Conditioning Class - An Invitation to Current CrossFitters too!

I would like to extend an invitation to all of our members to check out our Conditioning Class. This class has sort of been brewing in my mind over the past 2 years.

This class is perfect for everyone. Especially the following:

  1. The new athlete
  2. The immobile athlete or athlete with orthopedic/tissue issues (back, shoulder, hip, etc)
  3. The veteran/masters athlete
  4. The pregnant athlete
  5. The CrossFit athlete looking for some active recovery and/or extra conditioning.
  6. The general athlete looking for some conditioning

By definition CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program for athletes. Pure CrossFit should have some strength work, some conditioning work, some intensity work and some rest. As a gym we need to offer CrossFit 7 days a week. As a paying member you should expect to be able to get an intense workout when it is the right time with your schedule. However, intensity is a sacred thing and shouldn't be done every day. Therein in lies our dilemma. If we were to program rest days people would be upset that they couldn't get a workout in to fit their schedule. 

The Games Competitor has different goals than the general population. The general population seeks to be fit, vibrant and healthy for the rest of their life. The Games Competitor wants to win the games and will train with extreme intensity way more often than is healthy, sacrificing long term health and vitality, but it is a conscious choice the athlete makes. Sort of like the NFL Football player putting tons of stress on their body day in and day out. I do believe that intensity is where the results happen. It just has its time and place. This is why we are providing an opportunity for all athletes to find a workout that fits with their schedule and goals.

The Conditioning Class is the missing link. 

Typical Conditioning Class: 

  • No Stopwatches, No Barbell, No Whiteboard
  • 10 or so minutes of basic warm-up, run/jump rope, squats, push-ups, ring rows, situps/hollow rocks
  • Skill introduction
  • 3 rounds of 
    Dumbbell Walking lunge for 60 seconds/rest 60 seconds
    V-ups (Tuck-ups or Sit-ups) 60 secs/rest 60secs
  • Part B
    400m Run
    30 Dumbbell Front Squats (should be heavy such that you need to break this up and rest 3-5 times)
    30 Box Jumps (30") or as high as you can (these won't be fast)
    400m Run

For the new athlete, the conditioning class will feel intense. When you come from nothing to something that is an infinite level of intensity change. That being said, the Conditioning Class by design, is Low to Moderate intensity. We have learned over the past three years of doing this that when you throw someone brand new into a regular crossfit workout they can hardly move for a week. This is no where near productive. You will also fine tune the fundamental CrossFit movements. 

The immobile athlete - By immobile I mean, the athlete that has a tough time getting full range of safe motion in a squat, or deadlift, for no other reason than you are really tight. I also mean the athlete that has an injury the prevents safe range of motion. For these athletes, barbell work has a very high risk of significant injury. Conditioning is perfect for these people. The movements in this class are more readily scalable to ilicit a conditioning response.

The
 Veteran/Masters Athlete - One of the better shirts i've seen is "CrossFit is tough enough for a Marine, Scalable for the Queen". This is true however the ability to recover diminishes as we age. Going after a workout with intensity requires a ton of recovery. The 22 year old athlete can recover much quicker than the 32, 42, 52, 62, 72, 82..dare i say 92 year old athlete. The older we get the more recovery time we need. The conditioning class is a way to monitor intensity levels and continue to have fun working out on a regular basis. Additionally, barbell work has an inherent risk of significant injury to it. The 22 year old will recover from an injury much faster than a 92 year old athlete. I do believe all ages should lift heavy weight ("heavy" is subject to your relative capacity) to help maintain and increase bone density, as well as maintain/increase functional strength. So if you are a masters/veteran athlete don't forget to go to the strength days. If schedule doesn't quite permit, consider going to the CrossFit Prep days too, as you will have an opportunity to lift heavy in this class.

The
 Pregnant Athlete - Sandy is LOVING the Conditioning Class for her workouts while pregnant. Expectant mothers have a few different guidelines and this class allows the athlete to more readily scale a workout. For more information on crossfitting while pregnant check outwww.crossfitmom.com

The CrossFit Athlete looking for Active Recovery and or Conditioning - The endorphin rush you get from completing an intense CrossFit Met-Con (short for metabolic conditioning) is well documented and amazing. It is one the reasons CrossFit has spread so quickly. The more intense you go, the higher the endorphin rush. The thing is, you actually get fit during rest and recovery, not during the workout. It is not good to punish the body day in and day out. Discretion is the higher form of valor. Sometimes it is appropriate to hit it hard and fast and some days it is important to rest. Other days it is important to do what is called active recovery. These are days when you are crazy sore. These days should be spent doing something with low to moderate intensity. It helps to flush out the broken down muscles with fresh blood to help you recover sooner such that you can hit it hard again. Thereby increasing the frequency of really effective, intense training. The Conditioning Class is a great way to still come into a group environment, but moderate your intensity. Other Active Recovery ideas would be pilates and yoga, both of which are offered for free with your membership.The other reason a CrossFit Athlete would take a conditioning class is to get in some extra conditioning. There is an argument for getting some extra cardio in. Rather than pound the pavement by going on a 5k conditioning run, why not come in and push the  moderate intensity side of the workouts. There's no one saying you can't elevate the heart rate a little more than the others in this class. Just watch out though. The classes are designed to be longer in duration. You want to stay in that moderate intensity zone. Save high intensity for the CrossFit Class. There's also nothing to say you can't do both a CrossFit class and a conditioning class in the same day, just make sure you space out your workouts by 3+ hours. 

Lastly, the
 General Athlete - This athlete is looking to mix up their conditioning work. Maybe running 3-4 miles, three times a week is getting boring. Maybe the pounding on the pavement is taking its toll. This is a great class to be in a group environment, have some fun conditioning and then getting your stretch on. This class will also condition other parts of your body, not just your running legs.