Video Article

“CrossFit makes you fit. CrossFit Endurance is a sports-specific supplement that makes you that much better,” says John McBrien, a CrossFit Endurance coach. Join McBrien as he discusses programming for single-sport athletes.

CrossFit Endurance supplements traditional CrossFit programming (four to six times a week) by adding in two or three endurance workouts per week: two interval sessions and one stamina session. Stamina workouts are time trials or tempos at 85-95 percent of maximal effort and are only performed on CrossFit rest days. Perhaps even more important than the workout prescription is the prescription for strength-and-conditioning recovery following an endurance cycle.

“Recovery is why you get better, not more training,” McBrien says. “We’re not actually going to see the results of that until we go out of the gym, eat well, sleep well and actually take care of ourselves.”

Finally, starting a CrossFit Endurance program requires progression. McBrien suggests slowly adding CrossFit Endurance workouts into your training routine, taking into account weekly energy needs. He says there is no one-size-fits-all programming for single-sport athletes.

8min 25sec

Additional reading: A Theoretical Template for CrossFit Endurance Programming by John McBrien, published Sept. 15, 2010.

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8 Comments on “CrossFit Endurance: Single-Sport Programming”


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

I dig it!

I am psyched, this weekend I will be partaking in a CFE Cert!

I'll be getting an ass whoopin' but the knowledge I'm about to learn is gonna be BadAss Legit! BOOM!


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Great video John. Hope there's more to come. As a current high school track coach, I find your videos very helpful. I just have a couple questions. Would one rest/recovery day per week be enough? Because if I understand right, the athlete is supposed to get a time trial or tempo run on what would be one of the rest days.

Also, how would you program around meets being on a varied schedule? For instance, we had a meet last Wednesday that got rained out and rescheduled for earlier today (Tuesday). Now we have the state final meet on Saturday. We threw some pretty hard workouts at the athletes since last Wednesday and they performed well in the meet today. But I'm not sure how we should approach running our most important meet of the season this Saturday. I'd like to get one more good workout in before (like the hill), but I don't want to burn them out.

I know I'm kinda rambling on, but any input would be appreciated.


wrote …

I just started CFE this week and this video has helped me understand the program IMMENSELY. This program is going to be a blast.


replied to comment from Chris Sinagoga

i second the question of "is one rest day a week enough" or is the response simply yes, as long as the person is recovering well? both in the article and the video you focus a lot on the value of Recovery and Progression. I loved the quote of "Recovery is why you get better, not more training" nothing could be more true.

Ive been doing crossfit for a while now (3.5 years), and after my third day I AM DEAD, and as far as i understood thats how you know your 3 days of wods were good ones. adding in a time trial, on a day i know im dead seems like a bad idea.

my idea on how to combat this would be going back to the 3 on 1 off model, and then just doing the TT/Tempo BEFORE my crossfit wod on the first day of the 2nd cycle so that i can still go all out on the TT/Tempo like we want. Yes the crossfit wod will suffer a little, but 1. this can be programmed around, and 2. its the first day after a rest day and i dont know about everyone else, but there always seems to be a little extra left in the tank there

It would look like this.
mon CF & INT
tues CF
wed CF
thur REST
fri TT/Tempo & CF
sat CF
sun CF
mon Rest


BUT you guys know what you're doing, im not questioning your knowledge or judgment, just looking for some clarification and offering a possible solution.


wrote …

Great Video! I play a lot of soccer and always feel very sore afterwards. I will definitely add the strength and conditioning/recovery workouts into my training. Thank you for this awesome resource.


wrote …

I attended CFE Cert. in Tampa and I learned a lot about the art and science of programming. It was cool that we got into groups and had the chance to write out a practice program and present it. We did LOTS of running drills and he stayed on us like we were professional athletes. He is very detail oriented when it came to proper running form. I have also attended the USA Track n' Field Level 1 cert. and Coach McBrien's cert was very much more hands on, and more attention to detail when it came to proper running technique.


wrote …

Sorry, I meant Coach McKenzie


replied to comment from James Rios

thanks for the reply on the Crossfit Endurance site

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