A Fresh Page. The New Cycle for 2014.

*A quick edit!  The CrossFit Open overlords have decided that the WOD will be released late on Thursday night this year.  As such, we will be completing the CrossFit Open WODs during season (starting Feb. 27th!) on Fridays of every week.  This means we will also be PRACTICING the WODs on Fridays as well – and THAT means that we’ll have to change our programming cycle a bit.  Basically, Friday and Wednesday are changing places! If you have any questions or concerns about this – feel free to email us!

LOOKING TO CUT TO THE CHASE? Here’s the next cycle of programming and projected schedule. I’d highly recommend reading the below though – much of the information given on the above document will not make sense without it!

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I don’t really know about all of you, but as the year comes to a close I naturally gravitate towards starting to think about how the year behind me has gone, and what I would like to change in the year to come. It’s difficult not to do!  Whether you wax contemplative over the New Year watching the ball drop through a haze of dranking OR whether you’re happy to have the day at home with a loved one, New Year’s is about looking back to better adjust our gaze forward. And what, as a community of strong and fit people, do we see?

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Attendees to the New Year’s WOD from last year: “The Reckoning”

I see a revolution of sorts in our time together. A LOT has happened in 2013.

This year we’ve said goodbye to a few coaches, hello to a few new coaches. We’ve had a few people leave CFCC to pursue different dreams across the country, across the world. We’ve gained members who have been there and back and have allowed us to learn more about ourselves just in training by them. We’ve suffered through another CrossFit Open together. We’ve watched a few of our own go to Regionals. We competed wherever and whenever we could locally. We’ve cheered our lifters on at home in the Spring and in the Fall, and Nationally. We’ve gone through some serious body composition changes. We got some new toys. We tried to organize some of our old ones – even the really big stuff. We’ve gained some new skills, and new strengths. We got some more muscle-ups! We gave away weird prizes. We’ve prommed our hearts out again. We deadlifted in a National Park to honor the 4th of July. We fall balled. We paint balled. We movnatted. We’ve learned together. We grew better beards. We took our fitness outside of the gym (even to run/bike/swim!). We’ve tried to use our powers for good. We made some new friends. We’ve welcomed some new lives into the world together. We’ve struggled through real life together.

It has been a year of firsts, beginnings, fun, fitness, and huge life-changing moves.

4th of july

4th of July WOD in Washington Square Park.

On January 3, 2014, CFCC will be entering it’s 6th year of existence.  This year, more than ever, I have been learning that the nature of business, of fitness, and really in a lot of ways, of life – is change.  As this business and the community of CrossFit in the larger Philadelphia area grow – so must our staff, so must our programming, so must our coaching. As you continue to get stronger, more skilled, and more fit as an athlete, the nature of what you are doing is that you will never arrive at an endpoint.

For many people, including myself, this constant state of change and growth can sometimes be both inspiring AND overwhelming at the same time. It can also be very frustrating to feel that you are always moving, but never arriving! What I hope to learn in 2014, is to be at home in this state of flux, to embrace it for what it is: a sign that we are alive and kicking, that we are growing in breadth and depth as a community, as a staff, and as athletes.

Taking a look at CrossFit’s definition of what CrossFit is, this premise makes sense: “CrossFit begins with a belief in fitness. The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. We have sought to build a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency — not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable. After looking at all sport and physical tasks collectively, we asked what physical skills and adaptations would most universally lend themselves to performance advantage. Capacity culled from the intersection of all sports demands would quite logically lend itself well to all sport. In sum, our specialty is not specializing.”

It is with this goal in mind that the Coaches and I have deliberated over the New Year’s Programming and come up with a very different format. This format involves splitting up the programming at CFCC into three different levels that entirely depend on what your GOAL in being here is: Fitness, Performance, Competition.

Fitness: Are you primarily interested in being at CFCC to be fit for your life and to derive as much pleasure out of training as possible? Are you looking to be held to a strict standard of solid mechanics on a wide variety of simple, but challenging movements? Are you looking to create more balance in your physical structure? Are you looking to cultivate a solid focus on conditioning? Are you interested in doing all this with the LOWEST risk of injury possible and the HIGHEST reward of body composition gains?  Then this level of participation is for you.  This level is now going to be embodied in a program at CFCC called PhillyFit (more info on this coming below).

Performance: Are you in love with CrossFit at it’s fullest: Snatches and Cleans, Kettlebell Work, Heavy Lifts, the occasional long metcon, running/rowing/biking/jumping, the Benchmarks, heavy overhead work, and lots of variety?  Perhaps you occasionally use your CrossFit-ness to compete in local events and to try every year to be just a little bit better during the CrossFit Open?  If so, then this program is right up your alley and the programming for the normal Workout of the Day is designed for you!  Attend 4-5 days out of 7 and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goal!

Competition: Do you get sweaty just talking about the CrossFit Games? Do you get the most pleasure out of the WODs where you can feel yourself getting better because another athlete is pushing you? Are you willing to sacrifice time, money, and in many cases, health and sleep for greater glory? Or, do you simply have a competition coming up that you would like specific programming for in small groups? This level is absolutely NOT for everyone – but for those of you who enjoy Competitive CrossFit the most – we want to provide a way for you to do it intelligently, as healthfully as possible, and with the most success as possible. This level is embodied in the Accelerate program (more info on our next cycle of Accelerates is below).

