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130. Planning for Holiday Workouts

130. Planning for Holiday Workouts


Happy Thanksgiving Listeners! We hope you’re having a great day. On today episode we’re talking about running holiday classes, whereby their tends to a reduced schedule and which means classes are massive. The most important points are just keep it simple and safe, put in some effort in any way, with music or partner workout and ensure everyone having fun because no one cares about the time on days like this. 

Timestamps 

(2:12) Advance prep for holiday classes
(9:25) Day Off
(15:56) During

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Ackerman:
All right. Welcome back this hour of their day. Coming at you on a holiday. We come at you 24/7, 365.

Fern:
That’s not actually true. We come at you Monday through Friday.

Ackerman:
Most Monday through Fridays. Most days, most times. But anyway. You’re listening to this. Happy Thanksgiving. Or if you’re listening Friday or Saturday. Hope you enjoy it. Maybe you’re getting out there burning off some of that turkey today. Fern and I are going to talk about how you can run Buzzy classes. You know, the holidays, be it Thanksgiving. What are some of the big ones?

Fern:
So Thanksgiving, like Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day,.

Ackerman:
Hanukkah,.

Fern:
Hanukkah, I guess. Yeah. If you’re gonna do all of those days.

Ackerman:
All eight days.

Fern:
What else? Halloween tends to be like the Christmas New Year, stuff like that.

Ackerman:
There was a couple of years towards the end of when I owned the box that we were actually open 365 days. Have you ever done that?

Fern:
I’ve never been open 365 days. But I think the most we’ve ever been open is is probably like three hundred and fifty five because we used to be open on Sundays. We’re not open on Sundays anymore.

Ackerman:
Oh, well, that’s awesome. And that’s a whole another episode that we should definitely dive into my last box. We kept close on sundays, you know, not for any religious reasons. It was just, hey, we all need a break every every week and be the owner, the coaches, even the members. It’s something to consider. I wouldn’t necessarily just shut down on Sundays if it’s not something you’ve been doing. Well, let’s have a full episode on that today. Let’s talk about those busy days, because the challenge on those busy days are the holidays we just mentioned isn’t so much that it’s a holiday. It’s that we tend to run one class.

Fern:
Yeah, let’s go. Yeah, we tend to run maybe one or two, but they tend to be very large, like it’s not uncommon for our classes if we if we swap that out and maybe run two classes a day for maybe both of those to be 30 each.

Ackerman:
Which by themselves are significantly big classes, 30, 30 people in the classes they give some boxes are running one. It wasn’t I would say we’ve had classes that we’re approaching one hundred, especially on like the Murphy days where, you know, Moyal Day or, you know, even at Christmas Eve type workouts. So let’s just like about some best practices, things to think about, things you can do well when having such a busy class, you know, the holidays coming. What what are some of the things you set to do in advance to prepare for that?

Fern:
So there’s there’s kind of two principles that would help you manage, like these really large classes that that would like. If you just abide by these two, you could sort it out and be very be very logistically simple for you. So the first one is if you’re going to put a barbell on that day, it’s a partner workout. If you’re not going to put a barbell in it, then make the movements very simple. Right.

Fern:
So nothing complex, no bar muscle ups, ring muscle lops handstand push ups, because as the number of people grows and if you do want to make it an individual workout, it needs to be fairly simple. It needs to be more of a grind, more of like one of these monster mash workouts. That’s just a trudge through the mud rather than this really high skill workout. And you can do it really, really well both ways. But you’re gonna use a barbell, make it a partner workout. If you’re not going use a barbell and you’re gonna do it or you’re not going to the partner workout, then make it very, very simple. So that so on.

Ackerman:
Let me ask you a couple questions about that. What are some examples of what you might. Can you think of any workouts specifically even if a 30 person class I mean, me personally, I tended to the one class just because a your coaches don’t want to necessarily work on the holidays. You don’t necessarily want to be there if you’re going to be there. It’s nice for your members to just have that one slot where they’re like, OK, this is my time, I get to work out. And also I always found they were super energetic and great for the community because you get the great mix of morning, noon and evening people all in one class. But with that being said, throwing a barbell even at 30 or 50 person class can be cumbersome. So what’s an example of workout?

