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How we program for CrossFit at MouseTrap Fitness

How we program for CrossFit in our 60 minute, all levels, GPP class.

Our traditional CrossFit program plan summarized:

Our training program follows the traditional CrossFit plan of 3 training days on, 1 day off (total rest or active rest or simply reduced intensity – lower volume, load or speed).  Notice that this does not function as a 7-day calendar week.  So things will fall on different days each week.  There are pros and cons to this just like with every training plan (i.e. 5 on 2 off, 3-1-2-1, 2-1-2-2, etc), but over the previous 20 or so years of experience, CrossFit HQ and the many coaches and trainers in the CrossFit ecosystem have found this 3 on, 1 off plan to be the most effective for most people.

This 3 on, 1 off pattern continuously repeats.  Since we are a business that caters to people that are, by and large, not professional athletes that have real lives and real responsibilities, we write 7 days per week of programming so that you can get your workout in on any day of the week.  Starting in September 2021, you will see a “suggested active or total rest day” noted in Wodify at the top of the Workout Of the Day (WOD) on the days that are designed to be rest days in the 3 on, 1 off pattern.

However, there will still be a regular workout class programmed and coached on that day.

This class will still follow the theme of the week–note that there may be some overlap or repetition of skills, body parts and/or energy systems involved on those intended rest days with the intended work days before or after that day since the rest days are designed for someone that may have missed other work days during that week.  For people that want or need to workout on that “rest day” based on their schedule, it’s not a bad thing–it just means that you want to listen closely to your body and scale, modify, and/or substitute movements, loads, volume and overall intensity based on what your body is telling you on that particular day.  The coaches are always ready, willing and excited to help you to think through this process depending on your personal goals, experience level, etc.

Below you will find the template that I have developed over the years to help guide me while I’m writing our programming. It is a 12 day structure that helps to ensure that even with the tremendous variety of things that we train in a CrossFit setting that we’re hitting the right things, at the right times, in the right amounts.  Underneath the categories of the template we have an infinite number of movements and combinations that can fit into each of the skill / strength and conditioning themes for each day, which is how the constant variety may exist within the methodical structure of this plan. We like to say that it’s constantly varied, but never random with regard to the regularity and emphasis of particular muscle groups, joints, planes of action and energy systems.  

CrossFit Program Template

Our template was inspired by but then developed in further detail from an exercise physiology perspective beyond this original template in 2003 from CrossFit founder Greg Glassman entitled “A Theoretical template for CrossFit Programming”.

Being that we are a full body, functional training program that uses mixed modal conditioning and not a bodybuilding split type of program that many of us grew up practicing, you may sometimes use the same muscle groups/joints (i.e. shoulders, back, hips, knees and ankles) on back-to-back days in a CrossFit training environment.  However, in order to ensure that we are not overusing or overtraining those muscle groups and joints, we are carefully crafting variation in a number of areas including the directionality or plane of action (i.e. frontal, sagittal, transverse, bilateral, unilateral, etc), load (i.e. heavy, medium or light), range of motion (i.e. full, partial, isometric), work to rest ratio (i.e. 1:1, 1:2, 3:1, rounds for time, AMRAPS, EMOMs, ladders, intervals, etc etc), time under tension (i.e. more eccentric, more concentric, pauses/holds).

It’s inherent upon us as athletes / participants that we’re following the intended stimulus and guidance of our coaches to dial things up when appropriate and also dial things back when appropriate (active rest, full rest, light load, technique work if sore, etc).  Listening to our bodies is always super important.  Workouts should leave you feeling lifted up, never beaten down, and our coaches are there to help to advise us how to train smarter within the context of the programming and our unique individual goals (our “why”) to avoid letting our egos get the best of us and to find the best path to where we are trying to go.  Gains in fitness and strength increase the most during our rest and recovery if we are achieving the appropriate dose/stimulus in our training, which means that we can’t be 100% all out, all the time.

I love, love, love talking programming (for CrossFit and for other fitness and sports pursuits), nutrition, lifestyle, routines, goal setting, sleep, etc. Whenever you have specific goals or unique questions about programming or really anything at all don’t hesitate to shoot me an email!

More info about our gym available at MouseTrapFitness.com

Yours In Health,


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