Extra Work V's Extra Volume


One of the best things about CrossFit is the amount of movements and the variety.  Although this means our workouts are constantly varied, it also means that we have a lot of things that we want to continually get better at.

As coaches we preach that one hour a day for general fitness is enough, and in general it is. But, what we have come to learn is that we have not clarified is skill development v’s increased volume.

So What Do We Believe?

We believe that one hour of CrossFit a day, ideally 4-5 days a week is what is required for general health and fitness. Meaning, entwined with a healthy diet, good sleep, and one hour a day of CrossFit, 4-5 times per week will allow us to be functional, fit, and healthy.

But, if we wish to develop specific skills or movements then it is going to take some extra skill work. We must first learn movements at low intensity, break them down, and then ramp up the intensity gradually. 

For purposes of this post we want to break ‘extra work’ down into 2 main types;

1. Skill Work: Spending short amounts of time at low intensity developing skills and/or           movements we desire.

2. Volume Work: Usually associated with competitors programs/training. This is multiple extra    pieces of work per day.

In order to build skills and/or movements we want we should stay within the skill work realm. We do not need to beat ourselves down every single day working for hours on developing skills. They can be done in as little as 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times per week.

As last weeks Blog post stated this is why we spend the first part of class refining and working on technique. This also means spending specific time before or after class refining movements we wish to have. It could be a simple 5-10 minute EMOM or X number of sets and reps 2-3 times per week. This is the difference between extra work and the volume of competitors programming. We are targeting where we want to improve and not working on an increase in broad capacity.

If our goal is to get or increase our toes to bar then working on this skill for 5-10 minutes outside of class 2-3 times per week will go a long way to helping develop this skill. We may spend one day working strict work, and one day working kipping. This may look like:

Day 1:

Strict Toes to Bar or Progression


Day 2:

6 Minute EMOM:

5 Toes to Bar/Kipping Knee Raises

This work does not take long and it is focusing on exactly what we want to improve. Choosing one to two movements at a time allows us to not ramp up the volume too much and to really focus on developing or acquiring these skills.

We are in the process of revamping our Nuts and Bolts program and providing videos for this. Our Nuts and Bolts program works progressions in the gymnastics skills 3 days a week to provide acquisition and development of these skills.


If anyone wishes to work on any skills but is unsure where to start please ask a coach and we can guide you through the process.

We hope this article paints a clearer picture of our beliefs when it comes to extra work and volume of training.

Below is also a great article written by James Hobart who is a CrossFit Seminar Flowmaster and also a multiple time Individual CrossFit Games athlete and also member of multiple Team Affiliate CrossFit Games Champions.

Joseph TownsendComment