Head Coach News - March

Head Coach - Michael Gornall

March 4, 2022

Dear fitnessers, health enthusiasts, newcomers, veterans and everything in between, welcome to your new Head Coach News. This is a monthly check-in where I’ll be bringing you all of the updates, highlights, sneak peaks and future plans from inside the CrossFit Putney walls.


We’re going to kick things off with what I get asked about the most, and it is conveniently one of my favourite things to talk about, programming! In the last couple of months there has been quite a large change in the style of programming that we use at the gym - and whilst this will always be an ongoing development, it’s important for me to convey the influences of the workouts we’re performing. Other than my personal programming style, the bulk of my design is based on every person’s feedback. The ongoing evaluation is trying to constantly consider and balance enjoyment and fulfilment and not to forget, all measures of subjective and objective progress in all aspects of your fitness. I believe that workouts should be mentally stimulating, inclusive of all abilities, socially enjoyable and all with a blend of actual intent for how the body is going to adapt - which usually means a good sprinkle of focussed hard work.

So let’s get into the question, what’s the deal with the new style of workouts? Are there methods, will there be progressions and what’s up with some of these strange new movements? Firstly, when it comes to programming, I don’t like random. I’m a huge advocate for purpose and intent, and being able to adjust workouts for all levels, Games Athlete’s or those putting their first step into the gym. With this in mind, the most recent intent has been putting in some building blocks for ‘base training.’ This means progressing in areas that will allow you to perform something else more effectively, later down the line.

You’ll have noticed some strength progressions based around the hips and legs through deadlifts and front squats - which we’ll relish in appreciating this new found strength as more olympic lifting makes its way into the weekly workouts. Alongside this we’ve been building specific overhead stabilisation work through lots of isometric holds, high rep movements and low load technique work - another saving grace that will be appreciated when we push the overhead loads in the coming weeks. Lastly, as there’s been a huge demand for increased gymnastics work, we’ve been laying some foundational bricks for kipping in the form of lots of holds, carries, straight arm elements and specific core and hip focussed exercises.

\All of these are to build the smaller, very important, muscles around the shoulders and forearms to allow us to better tolerate kipping as its exposure is going to gradually increase throughout the weeks.
This is the bigger picture for how I like to create progress year after year. Whilst it’s easy to skip to the things that are seemingly more entertaining - doing so too quickly often leads to stagnation and injury. My goal for the programming is to have everyone healthy and capable for as long as possible, and putting in a few weeks of all-important foundational strength will invite that progress for years to come. So now that we’ve put in some solid weeks of building, it’s time to start exploring our potential in the fun areas.

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