Path to Fitness: How the WOD works at CrossFit Aestus

Hello! This will be a 4 part series that gives some detail as to why we do what we do at CFA when it comes to our Workout of the day.  Let’s dive right in to:


The Warm Up

 “I hate warming up”.

I used to hear that a lot.

“It takes too much time”.

“I never get anything out of it”.

“Don’t really need it.”

After hearing the above (and many other) complaints about warming up, we took what most people see as a 30 second to 5 minute process (jump up and down a few times, touch toes, stretch quads and go) and turned it into 10 to 20 minute block of time that will:

-Sufficiently prep the body to move as needed

-Develop skills

-Undo many of the things the “real life” takes out of the human body.


So how does a warm up go at CFA?

It starts off slow.  We have to “undo” the 8-10 hours of sitting that most people do every day.  This means slower deliberate motions to begin to prime and position the body to take on the work that we’ll do later.

After 4-5 movements to reposition the body, we get more dynamic.

By dynamic, we mean more up-tempo movements that move the body quickly forward, back ward and side to side.  We may include some agility based movements that connect the body and brain.

Now that blood is flowing and body temp has elevated we can move into compound stretching and mobility that will further open up the muscles and tendons.  This could include some foam rolling and stretching to further stretch hip flexors.

From there we will use a 5 foot long 8oz piece (sched. 40) of PVC pipe.  PVC is a great tool for a few reasons, first, it’s diameter mimics the diameter of a barbell.  Because of this, we can use the PVC as an instructional tool to teach or practice barbell movements Second, it’s an effective mobility tool.  For the warm up we’ll use the PVC for 8-10 different movements to warm up the entire upper body.   As the athlete continues to use the PVC, the range of motion in shoulder, chest, back and other areas improves significantly.  Over time, this plays a large role in proper barbell technique and path of movement.

If a barbell movement is called for in the WOD, we will do a few minutes of “stick drill” to practice the movement and make sure technique is good.  Our coaches also use this time to teach and assist athletes as they work to get better at these movements.

The Warm Up then switches to a few movements that will either be featured in the WOD or that mimic a movement on a smaller scale.  For example, if a box jump or power clean is part of the WOD, we may ask for 15-20 reps of a Kettlebell Swing to practice hip extension and again, reinforce technique.

15 minutes later our athletes are warmed up and ready for the next segment of class.  They’re sweating and they report back to us that they feel good and ready to take on what we have planned for them for that day.

So, the next time you exercise, take a few more minutes and complete a full warm up.  Your body will pay you back with better performance and less soreness.

Next up:  How CFA does “skills”

To your health,

Coach Sam



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