Each week we offer 2 Intro Classes, Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. and 7p.m. – and Saturdays at 11 a.m. These are Free. Sign up here.
We offer 2 options for Foundations:
(1) 1 3-hour class
(2) 3 Private 40-minute sessions (an additional $99)
We offer classes 6 days per week; morning, noon, and night. Once you Join CrossFit Balance you can take as many classes as you want plus classes at CrossFit Dupont. Balance Gym membership is also included.
Member? Register for Classes Here
OUR APPROACH TO PROGRAMMING:
At CrossFit Balance, we program to increase everyone’s fitness and get you the results you’re looking for (whether it be performance, general fitness, or for the competitive CrossFitter). Our program emphasizes community, in the sense that we are all working from the same template – fun!
1.) CrossFit Programming
a.) CrossFit Methodology: CrossFit’s three essential pillars are: constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity. Our objective is to put our clients on a path of general physical preparedness “gpp”. We reflect variety in our programming through the use of different loads, time domains, and movements. However, our programming design is not random. At times there may be workouts that are “unpredictable,” which is needed within a program that embraces training for unforeseeable challenges of combat, sport, and survival within the District of Columbia.
b.) Programming to optimize 10 general physical skill sets that include:
Accuracy—the ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Agility—the ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
Balance—the ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance—the ability of body systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen. Coordination—the ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Flexibility—the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
Power—the ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Speed—the ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Stamina—the ability of body systems to process, deliver, store and utilize energy.
Strength—the ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
c.) Application to maximize gains- We program workouts at CF Balance for 6 days. We assume that all clients training consistently with us, will take 2 rest days. We suggest 3 days on and 1 day, however, be attentive to your rest/recovery needs. Be prepared to take an additional rest day or in the case you are feeling fresh train as desired. Do not attempt to do 5 days of our program consecutively. Our objective in our template is to achieve the desired stimulus for each specific WOD and allow adequate rest to maximize gains within this suggested work:rest approach. This is two-fold: It requires you to develop an awareness of your rest/recovery and listen to your body, and for us as coaches (from a programming standpoint) to identify clear goals for each specific WOD (either MetCon or Stamina) and making sure there are adequate breaks between full fatigue usage of a specific movements/muscle group to allow full recovery within a microcycle (7 days). This will vary with nature of strength template we are applying (sub-maximal versus max effort/combined approach for max effort lifts), which have different recovery demands and will affect our selection of movements/reps other days.
d.) General Program Characteristics: We seek to create a CrossFit program, which is broad and well-rounded. This requires a system that ensures good over all broad GPP movement selection in a way that also creates SOME focus in view of our group goals and current ability in those goals. We take into account our client needs in “our” particular community. We also take into account our resources including space, equipment, and other opportunities that clients’ may take advantage of to address skill work and individual weaknesses outside of our classes. These may include the adjacent facilities class offerings (yoga, mobility classes, spinning, and one-on-one training for Olympic lifting, addressing mobility issues, and those seeking to deviate and create a more individualized programming)
2.) CrossFit Balance Programming Goals
Strength: This is one facet of development that will enhance EVERY other aspect of development. Without strength, it will become a limiting factor in many of our benchmark workouts. We will be approaching strength work closely paralleling CrossFit Football Amateur programming based upon a linear progression. We will be making modifications in this approach based on the overall objectives in CrossFit and varied nature. You can expect to squat/press on Monday and Thursday or Friday, deadlift on Tuesday, and o-lift/Squat on Friday. Based upon the nature of met cons, we may not always be squatting/pressing on Thursday and program this on Friday with the o-lifts.
Another overarching programming objective will be improvement in gymnastics movements (as in bodyweight movements) for our athletes as incorporated in our warm-ups, skill work, and at the end of our strength/conditioning work. The foundational theory is applying varied strength and power training, along with improved core strength & control, to build a base that we then use to optimize our strength to body weight ratio for athletic performance.
Each workout will consist of a warm-up, a primary strength component/O-lift, and a conditioning activity. Into each one of those we will incorporate one of the following every day, time permitting: a bodyweight skill, gymnastics specific strength, and a core control/stability exercise.
Bodyweight skill: Each day we will incorporate a bodyweight/gymnastics skill into the warm-up, the strength, or the WOD components of the workout. The bodyweight skill will focus on the opposite muscle groups to the primary strength focus.
Gym strength: The gym strength component will reinforce key muscle groups related to the bodyweight skill of the day and will often be spotted to allow participants to increase reps, focus on form and technique.
Core control/stability: Core integrity is the most important foundational strength requirement for gymnastics and bodyweight movements. Core integrity/stability allows form to be maintained under stress, but most important it facilitates efficient transfer of energy. When completing kipping and swinging movements, there is a requirement for rapid body position changes in order for energy transfers to result in lift, height, rotation, etc.
