I’ve got a strange request.  I’m currently in Iraq and assist with Spit Fire CrossFit (back in the real world, I work at Wright-Patterson AFB and am a trainer at CF Wright-Patt).  Spit Fire is your typical military affiliate: lots of fit young soliders who think that if a 15 min metcon is good, then surely 45 mins is better.  Hero WODs?  Every fucking day. The problem is gains are minimal and the new/unfit/older crowd are either scared off or don’t bring their numbers up anytime soon.  I am an avid listener of Robb’s podcast (and follower of your blog) and know how you feel about daily excessively long metcons. I’ve had great success with MEBB program (both for myself and my small crew) and have been lately more and more convinced to make a switch to CFFB. 

We’re about to close up shop here and relocate and due to some personnel changes, I have the opportunity to put myself in charge of programming and alter our course from daily beat downs to something resembling smart programming. If it were completely up to me, we’d just follow your site to the letter and let the rest days fall where they do. The problem is our clients, including our general who is a fierce CrossFit advocate and an absolute badass for being 50+ (were talking Masters Level Games contender), expect to come to the gym M-Sat and get their workout on.  Like many civilian clients, our folks just can’t wrap their minds around rest days mid-week or if they do, they’re all on different days. Even better, we have folks who follow main site WODs and actually find other WODs to do on the main site rest days. Although, I’m level 1 and Westside certified, I am smart enough to know my shortcomings. So tweaking your program to a straight M-Sat operation in out of the question. I am looking for a recommendation on what I should do. I’m simply looking to shamelessly copy programming, since it’ll at least be a significant improvement over what we are doing now.  Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated!

Steve Grotjohn
Joint Base Balad, Iraq­­­


If I had a dollar for every time I have heard, “I have a strange request”…

The program runs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The rest days fall on Wednesday and Sunday. If you want to include an extra workout on Wednesday make it a run, alternate between 15 min and 20 min runs and volume sprints. Or my personal favorite, pick something from the CrossFit archives circa 2003-2004, if your guys want a beat down, give them one.

*At my own gym, we love clients that don’t take rest days and ask for a higher volume of training. We give them all they can handle and watch them implode. Sometimes, you have to let people figure things out for themselves. 

I feel the program lays out well with 5 training days a week. Most people would say adding another training day in there is suicide, but it is your funeral.

Have fun and keep a watchful eye on your soldiers. If you start to notice they are not making strength gains, you might try to put a padlock on the gym and force them into a rest day. Your only barometer should be strength gains.

Remember, you don’t’ get stronger during the workout. Training breaks the body down, rest and recovery allows the body to heal and adapt to the new imposed demands.