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.
Similar to our Misfit Athletics individual programs, the Misfit Affiliate program follows a Phase structure with a new training phase beginning every 7 weeks or so. At the beginning and end of each phase, we test a major lift, skill, and conditioning piece that are tested in week 1 and then retested in week 7 so athletes can see their progress. These 7-week 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.
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.
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.
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, snatch, deadlift, etc., and the gymnastics element will vary each phase. Your weekly strength work will look something like this (see below as to why these are numbered rather than labeled Mon-Sat).
- High CNS Lift Only*
- Gymnastics Strength/Skill Work
- Skill Lift (this will usually become the High CNS lift in the next Phase)
- Auxiliary lift/GPP lift or Strength Accessory (barbell lifts, dumbbell work, kettlebells, carries, lunges, etc., which usually complements the High CNS lift)
- In-WOD Lift: usually part of a longer workout where we mix in a heavy barbell movement that isn’t directly focused on during the current phase.
*Each week, you can expect one of your M-F classes to only consist the main barbell lift of the phase. For example, if the High CNS lift for the next phase is the Snatch, you can expect that in Week 1, one of your classes that week will only consist of “Find a 1RM Snatch”. Similarly, in weeks 2-6, one day per week will have only snatch work programmed, and will usually follow a periodized structure with specific numbers of sets, reps, and percentages. 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. These lift-only days will also consist of a “Coach’s Choice Finisher”, where if there’s any time left in class the coach may come up with their own quick and easy class finisher, or use the one we program.
Rotating Strength Schedule
Another unique aspect to the Strength/Skill pieces in numbers 1-5 above is that they rotate days 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 Snatches 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 Strength work, athletes won’t miss out if they can never make it to the gym on those specific days.
The bread and butter of fitness. 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. Depending on the week, you’ll see 1 or 2 pieces that line up with our Misfit Athletics individual programs, modified to be affiliate friendly in both difficulty and logistical requirements. We want the whole Misfit community, from Games athlete to scaled 5:30am affiliate athlete to be able to do the same workouts together.
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 (Strength/Skill and Conditioning) 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 days where the only thing in class is the High CNS lift, 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 two 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 with 1-2 training pieces. 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 a longer and/or partner 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 provided on these days, but again is not meant to fit into the 60 minute class with the main conditioning piece.