What to expect during a CrossFit class at CrossFit Prototype

By: Michael Collette B.S CES C-PT
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If you are reading this you might be a current member, new member or someone looking to drop in at our facility! Regardless, this is a great read to get an understanding for how our facility and classes run at CrossFit Prototype. Many facilities program their WOD (workout of the day) in a particular way. This post is meant to give meaning and explanation for what and why we do what we do at Prototype. We firmly believe that your WOD (workout of the day) isn’t just a “workout”, it incorporates your warm up and movement prep, strength and skill elements, conditioning and cool down. Enjoy!
 

Intro:

For current members: This might be repetitive, but there is always constant learning to be done and getting more understanding of what and WHY we do thing’s here. You all are the “seasoned vet’s” and set the path for new members and drop in’s to make them feel part of the CFP family!
For new members: This all might seem over whelming at first and guess what? It definitely can be! As you are coming from our Elements program we don’t expect you to be an “expert” in the movements, the process or the system. What you do at our facility is a constant learning process and we preach fitness is a journey, it doesn’t happen over night. Your coaches are here to guide you, teach and instruct you, facilitate your motivation and help you get to your fitness goals. Ask them questions constantly. They are here to help you with your warm up, movement technique, strategy and correction on your conditioning. In addition, we are a community. Our members are more than welcoming to help you feel at home and comfortable at our facility. They can provide you with good feedback on the CFP process and help you with things you need help with!
Another point to add for new members is that you will be introduced to our Virtuosity Program. You will receive a white band which will indicate that you are new to our facility, systems and CrossFit in general. This has nothing to do with your fitness level. This gives our coaches information of where you might be at in our program and that some more individual attention might be exactly what you need! Take a look at the link to read more into the Prototype Virtuosity Program!
For Drop in members: You are all familiar with CrossFit and we love having drop in’s at our facility! We get several drop in’s a week coming in to visit family and friends in the area and we can’t be happier to accommodate them! Our process from start to end of each class might be different from what you are accustomed to and even some of our movements might be different that what you are accustomed to. Every CrossFit facility and program is a little different and I am going to explain the how and why everything works here!

Our Structure:

Coming into the facility:

-All members are required to have a scan key to log into our Mind Body system. This allows us to track membership, average class size and member punchcards
-All members are given a WODIFY account where they can log into their class time (separate from Mind Body) so they can track their WOD results for each day. This is a database that you can access from your home or phone to track your on going fitness results and also have  access to the community whiteboard to see how you did for the day (if you are into that :  ) ). In addition, there is a CFP community social media aspect where you can “like” another fellow CFP members performance and/or “comment” on their performance. Pretty cool right?!

Warm Up/ Movement Prep

-This is where our program might differ from what drop in’s are accustomed to and it is what takes some time to understand and learn for our members.

  • The first portion of our warm up is dedicated to 3-5 min of Self Myofascial release (fancy term for foam rolling). This is general prep meant to increase blood flow and loosen up the tissue
  • The next portion of our warm up is a COACH GUIDED general movement prep with 3-4 exercises. We teach the majority of these movements in our elements course and anything you don’t know how to do, we will teach and instruct you how to do it properly. We firmly believe that these preparation movements are crucial to moving better and feel all our members and/or athletes should take the time to warm up properly. The coach coaching the class is always will demonstrate and correct these preparation movements for each and everyone. It takes time to learn these exercises and how to do them properly.Here is a link to demonstrate how to do one of our more popular general movement prep exercises (Spiderman Hip lift with upward rotation)
  • To add, this time of the class also enables our members to converse, joke and be social! It is a big part of how are community is built here at CFP.
  • The general movement prep portion usually takes 6-8 minutes total and will lead into our Group Specific Warm Up
  • The Group Specific warm up is instructed and lead by your Coach as well. This is a Specific warm up geared to prepare each member for the strength/skill portion of the workout then followed by the conditioning element. These movements mimic and set the stage for the exercises/movement patters that you will see in the WOD (workout of the day). For example, if hang cleans are in our Strength you might see a Romanian Deadlift, Barbell hang power clean and a Barbell front squat in the portion of the warm up. This enables the coach to continue to identify potential movement limitations, cue correctives and/or make modifications to that member/athlete going into the strength/skill portion of the WOD.

Strength/Skill

-The strength and skill component of our WOD (workout of the day) focuses on many of the core and compound lifts your would see at your typical CrossFit (Squat, Deadlift, Clean etc.) but in addition to that, we also incorporate various complimentary and accessory strength exercises to build each members strength foundation. Strength program includes 2 days a week of knee dominant movements, 2 days a week of hip dominant movements,2 days a week of various upper body pushing and pulling and accessory mid-line stability/accessory strength. We pride our program on the balance of strength exercises to compliment the core lifts and to prevent overuse injuries. Monday-Friday there is a strength/skill component to our programming. Saturdays are purely devoted to partner/team conditioning.
-In addition, this portion of the workout is meant to develop the skill acquisition of the lifts that might potentially be incorporated into the metabolic conditioning component of your WOD. Skill acquisition is crucial to CrossFit because the majority of the exercises are dynamic and require a level of coordination. We preach consistency and form before increasing the intensity (either speed or load). Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. For example, we might work some every minute on the minute (EMOM) work into our skill component drilling a Toe to bar or even KBS (kettlebell swing). Both equally core driven but require skill and technique to be perform efficiently.
-Your Coach will demonstrate, observe and confirm these lifts with all members/athletes and continue to give instruction, cues and correctives to ensure efficient movement. Each coach at CFP know their members well enough to have alternative exercises for those who cannot safely perform a movement based on assessment or previous history of injury.
-If you are dropping in, please inform the coach of any movement limitations so they can help create an alternative plan for you for that day!

Met-Con (Metabolic Conditioning)

-This, in my opinion, is what CrossFit is best known for: The gritty conditioning workouts that leave you in a puddle of sweat and feeling destroyed afterwards! Everyone loves a good conditioning workout that puts you on your butt, but even more important is balancing your conditioning. Suffice it to say, you cannot go 100% max effort everyday or do met-con’s that are 25 min long everyday as well. Finding a balance between movements that will help you improve your fitness, that compliment your strength work and enables you to workout the next day is where the art of programming comes into play. You will rarely see met-con’s longer than 12 minutes at CFP. If they are, they are in interval format with programmed rest intervals. The number of exercises in each met-con is between 1-3. During certain periods of our programming cycle we will test/retest certain met-con’s to gauge improvements in fitness level. We have self programmed tests and love to get after some of the benchmark Girls here and there (If you are new and have not idea what the Benchmark Girls are, take a look at this article from the CrossFit Journal “Benchmark Workouts”). We believe and have proven results that this format works best with our community and demographic to ensure balance and risk mitigation.
-Your Coach will demonstrate, observe and confirm the exercises with all members/athletes and continue to give instruction, cues and correctives to ensure efficient movement. Each coach at CFP know their members well enough to have alternative exercises for those who cannot safely perform a movement based on assessment or previous history of injury.
-If you are dropping in, please inform the coach of any movement limitations/ pain or previous history of injury so they can help create an alternative plan for you for that day!

Cool Down

– After you are through with the met-con and have gotten high fives from everyone, your next responsibility is to cool down to recover from the bout of relative intense exercise you did. Your Coach will instruct you of what your cool down work is. This is portion, similar to the general movement prep is self guided with instruction from a Coach when needed or if there is any question on a particular movement.
We hope that this helps those of you who were wondering about our structure and plan, are new to CFP and want to know more and to those who want to drop in for a class!
Hope to see you soon!
 
Mike