CrossFit Coach: OPEX Program Design

Posted 5th October 2015 by Josh Schouten


Last week (28th -30th October 2015) I spent 3 days absorbing a wealth of program design knowledge from James Fitzgerald (founder of and winner of the 2007 CrossFit Games).  As a strength and conditioning (S&C) coach, co-owner of Momentum Training / CrossFit Hackney (CFH), and the brains behind the program design at CFH, I was curious to hear what OPEX was all about.

James has been working in the industry for 20+ years and his experience is certainly visible.  For 3-days, James confidently stood in front of a whiteboard and shared his theories and principles of training with a sizable group of coaches and athletes.

I think box owners/coaches who take on the responsibility of program design will agree that it is not an easy task.  Every single workout requires a lot of consideration: (more…)

CFH Training Plan 05/10/2015 – 11/10/2015

Posted 4th October 2015 by Josh Schouten

Week 12 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats


What an inspiring week! Last week Scotty and I spent 3-days on a program design course with James Fitzgerald founder and winner of the 2007 CrossFit Games.  James is one smart individual, and he is a walking encyclopedia.

The program design course was presented to a gathering of amazing coaches and athletes all eager to invest in their development, and James did a great job of painting a detailed picture.  James didn’t stop talking for three days straight.   I’ve not seen many people that can stand in front of a group and present information in such a detailed manner with just a whiteboard and marker.  No notes, no slides, just a whiteboard and 20+ years of practical application and training knowledge. It did make me feel like a small fish in a big pond, but inspiring all the same.

I’ve been closely looking at the OPEX material for a couple of months now and have been keen to put it into practice.  After attending the 3-day workshop I’ve learnt a lot about how the program at CrossFit Hackney can be improved.  We have done a great job to date, but there is always room to grow and improve.  This week is going to offer something a little different and I’m keen to see how everyone fairs.

The main session of interest will be:

Tuesday – “Max Aerobic Power 5” – 4 x 3min work and 2min rest, repeatable aerobic energy training

Wednesday – “Anaerobic Lactic Endurance 3” – 5 x :60 Efforts with 3min rest between

Friday – “Max Aerobic Power 4” – 5 x 2min work and 2min rest, repeatable aerobic energy training

Saturday –  “Max Aerobic Power 7” – 2 x 10min work and 5min rest aerobic energy training

Sunday – Yes, we now have a CrossFit class on Sundays.  This one will be a “Max Aerobic Power 5” = 2 parts of (4 x 3min work and 3min rest) with 5min rest between rounds

Take note of the WOD GOAL as the design of these workouts are clearly defined.  Those athletes who learn how to pace these workout will overtime start to see massive improvements in their fitness levels.



GMB: Finally, a Clear and Useful Definition of What “Good Form” Means for Exercise Technique – This type of definition of good form is often more destructive than constructive. It can prevent people from working on skills that they can and should work on, while at the same time coaxing an individual to try to achieve positions that may be unsafe for him or her at that point of their development.

Life Hack: How Word Choices Transform Your Mind – The way we speak has powerful impact on our ability to be successful and happy yet few of us are intentional with our choice of words. Studies have shown that use of negative words like “no” can actually change the release of hormones and neurotransmitters  to ones that damage key structures that regulate your memory, feelings, and emotions.

EliteTrack: Less is More – To win workouts demands putting each workout in context of the bigger picture. Always keeping in mind that less is more.

Strength Sensei: Is Stress Making You Fat? Follow this Action Plan – Are you a very driven person who embarks in one project after the other.  Do you put your health on the back burner. Workouts and meals are skipped, prioritising work over taking care of the temple.

Ergo-log: Quinoa’s bursting with ecdysteroids After extrapolating to humans the results of animal studies, in which ecdysteroids have positive effects on the skin, bone and muscle mass and break down fat, and going by the quantities of ecdysteroids found in quinoa analyses, the researchers suggest that people who eat quinoa regularly will be healthier as a result.

CrossFit Hackney Levels Spreadsheet

CrossFit Hackney Russian Squat Programme


Engineering – October

Posted 1st October 2015 by Josh Schouten

Engineering this month will be taking a slight change in format. The aim of this is to reduce the main classes back down to a level more aimed at the beginners. By saying this does not mean that an intermediate to advanced CrossFitter will not be able to get a good solid workout while picking up a few extra tips on your tekkers.

At Momentum Training we pride ourselves on having a focus of the workouts and living by standards that are high. A movement that does cause controversy in the CrossFit world is the “Kipping Pull UP”. Shouldwe shouldn’t we? The debate is there for both sides. We strongly believe that doing kipping pull ups before you can manage strict is not advisable. Structural integrity of the body is paramount. We are here to make our clients fitter, stronger, faster and leaner. This isn’t going to happen if you are sitting in the corner injured because you have been swinging around on bars when possibly you shouldn’t have.

Recommended Reading:

The Kipping Pull Up 

Toes 2 Bar Part 1

Toes 2 Bar Part 2

Overview of the focus in Engineering Classes:

CrossFit Engineering
Monday CrossFit Endurance Focus Learning the ins and out for Crossfit Endurance or developing your aerobic energy systems
Tuesday Deadlift / Press Up / Kipping & Kipping Pull Up Improve Deadlifting form and the basis of pushing movements with Kipping progressions
Wednesday Power Snatch / Power Clean Olympic lifting made easy witht the addition of Wall Ball, Thrusters and Toes 2 Bar practise
Thursday Mobility Focus to open up those hip A focus on limiting factors of movement and focusing on structural balance to even out those imbalances