At one point, you’ve probably wondered about the two separate programs written on the whiteboard each day. Most of the time “Fitness” and “Performance” have different skills or movement patterns, but each one of the two programs has its intended outcome. Also, one is not considered “beginner” or “advanced” (often, they take turns in which is more difficult!). Let’s break it down:

Fitness is a program written with the intention of increasing general strength, metabolic conditioning, coordination and good positioning for functional movement. Many members first begin in the “Fitness” program in order to learn proper movement with different types of equipment, while still being able to achieve high intensity during daily strength sessions and WODs. Those in fitness will also tend to see an increased range of motion/mobility over their first few months of following this program. While some begin in the fitness program, many athletes decide to continue the fitness program throughout their class experience in order to continue increasing their workout intensity with familiar movements.

Performance is a program with the intention of increasing an athlete’s performance in the “sport” area of CrossFit. Members will sometimes transition to the performance program because they are looking to focus on increasing muscular strength and endurance, learn and master technically sound movements such as Olympic lifting or gymnastics, and to also achieve high intensity during WODs. During the transition period, an athlete may sometimes experience a lowered-intensity as a result from their workout due to the ease of proper technique and loading with new movements and skills. For example, when transitioning from Fitness to Performance, one might not go directly into the “prescribed” 135/95# overhead squats, when the athlete has not yet mastered the overhead squat with the empty barbell (Read our article “Should I Rx”? here).

Competition is a selective program for athletes who are not only proficient with a wide-base of General Physical Preparedness (see CrossFit Journal article on “GPP” here), but are also looking to compete in the “sport” of CrossFit. This type of competition is not necessarily for the recreational CrossFitter, looking to enter a weekend competition with friends. This program emphasizes preparation for peak performance in competition(s) such as in the CrossFit Open. Competition programming is written with very specific strength, skill and metabolic conditioning outcomes, and often require an additional 1-2 hours of training when completed in its entirety. The topic of “A Competitor’s Training and Lifestyle” is soon to follow with more detail.

Head Coach, Scott Pecucci, finds great care and enthusiasm when programming for CrossFit Des Plaines. If you have found success in following the programming, or have a suggestion or idea, please feel free to leave feedback on our Member Satisfaction Survey. We coaches are always open to hearing how you are progressing towards your goals at CFDP. Happy training!