Experienced WOD Programming Update

For new CrossFitters, just showing up consistently and working hard on almost any random week of WODs is enough to guarantee progress.

But as athletes build a base of strength and skill, programming becomes increasingly important.  For more advanced athletes, “Constantly Varied” programming shouldn’t mean “Constantly Random”.  Decades of research have demonstrated the benefit of hitting similar strength movements (like a back squat) more often, in a thoughtful rep and weight scheme.  Simply put, it’s nearly impossible to achieve higher-level competency in those movements if they are not programmed in a progressive manner.

Our coaches have spent the last month looking at the gym’s collective Open results, our relative placing on different WODs within the Open, and our relative placement on other benchmark WODs against the CrossFit community as a whole.  It’s clear that, while we’re better than average metabolically, we’re also weaker than average.  

As a result, we’ve slowly been making changes to the way that we program our Experienced and Competition Classes, so that members in those classes can make the best progress over this new CF competitive year – first by building the strength that we need, in a linear, periodized way.

In the near future, you’ll notice that we’re focusing more than usual on lifts like the squat, press, deadlift and Olympic lifts, which translate to a broad number of other movements and WODs.   Over the course of the year, month by month, that focus will broaden in a way that we think will help you become the best possible CrossFitters by next year’s Open.  While not everyone trains with the intention of being a serious competitor in the Open, this annual event provides an excellent benchmark to see whether or not the gym is improving from the past year, as many WODs and movements are repeated.

One challenge in progressive programming is that, with seven WODs a week, it’s almost impossible to know which subset of WODs members are likely to attend.  Therefore, starting next week, we’ll be moving the Experienced WOD (like the Competition WOD) to a schedule of 5 programmed days each week.  Unlike the Competition classes, which simply don’t happen on rest days, we’ve scheduled certain Experienced WODs on two days of the week, to give members more ways of attending as many of the 5 WODs as possible:

Sunday / Monday: Day 1 (Same WOD both days)
Tuesday: Day 2
Wednesday / Thursday: Day 3 (Same WOD both days)
Friday: Day 4
Saturday: Day 5

We recommend Experienced WOD athletes attend a minimum of 3 WODs a week, and no more than all 5.  Your recovery and rest days are just as important as your training.  If you must attend two days that would otherwise have the same WOD (Sunday and Monday, or Wednesday and Thursday), we’d suggest you attend a Beginner/All-Levels WOD, or a CFE WOD, on one of the two days.


  • Glenn McMahon

    This is great news, does this mean you will be adding more Experience WoDs – it is already hard enough to get into the morning classes, and that you will add Experience WoDs to the UWS?

    • Hari Singh

      Over the next four weeks, we expect to add 30 to 40 additional Experienced WOD’s, at least half of which will be on the UWS.

      • Glenn McMahon

        Hari, Thank you – I really want to make Masters Regionals next year so I need all of the help I can get

        • Hell yeah, Glenn. You’ll get there.

  • Craig Bagno

    Very very cool. Love the rigor.

  • Charlotte Goins

    This is awesome.

  • Ben

    Very cool. As someone who has been Crossfitting for 7ish months, and am able to do more Beginner/All Level WODs Rx, but certainly not all of them, I am curious when it is appropriate to start attending some of the Experienced classes. I would imagine I would have to scale the majority of the Experienced classes- is that expected? At the same time, I am becoming pretty comfortable with the majority of the movements and having more time in these classes for strength portions of a work out would definitely be welcomed. Any guidance is appreciated.

    • Jason Lapadula

      When you experience the “big fish in a little pond” syndrome it’s time to make the change. If you are consistently beating most of the people in your class in a variety of workouts make the switch. Another option is to ask your coach.

      • Christine

        Hi Jason!

    • Avery W

      Jason is right. I would also add that if you are still scaling the majority of your body weight movements (i.e. you need bands for pull ups, you still cannot do push ups with full ROM) then sticking with the Beginner/All Level workout is not a bad idea. Building a foundation is important and it’s not uncommon that people end up working backwards if they don’t develop these important skills.

      The only exception I might make it to encourage some of the ladies that are in All Levels to make the move up to Experienced WOD. Too often they think they aren’t good enough to attend that class, but it would actually be better for their progress.

      • Andy Graves

        Avery, so you wouldn’t say muscle ups are the bench mark for heading up to the 4th fl? 16+ rds of Cindy and 4:16 in the baseline are good enough?

        • Avery W

          Nope I don’t think muscle ups are a requirement. As long as you are familiar with the movements, honest with your ROM so your WOD times are accurate and know how to scale for movements you currently can’t do, then you should be fine.

          I will add that some members prefer the All Level track for the variety of classes, emphasis on instruction for foundational movements or even just the class times. You can still get an excellent work out doing these classes even if you’ve been doing CF for a few years.

      • Ben

        Makes sense. Thanks.

  • Andy Graves

    Looking forward to the time when I feel ready to join the EWods. Thank you for keeping us informed.

