Coach Greg Glassman provides detailed charts for a 12-day cycle of CrossFit workouts and explains the reasoning behind the theoretical template of CrossFit programming.
At first glance the theoretical template seems to be offering a routine or regimen. This may seem at odds with our contention that workouts need considerable variance or unpredictability, if not randomness, to best mimic the unforeseeable challenges of combat, sport, and survival. We’ve often said, “What your regimen needs is to not become routine.” But the model we offer allows for wide variance of mode, exercise, metabolic pathway, rest, intensity, sets, reps, etc.
In the broadest view we see a three-day-on, one-day- off pattern. We’ve found that this allows for a relatively higher volume of high-intensity work than the many others that we’ve experimented with. The workouts are composed of three distinct modalities: metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, and weightlifting.
Metabolic conditioning (MetCon) encompasses activities commonly referred to as “cardio.” Gymnastics refer to our bodyweight exercises. Gymnastics greatly improve body control and enhance neurological components like coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy while improving functional upper body capacity and trunk strength. Weightlifting refers to control of external objects. The aim of weightlifting is primarily to increase strength, power, and hip/leg capacity. We have found the Olympic lifts and power lifting most effective to this end.
Our experience in the gym and the feedback from our athletes following the WOD have demonstrated that the mix of one, two, and three element workouts are crushing in their impact and unrivaled in bodily response. Typically our most effective workouts, like art, are remarkable in composition, symmetry, balance, theme, and character.