Fern:
I would say I mean, we could use like a hero workout, like if you were going to do something like. Oh, God. In the name of it is escaping me now. I think it’s a 30 minute AM rap or is it 30 rounds of deadlift push up box jumps? You know what I’m talking about?

Fern:
I remember that one. And then the other one you made me think of that. I ran a couple times as a hero, like called Badger. I was like three rounds of 800 meter run, 30 squag cleans and I think 30 pull ups. Yes, something like that. And again, you can take something like that and and, you know, call it. Everyone has to complete it. Maybe bump up the reps. But I love team workouts. And I think it’s a great way to build your community. I mean, some other things you can just do or like, you know, heats of, you know, for example, New Year’s Day every year we ran Fran, every year on New Year’s Day, it was always Fran. But it’s a 10 minute cap and we’re just running multiple heats. You can still do it that way. But I I’d say take advantage of the opportunity to build community like Fern said and do it through some team workouts in there. But, you know, the programming is simple. Just be smart about it. You know, you’re you know, you’re space. You know, you’re equipment. Maybe get a little, you know, something to consider that we were diving into. You know, what are some things you can do? It’s probably a day you want to make sure people assignment in advance or to get an idea of how many are coming in.

Fern:
Yeah. If you do that for your gym, go out and do it. I’m I’m I prefer a little bit of, I guess, more inclusiveness or chaos on those days because I just think it’s fun. I just think it has to be controlled chaos. I don’t think it can be like people bouncing off the walls and like, you know, good jillion people. But I want everybody to come in. So I don’t want to limit that. I want to encourage people to come in. I just want to make sure that we have control over we have control over the workout, how we program it, how we utilize the space, all that stuff, because those are all things you have in your control in those scenarios. If it gets away from you, that is 100 percent my fault as a coach.

Ackerman:
Well, when you say get away from me, like what? What do you mean by that?

Fern:
Meaning like, I program something that was just a logistical nightmare or I didn’t partner up when I should have or I created a workout that had 15 as a 15 movement chipper, you know, just just, you know, things that you like that kind of look and sound like you shooting yourself in the foot for no particular reason.

Ackerman:
Well, you know, when you when you say that my immediate thought was it at twelve days of Christmas workout. I know for those that are listening, you can’t see Fern in his eyes actually rolled 360 all the way around his neck. But I love that workout and I love, you know, soul with Albany Crossfit,, for example. I had a lot of traditions and one of them was the New Year’s Day fran. We did Murphy on Memorial Day and we did the Twelve Days of Christmas on Christmas Eve. Now, with that being said, it was a shit show, but everybody knew what to expect. And you knew, hey, you know, depending on which one we ran that year, you know we ran. But, you know, there’s so many different versions. You might get to the box, jump and say it to do late. I might have to wait for fern to finish. You’re not necessarily trying to get the best time that day for fun.

Fern:
Yeah. And and I’m it’s not that I hate that workout. It’s just that I’ve seen it done so poorly so many times. I’ve seen that workout done a dozen times over a dozen years. And I just think it can be done really well can a beat and it can be really, really fun until you start putting things like a squat snatch in, a muscle up, like all of these things that have no business, any workout like that, like a workout like that should much more resemble like something that looks like boot camp, which is like low skill movements, just having fun and moving nothing complex or terribly difficult where people, you know, like. Where they’re going to need a lot of space, so there’s going to be or there’s going to need to be a requirement for a significant amount of warming up or coaching prior to.

Ackerman:
Absolutely. That box jumps, burpees, pull ups, even push ups.

Fern:
Air Squats

Ackerman:
Yeah, right. Hey, you know, injuries happen and that type of you know, now that Crossfit, is dangerous. But anytime people are moving, injuries happen. But injuries that happen because of your poor planning and stupidity and someone gets a barbell drop on them, that’s unnecessary. And that’s what we need to eliminate.

