As in the Wizard Of Oz, it’s tough sometimes to understand how something works until you can take a peek behind the curtain. The purpose of this blogpost is to give you my thought process and let you look behind the “curtain” as to how I come up with my programming for the gym.
There are many different factors that contribute to this process. Equipment, weather, class size, and time just to name a few. For the most part, there are two groups of people at Vitality. Group 1 is comprised of those who love to lift and to have a barbell in their hand. Group 2 is filled with those who, if they could, would do a “Murph” style workout everyday of the week and love every second of it.
Over the past 7 years, there are a few things that I have learned from the more than 2,000 workouts that I have programmed and observed at Vitality. The first is that I have to be more concerned with keeping people healthy than keeping everyone happy….to an extent of course. My goal has always been to give people the best experience possible, but in doing that, the bigger focus for me has to be keeping people healthy. There is a reason that January brings an enormous number of folks out of the woodwork who just put down their latest copy of Muscle and Fitness and have ripped out the “Get Shredded in 6 weeks” calendar and pasted it on their fridge. Within a few days, their journey ends before it begins. This is due, in large part, because the level of expectation does not match their level of knowledge. My job at Vitality is to try and match those two pieces together. I understand that many people would like to “try” and do much longer workouts, more frequently. However, from experience, I am 100% certain that style is a recipe for disaster. 20+ minute CrossFit workouts, multiple times a week is not a realistic program unless your life is set-up to revolve around health and fitness, which few of ours are. This regimen could be absolutely possible if you incorporate a strict nutrition, recovery, and sleep protocol. For the majority of our members here at Vitality, this isn’t the case, and to be honest, it shouldn’t need to be. For this reason, my goal is to keep the workouts in the 12m – 16m range, this enhances the ability to keep people from getting broken down and provides us ample time to work on foundational strength work which keeps those in Group 1 somewhat satisfied.
I believe that the bottom line of any fitness program needs to focus solely on making each individual more fit outside the gym walls. Being able to do “Fran” in under 3:00 is awesome, but being able to hike up a mountain while carrying your kid in a backpack is a much better result of training.
The gym should be a place that you enjoy going to but you don’t fall into the trap of taking yourself too seriously. There are the 1%’ers of the world that get paid to play a sport in which the results in the gym truly carry some consequences. For the other 99% of us, the gym should be a place where we can relieve some stress, clear our mind, surround ourselves with positive and motivated people, and make ourselves a more fit version of who we were when we walked thru the doors that day. Managing expectations is a big part of the Coaches’ responsibility here at Vitality. The leaderboard is a great tool and motivator but it can’t be stressed enough that it also can be detrimental to one’s journey if too much emphasis is placed on where you finish vs. doing what’s best for your body that day.
We have worked really hard to make additional programs available to those that are looking for some diversity in their training or some specific programs designed to reach your goals. These are completely separate programs from CrossFit. A description of these programs are below:
This is a 45-minute group class style program that focuses on core-strength, mobility, and has a heavy focus on aerobic conditioning. This is a great starting point for the majority of people that are looking into starting a fitness program. It is also a great supplement for those that are currently involved in a program and want to add this as a great way to build their conditioning and volume. The primary goal for this program is to fix movement patterns and teach correct form with basic, fundamental movements that are used daily in our lives. The ability to move is important, the ability to move CORRECTLY is vital to everything we do in our lives. We have all been injured or laid up at some point in our lives. There is nothing enjoyable about that experience. Our goal is to teach you how to do basic movements correctly as well as giving you simple, yet effective tools to perform maintenance on mobility or movement issues that are diagnosed during training. Once proficiency is displayed in these basic movements, our coaches will quickly add intensity to those ready for it and this is where the magic happens. Intense conditioning paired with correct movement can produce incredible results to ALL levels of athletes. After 30 days of Bootcamp, it is likely that, if an athlete wants to transition into CrossFit, he or she will be ready to do so and will be much more prepared for an efficient crossover into that program compared to those folks that are trying to jump right into a CrossFit program without the foundational movement awareness provided in our Bootcamp. Our program provides instruction from passionate coaches who care about keeping our clients healthy by getting them moving correctly. Odds are, this is the program that most people need to start with and you will be happy you did!
We have kept our membership options simple for this program. The cost is $150/month and allows members to come up to 6x/week.
For those athletes who currently have a CrossFit membership, we have punchcards available that will allow you to supplement CrossFit workouts with Bootcamp.
VITALITY BARBELL CLUB
This program was created for those individuals that are looking to spend some more time with a barbell in their hands. It is led by Nate Lambert who has multiple certifications and is extremely passionate about the Olympic Lifts. This program uses specific cycles to create proficiency and capacity in both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. These two lifts are the most complex and dynamic movements you can perform with a barbell. Without proper coaching and dedication, they are extremely difficult to master. Olympic lifting is becoming extremely popular and rightfully so, it is a complicated Sport that takes dedication and practice to be competent. Our Barbell Club is a great place to start if you are interested in improving your ability with the barbell.
The cost of this program is $65/month for current members. For non-members, this program is $125/month. This program also comes with an Open Gym membership to give you access to our facility to keep up with your program designed by Nate.
PERSONAL TRAINING / CORPORATE WELLNESS
Our Personal Training program has become extremely popular due to the diverse group of Coaches that we have on staff. We have both male and female Coaches that can do anything from speed and agility work, sport-specific training, and designing Corporate Programs that can get your staff more fit which will absolutely lead to increased productivity and lower healthcare costs. If you are looking at a more individualized goal or a smaller setting for your training, talk to us about scheduling a free intro with one of our Coaches.
Our open gym membership allows our athletes to come in and complete the Workout of the Day if they were unable to make it to a class time. They also have the ability to come into the facility and put in some extra work on specific skills they may be struggling with such as Double-Unders or Gymnastics work. Our open gym times are 1030a-Noon and 1p-5p.
The cost of Open Gym is $50/month for current members. For non-members, this program is $150/month.
I hope this helps you understand how the programming is determined here at Vitality. Things are always evolving here but the focus remains unchanged: Provide a fitness program for all ability levels with the end goal of making individuals more fit. As you can see above, there are a number of different paths that can all lead to this result. The biggest piece of advice that I can give is that if you are unsure where you are at in your journey, come sit down with me and let’s figure out the best path forward to get you where you want to be. As always, my door is always open to discuss ANYTHING Vitality related.