What goes into CFCH programming?

by Grace Lin

I’ve had a lot of inquisitive minds ask me about what goes into the programming at CFCH.  Do I create all of the workouts?  Is there a template I follow?  Is there a particular stimulus that we’re focusing on?

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There are many different styles of programming out there, especially ones that are geared toward a specific sport/goal.  For example, an Olympic lifting program will be biased toward building strength and technique in the snatch and clean and jerk.  Most days will include full and variations of one or both of those lifts.  Accessory strength work will also be programmed in to fill in any gaps and build strength in the legs, core and shoulders.

Here at CFCH, we implement a General Physical Preparedness (GPP) program.  Our specialty is not specializing.  We aim to build strong work capacity across broad times and modal domains.  Essentially, we are trying to build a strong, large foundation to continuously build on.  You can’t build a solid house on a small, weak foundation.  You need a strong and sizable foundation to have a sturdy building.  Similarly, you need a good foundation to be able to continuously grow and not plateau in fitness.

In CFCH’s programming, each week will address at least one high skill gymnastic movement (e.g., pull ups, muscle ups, handstand push ups), Olympic lifting (e.g., snatch, clean and jerk), power lifting (e.g., back squat, bench press, dead lift), mono-structural movements (e.g., running, rowing, biking), and other bodyweight and weighted movements (e.g., wall balls, KBS, box jumps).  These will typically come in the form of short, medium, and long duration workouts.

Some days may be pure strength days, in the form of power lifting, Olympic lifting, gymnastics, or strongman.  Some days the strength may be mixed into the conditioning, for example 15-12-9 of front squats (205/145), calorie row, and chest-to-bar pull ups.  Some days may be a long conditioning workout made to build your engine (hello, EMOMs).  Whatever the workout is for the day, there is a purpose for it and it has been thoughtfully programmed to fit into that week.  

I program at least a month in advance and receive feedback from the team before the workouts are finalized for the gym.  I create most of them, but you will see many workouts sprinkled in from other sources, like CF Main-site, Hero WODs, benchmarks, and other gyms that look too fun to pass up ;).  Periodically, we will re-test a previous workout to track your progress.  The date of the previous occurrence will always be noted on the board.  This is why we emphasize journaling your workouts, so you can track your progress (and it’s never too late to start).

In short, the programming at CFCH promotes a GPP program for the gym members.  Those looking to compete recreationally in the sport can look to the optional extra work posted everyday to further develop higher level skills on a regular basis.  Those aiming to compete in the sport at the highest level will need a slightly more specialized program, and the competitor program is great for that!  For the general public looking to stay healthy and fit, our GPP program will do a great job.  A sport-specific program will definitely do well in preparing you for that sport.  A GPP program will prepare you for life.

We have some great ideas planned.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post about new quarterly focuses coming in 2018!