At Wildcat CrossFit in Tuscon, Arizona, the programming has evolved with the membership.
About a year and a half ago, the Box’s schedule added two new classes offered once a week: a Heavy Duty WOD and the H.A.M. Squad – H.A.M. stands for going “hard as a mother-effer.” “Both of those workouts are on our schedule just to provide something a little different, something a little extra, for our members who have been training for quite awhile,” said Noah Providence, a co-owner of the gym. “They have all their other health components dialed in, like their recovery is spot on, their stress management, their nutrition. So, both of these workouts tend to be over the top, like events themselves.
In fact, Providence said both classes are more like Open workouts than anything else. The Heavy Duty WOD has a heavy Olympic lift coupled with a calisthenic movement. The H.A.M. Squad workout typically takes 1.5 hours and is a high-volume, heavy-weight workout. “It probably is more of a test rather than a training-value workout,” said Providence.
The two extra workouts are included in the membership price, along with every other class offered. On average, a dedicated group of about 12 people show up to the challenging workouts, said Providence.
Both the Heavy Duty WOD and the H.A.M. Squad classes came about from a staff member. “It was largely a reflection of some particular talent we had, and we were allowing them to express their particular talent in class,” said Providence.
It was also a reflection of where his membership was in its training. Wildcat has been open since 2009, and Providence noted workouts like the H.A.M. Squad and Heavy Duty shouldn’t necessarily be programmed at an infant gym. “It’s probably not something that a brand new gym should undertake, unless they have a lot of experienced CrossFitters who join their gym at the beginning,” said Providence. “I think it took awhile for our membership to be ready for this kind of training volume, to have a handful of people, probably about a dozen or so, to attend it pretty regularly. So I think it should be a reflection of an outgrowth of where people are at in their training.”
While the Heavy Duty WOD requires the same equipment as a normal CrossFit class, the H.A.M. Squad usually makes use of other items, like sleds and ropes. All in all, they allow Wildcat to offer an event-like workout that provides an opportunity for athletes to take the next step. “It helps get them ready for the field of that competition intensity,” said Providence. “This just takes it up to another level, so it satisfies the members’ desires for a competition.”