CrossFit is about constantly varied training, but that doesn’t mean the training is random. While it’s true that we train for the unknown and the unknowable, programming is more than pulling random workouts out of a hopper—though you can certainly experiment with that model for short periods. In this clip, shot at a Coaches Prep Course in late January 2010, CrossFit Co-Director of Training Dave Castro talks about the art behind constantly varied programming.
One of the main characteristics of constant variation is the use of very different loads, time domains and movements. Sometimes athletes are performing short, heavy workouts like 5 sets of single deadlifts. Other times they’re doing a long, heavy workout such as Linda. Cindy is long and light, while Fran is usually short and relatively light. A 2K row and a max snatch both involve pulling, but one is about endurance and stamina, while the other is about strength and speed. Athletes adapt to such a diverse program because it is broad and ignores no aspect of fitness.
Constant variation is one of the foundations of the CrossFit program, and by allowing that principle to influence your programming, you will be putting your athletes on the path to high levels of general physical preparedness. As always, the magic is in the movements themselves. Add in large doses of intensity, and you might even have some true firebreathers on your hands.
The Coaches Prep Course builds upon the Level 1 Certification and is designed for coaches looking to take their training to the next level.
Additional reading: What Is CrossFit? by Greg Glassman, published March 1, 2004.