Fern:
I mean, if you and there from a coaching standpoint, if you’ve just realized you made a bad decision and and you just look at the space and you’ve decided that it is unsafe due to proximity of people’s faces to barbells and stuff like that, then just change the plan. Just change it. Maybe get rid of the barbells, keep the movements and go dumbbells, you know, just to save yourself, you know, whatever, that’s gonna be 14 to 20 square feet per person.

Ackerman:
And that has to be something people look at beyond these days. I’ll give you a quick example. I coached at a level two this past weekend, had my game plan walking in full lesson plan right now. And I walk in. I’m like, I can’t do this workout and changed it, you know? And I immediately thought of how do I keep it as close to this as possible without completely having to revamp it. But we should be doing that. And sometimes it’s, you know, just looking around, looking at barbells and making sure they’re spaced out. These are all things that we do at the level two every weekend because we’re coaching a different boxes with a different number of people that we don’t really know. But you should be doing this at your box. So, you know, thinking of your space, thinking of the equipment, thinking about it, how many people you’re gonna have in and then and then what would be next for in like the day of, like, you get there. So you have Thanksgiving, you know, 9:00 a.m. class, what goes on at Crossfit,?

Fern:
So it’s like if you’re gonna do that, I think because so the goal of even opening the doors on these days is to have fun, right? No one like that is the number one priority. It should be fun or shouldn’t be a lot of smiles of high fiving all that stuff. So maybe do a little bit of extra prep on the front end. Like if you’re if you’re gonna eat a lot of equipment like set and stage, all of that stuff beforehand because you’ve only got one class, maybe two. So go ahead and set yourself up for success so that you don’t have to waste any of your lesson plan time with all of that. Maybe you can spend less time setting up equipment, you can do play games or like do some partner stuff like beforehand. So that’s the big thing is just, you know, like if, you know, probably make it a partner and workout because those are more fun. Make it very simple so you can have, you know, spend more time doing some entertainment aspect of it and less teaching or coaching. And then eliminate most of the stuff that’s going to that’s revolves around logistics by doing pre staging of some sort, if you like, if you need fifteen boxes like pull all of those out in advance. You know, if you got if you’re going to need kettlebell is like set those up where. Hey the thirty five kettle bells are over here. The fifty fives for over here. The seventy fives are over there and then all the sudden people just go to that area and that is where their workout goes down. So just you know, you know, stage everything prior to and it makes everything really, really quick.

Ackerman:
One thing that you reminded me of is another tradition we had was fight gone bad. So we run like on bad spots, you know, certain times of the year. And back in the day there was a fundraiser and all that kind of stuff. But no, we went to run in cycles. So many people through we would actually set up the stations and then people would either, depending on how we ran it, that they started a random station or cycle in the starting gate at the wall ball. But the point being, yes, some days you have to do the grunt work and actually set the equipment up and get your members situated because 30 people scrambling to grab equipment is just a nightmare.

Fern:
Yeah. And fight gone bad is a perfect example because realistically, we can use that. We can use that in a 30 person class if I’m going to do that for fight on bad. There’s five stations and there’s a 1 minute off. So I can basically only setup five full stations of fight gone bad. So means I need one rower, one sadeh, five rowers, five balls, 10 barbells, 10 boxes. And what am I missing? Is it. Yeah. Yeah. Because of our buzziest place, it’s used twice for sumo deadlift high pull and push press so so I can get away with only 5 kind of full stations of that. But I can start everybody a different station cause everybody’s rotating at the minute.

Fern:
But I can have one person who’s in that kind of rest period so I can do five stations or facilitates six people and now that’s 30 people with minimal equipment on this on the on the floor and everybody is just bumping one forward and it doesn’t matter where they start. So somebody is going to start on the on the rower and then go directly into rest. So what? Who cares? You know, they’re not going to care at the end of round five.

Ackerman:
Yeah. You know, in a couple of things, you have to think about what it’s like on bad is one. It is one of those workouts where you look at you like there’s no way it will run 30 people. But it is actually an easy workout if you stop and plan out in advance. And another aspect of it that this might hold true on a hero date or just a busy day is sometimes you have to remove the scaling options and not that people can scale that you set them up like like I’m bad example. We did have an RX-Men’s Lane and then our RX womans lane and the RX woman Lane serves as a scaled men’s lane. And then there’s the ultra scaled lane, which is a scaled for ladies are injured people. But that’s a day where it’s like you don’t get to sample using sixty five pounds. No, you’re using seventy five or fifty five.

