FAQ: 9 Tips for Programming Workouts in SugarWOD

By October 18, 2016How To

The workout is the heart of your box and as many of you know, programming each week at your box has the potential to be stressful and time consuming. We are here to help! SugarWOD has 1000s of workouts preloaded in the SugarWOD library that are easy to search and program for the week. Take a moment to watch the short video on programming in the app, if you haven’t already!

There are other features that you can use such as creating your own workout, adding custom benchmarks for your box and sending notifications to your athletes when you publish each workout. With the ease of programming your week, more time can be spent growing your business and helping your gym community thrive!

Our goal here at SugarWOD is to ensure your workout process is optimized and with that we have compiled a few frequently asked questions. Below you will find our FAQs for programming workouts in SugarWOD.     

1. Why and/or when should I use the built-in benchmarks?

We suggest using the preloaded workouts whenever possible! Doing so provides measurable data for you as a coach and for your athletes. Using the preloaded workouts will automatically track PRs and workout history over time. It is easy to look up previous scores for repeated workouts before class by selecting the Prepare section on the Whiteboard page. This allows your athletes to come to class prepared knowing how they performed last go-round and saves time in class! Woo!

The 1000s of workouts we have preloaded include:

  • Barbell Lifts  (e.g. 5x3 Overhead Squat, 5x5 Back Squat)
  • Girls (e.g. Fran, Elizabeth, Helen)
  • Heroes (e.g. Nate, Joshie, DT)
  • Endurance (e.g. 10x100M Run)
  • Games (e.g. Open Workouts, Heavy DT, The Separator)
  • Notables (e.g. Fight Gone Bad, Filthy Fifty, Nasty Girls)
  • Gymnastics (e.g. Handstand Walk: Max Distance, 30 Muscle Ups).
2. How do I program a One Rep Max day?

A One Rep Max (RM) day can be programmed two ways in the SugarWOD app, depending on how you would like your athletes to complete the workout.

Option 1: Say the athletes have 20 minutes to establish 1RM. You can program “Barbell 1x1” from the workout library under the barbell benchmarks. Drag the workout  over to the day you would like this to be programmed. You can then edit the title to “20 Min to Establish 1RM” adding whatever notes you would like to include in the description and your scoring component will be a 1x1. The athletes will can then log their heaviest attempt for the day and track their score over time for this specific movement.

Option 2: You may also use the preloaded “Barbell 7x1 or 5x1” or however many number of attempts you would like your athletes to have to work towards their heaviest single. With this method, the athletes would record each lift having the ability to note if it were a “good” or a “miss” lift.   

Both of these barbell movements are acceptable as they provide the athletes with the ability track their progress, PRs and add their own notes (i.e. “off day”, “feeling great!” etc...)

3. How do I program an Every Minute On the Minute (EMOM)?

There are a couple of ways you can program an EMOM workout in SugarWOD. If your EMOM is a Barbell movement we suggest you pull from the Barbell workout library. For example,

The workout is a 2 rep squat clean EMOM for 20 minutes. Simply, that is a 20x2 barbell movement. Increases in load or maintaining load throughout is still measurable and trackable. You can change the title to EMOM and use descriptive text so your athletes can understand how it is going to work in class.

If your EMOM has more than one movement and you are not able to find something that satisfies what you are programming in the library, you can create a Custom Workout. You can create an EMOM with 1 score type that focuses on the most important aspect (e.g Deadlift load or Bar Muscle-Up Reps). Athletes can use the Notes section to log important notes and scaling options of the workout.  

4. How do I put a time cap on a Metcon?  

For this we suggest using a time score. If the athletes reach the time cap, they can put the cap number for their score and add rep count and other notes from the workout in their notes section. For the athletes that complete the workout under the time cap, they will use their time score and if completed by Rx standards or scaled.

Additionally, a one-second penalty can be added to the timed score for reps that are not completed.

5. When should I create a custom workout?  

We suggest using a custom workout anytime you do not have a predefined workout, such as a workout from the preloaded library. Custom workouts can be a workout for your everyday programming, someone’s birthday, Warm-ups, etc. Whatever it may be, the likelihood of completing this specific workout again is slim. These custom workouts are not necessarily a reference or a benchmark for you.

Coaches can also use the search tool in the Workout Library for specific movements and components the workout should include. You may find a workout that satisfies your programming needs in our preloaded library! For example, if you want to program a workout that has deadlifts and pull ups, simply search for those two movements and drag and drop one of the workouts found to your calendar. You can further refine your search results using the filters located on the left side of the workout library.

For other tips, check out the custom workout article!

6. When is it useful to create a Gym Benchmark?

Gym benchmarks for your box will give you measurable data and given that we like to see our improvements and progress, these may be used to test your athletes over time.

Individual athletes will also have access to your Gym Benchmarks in their app. They can log their score if they were able to complete it outside of group class giving them the capability to measure their progress with what you are programming.

Gym Benchmarks may also benefit your gym with the On-ramp or beginner course.  Many times this is a personal training setting or small group class and would be available for the On-ramp athletes to log in the SugarWOD app.  This is a great way to include On-ramp athletes and get them started with logging their scores, seeing their improvements and experiencing the camaraderie that we know and love! FIST BUMPS! 

You may find more information on Gym Benchmarks here. 

7. How would I program multiple workout components in one day?

For the days you programming more than one component (e.g. strength + a metcon) we suggest programming 2 different workouts, rather than creating your own custom workout to include both.

We have found this works best since you will have a score for each component. If your components are lumped together in one programmed day, your athletes will not be able to track history on barbell movements and other preloaded workouts such as Girls, Heroes, Games, etc. Creating a separate workout is crucial for components you want to measure and PR data you want to track.  

8. How would I create 3-level programming?

Many gyms are now using a 3 level programming tier (e.g. fitness, performance and competitor). There are 2 ways to set this up in SugarWOD:

1) Create 3 tracks, one for each level, add the appropriate workout variation to each track, and ask athletes to subscribe to the track which suits them best.

2) Use a single track (typically the "Workout of the Day" track), and specify the workout variations within the workout description. Your athletes can just note which level they followed (e.g. "Did #performance option @ 135#").

There are pros and cons to each approach, but we typically recommend using method #2.  The advantages to method #2 are:

  • All your athletes stay "together" on the same track and workout, making social interactions easier,
  • Athletes typically move between the programming levels based on the movements and weights of a particular day. Having workouts on multiple tracks make this harder.
  • It simplifies your programming and saves you time.
9. How do I make sure workouts are published on time?  

The term scheduled is referring to when you have physically programmed the WOD. For example, you search for Fran and dropped that workout on Tuesday. Fran is scheduled for Tuesday. Athletes will perform Fran on Tuesday.

When referring to your workouts being published, that is in reference to when you want the push notifications coming through on your athletes phones, on your website using our plugin and BoxTVs. You can read more on workout publishing and notifications here!

Push notifications can be lagged if there is a high volume of gyms publishing workouts at the same time (e.g. multiple gyms on the East Coast publishing at 8:00 pm). Coaches should check that the time you want your workouts published to your athletes is correct (e.g. “day of” or “x days before at x time”). We also suggest making sure you have the correct time zone in the location settings for your box. Once you have doubled checked that the time zone is correct, save your settings one more time!

These FAQs are reflective of the most common questions we receive but if you have others or need more clarification please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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