• Rob Olson

Programming! What Goes Into Creating Great Wods

If you are relatively new to CrossFit Simsbury, you might be wondering where the workouts come from. Or if you've been a longtime member, you might be wonder the rhyme or reason to what we do. This blog will explore it all!


Coach Rob programs for CrossFit classes Mon - Fri.

Coach Nick programs CrossFit on Sundays, Fit45, and Mobility.

Coach Jay programs Oly and Barbell classes.

Coach Denise programs for Kids, Teens, and Dumbbells & Diapers

Saturday CrossFit is programmed by the Coach of the day.


What goes into programming considerations?

The main goal of programming at CrossFit Simsbury is GPP - General Physical Preparedness. That means we do not specialize in anything, but we should be good at everything. Some boxes are very into Olympic weightlifting, some boxes are very into bodyweight movement and gymnastics, and some boxes are all about being competitive. We go for GPP.


I program weekly. I'll sit down for a couple hours and get a flow for the week. Here are my considerations for a typical week:

- 1 "heavy" day

- 1 "long" day

- 1 "short/fast" day

- 1 "interval" day

- Possibly 1 benchmark wod

- Possibly a strength component

- Skill day

- Equipment / Space considerations. Will the wod work with 20 people in class? How will the room be laid out? Will there be enough equipment?

- Weather (seasonal). Can we workout outside?

The warmup is very much a part of the programming. This is one area where experience really plays a role. Warmups are vital to having a safe workout and having an efficient workout. Don't warm up enough or in the right way, and risk of injury goes up, as does the mediocrity of the workout performance. A proper warmup will have your body temperature elevated, perhaps sweating, with the proper muscle groups used within the selected ranges of motion.

Last but not least, remember CrossFit is Constantly Varied, Functional Movements, at relative High Intensity.

Often people confuse constantly varied with random. Wods are not random. Movements are carefully chosen to work specific muscle groups, in specific rep schemes, with specific weights. Greg Glassman, the creator of CrossFit, stated that we fail at the margins of our experience. That is why we mix and match movements in different patterns to create a different stimulus and maximize our fitness. If somebody were to deadlift every Monday and do cardio every Wednesday, they would be great at those two individual events. Have that person run AND deadlift in the same workout, and they will experience a whole new level of missed fitness. Variance is the mechanism that allows us to expand our margin of experience. That is why some days a workout will have low reps, and other days will have hundreds. That is why some days will be light, and some days will be heavy. Some days it will be a AMRAP 2 and other days it will be AMRAP 25. You get the idea. Constant variance done well makes us more fit and at CrossFit Simsbury, more generally physically prepared.

Programming is an art. It takes practice and experience to get it right. As I mentioned earlier, every box has a slightly different flare to their programming, and this contributes to what makes each box unique. If you are ever curious, CrossFit.com has posted their daily wod for the last 16+ years, and you can still view them all on the site for free.

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