Conditioning Biased Programming

Why do you CrossFit?


Think about that answer.  Be honest with yourself. What was your intention when you started: losing weight, improving your fitness, enjoying life, being a competitive CrossFit athlete?

You will receive several benefits from joining a CrossFit box. You get to be part of a fun and motivating community.  You get coaching and instruction from qualified individuals. There is no guesswork about “what to do” at the gym. And the workouts are functional and applicable to everyday life. But, none of that would truly matter if you were not getting fitter.  

Programming is vital to ensuring that all the benefits mentioned above come together. It sets the standard for a community to thrive and for coaches to excel. The programming should allow the coach to spend ample time warming up the athletes, coaching them individually through the more complex movements, and preparing them for the workout of the day.   

In one of its simplest manifestations, Greg Glassman’s (CrossFit Founder) prescription was illustrated as his Theoretical Hierarchy of Development. In that pyramid, nutrition provides a foundation for metabolic conditioning, and they combine to support gymnastics. Nutrition, conditioning and the ability to control one’s body then allow mastery of external objects. All the elements combine to support sports performance.


To increase your overall fitness, to live the longest best life out of pain, to lose weight and continue to function at our best we should prioritize the bottom of the pyramid.  Are we focused on what we eat and how capable are we at continuous movements over different time durations?

Conditioning-Bias programming is a focus on improving our ability to handle work across different time domains. This programming is suitable for the majority of people who don’t choose to compete in the sport of CrossFit but rather in the “Sport of Life”.   The main goal is to increase health, fitness and longevity. No matter your age, weight, gender or health-status, the consistency with this programming will make you fitter, stronger, and healthier over the course of years and years into the future. As coaches, our goal is to not only make you fitter than you are today in 3 to 10 weeks, but we also want you to be fitter 10 years down the road too! We want to add quality years to our members’ lives.

Now, Conditioning-Bias programming does not mean you will never work on a strength movement. Strength movements are regularly added into a day’s programming as long as adding the strength movement before or after the workout compliments the WOD and allows for ample time in a class for coaching and individual attention. We want you to do lifts safely and proficiently.

At Sycamore CrossFit, you will primarily see conditioning-bias programming with a sprinkle of strength biased programming days.  We have found that most people can train this way safer and longer as it doesn’t tend to beat up the body as much as continuous strength training.  They are both beneficial and both have their place. If you want to be competitive in CrossFit, additional weightlifting or an additional strength bias might make sense, and you should ask a coach for more information.

We are currently on a conditioning-bias program and intend on continuing down that path. Will you get fit regardless of the bias we are focusing? YES, but at what price? Our job as coaches is to continually improve the programming by monitoring our members’ results and overall well being, all while minimizing the downside of aches and pains.  We will always tweak various aspects of the programming to achieve the best results for everyone. The most important thing for our members is to keep showing up and working hard!


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