You might have noticed over the last few days some differences in the programming, particularly in the weightlifting sections. Starting next week we will be modifying our group class programming format to include two levels of participation. We will be implementing this out of our desire to best serve all our members.
Now you're probably saying to yourself "Why do we need two levels of programming, isn't scaling enough?" Ok, so maybe you're not saying that, I'm just using it as a means to lead into my thought process. While yes, sometimes scaling might be enough for some it might not necessarily fit the needs and goals all our members.
We define scaling as a modification of components of an individual workout in order to preserve the intended stimulus of the Rx'd version. This might include decreasing the weight or overall volume (reps) of the workout and substituting or assisting particular exercises. During group classes at every CrossFit facility, scaling happens daily, in every workout, for most people. As an alternative, leveled programming takes a more long-term perspective and considers the needs, abilities, and training age of your members. It is essentially "scaling" on a broader level. Moving forward, we will use the labels of "Fitness" and "Performance" to broadly describe our two levels of programming.
"What is the difference between fitness and performance?" (See, THAT I'm pretty sure you asked).
"Fitness" programming is designed for all members between zero and six-plus months worth of consistent training at our gym, as well as intermediate athletes who find the Fitness workouts to be more in line with their capacities and goals.
"Performance" workouts are designed for individuals who have spent several months to years developing a solid foundation and are interested in pushing the envelope of their performance and capacity in CrossFit.
How does this apply to you? Someone who is fresh out of Foundations, should default to Fitness programming. They might be accompanied by a more "veteran" member, who might be a little overweight, have a bad back, or is just more interested in keeping up with his or her kids than training like a CrossFit Games athlete. Performance programming provides exposure to advanced movements, and is appropriate for athletes who are close to Rx-ing or can Rx most workouts.
We understand, of course, that everyone won't fit neatly into either category in every way. And, we won't always split up the Metcons by Fitness and Performance designations. Depending on the workout, some simple scaling can be applied and work easily for all levels.
Hopefully, by having defined levels it will allow you and your coaches to define your training goals for the long term as well as each individual day. My goal is to prevent anyone from skipping a day because they are not sure how they should scale the WOD.
If you have any questions about which path might be the best for you right now, please reach out to myself or any of the other coaches on staff.
-- Coach Anthony