By: Josh Dempsey
One of the primary constraints in programming CrossFit workouts is a scarcity of time. We’ve got one hour to cram in a thorough warm up, skill work, strength & power development, and finally hit some conditioning to round things out. Our programming lens is typically focused at the weekly level – are we striking a good balance of workout types, movement patterns, rep schemes, loading, etc. across a 7 day period? While we do our best to be as well rounded as possible, the inherent breadth and depth of CrossFit can make this challenging. One way we’ve tried to mitigate this scarcity problem is by programming weekly “Extra Credit” finishers. Extra credit
(EC) is just that – an additional, voluntary add-on to your current workout designed to address or focus on a common athlete weakness or omission in that weeks programming, or simply something we’d like to place a short-term emphasis on. These EC finishers should be done pre- or post-WOD, as a way to add productive volume to your current training workload without contribution to any significant fatigue or soreness. How often should you do the EC? Probably at least 2-3 in a given week, possibly more depending on what it is. Let’s say the EC is kettlebell swings, but we’ve already done a ton in that day’s WOD, maybe you skip it. However, let’s say the EC is banded glute bridges, or 5 minutes of the couch stretch, those you could and probably should try to do every day you are at the gym. Everyone is looking for improved performance and better returns from their workouts. Stop skipping the obvious solution or pretending you’ll do something more at home- take 5-10 minutes after class to work your weaknesses and round out your fitness.