How We Design Our Workouts
What do you do when you’re a fitness centre offering group classes but you need to be versatile enough for beginners and regulars alike? Our promise is that we cater to people of all levels of expertise — from someone who has never worked out before to people who lift weights on a daily basis, and we make it fun for everyone. After all, we do promise that we make “fitness fun and easy.”
So what’s our formula, you ask? How do we do this consistently, effectively, and under unpredictable circumstances? That’s where our workouts of the day (WODs) come in.
What is a WOD?
A WOD, or Workout of the Day, is a combination of exercises that focuses on certain muscle groups, through the use of weightlifting movements and bodyweight exercises.
For us at Cult, a WOD is a way to make sure that all Cult centres across the country follow a similar format, so that any user can walk in to any centre at any time and experience a great workout.
So now, what makes any routine a good Cult WOD? To be a successful WOD, each workout (or group of workouts) must follow these criteria:
- It must have easy-to-learn movements
- It must be scalable
- It must target multiple muscle groups
- It must be easily performed with minimal equipment
Why these criteria particularly?
Easy Learning Curve
Ours is a community that encourages beginners and pros alike to make fitness a lifestyle. So it’s no wonder that we almost always have a few new faces in any of our classes. This means that anything we teach the class to do must be easy for them to pick up and perform — so they spend more time on the actual workout, while still learning something new.
WODs are designed to be simple enough to understand and execute in a short time, while still providing a challenge. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend an entire class just learning a basic move and not get your heart pumping, right?
We focus on scalability because we know that, on any given day, we’ll have a mix of beginners, intermediate athletes, and advanced athletes. We can’t really expect a beginner to deadlift her bodyweight, or make a regular workout with a PVC pipe, can we? So, each workout needs to be easy or challenging enough to cater to them all.
Workouts are chosen for their flexibility so that they can be modified to be easier or tougher as need be. Whether it’s a hand here for balance or knees on the ground there for an added boost, anybody should be able to do it. This means that, while everyone does the same workout, each person is also challenged adequately while they do it. This is also an easy way for athletes to workout even if they’re injured — a scaled-down version can be just as useful as a tougher version of a movement.
Multiple Muscle Groups
Our workouts are designed to target multiple muscle groups to provide a comprehensive workout to anyone who attends; they might workout daily, a few times a week, or only over the weekend. We can’t all be gym rats, right? Each workout needs to have at least one full-body movement so that users aren’t forced to attend multiple sessions just to make sure they’re targeting every muscle group. Apart from our HRX workouts, which are designed to isolate certain muscle groups on certain days, our other formats are meant to workout the body as a whole.
However, the movements also need to be made interesting for those who attend sessions regularly, so that they see adequate overall development — and enjoy themselves while they’re at it. After all, there’s nothing more boring than the same workout day in and day out. So, you might do a particular movement twice in the same week, but your workouts will be drastically different, making sure you’re always engaged.
We don’t act like a conventional gym, and we certainly don’t want to look like one either. We don’t have large, hulking equipment everywhere — just the basic weights and a few other things. For us, group classes aren’t about machines — they’re about the energy of the class motivating you to finish that last set, or do that last pushup. Which means our workouts need to keep pace, too.
We pick movements that use bodyweight or portable weights so that people can modify as they go. Working out in a group also means that you can’t have multiple people fighting over one piece of equipment, so the less we rely on those, the better. Besides, working out with minimal equipment is a great way to develop functional fitness, allowing you to lift things or move your body easier — and that’s a plus for sure!
All of this adds up to a lot of work — both within and outside the class. But it also makes for a very unique approach to fitness. It allows anyone to workout from anywhere and be sure that they’re doing what’s best for their body. After all, isn’t that what any fitness regime aspires to do?
Watch out for more articles where we break down each format and its specific workouts — we’ll let you in on some of our secrets!
Written by — Nrithya Randhir