How I Would Program For A CrossFit Box Now

Jan 29, 2024

If you’ve read any of my articles pre-2019 you probably remember many of the articles I wrote like here and here were geared toward improving programming for CrossFit boxes. Back then my primary business was just that - writing programming for boxes so as you could imagine a lot of the content I produced was geared toward that.

Since 2020 I actually don’t write programming for boxes anymore and handed that business off to a coach I had running at the time, but before I did myself and that coach had a conversation about how I would do things now vs. then and of course, a lot has changed since my first box programming client back in 2015, but even still a lot remains the same. 

To make this is as easy as I can to understand I’m going to highlight the system I used then and the system I’d use now and then discuss how the system today could potentially work and how you could implement this.

Then vs. Now…

Monday: Heavy Lower Strength Work + CrossFit specific conditioning piece (single element piece of couplet <10:00 time domain)
Tuesday: Upper Accessory Work + CrossFit specific (triplet or multiple element conditioning piece 10-15:00 time domain) 
Wednesday: Aerobic Conditioning piece (multiple elements but cyclical work would be the primary aspect of this session, 20-30:00 time domain)
Thursday: Speed Lower + GPP work. 
Friday: Speed Upper + CrossFit specific conditioning piece (single element piece of couplet <10:00 time domain)
Saturday: Partner Conditioning piece, multiple element, 30:00 minute domain with work/rest built in
Sunday: Yes, I used to program work on Sunday’s, but absolutely hated programming these sessions and felt it was completely unnecessary so I’m not going to spend any energy talking about it here.


Monday: Full Body Strength Work + GPP Work Finisher
Tuesday: Mixed Aerobic Conditioning, 30-40:00 time domain
Wednesday: Full Body Strength + Single Element Finisher
Thursday: Mixed Aerobic Conditioning, 30-40:00 time domain
Friday: Full Body Strength Work + GPP Work Finisher
Saturday: Partner Conditioning Piece

Why The Change?

One of the major pushbacks we had was to schedule, the “what if my client only comes these days?” My thoughts then were we should tailor the program to the most committed people as they are the ones that get the best results and those that only come 2x per week will eventually need to come more if they want to continue to make progress.

Now, I’d argue that we have a duty to give everyone what they need to be successful regardless of their schedule, and using a full-body split provides a bigger overall bang for the buck. Moreover, it’s a great style of training to ingrain good motor patterns, get people strong, and of course, improve body composition.

I know you’re probably wondering, what the ‘new & improved’ version of box programming looks like so here it is:


Full Body Strength Circuit:

1a. Front Box Squat: 3 x 6-8. Rest 45s.
1b. Single Leg RDLs: 3 x 6-8 each. Rest 45s.
1c. Single Arm DB Push Press: 3 x 6-8 each. Rest 45s.
1d. Chest Supported DB Rows: 3 x 10-12. Rest 45s.
1a. Air Bike Sprint: 3 x 20 seconds. No rest.
1b. Heavy Farmer Carry: 3 x 100 ft. Rest 2:00


25 Calorie Ski Erg
20 Air Squats
15 Calorie Air Bike
10 Kettlebell Snatch each side
5 Burpee Box Jumps (30, 24)
Rest 60s between rounds


Full Body Strength Circuit

1a. Alternating DB Floor Press: 3 x 8-10 each. Rest 60s.
1b. Barbell Glute Hip Thrust: 3 x 15-20. Rest 60s.
1c. Close Grip Chin-up: 3 x submax (1 rep shy of failure). Rest 60s.

For time:
21 DB Man Makers
*8:00 time cap


Reps & Calories of
40, 30, 20, 10:
Ski or Rower
Air Bike 
Walking BW Lunges 
Double Unders
Abmat Sit-ups


1a. Power Clean Technique Work: 3 x 3. Rest 45s.
1b. DB Split Jerk: 3 x 3 each. Rest 45s. 


3 x 30s on/30s off:
1a. Russian KB Swings
1b. Goblet Squats
1c. Hand Release Push-ups
1d. Ring Rows


Partner Conditioning
With a running clock in teams of 2 - one athlete completes a full round at a time:

0:00 - 10:00
Alt. DB Snatch x 8 (total) 
Burpees Over the DB x 8
Wall Balls x 8

12:00 - 22:00
Air Bike Cals x 8
DB Clean + Press x 8 (total)
Overhead DB Carry x 50 ft. each side

24:00 - 34:00
400 meter Run

Program Breakdown

This schedule utilizing a full body split ensures that people showing up to your gym will get what they need to be successful. It also ensures your classes are time efficient allowing you to maximize your 60-minute block of time. 

Yes, there are no high-skill elements of CrossFit like kipping or snatching, but use your best discretion with those things - I stopped writing programming for boxes mainly because I didn’t believe in subjecting people to those things and know I could spend their time better elsewhere so you won’t see me doing that here.

As far as the strength circuits go, these are designed to be challenging where you build over the course of 3-4 weeks - 3 sets means 3 work sets where all sets, not to include warm-up sets.

This program is overly simple on purpose as you have a wide range of abilities in any group class which means simplicity will go a long way for both beginners and advanced trainees.


The two biggest factors of what I would do now vs. then are switching to a full-body approach delivered twice a week in a circuit format and one day delivered in a power pairing format and completely simplifying the approach regardless of movement complexity and using conditioning work where I know the large majority will receive the intended stimulus all while still keeping the CrossFit group training community feel.

I’m sure many would disagree with this approach as it negates many aspects of CrossFit, but I’d still encourage those people to consider how we can make a bigger impact on more people - you’d be hard-pressed to find people who want to compete in CrossFit at a high level in a CrossFit group class.

In case you're wondering, this programming resembles my training subscription EVOLV - check that out here.