LiftOff CrossFit – Programming Insights Part 1




Programming insights:

I’m going to start posting small insights into how and why I programme the way I do for the gym.

Today I will talk about Monday’s session:

Monday 29th September

  • Warm up + Med ball Clean Practice*

We do dynamic range of motion stuff to warm up every day here at LiftOff and this will always be geared towards the movements in the session. 

Medicine Ball Cleans after the dynamic warm up were used today as they are a great tool to use to teach people how to open and close their hips quickly as we need too in the olympic lifts. Once people have this skill, the olympic lifts are a lot easier to understand and teach. They also are really good at getting people pretty hot and sweaty – exactly what we want before todays session.

All @ 85% effort – Aim for first and last piece to be similar scores:


10 Wallballs

10 Pullups

10 Situps

Rest 4 Mins


Run 200m

15 Burpee Box Jumps @ 24/20”

Rest 4 Mins


10 Wallballs

10 Pullups

10 Situps

This is Aerobic Power work (note the requirement to go at 85% effort). We do this to target the aerobic energy system in a mixed modal setting. Extremely important work for everyday life and in CrossFit (just watch Rich Froning for an example of this).

This is important to note as if we didn’t prescribe a pace many people would tear out of the blocks and thrash themselves in the first 7 minute piece. Then those with less well developed aerobic systems would die off and spend the next two pieces of work in the pain cave and not getting much actual training done – lots of huffing puffing and looking at the clock instead. 

If members were left to do this every time we did a conditioning piece they would probably see some short term improvements but very little long term development of the energy system and little improvement of their work capacity.

We measure the pacing by repeating one of the efforts (first and last AMRAP in this case), a well paced effort will get similar scores, someone who has “redlined” or “hit the wall” will have vastly different scores.

So how do I go about selecting the movements? Well for an aerobic power session I look for movements and rep ranges that will allow people to generally keep moving, so for the first AMRAP I selected 10 reps each of Wallballs/Pullups/Situps. These are compound movements that will allow all our clients to keep moving throughout, therefore staying aerobic. 

If however I picked say 25 reps of each it is highly likely that most of our members would have to break up the movements significantly due to muscular endurance being a limiting factor. This totally changes the effect of the workout and turns it more into a CP (Creatine Phosphate energy system) piece. If I wanted to focus on muscular endurance in an aerobic setting this might be a better rep scheme but this is not the target of this cycle of programming so that would be counter productive! 

I see it as good basic coaching to ensure that clients are getting the required stimulus from a piece of work, this requires well thought out programming and a clear message of what you expect from people in terms of intensity and effort to ensure they get what is needed out of the workout.

For those of you interested we are just starting a new cycle of programming. It will be quite similar but there will be more of a focus on technique work for the olympic lifts so that we can begin to introduce this to our conditioning pieces. 

I will try to keep these programming insights coming if people enjoy this……feel free to ask for a certain day or session to be explained!

Until next time. Train Hard. Rest Hard.






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Lift Off CrossFit is based in Bishops Stortford, Herts. Our experienced team of coaches have made Lift Off the regions premier CrossFit box.

We welcome all levels of experience and pride ourselves on treating all members as equals.



If you are interested in coming down to meet us, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

 01279 755 333
 Unit 1, Twyford Business Centre
London Road, Bishops Stortford
CM23 3YT