Fern:
Yeah. Whichever one of those. This is your lane.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And you know what. That’s heavy. Do less. It if light do more.

Fern:
Yeah but that’s an easy. Yeah exactly. It’s an easy one where I just like I I adjust by adjusting the volume so you know we just tell them or I just tell them go faster. Maybe if you think it’s light than I need you to go faster.

Ackerman:
So I’m on the trip and and then in general with fern, my favorite fern, you know we get a lot of Fern-isms and our private mentor, good people always listen to the episodes. And typically at least once an episode of Fern got something, it’s usually relative to his. I would say like poor demeanor. You know, it’s it’s relative to his grumpiness and he’s my favorite ever. Every cue that I’ve ever heard this is in all of Crossfit,. I’ve seen Coach Glassman, I’ve seen Chuck Carr as well as you, Dave Castro, the best you ever is Fern’s. Hey, do that. But much better.

Fern:
Yeah. I mean. I don’t know what else to say. It’s just like, just do that better.

Ackerman:
And you know what? If you’re listening and you’ve heard that you can use that anywhere in life,.

Fern:
Anywhere to do that, a better like that.

Ackerman:
Like right now try that with your wife.

Fern:
But like in this podcast right now, I need you to do this podcast Jay. But I just need you to do it better than you do.

Ackerman:
Yeah, that’s usually the text I get after every episode. That was great. The next I’m going to do it better. So. So let’s talk about a couple of things. You know. With with everything coaching well, we’ve really just expressed is 80 percent of your worry. 80 percent of the stress can be eliminated with a little preparation.

Fern:
Agreed

Ackerman:
Now let’s talk about maybe that other 20 percent or the intangibles. So what are some things that you would recommend to box owners or coaches that they do now, like the day of or in the middle of the workout, just to make that day more exciting and to make it different than your typical, you know, Monday afternoon class?

Fern:
I think one is is what I’ve kind of alluded to a little earlier, which is like put a maybe a little bit of time and effort into something that’s going to be fun, whether it’s a game or something like that. And the other thing is, I’m not a big fan of this. And I go back to I think it was Josh ever it like in every second counts. Who.

Ackerman:
Music. Right?

Fern:
He was like if a music is like, hey, if you don’t need music to work out, then this probably isn’t for you. But yeah, maybe put maybe like put a little bit more time into your playlist or like we’ve done fun things where, you know, if it’s a whatever it’s a 20 minute workout. Like every five minutes we’re going to change the decade. We’re gonna start, you know, in 80s and then go 90s and then go early two thousands and then go 2010 plus. And we just kind of switch the genre every five minutes and it just kind of gives people something else to think about when they’re going through the workout. Because every once in a while, something will come up and it’ll be it’ll be very nostalgic. You know, like something comes on and you’re like, oh, Bill Biv Devoe. Haven’t heard that one in a while. And I forget about the suck that I’m going through at that point.

Ackerman:
So, yeah, I love that. A couple of things that I’ve done is, you know, in-flight on bad specifically. I love changing the music or any interval workout. Like every time the next interval kicks off, because for that reason, sometimes it gives people just a little boost and you can have someone in charge of that. You know, if you’re coaching, that probably shouldn’t be a high on your agenda. And then the other thing I’ve done in the past is put out like a public playlist. You know, with Spotify and some of those other apps these days, you can, you know, hey, everyone put one song on. And then those people it’s fun to see when that person song comes on that kind of light up, like Fern said, what’s your what’s your opinion on Christmas music etiquette around Christmas time in a workout?

Fern:
I mean, it’s not super motivating, but if you want to throw it on, throw it on, man.

Ackerman:
Ross has been blasting Christmas music since we’ve gotten home from the box tour. And it’s like it’s time and Thanksgiving and she’s just non-stop Christmas all.