*Linear Progression for work sets: This is basically increasing your weight set to set like warming up. Look at your max set of 5. For example if it is 315, you might go 135, 185, 225, 275, and then 315 all for 5 reps. There are several reasons for this, you are warming up, getting a lot of practice and really groove the coordination of the lifts, and contributing to workload without raising it so high that fatigue overcomes you and you overtrain. If you do 315 for all 5 sets, workload is a lot higher and doing that a couple of times a week ensures that you won’t last long on this program.
Typically jumps can be somewhere between 10-15% per set based on your top set (or 12.5% and round up or down). An easy way to figure this is to find out what 10% and 15% are for your top set and then track backwards into the other sets using the variance to round or help it make sense.
These are the minimum jumps of 10%. Make sure this makes sense and you aren’t so strong as to make the jumps ridiculous at 10-15%. But keep in mind, going 200, 205, 210, 215, and 220 is a lot closer to 220 for 5×5 and that’s too much on this kind of frequency, it will fatigue you a lot faster (i.e. prevent you from progressing) and hurt your ability to get as much as possible with your top set.
c.)Mobility- We offer a functional movement screening for $40 a session with a coach and also include this for every client who commits to our program upon signing up for membership. Our workouts include a dynamic warm-up, however, this is not enough for you on a daily basis. Our objective is to educate you through seminar offerings, mobility classes (Thursday’s at 5pm at Balance Gym-Thomas Circle), and through selected programmed mobility work to compliment our daily WOD objectives. We also encourage all of our clients to take advantage of our yoga classes offered.
d.) Met Cons- We program these across broad domains, however, we are biased towards shorter met cons. Our objective is to elicit a higher peak power output through shorter time domains, or performing met cons in an interval style with a prescribed rest between rounds. The longer workouts play a role in randomness and increasing mental toughness, however, these are not regularly programmed. By training anaerobically we can affect and make gains in our aerobic capacity, but not necessarily the inverse.
3.) Template Design
a.) Stressing Adaptive Response through application of main lifts within a 1 month cycle and varying this over the next 3 months. We will vary the assessment movements weekly.
b.) Selection of Base Lifts-
Wednesday: Rest or Metcon
Thurs: Squats/Presses (this may vary and be on Friday’s based on weekly programming)
Friday: O-lift focus
Saturday: Rest or MetCon Sunday
We will be integrating the met-cons above, assessment work, skill work and volume training. This will vary based on the week, however, the above main lifts is for you to have an overview at this time.
4. Other aspects
a.) Skill Work Fostering an environment for skill work: As you progress in our community, you will identify an awareness of your weaknesses, which will be stressed within our programming at times. However, we would like to provide a framework for those of you motivated to practice these outside of our class time (as in open gym offered in the studio at specified times, or in the Balance Gym/Thomas Circle, or before/after class if space permits). One of the approaches we will be applying and prescribing to CF Balance clients is “volume training.” These will be performed at sub-maximal effort. This approach allows one to practice the movement with solid mechanics, but the purpose is not to elicit a significant metabolic-conditioning response.
b.) Role of Benchmarks- These will be programmed over the course of the next 6 months to test your progress.
c.) Randomness/Nature of Saturday Workouts- Randomness is intertwined. Part of the excitement and nature of CrossFit is “preparing for the unknown,” and consequently training should also mimic this to an extent. The variety in our movements, time domains, and particularly the nature of Saturday’s WODs embraces this. Be sure to rotate your rest days and not always skip out on our Saturday WODs!
d.) Fun- My last point is this, we can all get bogged down in creating specific program goals and lose sight of the bigger picture which is this: community! Our CF Balance community is what makes us unique! Yes, we train to progress and get fitter. We also train to have fun! We live in the District – a majority of our clientele sits in front a computer 9-5pm. The gym becomes an outlet and its important to step outside the walls of this space and take advantage of what our outdoor space and the District has to offer. Creativity is a key component to crossfit programming as it keeps things fresh. When you think of CrossFit Balance the following should come to mind: the Thomas Circle Steps, the back deck, the turfed rooftop, runs to the monuments, and meet-ups including the: Exorcist Stairs, paddleboarding at Jack’s Boathouse, Hains Point runs/swims, and excursions to both Old Rag, Billy Goat, and Sports Rock.
We have a very diverse community with diverse goals. We seek to foster a social environment for you to connect with your fellow CrossFitters out of class and open the doors to exploring recreational or competitive pursuits outside of class.
Just to reiterate this is a template. As we progress as a community, our programming will continue to evolve. Hopefully this explanation will provide you with a sufficient understanding about “our approach.” Rob Howe, Jeff Jenkins, and I are the programming team who create and provide the design. We are here to give you opportunities to obtain results. However, you must work for these, they are not given. Please use the three of us as resources as you are working on creating and achieving your goals.
View the Schedule for all class dates and times.