Programming Analysis, Part 2: Movement Selection & Frequency

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Editor’s Note: Programming Analysis: Part 2” was originally published to the Beyond the Whiteboard blog on 8 May 2014 and is re-posted here with permission. Programming Analysis, Part 2: Movement Selection & Frequency has been posting a single Workout of the Day (WOD) on their main page since 2001. This seemingly innocuous act has snowballed into the most disruptive fitness movement the industry has ever seen. It has led to over 9,000 independently owned CrossFit® Affiliate Gyms, and over 200,000 competitors in the Sport of Fitness™.

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the programming based on Workout Modality. In Part 2 we are looking at Movement Selection and Frequency. In Part 3, we look at Workout Selection and Frequency.

Movement Selection and Frequency WODs (2008-2013)
  • Total number of distinct movements assigned: 218
  • Total number of movements assigned only once: 81
  • Most Assigned Monostructural Movement: Run
  • Most Assigned Gymnastics Movement: Pull-up
  • Most Assigned Weightlifting Movement: Deadlift
Top 30 Movements

Top 30 Movements
It’s interesting to look at the most commonly assigned movements on (2008-2013). It can give us a very real sense of which movements are seen as paramount to the programmers at CrossFit HQ. Looking at the ebb and flow of particular movement frequencies can give us insight into their evolving ideas of what the most important/effective movements are.

The top 10 movements are consistently assigned twice monthly or more.

Running has been assigned on a weekly basis throughout this entire period. Rowing has seen a steady increase in popularity over that time, and is now prescribed about twice a month.

Standard Pull-ups have seen a very consistent decline over this period, from a high of 74 times in 2008 to a low of 37 times in 2013. Rings Dips have also fallen out of favor over this period.

The Deadlift is the most commonly prescribed single lift, but if we combine “Clean” variations, they are seen with a similar frequency as Deadlifts. See the chart below for the full trends of the top 30 movements.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 9.50.32 PM

(Number of WODs featuring each movement, per year and overall)

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 10.07.18 PM

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