Fern:
Around the house I’m fine with it. Like in mid workout, I don’t want to hear Jingle Bells or, you know, grandma got run over by a reindeer.

Ackerman:
Well, you can you know, there’s some more modern stuff, but it goes without saying we need more Hanukkah songs. You know, Adam Sandler got it right.

Fern:
Over there Here with Adam Sandler CD.

Ackerman:
He got it right back in the day. It’s like you guys got all these songs and. Now we have one song. But you know what? It’s you know,.

Fern:
I can’t help you there.

Ackerman:
So. OK. We’ve talked about the music.

Fern:
I’m not musically inclined. Nor am I Jewish.

Ackerman:
That was a side note. Let me tell you off color story. I woke up this morning, go to the bathroom. Is still in bed. And I come back after she’s like, I hear everything. And she was like she was like, did Fern here that while you’re on the road trip? And I was like, problems. So there’s that there’s that Fern did say multiple times that I use the bathroom way too much.

Fern:
I’m a little worried about your digestive system.

Ackerman:
It’s efficient. So outside of music, what are some other things? Let’s say one thing. You know, it’s a holiday maybe. Here’s one that we haven’t spoken about. July 4th is another good one. You know, do you get a couple of cases of beer or do you have a barbecue? So what are some of the holidays? You might do something like that.

Fern:
So like July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, stuff like that, where you can do like a. Like a workout and then brunch or something like that and how people bring their own dishes.

Fern:
You can have people dress up in like holiday garb or Halloween garb and just make a little bit more fun. So, I mean, there’s so many different things you can do. And at the end of the day, I don’t even really think it matters what you do. I think it’s just you just put a little bit of effort into it. Change the vibe just a little bit. People appreciate it. More fun.

Ackerman:
Yeah, I’m going to think that’s what it really comes down to. That preparation. Your members will notice you go, hey, you’ve got one class. It’s 9:00 a.m. and you’re strolling in at eight fifty five and it’s a mess. Or, you know, they start rolling in at 8:30. You’re already there. You’ve got a good festive music going on. And you know, it can be Christmas music leading up to the workout in three, two, one, go. You know, you got your 90s hip hop or whatever you like, but that little stuff is really what separates the great boxes from the average boxes. I mean, those holidays are some night. You know, people ask, what do you miss not owning a box since those days where you just get 50 plus the community’s strong and you guys are just having a good time.

Fern:
And it doesn’t always have to be on the holiday. You can do it the day before, day after. So, for instance, you know, like I am a fan of closing, like I’m the first one to try to close the gym. And then I usually like, you know, strong arms me to open in some capacity. So we’re gonna be closed on Thanksgiving. And then Black Friday will have like modified hours really into four run for classes that day. So as a gym owner, like take the day off if you need it, like don’t be afraid to close the gym. It’s fine. Like people aren’t gonna jump ship on your affiliate. So I do think that’s worth noting is that you don’t have to be open.

Fern:
Like I don’t even think it’s a good idea to be open all the time. Like close the gym. It’s fine. I’m I’m I’m the first one to close the gym because I’m not a fan of like asking people to come in on work on days that I don’t really want to work because I don’t because I work most days. So I’m like, well, this holiday, I’m taking the day off.

Ackerman:
Yeah. One hundred percent. One friend just said I was a little crazy and. Obsessive. You know, it kind of like a cool thing to say we’re open every day, but. Don’t burn yourself now, don’t burn your coaches out. Don’t feel bad for closing. And if you do start to feel bad. I used to just put up in that home workout.

Fern:
Yeah, there’s there’s so many solutions there. I think it’s like but there’s I don’t think it’s either or. I think there’s a fine balance that you’ll have to that you’ll have to slowly work your way towards like the more you do it, like as demand creeps up and more, more people want a holiday. So like for most of those holidays, which were why we’re all put out like this is a hard close. We’re not being open. That doesn’t mean that a coach can’t come in on their off time and open the gym if they want to. But it’s not. But I’m not going to make them, you know, like if they want to come in. It’s not give me an advertize time. It’ll be a quick post on Instagram or Facebook. Hey, open gym from this time because so-and-so wants to run a workout. If you see it, great. If not, I’m soooo. I’m not that worried about it.