Most of you are familiar with the picture below but some of you may not be.  The premise behind this picture is that at any point in time for MOST of us we desire to have some degree of each one of these things: Longevity, Health, AND Performance. That is to say, we want to live longer, live more healthfully, and live with the ability to perform well. When we engage in certain activities, we are always going to make a sacrifice in ONE direction or another.

For instance, if we choose to focus on Fitness, we may not be capable at any given time of the HIGHEST performance possible, but we will be excelling in health and longevity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if we are focusing on Competition, we may excel in performance and be relatively healthy, but we sacrifice longevity with sleep and a higher potential risk of injury and stress. In the same way that no one of us would go our entire lives without having a piece of cake or a great beer, finding balance here is NOT about absolutes – instead, it’s about taking the time to consciously decide what it is we want, and to allow that decision to keep our day-to-day lives in check. There should always be a time to reassess and take time to learn and play new sports!  Remember, specialize in not specializing!

A short word on periodization: 

We spend the year at CFCC trying to better our fitness by taking a look at the whole picture of what can be done with a year. Much of what we prepare for has everything to do with a test we collectively take once a year: The CrossFit Open. The CrossFit Open is a worldwide competition that anyone can enter for $20 that involves completion of a judged workout which is released once every week for five weeks. The best of the best of the Open go on to compete in Regionals and at the CrossFit Games.  It is for this competition, that our entire year of training ebbs and flows. Directly after the competition taking place in April, we shift our programming focus to becoming stronger for next year. The summer is spent doing the same with the additional focus of spending time on skills (specifically gymnastics and olympic lifting) and fun (SUMMER!). During the fall we shift again towards biasing strength – this is the body’s naturally favorite time to get strong (it’s colder, the nights are longer). Finally, as approach the New Year we start to develop specific adaptations for the CrossFit Open – we work to apply our strength and skills. This is how we periodize in a year of CrossFit Athletic Training, but it’s also a great way for an athlete at any level to gradually adapt to many facets of fitness without trying to do everything at once!  And if you’re worried about not getting enough out of a program like PhillyFit from a periodization perspective, check this out. 

As the New Year draws closer, we would ask each one of you to spend just a moment thinking about what it is that YOU want out of this year. Take time to do this, and then check out the projected programming and schedule set to debut in preparation for the CrossFit Open (March!) on Monday, January 6th!

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water, my friend.” ― Bruce Lee


It is with all of the above in mind that we would like to introduce PhillyFit!

The PhillyFit program powered by CFCC is designed for individuals who want to develop baseline strength and conditioning. In this program you will not find prescribed weights or high skill complex movements. PhillyFit is designed to get individuals fit, fix muscular imbalances, and learn new skills. The workouts will be challenging and test your ability to maximize physical potential. The goal is to teach individuals how to practice good movement patterns and breathe efficiently within metabolically demanding workouts while increasing overall strength. Whether you are just coming out of Elements, completely new to working out, or simply feel like you need additional development of the basics, PhillyFit will be the bridge you need to get closer to Fitness that supports your life!

More Details:

Price: $150/month (new members, seasoned members, and even members who HAVEN’T complete Elements may participate in this program for the same price – it is assumed you will not be attending regular Workout of the Day classes at the same time).

Schedule: M-Th: 530pm, 630pm – 8 person cap per class, Saturday: TBD by the members, will be the only barbell dominant class in the week.

*This program begins on January 6th! Classes are open to PhillyFit members only. All classes (except Saturday) will take place in a space that is currently being developed in the gym for these classes.

Head Coach and contact info: Perrin Behr, perrin@crossfitcc.com


And, as many of you have been anticipating – there are MANY new Accelerate cycles coming!  Here they are in full, email info@crossfitcc.com to hold your spot!

Remember: each accelerate cycle is small group personal training and entirely personalized programming intended for members who are looking to accelerate their progress toward specific training goals. Each of these cycles allow for the participants to spend time in a designated part of the gym all to themselves. All of the 5-week cycles begin on the week of 1/6/14 – payment is required in full on 1/3/14 – please remember, payment is IN ADDITION to your normal membership rates.  We know this is a HUGE investment, but you will also be using the gym on more days than your Accelerate cycle for each of these programs in addition to receiving 1-on-1 contact with a Coach 2-3x a week.


$225/per person. Mon, Wed, & Fri – 6-730am. A minimum of 5 people is required for this cycle to run, and 2 spots have already been claimed so hurry! The maximum number of participants is 5.  Perrin’s cycle will meet principally in the Oly area and then depending on athlete’s training needs throughout the gym.


$200/per person. Tues & Fri – 430-6pm. A minimum of 4 people is required for this cycle to run, a maximum of 6 participants is allowed. Greg’s cycle will meet in the Oly area. This a strength-dominant cycle.


$225/per person. Mon & Wed – 730-9pm. Saturday training time, TBD based on participant’s schedules.  A minimum of 8 total people is required for this cycle to run. A maximum of 10 will be allowed. Both Tim and Danny will be coaching and programming for this cycle. Participants will have access to the Oly area from 730-830pm and will then have full reign of the gym for further specific use after 830pm.


$200/per person. Tues & Thurs, 7-830am. A minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 6 athletes are required for this cycle to run. Will start the week of 1.27.14.  Much of this course will be held outside for running – running work will be supplemented by corrective strength work and drills indoors.

With all this to start us off, 2014 is bound to be our best year yet!

Rittenhouse Run 2013slideshows
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