The Program

The first thing to understand about CrossFit programing is: there is no such thing as a perfect program. An effective program allows the athlete, with the correct amount of work to rest ratio, to become stronger and faster at the same time. At the end of the day, all I am worried about is: are my athletes getting stronger and faster?

The program would look different if I was honing in on just one person to attack their weaknesses and build on their strengths. However, this is not the case at CFBTS.

I take into consideration three different time frames, which are commonly known as microcycles, mesocycles and macrocycles.

Macrocycle Long-term outlook.
Mesocycle Twelve-week outlook.
Microcycle One-week outlook.

The long-term outlook is exponential growth in strength and speed. The twelve-week outlook becomes more focused on a particular weakness seen throughout the community. The focus is to strengthen the weakness while preserving the overall strengths. Lastly, the one-week outlook is the most intricate process, which is what I want to talk about today.

How It Works
It takes an immense amount of time to develop just one week of our program. I have a few charts to help walk you through the process.
Step 1: Analyze Prior Week – Sunday
Analyze the prior week and incorporate some or all of the movements and modalities into the next week. Figure 1.0, shown below, is my work from Week 2 of our current cycle. This is one of three pages used for analysis. I then jot down the missing pieces onto my first draft of the following weeks cycle, which is seen on the top of Figure 2.1.

Figure 1.1
Step 2: First Draft – Sunday and/or Monday
Get some coffee and a pair of headphones and prepare for the first of many long nights. Figure 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 show you the process from start to finish. Figure 2.1 shows a relatively good amount of work and at first glance it seems like a good week. I don’t recall exactly why I hated it but it leads to Step 3.

Figure 2.1
Step 3: Revise – Tuesday and/or Wednesday
Figure 2.2 shows my attempt at a second draft. I do recall this miniscule amount of work taking me about an hour. Mostly, just stared at the page.

Figure 2.2
Step 4: Revise/Finalize – Before Friday Evening
Figure 2.3 shows what I actually decided on. Four strength/metcons came from figure 2.1, three strength/metcons came from figure 2.2 and five strength/metcons came from a third draft.

Figure 2.3
Thank God for the third draft because a CFBTS benchmark was born: For Time, 21-15-9, Thruster/Assault Bike Calories
Step 5: Wodify – Friday or Saturday Evening
Transfer final draft to wodify and most likely make minor changes.
Step 6: Daily
Also shown on Figure 2.3 is the analysis of each workout. I do not go into great depth because my analysis sheet does that for me, but I like to know if I was correct in the amount of reps or time frame the athletes would achieve. I miss the mark here sometimes and that truly bothers me all day.
Step 7: 
It’s Sunday – See Step 1 and Repeat
After I do this process 12 times, CFBTS has a baseline to help me analyze our athletes as they gain strength and speed. Our last twelve-week cycle was a unanimous…SUCCESS!
—Jay Vigilante

CrossFit For Women

“CrossFit makes you bulky and I don’t want to get bulky.”

“CrossFit is too extreme for me.”

“I am not athletic; I can’t do CrossFit.”

These are just a few of the misconceptions women have about CrossFit. Many are unsure about doing CrossFit because they’re either afraid of gaining muscle, feel they’re not athletic enough, don’t know much about working out, or a combination of the above. When I started CrossFit in 2010, I had a lot of these same thoughts. But after just a few workouts, I began to realize how wrong I was. Knowing that I couldn’t be alone, I decided to ask a few women who workout at CFBTS what their misconceptions of CrossFit were before they got started.

“I was afraid to gain a lot of muscle, especially in my arms, which I felt were already big. CrossFit has completely changed my mentality about my body. I love the way I look from doing CrossFit and I love how my body is constantly getting stronger. CrossFit has made me care more about myself on the inside than how I look on the outside (and the outside has never looked better!). With CrossFit, if you want to gain muscle, you can gain muscle. If you’re looking to lose weight and tone up, then you can lose weight and tone up. One thing is for sure, you’ll get in the best shape of your life and be a stronger, more confident woman!”
  —Chelsey DeMarino-Ziolkowski, West Belmar, NJ (Mom of two)

“I was hesitant to join CrossFit because I don’t consider myself to be athletic at all. Physically and mentally, I’m very self-conscious. I lacked the confidence to go into a  CrossFit gym not knowing anything about the sport or what I would be capable of. I was afraid of being judged. I have now been doing CrossFit for one year. It’s made me a more confident and less self-conscious person in and out of the gym. This isn’t just a result of the physical changes, but the family feel of CrossFit By The Sea. When people go out of their way to be nice to you and are supportive of you and give you tips to help you when you’re struggling, it makes you push yourself to do things you never thought you could do.”

  —Liz Balestrieri, Asbury Park, NJ

Like Chelsey and Liz, I was afraid to gain muscle and become bulky. I felt I would be judged since I had never lifted much more than a few dumbbells in my life. Soon, those misconceptions fell to the wayside and I fell in love with CrossFit: the way it changed my body, the confidence it gave me both inside and outside of the gym, and especially the supportive community.


Even more, CrossFit has redefined the idea of Fitness and health for the women at CFBTS:

I’m lucky enough to share the sport of CrossFit with both my mother Judy, who’s a member at CFBTS (and is 58 years young!), and my sister Alexis, who’s a member at CrossFit Apex in Pennsylvania. There’s a common side effect of CrossFit that we all share: The feeling of being empowered. There’s something about throwing weights around, achieving a personal record, or just doing something for yourself that rekindles your sense of purpose, and gives you a feeling of accomplishment. I see the confidence level of our female members change daily, beginning with the first day they step into our gym.

