Friday, 20 November 2009

Discussion Question: Over-programmed movements.

What movement or movements do you think CrossFit affiliates and trainers program too much?  Why?  Do you think that movement is a poor quality movement, or just done too often to be part of a constantly varied program?

Post thoughts to comments.


Gabe Rosen said...

Squats! Juuuust kidding.

Anonymous said...

When I was out in Monterey, you (Jacob) made quite an argument that burpees are being programmed into WODs too often ... and I agree. They become much sloppier when you do them quicker and don't serve a significantly great function of increasing your ability to perform better in other movements.

On the other hand, there are movements not programmed often enough (therefore making those that are programmed over-programmed). Those usually end up being the oly lifts and more technical movements that are more difficult to teach. Because the coach doesn't feel comfortable teaching them, he/she won't program them.

What I see happening more than an over-programming of movements is an over-programming of one time domain: 10-15 minutes. C'mon people! Where are the 7x1 power and oly lifts?!!!

Alessandra said...

I know the question is on over-programmed movements, but I'd just like to add another set of movements that I don't often see: movements using random things found in out everyday lives. Heavy rocks, logs, sandbags and tires are just a few examples.
Although you'd probably deadlift a lot more with a barbell than with a heavy rock, I'd argue that it would be a good challenge to deal with the awkwardness of a new object every once in a while.
In the end, the more variation, the better right?

Terrance said...

Burpees, Box Jumps are programmed way too much in most affiliates. While important movements are ignored b/c most affiliates dont have the teaching skill set to teach more advanced lifts/movements.

Tsypkin said...


We organize our training into 3 categories:

1) Skill work
2) WODs
3) Random challenges

What you're suggesting would fall into the third category, and though random challenges should be performed relatively infrequently, they are extremely important. The reason the type of random challenges you're suggesting, i.e. odd object lifting, isn't programmed often is that most affiliates don't have the equipment: usually the challenges proposed by an affiliate are more along the lines of competing in a triathlon or weightlifting event, doing a WOD at an atypical hour or at an atypical location, etc.

Tsypkin said...

Rvcrossfit, you say:

"What I see happening more than an over-programming of movements is an over-programming of one time domain: 10-15 minutes. C'mon people! Where are the 7x1 power and oly lifts?!!!"

Agreed. However, I see an equal over-programming of strength training. There are plenty of gyms who do heavy lifting every day and spend almost no time between 15-30 minutes.

Rich Vos said...

Tsypkin: Touche. CF Greyskull comes to mind.

JimmyJames said...

Functional Movements. Completely over-programmed.

Luke Carlson has declared them dead, so it must be so...

Interview with Luke Carlson


Tsypkin said...

JimmyJames: That link made my brain cells suicidal.

John Frazer said...

Tuck jumps, because any amount of them is too much. There's no enforceable measure of a successful rep, and the impact force on the knees and back has got to be colossal.

Russ Greene said...

Jimmy James,

It is impossible to isolate any particular muscle. The bicep, or quadriceps, for example, are in fact amalgrams of several different muscles. A trainer seeking to isolate particular muscles, therefore, is still training functions. He just has confined those functions to one's that inadequately prepare his clients for life: leg extension, calve raise, etc.

Russ Greene said...

John Frazer,

I share your distaste for movements lacking an "enforceable measure of a successful rep."

With such movements, is the workout really quantifiable? How can you accurately distinguish between efforts?

Patrick Haskell said...

Timed metcons. There are a host of movements (OHS, Renegade Rows, Suitcase DLs, ME jumps and lifts, oly assistance exercies, odd-object lifting, etc.) that provide tremendous (in many cases greater) benefit when they are done in a controlled fashion. Complexes of activities can be done with intensity but with control, where form is a more critical measure of success than time. Being able to be quantify fitness with measureable exercises is important, but every day does not need a numeric metric applied to it.

[I will now duck for cover.]

Russ Greene said...

Patrick Haskell,

Your position, which you may consider to be controversial, is not at all.

Nobody in CrossFit, as far as I'm aware, times their max effort lifts or jumps. You will notice that the heavy lifting days on do not include time components.

As for skill work on complex movements, CrossFit has been advocating untimed practice of gymnastics, weightlifting, and odd object lifting at least as long as I've been a part of it, which goes back to 2003.

My one concern that you didn't include any gymnastics exercises on that list. We don't time our press to handstands, cartwheels, or most of our ring strength progressions either. I do time my tuck planches, L-holds, and max handstand attempts, but those are not "metcons" as you perceive them.

I think you may harbor a stereotypical view of CrossFit and CrossFitters. Reality is more complicated.

Patrick Haskell said...

Actually, I immediately thought of gymnastics upon posting, which is a better example of something to be done timed than my original list. I too time my static holds, or else I'd lack appropriate motivation to suffer through a longer L-sit or plank. My comment is more that I think there are too many days where the WOD (i.e., the primary workout) is a timed metcon.

FWIW, I am not harboring a stereotypical view of CF or CrossFitters. I'm actually commenting on what I've seen overdone at many affiliates on the mainpage. My mention of ME jumps was more related to my belief that such efforts are worthy of more inclusion in programming at the mainpage and certain affiliates.

There is little question that metcons hold an important place in CrossFit. I just think that allure results in their being overprogrammed in many instances.

Russ Greene said...


I think we should keep in mind that has never said that the WOD should be all you do. It is possible and advisable to program in extra skill practice before or after your WOD. The affiliate I coach at, CrossFit Monterey, does so every day.

I also encourage you to read this:

When you speak of "metcon", what I think you mean is timed workouts taxing the glycolytic and oxidative energy pathways. While it may seem forgivable in the biological sense (who takes pride in their glycolytic energy pathway development?) please take time to consider the common disdain for "metcon" from a mechanical perspective.

Those who avoid or undertrain "metcons" will underperform or fail at anything lasting longer than 10-20 seconds. That doesn't sound very useful for real life, does it?