Some helpful reading is available to gain some understanding of the foundational principles and basic functional movements that will be practiced. They are available as PDF documents in the CrossFit Journal. The documents are titled “What is Fitness” and “Foundations.”
Q: Who are these WODs for?
A: These workouts are designed for anyone whose profession may cause their life to be in jeopardy on any given day. Military, Police Officers, and Firefighters rely on their fitness daily and participate in a life or death “sport.” Their day at the “office” may include numerous calls which require various acts of “fitness;” as such, they should train their bodies to meet the demand of multiple strenuous efforts throughout the day.
Additionally, this programming is very well suited for those who aspire to be competitive at CrossFit Regional competitions. However, the fact remains that INTENSITY is far more important than the programming an athlete follows. Find a program that speaks to you and follow it with maniacal zeal.
Q: How do I start?
A: While anyone can follow these workouts, it is highly recommended that you are proficient in complex movements such as the snatch, clean & jerk, muscle-ups, handstand walking, etc… If an athlete has the requisite strength and skill to complete these WODs as Rx’d, it is HIGHLY recommended that the volume is ramped up over a 2-4 week period to minimize the likelihood of overtraining or injury occurring.
Q: Do I have to do all of the workouts in one session or can I break them up into 2 or more workouts per day?
A: Yes and yes. Do both! We are preparing for the unknown and the unknowable. Change things up. Each athlete is an experiment of 1; each day is an opportunity to learn something new about how your body reacts to stressors. Over time, this knowledge will make you better suited to intelligently tackle any obstacle put in your way.
Q: What if I can’t do the WODs as prescribed (aka Rx’d)?
A: If you do not have the strength or ability to complete a workout due to a particular movement, then scale the weight or movement to something that is attainable. For example, if a workout calls for Deadlifts at 405 lbs and muscle-ups, a viable scaling option could be deadlifts at 185 lbs and jumping muscle-ups with the rings at forehead height. Another option could be to remove the conditioning portion of the workout and elect to focus on skill development instead.
Q: Does your programming have a “bias?”
A: Yes and no. Strength movements are programmed to provide athletes currently at “intermediate” to “advanced” strength levels the ability to compensate and increase strength numbers in a linear fashion. Those athletes who are considered “beginners” (in other words, they are able to increase strength levels each workout) would be better suited to follow Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength program to reach the requisite level of strength as quickly as possible.
Q: Can you explain the annotations in the Workout of the Day?
A: Strength Workouts – 3×5 means 3 sets of 5 reps of the given exercise. The sets of 3, 4, and 5 reps are to be done “straight across;” in other words, the weight remains the same for all working sets. On the weeks when we do sets of 1 or 2, lifters should attempt to build up to a new 1- or 2-rep max.
Some common acronyms:
AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or Reps – depending on the WOD) As Possible
EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute
Q: What should my nutrition look like?
A: It is our opinion that most adult males should weigh close to 200 lbs; if you are over 5’8” tall and not close to 200 lbs, then you should follow the GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day) Program until you are. At this height/weight ratio, an athlete’s bodyweight will not have a tremendously negative impact on bodyweight movements yet will dramatically impact your ability to move weight…and yes, weight DOES matter…there’s a reason that combat sports have weight classes. Otherwise, diet should be based on Paleo principles with whatever concessions the athlete deems necessary to maintain high energy levels and adequate recovery between workouts.
Q: What if I don’t have a sled or prowler?
A: Make one! An old wheel barrel (without the tire and skis) can be loaded with weight and dragged behind the athlete. The internet has numerous plans for building a prowler for $50-60 out of wood. If you don’t want to build your own, you can substitute hill sprints or weighted sled sprints instead.
This page will be updated often when new questions are asked in the daily comments.