  • sophia

    Awesome. I was hoping the programming would move in this direction! I remember a week a couple weeks ago where many of us had done mon, tues, wed (back squat, gymnastics, deadlifts) and then Thursday wound up being bench press. Super frustratin hooding between a much needed rest day and bench pressing. I’m happy with the 5 days! I only wish that the repeats was thurs/fri rather than wed/thurs (it just works better with my schedule to take off fridays, but also realize the box doesn’t revolve around me).

  • Rob Panor

    This scheduling flexibility is a huge plus. Looking forward to building on the gains I’ve seen since joining the eWod classes.

  • Jenny

    This is great! I have trouble deciding when to take rest days, so now the decision is made for me. Thanks for adding additional Experienced WODS, too. I can tell I push myself more and get a better workout when I take the Experienced WODs.

    • Jenny

      A somewhat “me-centric” follow-up to my comment. I see above Hari said there will be more Experienced classes added; hopefully one of those will be a 5:50 or 6:00 Experienced class on Friday. There are only HR:30 right now, and Friday is one of the non-same WOD days.

      • Hari Singh

        This is a bit lower on the priority list. The Friday evening Experienced WOD’s (5:30 PM, 6:30 PM, and 7:30 PM) are not full. Though it may mean a bit of a wait, anyone who is available at 6:00 PM can typically get into the 6:30 PM.

        • Jenny

          Understood, I imagine Fridays aren’t very “in-demand.” Thanks for your response.

  • Mike R

    Great to hear! I was feeling a little lost after reading the ny times article “fitness crazed” thinking about how I just did a dodge ball wod. Back to basics… thank god!

  • Dani Freeman

    I see that there is a 5:50 on Monday added to the schedule already, is this going to be the same for the rest of the days of the week?

    • Hari Singh

      Probably Tuesday will follow over the next few weeks. Since Wednesday and Thursday will both be the same WOD, we will want to see how crowded classes get on those days. Friday we know is the slowest weekday, so it is the lowest priority for additional WOD’s.

      However, we are constantly growing, and it seems likely that by fall we will be running three Experienced WOD’s per hour (HR:10, HR:30, and HR:50) and three Beginner WOD’s per hour (HR:00, HR:20, and HR:40) during our peak times.

      Between now ant then we will also be working on significantly expanding our showers and locker room facilities.

      • Dani Freeman

        YAY Showers and locker rooms!

        • Abraham

          I literally just said “yes!” out loud and got weird looks from people.

  • Eduard Matamoros

    I too appreciate this new direction. I do have one question: are you planning on coupling specific lifts to certain days of the week, e.g., Mondays are squat days? Or, will the core lifts vary across the set Experienced WOD schedule? Like many distance runners, I long run on the weekend, and I hope that I wouldn’t have to consistently miss specific lifts due to programming that is tied to particular days of the week.

    Again, thank for continuously improving the experience of the members.

    • Sean M

      I’ll speculate a little….

      While you might find that squats for example come up on Monday’s frequently, this generally only happens during a set program cycle, which should last for a few weeks (4-8) at most. You should see that change as the emphasis of the programming shifts to work on different things throughout the year.

    • Avery W

      Eduard, part of the reason we are moving to a 5 days/week programming is to create some flexibility with our peak (i.e. most important) workouts. That way not every Monday and Sunday has to be “Squat Day”.

      You should think that Day One and Day Three are your most important workouts of the week. I recommend coming in on Sunday or Wednesday when possible, because eWODs are traditionally less busy. You should come in ready to add weight to the bar or if it’s a met-con, go faster, move better, etc. And you should be tracking your numbers – this is huge! Everything after that is pretty much gravy and will depend on your schedule. As long as you are consistent and take rest days, you should see progress.

      In the past, it wasn’t uncommon on a day I was teaching back squats to find out that someone hadn’t done a back squat (light or heavy) in 4-5 weeks just by virtue of their attendance (no matter what days we programmed squats). Obviously, you can’t make any progress if you aren’t hitting specific movements often enough.

      People have thought that there is some special secret involved with Competition programming, but the reality is that I program very specific movements, progressively, with frequency.

      Turns out if you squat a lot or pull heavy enough, it makes all other squats, wall balls, anything that involves your legs easier. You’ll probably end up running faster as well without having to run more (that’s been true for myself in the past). We try to program movements that are going to have the biggest bang for your buck on those days.

  • Robert Baggio

    This is awesome! Exactly what I’d hoped for! I will be getting a CFNYC henna tattoo in celebration

  • Christine

    This is very exciting news! Are you planning on adding an Experienced WOD in the 8am hour? Crossing my fingers! =)

    • Hari Singh

      Probably not in this next wave of Experienced WOD’s, but it’s coming.

      • Christine

        Thanks for the update!

  • Guest

    For beginner/all level, do you have any recommendation on rest days? I struggle to identify which days to skip. Any pointers would be appreciated.