Coaches, you’ve got 60 minutes to get your students fitter today… Go! My internal dialogue on the topic of class planning and strategy for improving the quality of group training began for the sake of my own gym, DEUCE Gym, in Venice, CA.
It’s worth mentioning as an aside that no one ever said a CrossFit class must be an hour long. It just so happens to be a commonly adopted practice. I have seen, however, successful gyms with classes that are just 45 minutes long and others with advanced programs that have scheduled 90-minute classes. In either case, time is finite.
In that way, one’s usage of time can vary and so can the results. It’s been my view that many programs lack organization and “punch” in their general warm-ups. This pushes into time allowed for any opportunity to teach, mobilize, do strength work, skill work, etc.
As a coach do you find yourself rushing through a clean progression, but being cool as a cucumber during your general warm-up? Does that seem backwards to you? Or, as an athlete, do you find that you need to learn the warm-up, when you signed up to learn skills instead?
Surely there are a many ways to skin a cat. And there are pros and cons to each method. What I’ve found is that specific, structured general warms-ups allow for more routine, less room for error, and more time to work on other things than a more open-ended approach. It may be less creative, but we choose one of about five general warm-ups each class and have the group warm and ready to move onto more specific mobility, activations, etc., in just several minutes.
What do we give up? We give up some style points. What do we gain? We gain more time spent on progressions, strength and skill.
Plus, thinking back to my baseball career, we used one warm-up every single day that saved time, got the job done and funneled our minds towards the task at hand with a dose of routine. Does your gym come up with a new general warm up each day, or do you utilize a template? What are the pros and cons of your style?