So have you ever looked at the wod and asked yourself “WTF, how the hell did they come up with this workout?!?!!”

Come on, you know you have! Well, there is indeed a method to the madness, a reason behind everything we do, and its not just George getting back at us for being smart mouths.

What follows is the first in a series of posts from Coach George explaining the” method behind the madness” so you can better understand why, even when wods seem totally wacky, they serve their purpose within the larger training picture.

Our CrossFit strength and conditioning program is designed to best prepare our members for any physical task they may endeavor to achieve. Our CrossFit program attempts to optimize physical competence in each of the ten fitness domains, which are: cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

We now refer to our conditioning workouts as “metcon’s” (metabolic conditioning) to distinguish them from our strength-specific and weightlifting programs. Our “metcon’s” are built around constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements. By constantly varying the workouts, we keep the body adapting to varying stressors and in theory this will help to prevent adaptation from taking place. By preventing adaptation from occurring, we therefore prevent or at least lessen the plateau that commonly takes place in traditional workouts.

Our “strength” program is designed to provide our athlete’s with both “absolute strength” and “strength endurance.” Developing both of these Strength components is essential for any athlete wishing to compete in CrossFit competition and is generally beneficial for the tasks we encounter in our everyday life.

A lot of people have asked how we go about programming; there is definitely a method to the madness.

Our strength program is a hybrid of the “Wendler 5-3-1” system, invented by Jim Wendler. This system is considered to be one of the best strength programs available; it is well tested, reliable and widely used by many top strength coaches. (Learn more about Jim and the 5/3/1 system at http://www.jimwendler.com/)

We use a hybrid of this system due to the unique needs of the CrossFit athlete. In addition to pure strength, CrossFit athletes must also develop their strength endurance, which requires a somewhat different approach with regard to the repetition scheme used in the 5/3/1 program. If you have ever attempted the benchmark WODs “Grace” or “Isabel,” you will understand quickly how important strength endurance is to the CrossFit athlete.

I am often asked by beginning athletes, “how many times should I work out each week?” In general, I advise at least three times a week to see results. However, the number of times per week a person can work out varies for each individual. Some athletes will be able to workout six days a week and that may be fine for them. Others may only be able to workout three times a week.

The time it takes your body to recover between each workout is what matters the most, and getting to know how your body reacts and listening to your body is key. Recovery time will vary with each individual but what’s important is that your body has the proper time it needs to recover. If your body is not allowed the proper time it needs to recover, it will decompensate, and you will be putting yourself at risk for injury.