - if you are thinking about the weight or having to pause before picking up the weight you are going too heavy and not going to get the desired stimulus (Increasing cycle times and metabolic conditioning).
Short Time Domain - These WODs should be 2 to 6 minutes. We don't exercise in one energetic pathway, but we are trying to max out the Glycolytic Pathway. Think about a max effort 800m Run or 1k Row.
No Pre WOD Stress - These are wods that you should be able to jump into without a lot of physical or emotional preparation or stress. For this reason, I usually don't use benchmarks for Burners - too much emotional stress.
NO DOMS - There should not be any excessive soreness from properly programmed Burners. We are looking to build you up with these not break you down in anyway. For that reason I wouldn't classify "Fran" as a Burner.
What exactly is meant by light, moderate, heavy and max loads?
LIGHT: This is technique work. In terms of "threshold training" (the balance of technique vs. intensity) this is all about technique and no intensity. Think "practice" not "training". Light loads should be about 60% of 1RM.
MODERATE: These loads are heavy enough to provide a response, but light enough that you can look pretty hitting every rep. In terms of "threshold training" this is near the tipping point of technique and intensity, but just a little more heavily weighted towards the technique side. Somewhere around 70-80% of 1RM.
HEAVY: This is heavy enough that you have to think about the weight, but you shouldn't be missing reps. This is "Threshold Training," where you are training equal parts technique and intensity. Heavy loads should be somewhere around 80-95% of 1RM.
MAX: These are all out efforts. 95-105% of 1RM.
What are some of the CompWOD benchmark wods?
"Bergeron Beep Test"
On the minute for as long as possible:
7 Thrusters, 75/55
7 Pull ups
50 Wall Balls, 20/14
40 BJ, 24/20
20 Clean, 145/100
20 Jerks, 145/100
10 Snatches, 145/100
10 Muscle ups
400m Sled pull, bodyweight
On the minute for as long as possible:
3 Power Cleans
3 Front Squats
Every 2 minutes for 20 mins:
3 Muscle ups
5 Power Cleans, 185/135
Bar Muscle ups
"Jake the Snake"
10.9.8.7.126.96.36.199.2.1 Jerks, 205/145
188.8.131.52.10.12.14.16.18.20 Pull ups
10 Back Squats, 225/155 - from the ground, no rack
10 Front Squats, 185/135
10-8-6-4-2 Parallete HSPU
2-4-6-8-10 Power Clean, 225/155
30 Clean and Jerks, 185/135
30 Snatches, 155/105
30 Muscle ups
10 Muscle ups
5 Squat Cleans, 225/155
Where should I send pictures or video for the site?
I want to post pics and video of you guys training. Send pictures and vimeo or youtube links to Ali@crossfitnewengland.com.