Programming for CrossFit Classes w/ Kenny Kane of CrossFit LA

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“Priority is a function of context.” – Stephen Covey

To perform at your best, in any sport, you have to balance preparation and competition. The problem is that this balance is becoming more rare  in Crossfit gyms all around the world, which is no surprise.

Every sport works the same way.  Basketball is a timely example. Right now, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are facing off for the NBA title. After every game, playgrounds and courts around the world will fill with kids and aspiring ballers looking to emulate King James’ moves from the night before. That’s only natural.

At first we emulate when we feel inspired, which is the very first step in any athletes’ journey. Countless Crossfitter’s are doing the exact same thing now ahead of the Games. They will notice the best performers, and they will emulate the best moves and training strategies.

It’s fun. It’s an education. It’s also the energy that drives growth for the sport of fitness and creates new athletes. But there is also risk in emulation. If you spend too much time copying others, you could miss the chance to realize YOUR unique potential. Your balance will tip too far forward, away from preparation, and you’ll fall down before ever getting very far.

Getting down to some #llcoolj post-podcast with @thekennykane #imbad

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Kenny Kane has been coaching since 1984, which is extraordinary. In that time, he’s come across every gimmick two or three times over. He knows every archetype, what tends to work best, and where you’re likely to go wrong early on…And guess what? After all those years of trial and error, the clear priority is always something very simple.

You must build your pyramid from the bottom up.

This the foundation of Crossfit for a very good reason. It creates a well-defined space for competition, even for the beginner, but it also serves to keep the demands of the sport in check. You will only reach your unique potential by first fully developing your metabolic and movement base. From there you can load the bar heavier and heavier, pushing the pace, and setting brand new standards.

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The priorities. Don’t flip the order!


Who knows? If you commit and prioritize, you might just grow into the kind of athlete that people copy and admire. It happens all the time.

Kenny, we had a great time. Thanks for helping to reset the context.



18 Responses to “Programming for CrossFit Classes w/ Kenny Kane of CrossFit LA”

  1. John Slater

    That was an awesome podcast. A lot of good information to share with our coaches. Thanks, guys!

  2. Neil

    Great episode guys! I would love to see a week of Kenny’s actual programming. I know he gave a general overview while answering Mike’s question. Does Kenny program “Metcons” on rest days or is it exclusively strength and skill work?

    I would love to see an actual week of his programming laid out with specifics. Think you could make this available?

    • Kourtney Brownlow

      The programming doesn’t really do any good without the context. On practice days your write your own programming to fulfill the requirements of the algorithm as well as the rules and principles and priorities you created. A lot of this is interval training because it is the only way to properly coach and correct movement in a class setting.

      We may have a strength component but we coach the context of the why, how, what etc.

      Then maybe a metcon involving the other movements for the algorithm that day. Maybe an amrap or rounds or tabata or whatever. The point is it’s quality movement over quantity so we aren’t really writing score on the board or anything. Just data that matters, load etc.

      The only way to truly understand and execute this methodology properly is attending the seminar.

      The workouts won’t make sense that he programs or we program without the whole process of how and why it was developed.

  3. Jared

    What is the opening song after the opening credits? Sounds bad ass

  4. Kourtney Brownlow

    We attended Kenny’s Coaching in Context Seminar last October a few weeks after opening CrossFit Imagine. 8 months later we are seeing people who have never touched a barbell before or done crossfit move better than people who have been doing CrossFit for years. We are talking weeks to get their first double unders, etc. We had 100% PR’s for students retest at the end of our first cycle. This methodology forces you to be an attentive and prepared coach and it is my hope it revolutionizes the fitness world! Word is spreading about the Methodology and brough out gym to 60 members in the first 8 months of being open. Sign up for the seminar! Best decision you can ever make for your box!

  5. Rhet

    I’m confused about the 500 m row workout Kenny mentioned at ~minute 16:00. Can someone explain how to do this workout? What’s he mean by 500m row time in meters?

    • Chris Carlson

      Row 500 m for time (ex 1:40)
      Rest 3 min
      Row distance for time from row #1 (ex 495 m in 1:40)
      Rest 3 min
      Row distance from row #2 for time (ex 1:37 at 495 m)

  6. Leah D

    Love the podcast! Is there anywhere I can download a transcript?


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