I was reading a post earlier today from Two Brain Business, one of the best fitness business companies out there, and they talked about the CrossFit licensee model vs. a franchise model. Why does this matter for you? Because every CrossFit box you go into is going to be a different experience. When you go to a Subway restaurant, they’re all going to be a very similar experience. Same menu, same process, same outcome. You eat there for that reason – you know what to expect. CrossFit boxes, however, are much more like small coffee shops. Some are terrible and you waste your time and money being at them, and some are much better than any experience a chain could ever provide. Here’s what to expect from CrossFit at Summit Strength.
Whiteboard: What are we doing and why?
There’s no doubt CrossFit is hard. Know what makes it harder? Not knowing why you’re doing the workout. It also really sucks when you’re just sent into class without a clue as to what to expect from the CrossFit WOD.
We start each class at the whiteboard, in order to tell what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how to make sure you get the right stimulus from the workout. This takes approximately 2-3 minutes and sets up the rest of the workout to be successful.
Coach-Led Warm Up
After the whiteboard your coach will guide class through a full-body warm up. If we are doing a lot of squatting during the class, your warm up will include movements meant to get your body temperature higher, and also to improve mobility in your hips, legs, and ankles.
The main purpose of the warm up is to elevate your heart rate and to get the blood pumping – this keeps you safe and increases the effectiveness of your workout.
Now that your body is good and warm from the warm up, your coach will lead you through a variety of dynamic stretching drills. This section of class could include common movements such as lunges, arm circles, and leg swings, or more complex ones like pass throughs, cossack squats, and a variety of banded drills to stretch out specific muscle groups.
Specific (Strength / Skill)
In many CrossFit boxes, after a group warm up and stretching, you may hop right into the WOD (workout of the day). At others, you will have a strength workout before a WOD every day.
At Summit, we vary things up constantly – but we don’t make it random. Throughout the week the Specific section of class will have a couple of days where we may be working on what we call a skill – a gymnastics movement such as pull ups, push ups, box jumps, or hand stands – and other days we may lift weights. Some days we do a period of cardio to both burn a bunch of calories, but also to help you be safer when you run around outside of the gym. No one wants to be the person who gets hurt chasing their dog…
After Specific, we get set up for the WOD. The Specific will always correlate into the WOD, so you should feel very comfortable with the movements at this point. Once everyone is set up and ready to go, we set the clock and hit start. There is a 10 second countdown and at the count of 3, 2, 1, GO everyone begins working to complete what has been written that day.
This part of class always ends with cheering for your friends as they finish up, and just maybe racing your inner-class competition to the finish line. What matters is that you feel that you got a great workout and had fun doing so.
We believe recovery matters a ton, so every class has programmed mobility following the WOD. The mobility is written to address the prior day’s CrossFit WOD because normally muscle soreness sets in approximately 24 hours after you complete a workout.
Remember, affiliate, not a franchise.
What another CrossFit box does is not what we will do in our gym. They will be written for our specific community – their abilities and needs, and what the focus of that time of year is. Many of the movements will look similar, but the way the class runs will almost certainly be different. In my opinion, one of the first things to ask when you go to a gym is how they do their programming, and if they buy it from an outside source. But that’s a story for a different post.