Programming Philosophy

The Four Principles –

  1. Work Hard
  2. Keep it Simple
  3. Respect Movement Patterns
  4. Train Energy Systems

Work Hard

All things being equal, whoever works the hardest wins. Focused intensity ensures quality short-term work (today, tomorrow, this week) and a disciplined commitment to consistency ensures quality work over the long term (a cycle, 6 months, a year). These are the things that separate athletes from other athletes or people who reach their goals from people who don’t. Especially if you are in a gym that believes in the power of group fitness – everyone following a similar progam – the amount of effort you put into the training determines what you get out of it.

There are many different programs that work, there isn’t only one path to fitness, given the programming makes sense physiologically and people work hard enough. But programming can encourage the hard work by adhering to the next three principles.

Keep it Simple

Simple is not flashy. It’s not something that will declare to the entire world that “this programming is the best everrrrrrrrrr!!!”

But we want effective, and simple is effective because it is very, very hard. Which one of these workouts is the hardest?

Workout A: 
60 seconds AirDyne for Max Calories, no pacing
Rest 30 seconds
60 seconds AirDyne for Max Calories, no pacing


Workout B
17 minute AMRAP:
25 Wall Balls
20 GH Sit-ups
15 Box Jumps
10 Handstand Pushups
5 Deadlifts 225.135
10 Handstand Pushups
15 Box Jumps
20 GH Sit-ups
25 Wall Balls

Are they both hard? Sure. But which one is the hardest?

Workout A will confront you directly with your fitness – there’s no strategy, no planning, no hiding. Everything that is negative about you as a person will come bubbling to the surface in that second minute, and if it doesn’t you will puke it into a bucket after you finish.

Here’s another simple one:
EMOM until you fail –
7 Thrusters 75/55
7 Pullups
7 Burpees

I was witness to one of the greatest mental and physical things I’ve ever seen watching someone do this workout –

Simplicity = intensity = success. While the science behind the programming isn’t simple, the implementation is. 

Respect Movement Patterns

Hard work needs hard recovery if we want training to make us better. That means if we work hard, we have to permit time for recovery to take place or our work over the long term will suffer either because of decreased intensity due to fatigue or overuse injury.

Fortunately the body can move in a bunch of different ways, so when we destroy your legs with 160 squat/lunge reps on Monday, we can address upper body strength or lower intensity aerobic work on Tuesday – still training hard but allowing time for the legs to recover so they’re ready to go on Wednesday.

This principle allows for the most work to be done over the longest period of time because it keeps the intensity high where it needs to be in order to train, and low where it needs to be in order to recover.

We also believe that fitness is the ability to express physical function in a variety of ways, and those ways are movement patterns. Squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, running, etc. etc. All of these patterns need to be addressed in order to be the most fit you can be.

Train Energy Systems

Your body produces energy in different ways. In the end, that is fitness – the efficient and effective production of energy.

You can be strong and enduring. You can do many reps as fast as possible in a short amount of time, or do work at a constant rate over a longer period of time.

Your body uses these energy systems as tools to perform a task. Do you have to lift a big heavy rock? The alactic system has got you covered. Need to run after/away from someone before they get away? Enter the lactic system. While we can’t train for every possible physical situation, we can train the energy systems that are needed in every physical situation, and therefore leading a more physically capable life.

On the competitive side – need to compete in a sport where you have no idea what the events will be? If the movement patterns are proficient and the energy systems are developed, it doesn’t matter what comes out of the hopper…you’ll be prepared.


Work hard. Keep it simple.

Next up: Why is there a cycle? Why is there a template? 



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