We have had several questions recently about the programming tracks and we thought using the blog was great idea to remind everyone or let everyone know how our programming tracks work.
Let’s first say that what is written for each track is RX (as prescribed). That means it should be challenging. Check out crossfit.com workouts and you will realize that very few athletes will perform these workouts as RX. It is designed this way to provide a benchmark for elite fitness. To continue to push the boundaries of human potential. If all workouts were within our wheelhouse then it would not provide a target for us to aspire to.
So what about our tracks?
When talking about our tracks we are talking about our Open, Performance, and Fitness tracks. Why do we have 3? Why are they named what they are? Why are they different and which track should you follow?
Put simply, Open is for anyone who wishes to compete in the sport of CrossFit. You will generally see higher weight and reps within this track. You may also see nuances like weight vests, or L-sit rope climbs (look it up, it’s a thing) versus regular legless rope climbs for Performance and Fitness. The reason for this is that if you wish to compete in the sport of CrossFit then you need to be subjected to what will be seen within a competition. The reps and weights are not assigned at random but are designed to test athletes abilities and prepare them for what may be seen. Even if you may not have the capacity currently to perform the Open track or have all the movements that show up, your are still on the Open track if your goal is to compete in the sport of CrossFit.
Our Performance track is for anyone doing CrossFit as a way to develop Fitness for a sport or interest that they pursue. For example, if you wish to run marathons, do trail runs, or play another sport, then Performance is that track. You will generally see slightly lighter weights and lower reps than the Open track with an emphasis here on building capacity that can help in other domains.
Our Fitness track is our most used track. It is for anyone wanting to come in and improve their health and fitness. This track prioritizes intensity. Why? Because we know that intensity illicits a much better fitness response the anything else. It’s not a scaled version of the Open workout, it is a workout that is designed to provide maximal intensity and provide the most benefit for health and fitness. This workout is literally designed to build fitness as well as allow us to come back in to the gym day after day and workout.
We also believe that no movement should be off the table depending on the track followed. There is no reason why someone doing the Fitness track should not want to get muscle-ups, so there is no reason to leave them out.
Of course, each of these tracks can be modified to work for the athlete. Each workout should be modified to fit within the stimulus. If it is an AMRAP and the goal is 6 Rounds, then reps and load should be modified if needed to hit that target. Who cares if RX says 30 pull-ups but we do 15? If that’s where we are currently at, we must own it, continue to embrace it, and leave the ego at the door. That is how we get the intensity out of the workout because that is what the workout was designed to be.
Regardless of what track we are on, the goal is to get the best workout possible. It’s not about checking the RX box or scaled box. It’s about a commitment to our health and fitness that goes beyond that. It optimizing the hour and the workout to be the most beneficial to where we are at now.