“CrossFit has changed my life in a number of ways. From a fitness standpoint, I’m stronger than ever and can do things that I would never attempt at a gym on my own. They way I view “working out” is much different now because I’m  encouraged to push my limits in CrossFit. As a woman, my outlook on what “healthy” means has changed. My goal of “being skinny” has taken a back seat to goals of a new PR, a faster mile, or that one extra rep. I used to eat healthy to look good, and now I eat healthy to feel good and to perform!”

—MaryKate Lavin, Ocean NJ

For me as well, my health and fitness have been completely transformed. Before I tried CrossFit, I used to spend hours on end at a regular gym, and only eat a meal or two each day. Now I spend an hour doing CrossFit and eat five to six clean meals throughout the day! I’m the fittest I‘ve ever been, and love the way I look and feel.

 I hope this makes you think twice before saying “no” to trying CrossFit. It’s changed so many women’s lives already; why not let it to change yours?
—Ashley DeBello

Become A Better Athlete with the 2-Minute Principle

Over the past few years, I have practiced this principle with some regularity. Wishing I would have done it everyday, odds-makers say I would be right up there with Mat Fraser and Rich Froning, competing for the CrossFit Games title. Just kidding, but maybe I would have an extra ab or two!

The Two Minute Principle

Everyday before or after class, pick a skill, and drill that skill for two minutes. Simple as that. I see a lot of people use this idea, but very irregularly, and it doesn’t work when only practiced once every other week. The idea behind this principle is to become confident with the skill that you’re currently having trouble with. Pick one skill, and drill that skill for a month or two. For example, I use to walk into the gym each day and do 50 wall balls. The idea behind this practice was that I hated wall balls, and I knew if I could get 50 in a non-competitive setting, I would have greater confidence, and my wall balls would be more conditioned when it was actually game time.

Choose Your Battle

Think about what you hate doing, and do that. Pick a skill that takes minimal warm-up time (ie. don’t try to clean your PR in 2 minutes), set a plan for that day, and hit it. Have fun with these two minutes and make it a challenge.Currently, I am on a 2 minute pull-up challenge. Everyday I will come in with a goal. Some days it may be max effort without coming off the bar, other days it will be 2 minutes of strict pull ups, and the next day it will be chest-to-bars, working with different grips and never on the same pull up bar for that constantly varied effect.

Two minutes of failing is better than two minutes of never trying.

So a big problem with this principle that I have noticed is that people are afraid to fail in a non-class setting.This generally comes with muscle-ups, which people are afraid of failing in front of others. Set the tone, and fail once in front of everyone, so you can get over that social fear of “saving-face.”

Damn You’re Good

Lets take the wall ball example of 50 each time your are at the gym. Say you go to the gym 4 times per week, so 50 weeks (assuming you take a vacation for 2 weeks) times 4 sets of 50 per week is 10,000 wall balls per year. Verdict: You will be a wall ball master, and people will ask how you got so damn good at wall balls.

Make a plan. Stick to it. Have fun with it.

Hope this motivates you to improve your performance each day! And remember —you can do ANYTHING for two minutes!

—Grant Golin

BTS|30: May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019

BTS|30 – Jackie (Time)
For Time:
1,000 Meter Row
50 Single Dumbbell – Two Hands – Thruster (35/20)
30 Jumping Pull Up (Rx = Bar Touches Wrist on Set Up)

*Time Cap: 12 Minutes*

Ski Relay
Divide Class Evenly, 500 Meters Each Person, Losing Teams do 10 Burpee

BTS|CrossFit: May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019

Power Clean (Weight)
Take 5 Minutes to Warm Up to Starting Weight

A. Every Minute for Five Minutes – 1.1.1 Reps
B. Every Minute for Five Minutes – 1.1 Reps
C. Every Minute for Five Minutes – 1 Rep

**Take an Additional Minute Between EMOM’s to change Weight – – Record 5 x 1**

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
5 Pull Up
10 Wall Ball (20/14)
Chest to Bar
Wall Ball (30/20)

BTS|45: May 23, 2019

May 23, 2019

Push Press (Weight)
Every Minute for 8 MInutes:
3 Reps @ 85%

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
8/8 Dumbbell Snatch (50/35)
16 Dumbbell Squat (50/35)
32 Double Unders or 64 Singles
100 Meter Medicine Ball Run (20/14)

BTS|CrossFit: May 23, 2019

May 23, 2019

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
Six Sets of Work :45, Rest :30 of:
Max Effort Double Unders

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
Every 2 Minutes for 20 Minutes:
A. 15 Double Dumbbell Clean + Max Double Dumbbell Thruster (53/35)
B. 10 Burpee

*Score is Thrusters Only*
20 Burpee

BTS|45: May 22, 2019

May 22, 2019

Deadlift (Weight)
Every 2 Minutes for 10 Minutes:
5 Reps @ 80%

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
Every 3 Minutes for 12 Minutes:
12 Sumo Deadlift High Pull (75/55)
12 Toes to Bar
Max Effort: Assault Bike or Ski Calorie
**No Rest**

*Score is Calories*

BTS|CrossFit: May 22, 2019

May 22, 2019

Toes-To-Bar (Max reps)
Find Your 1 Set Max, Followed By:

Every Minute for 10 Minutes:
20% of Your Max Set

*Score Max Set Only*

Metcon (Time)
Five Rounds for Time:
30 Dumbbell Snatch (50/35)
20 Box Jump (24/20)
10/7 Ring Dip

Cash Out: 100 Hand Released Push Ups

*Time Cap: 20 Minutes*
Box Jump (30/24)
10/7 Dip from Top of Muscle Up