Ackerman:
No. And with that being said, before we wrap up, that is the alternative. Hey, open gym. Ten to twelve. You know, your coach comes in. Maybe he’s not coaching. Maybe he’s working out. But the gym is open. So your members. If you’re worried about them complaining, hey, we do have an open gym. You can come to your old den. Here’s an example. Workout or make up something that you’ve missed. Yeah. All right. Well, we hope everybody enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving for both you and I will just be at home, it sounds like, for Thanksgiving. Nothing special.

Fern:
Yep. Just hanging out with the fam. Perhaps have some people over, eat lots of food, sit with my members. And I were joking around yesterday. We’re doing a calorie challenge in December. Like how many calories you can burn total. And had a couple of people asked. They just wanted clarification. And they said, I just wanna make sure that this is not a calorie intake challenge. This is a calorie output challenge. And I said, correct. However, I am considering putting out a challenge to the listeners of who can have the least amount of caloric output and the most amount of caloric intake just for Thanksgiving.

Ackerman:
Who can be the most gluttonous at Crossfit, Rife?

Fern:
Yeah, exactly.

Ackerman:
What if you had. So two questions. One. And I don’t want you to offend anybody, but at the same time, who would win at Crossfit, rife

Cassidy:
ME

Fern:
Cassidy Just yell about in the background that he would win.

Ackerman:
Cassidy would have to be a second. I’m not going to say. CASSIDY.

Fern:
I don’t know. I don’t do it very often. But I am world class at sitting on the couch.

Ackerman:
Yeah. You could definitely burn the least. I don’t know how much you can take. You you need a decent amount.

Fern:
Now, hold on. Let’s talk about like who? Eight more pieces of sushi when we were out.

Ackerman:
I feel like I won that.

Fern:
How did you win? I ordered like 10 more pieces and you only had like six leftover.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And I had to eat them.

Fern:
You did not eat them?

Ackerman:
I had two. I was so full at that point.

Fern:
I think I ordered seven rolls.

Ackerman:
You did order seven rolls. So outside of Cassity winning, what would you think is the number of calories someone could take in?

Fern:
I think I like how easily it could be something that would be. In the 5000 range,.

Ackerman:
I think I was thinking closely to 10.

Fern:
Ten is a lot. Ten is eating all day.

Ackerman:
I would I would tell people and I would love to go back and actually try this, but I’m like old school cheat days. I was probably consuming close to 10000 calories, wondering why I’m not making progress during the week, you know, eating at eating, not even clean, but just eating better and then going nuts on Saturdays.

Fern:
I’m I’m going to. I think that number is suspect ten thousand calories is an astronomical amount of food. I was watching a documentary on on who was it, Thor on.

Ackerman:
Yeah, that actor.

Fern:
Yeah. He’s a rogue athlete. And like that guy eats ten thousand calories a day.

Ackerman:
Not the actor you’re talking about then lifted the lifter.

Fern:
Yeah. The rogue athlete.

Ackerman:
Yeah, that’s a monster.

Fern:
He’s like 400 pounds. So I have a hard time believing that you eat the same amount as a man weighs 400 pounds.

Ackerman:
Well, it just depends. It depends if you’re chasing calorically dense foods because you can get like a slice of cheesecake, that’s two thousand that barely fill you up.

Fern:
I mean, listen, at some point, once we get past like five or six, it doesn’t matter how calorically dense or anything, it’s just the astronomical amount of food.

Ackerman:
Well, next time you and Cassity are in the same room, we’re going for it.

Fern:
Dude, let’s do it.

Ackerman:
All right. Well, we hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. If you do surpass that 10000 calorie number, please let us know. Please take a picture, too, because I’d love to see it.

Fern:
I would, too. Posted on your Instagram story tag us.

Ackerman:
All right, guys. Well, thanks for listening. Have a great holiday. And we will see you tomorrow.

Fern:
Happy Thanksgiving.

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