Welcome to Misfit Athletics. Our mission is to provide the most well-rounded CrossFit program on the planet for elite and aspiring competitive CrossFit athletes. In today’s competitive climate, you are asked to be exceptional at an overwhelming number of disciplines in this sport, and because of that there cannot be a one size fits all program. Plain and simple any claims to having such a program are bullshit, so instead we’ve created a program that hits all of the necessary wickets and then provides the athlete with the ability to customize the program to attack individual weaknesses. Below you’ll learn how we structure our programming, how to choose which of our three programs to follow, what a standard day of training looks like. Let’s get started.
To understand what we ask for on a daily and weekly basis, you have to understand the program from a macro level. The competitive season requires athletes to be ready 12 months out of the year, especially if you intend to compete at multiple Sanctional or non-sanctioned events . That’s why we created our Phase structure, where over the course of the year you’ll go through seven 7-week phases, all of which put an emphasis on general physical preparedness, or GPP. Variance is the name of the game, and the bread and butter of our sport is exposing yourself to as many movement combinations, time domains, and implements as possible. We also think about training pieces based on “how they feel” and the energy systems we are looking to manipulate, because everyone knows how a workout like Fran makes you feel, and how it’s very different from 30 muscle ups for time or a long 5 round grind. We think about these things and ensure the program hits these demands in order to prepare you for the broadest, most outlandish things you could possibly face in any event with a smirk that says: “eh, I’ve done worse”.
Choosing the right program for you
When we started Misfit Athletics, we provided one program for the masses. Although it still had the optional training pieces you see today and was incredibly broad, we realized that even those options didn’t allow for maximum customization for aspiring athletes to progress from average to exceptional. Enter our Hatchet and Age Group Programs. Today, we provide three different programs that can be customized further to truly meet the needs of any athlete. Choosing the right program is critical in your journey as an athlete, and when doing so you must take into consideration everything from your goals, the time you have each day, the resources and support structure at your disposal, and your ability to recover from day to day and week to week. Remember that more is usually not better, better is better. Relative intensity is king and hitting the stimulus of the workout rather than what is written on the website is your fast track to success. Read on to choose the right program for you.
The MFT program is for today’s upper end RX/Elite Sanctional and aspiring or current Games athlete. If that doesn’t narrow it down, you should be inside/around the top 300 in the CrossFit Open worldwide leaderboard before considering the volume and intensity of MFT. A daily dose of programming will consist of anywhere from 3-4 mandatory training pieces and an additional 1-2 optional pieces plus accessory work. To maximize the effectiveness of this program we recommend anywhere from 3-5 hours per day depending on the training, and ideally breaking that up into 2 separate sessions. Your lifestyle needs to allow for 8.5-10 hours of sleep and a dialed in nutrition plan to truly maximize the MFT program. This is for the big dogs.
Think of the Hatchet program as our feeder system for MFT. It presents you with extremely challenging workouts, skills, and weights that are best for the majority of CrossFitters with a desire to get into the competitive scene, eventually moving up to MFT when you can dedicate the necessary time in the gym and intensity to each training piece. The phases of the Hatchet program are the exact same as the MFT program, but with only 3 training pieces per day you can really dial up the intensity and focus rather than going through the motions and spending hours upon hours in the gym. The workouts are typically modified versions of MFT workouts (sometimes they’re the exact same) but are by no means “scaled”. Hatchet is the single best place you can start your competitive CrossFit journey, and we believe it is the most appropriate program for 95-99% of Misfits.
The Age Group program is for athletes in the Masters and Teens age groups who are looking to crack the top 200 in the Open and compete for a spot at the CrossFit Games via the Age Group Online Qualifier. The program blends the volume of MFT with the weights and intensities of the Hatchet program for the most well-rounded age group program around. For teens 14-15 and Masters 55+, you will occasionally see provide Age Division Modifications, or ADMs, for each training piece as required based on standards we’ve seen in the Open, Games, and what we believe is reasonable. What makes this program different is that we take more care to moderate the volume of things like squatting, overhead work, jumping, and more to ensure recovery is possible from day to day. Depending on the Phase, we also provide “Maintenance” pieces that include mobility and accessory work to help keep your body healthy.
The Misfit Anywhere program was born out of two intersecting ideas. The first is a long time request for people who wanted to follow along with the journey of our brand that either weren’t interested in competing, or have prioritized other parts of their life. The second idea is a growing population of people without access to a gym or loads of equipment. These needs intersecting gave us the push to create the very first Misfit Athletics programming track for anyone and everyone that want to be in shape to facilitate a happy and healthy life. Five days a week you will find a strength session, conditioning session, and some extra credit that will build up both sides of that coin over time. The other two days a week provide guidance on active rest and rest day protocols. One of the most unique elements of Misfit Anywhere is the daily health and wellness programming. Categories like non-exercise movement, breath work, and hot/cold exposure bring the program full circle and present important ideas on what a healthy lifestyle looks like. Long story short, Misfit Anywhere is for absolutely everyone. To get started we recommend having at least one set of dumbbells and a jump rope. From there luxury items include barbell/weight sets, a pull up bar, and a piece of cardio equipment like a rower or stationary bike to save you from too many burpees and miles on the open road.
