Program Methodology

Over the years, CrossFit MF and Misfit Gym Portland have tested literally hundreds of our own programs in search of the best blend of class experience and fitness. From rigid, periodized strength and conditioning programs to old school CrossFit GPP programming, we’ve run it all. How do you create the best fitness program while also making it easy to coach and a great experience for members? After having experimented with a blend of everything mentioned above, we legitimately believe that the Misfit Affiliate program is our best affiliate program we’ve run in our 10+ years as affiliate coaches and owners. Athletes are attending classes more frequently because the volume and intensity of training is both challenging but sustainable. Because of improved consistency, we’ve seen a higher number of PRs in lifts and conditioning benchmarks with fewer bumps and bruises (injuries). Coaches are also appreciating the programming, as it allows for more time in class to take athletes through thorough warm ups and skill progressions. Read on to learn exactly what you can expect from Misfit Affiliate. 

Phase Structure

The Misfit Affiliate program follows a Phase structure with a new training phase beginning every 7-9 weeks or so. At the beginning and end of each phase, we typically test a major lift, gymnastics element, and conditioning piece and then retest the same workouts in the final week of the phase. The test/retest model allows athletes to see their progress over shorter timeframes, with occasional CrossFit benchmark workouts sprinkled in throughout the year so athletes can gauge fitness over a longer timeframe. These training Phases fall in line with our larger, full year plan that ensures the most well rounded program possible.

How To Execute the Program

Our HQ affiliate offers a handful of 60 minute classes and one 90 minute class each day. In our 60 minute CrossFit classes, we coach the Strength/Skill and the Conditioning (or if there’s only one, just the one piece). If you only offer 60 minute classes at your affiliate, those are the two training pieces you should coach in class. Most affiliates opt to simply provide the Competitor Extra so that athletes seeking a little extra work can do so outside of class, but in a way that aligns with the rest of the programming.

In our 90 minute class, we coach all three pieces: Strength/Skill, Conditioning, and the Competitor Extra. With 90 minutes, we will sometimes mix up the order of the training pieces so that athletes aren’t going from one conditioning piece to the next when the Competitor Extra is additional conditioning. This is how we hope subscribers will also execute.

Workout Descriptions

One unique element of any Misfit program is our workout descriptions. For affiliates, you can expect to see things like Feel, Pacing, Target Scores, and Scaling options to help you understand the stimulus of the workout and therefore, how to modify it for all of your athletes.

Training Pieces
Strength/Skill Work

Each Phase we will focus on a main barbell lift and a gymnastics element. The barbell lift will be a high CNS (central nervous system) demand lift such as a back squat, clean and jerk, front squat, press, deadlift, etc., and the gymnastics element will vary each phase.

    Each week, you can expect one of your M-F classes to be a true heavy day. This “lift only day” is in place to allow coaches plenty of time to really warm athletes up, get them mobilized, spend time on a coach-led barbell warm up, and then allow athletes to put some serious focus into one thing for 60 minutes with adequate rest between sets. Additionally, one day per week will consist of whichever gymnastics movement we are biasing for the phase, either done as a skill session or in a workout.

    Cardio Days

    You can expect one day per week to be biased towards monostructurual cardio of varying intensities. Some weeks it’s long and slow with a single modality, and other days it’s short and fast with multiple movements. As in the 100 words of fitness, “…bike, run, swim, row, etc., hard and fast.”

    Metcons and Intervals

    The bread and butter of a great CrossFit program. Of all the training pieces we write, we take arguably the most pride in our conditioning pieces which are insanely effective for both your firebreathers and average Joes when scaled appropriately. Sometimes you’ll see a short burner of a metcon that has a lifting session or skill element as part of the class, while other days you’ll just see a single old fashioned metcon or interval where we can get maximum intensity out of athletes. We want coaches leading athletes through a thorough warm up, teaching progressions on the movements in the class, and then ensure everyone has the right version of the workout to maximize intensity.

    Rotating Schedule

    Another unique aspect to the program is that the days rotate each week. After experimenting with this for a while, we really like this style of programming because it enables coaches who only coach on certain days of the week to coach other movements, and therefore have more exposure to helping more athletes. For example, if Coach Sherb only coaches on Mondays, and every Monday is only deadlifting for 7 weeks straight, the coach is more likely to become complacent and repetitive, and the athletes are more likely to hear the same cues and corrections every week. If the lifting schedule rotates, athletes will hear different perspectives and cues from different coaches that will be more beneficial than the same stuff they hear every week. This rotating schedule also helps athletes whose lives and work schedules prevent them from coming in on certain days of the week. We often have athletes who, for example, can never get to the gym on Monday. By rotating the weekly schedule, athletes won’t miss out if they can never make it to the gym on specific days. 

    Competitor Extra

    These training pieces are for athletes who want a little bit extra training outside of class, or for affiliates that have a 90 minute class option. This piece is meant to supplement the primary class work and should not replace either of those other pieces. This extra piece will complement the 60 minute class work by hitting something that was missed. For example, on days where the Class program has a gymnastics strength/skill piece and a conditioning piece, the Competitor Extra may be a barbell movement or strength work. On heavy days, the Competitor Extra will probably be a medium-long duration conditioning piece. On Thursday of each week, the Competitor Extra will be an active recovery piece. For affiliates who run 90 minute classes, the Competitor Extra piece should absolutely be coached just like any other workout.

    A Note on Volume for Affiliate Athletes

    As mentioned at the outset, we’ve experimented with various programming styles, volume, intensities, etc.. For the average person, the 1 or 2 intelligently programmed training pieces provided in the 60 minute class is more than enough to improve one’s fitness. More is not better, better is better. If coached properly and executed with intensity, your athletes will get a great dose of fitness every day in an hour long class. For athletes who want to do more, it’s y(our) job as a coach to determine whether additional training pieces are appropriate for them based on their current fitness/capacity, their goals, and resources (time, ability to recover, sleep, nutrition, etc). More often than not, athletes think they need to do more to improve, when instead they should be focusing on hitting workouts with unmatched intensity. 


    Saturdays are the only day that won’t usually have a programmed strength/skill piece, and will typically be partner/team workouts. That said, we also try to sneak a heavy implement or barbell into these Saturday workouts so athletes are occasionally getting a heavy stimulus inside a longer conditioning piece. There will be a Competitor Extra accessory session provided on these days, but again is not meant to fit into the 60 minute class with the main conditioning piece. 

    If you like what you see, we’d love to have you as part of the Misfit tribe. Get your affiliate on board now!


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