CrossFit coaches detail their successful and unsuccessful programming experiments in the search for measurable, observable and repeatable results.
CrossFit athletes are a skeptical bunch. They like to experiment and tinker and tweak. For Kurtis Bowler that meant messing around with strength-biased programming for his affiliate, Rainier CrossFit.
“Every year or year-and-a-half, there’s an influx of newer people,” said the owner of the 10-year-old gym in Washington state.
And with new people come new ideas—or old ideas made new again. Inevitably, they want to try other training methods besides the standard group programming to improve their fitness. Bowler is happy to oblige.
“I have found that the best way for them to learn that that stuff doesn’t work (in improving overall fitness) is for them to give it a go.”
So he steps aside, lets them have their moment and then encourages them “to look at the numbers.” At the end of the day, data always wins.
“I have found that we always come back to just programming CrossFit,” said Bowler, who is on CrossFit’s Level 1 Seminar Staff.
Many affiliates have fiddled with programming over the years. Sometimes coaches initiated the change. Other times it was members. In either case, box owners said they came out of the experience with a renewed appreciation for Greg Glassman’s original prescription.
“For the fitness that we are pursuing, every parameter within your control needs to be modulated to broaden the stimulus as much as possible,” Glassman wrote in “What Is Fitness?” “Your body will only respond to an unaccustomed stressor; routine is the enemy of progress and broad adaptation. Don’t subscribe to high reps, or low reps, or long rests, or short rests, but strive for variance.”