Now that you understand a bit about the programs we provide, let’s talk about what you’re looking at in a typical training day. One of the cornerstones to our program is the customization we afford our athletes by providing “mandatory” and “optional” training pieces. For our MFT and Age Group programs, each day you’ll first see anywhere from 3-4 mandatory training pieces, followed by directions as to how many of the following optional pieces you should choose from. When choosing optional work, we’re expecting you to pick the things you least want to do, and therefore probably need to do most. Once again, RELATIVE intensity is your fast track to success. Attempting to perform more work than you’re ready for or able to recover from is a recipe for disaster. We usually recommend athletes begin with the Hatchet volume (3 pieces per day) and gradually introduce more volume as you adapt to it.
Ok, we’re not trying to insult your intelligence, but so many of you have asked for warm ups in the past that we provide one for you. Note that depending on how many training sessions you do or which training pieces you choose to do first, the warm up may or may not apply. Our warm up is a recommendation, but you should know yourself best as to what you need for the upcoming session.
Squat, press, pull, snatch, clean, jerk… you get it. These may be labeled “Lift”, “Strength”, “Oly”, or something along those lines. Sometimes we prescribe percentages and sometimes we use the description to describe the stimulus. Unless we prescribe rest or the lifting is on some sort of clock, you should rest as needed.
Classic CrossFit. These are usually your standard CrossFit workouts and usually do not include rest built in. They’re your standards “3 rounds for time” or “AMRAP” style workouts. This is your bread and butter.
Also fairly self explanatory, intervals allow you to push harder for a shorter period that you would if it were a longer conditioning piece. Go hard, rest, repeat.
Unique to Misfit Athletics, Bitch Work is the term we use to describe the terrible and/or boring stuff no one likes to do, which also means it has a massive return on investment. We’ll ask you to go really long, or sell your soul on an assault bike as many times as it takes until you can’t do anything but laugh as that little pesky devil on your shoulder that makes you feel sorry for yourself goes away. It’s boring, it sucks, it’ll make you very uncomfortable, and it’ll make you better. You’re welcome.
Low intensity skill sessions with a purpose enable you to really drill home movements that require practice outside of a conditioning environment. These may be gymnastics, handstand walking around obstacles, odd dumbbell movements, and more. These should be treated as “for quality” rather than for time.
Stay healthy. We ask a lot of you, so maintaining your body is insanely important, so we provide a combination of upper and lower body, as well as midline exercises that should be done at submaximal loading and intensity with an emphasis on control and quality. Pieces labeled “Optional Accessories” do not count toward your optional training pieces for the day.
Each day, written below our metcons, intervals, and Bitchwork you will see three components that describe to you how the training piece should be performed. While they are really pretty simple, these three components have very specific definitions that are meant to help you pull the most out of each training piece. Descriptions are presented with three criteria:
- Duration: What is the approximate time domain of the workout?
- Feel: How should I feel during/after the workout?
- Pacing: What pacing strategy/approach should I use to get the desired stimulus?
Within each of these criteria are terms that help us communicate to you the answers to those questions. Those definitions are below.
- Duration: the intended time frame for completed work to fall in, minus determined rest periods. Short (0-10 minutes), Medium (8-16 minutes) and Long (16+ minutes).
- Feel: the intended stimulus of the workout.
Conditioning: workout written to allow for smooth unbroken movements and fast transitions. Weights and rep schemes allow for continuous movement with the limiting factor being how hard you can push without having to stop.
Gas: workout written to intentionally to push your heart rate out of a comfortable range, forcing you to stop at some point. Strategy is very individual-dependent and will vary workout to workout, but this type of workout is aimed at trying to stop you with cardiovascular overload. This is akin to feeling like you got the wind knocked out of you and have to regain your breath.
Muscular Overload: workout intentionally written to create overloaded areas of musculature with specific sets of movements. The workout is aimed at trying to stop you with extreme muscular fatigue.
- Pacing: The intended overall pace at which you move through the workout.
Forever: The pace at which you could perform the workout if it was an hour long AMRAP or long endurance event.
Sustain: Considering the total volume of the workout, the pace that you could stay at for the entire duration of the workout whether it is a continuous effort or not.
Reach: Considering the total volume of the workout, a faster pace than you would normally perform if it at if it was straight through or an interval style workout. For example, if the workout was: 3 rounds of 10 Clean and Jerks at 165/115lbs with a 1:00 rest after each set, a “Reach” pace indicates we want you to perform those sets of 10 at a faster pace than if the workout were simply 30 Clean and Jerks For Time.
Send: Reckless pacing aimed at improving your highest outputs. Do not consider total volume of the workout, only the volume of the task you are performing while you are performing it. Send it.
Weakness templates are the next step in customizing your program and should be used as a way to shore up a weakness that’s holding you back. These templates are 4-7 week programs designed to tackle weaknesses in every area of your game from snatching to muscle ups, swimming to running and everywhere in between. These templates are available to Pro subscribers, but you can learn more about them HERE.
Wow. That was a lot. Now that you have an understanding of what goes into the Misfit Athletics program, it’s time to kick off the training wheels and get to work. To supplement all of this basic information, we are constantly providing more and more information and training tips via our Blog, the Misfit Podcast, subscriber email, social media channels, and the website itself to set you up for success every day. Below are links to some of those resources for you to add to your favorites before getting started. Give it hell, and good luck!
Misfit Athletics YouTube Channel
Follow @misfitathletics on Instagram
Check out the Misfit Podcast, or search for the Misfit Podcast wherever you get your podcasts: