Preparing to Move With a Purpose

JT Scott | 05/17/2020 | 15

I loved seeing some of y’all today in the ZOOMWOD, and encourage all of you at home to drop in to the next one! Sign up for the Facebook Group to get the link and time to join!

When we see a WOD at the gym, we don’t just load the bar and jump into it. We get prepared, we do what we need to get ready. Re-opening is something that no gym is really prepared for – but we’re doing the legwork now to get prepared for it.

8 weeks is a long time. Unfortunately outside of NYC, cases in the US are still increasing – including here in Somerville. While Gov Baker says he has a plan, from my seat I still haven’t seen it and quite frankly I’m dubious. It is entirely likely that any opening measures will rapidly reverse once new hotspots arise, but that will take 2-6 weeks and then we could be stuck in a new cycle of restrictions.
While I am planning for a very long-term closure here, or even a series of rolling closures, I also want us to be prepared in case the order comes down to re-open. If it does, we will be ready with our plan for schedule, class size, and procedures. Your coaches are working on it.
When it comes to sanitary procedure, we’ve been ahead of the curve. Our procedures pre-closure were best-in-class based on what we knew of the transmission mechanisms at the time. 
Based on what more we know now about spreading mechanisms (and please be aware that this is very rough, based on several contact tracing studies done in various countries), we can roughly see that transmission locations have something in common – they’re mostly enclosed spaces where people spend a substantial amount of time in direct breathing space contact.
Respiration (breathing) brings with it inherently aspiration (expelling droplets of aerosol fluids). Intense respiration means intense aspiration. TLDR “CrossFit is messy.”
What that means for us is that being in enclosed spaces for an hour at a time with some number of people is dangerous for everyone there, and moreso for coaches who would be doing it for several hours at a time. And then we would take it home to our families.
The single best way to reduce transmission is to have everyone wear a mask. Always. It’s just that simple. Cut down on aspiration and you cut down on transmission. If it’s an N95 and you can cut down on inhalation as well, great – but the best prophylactic for the people around you is just stopping a majority of it at the exhalation.
What that means for us is that if we re-open before there’s extensive test/trace/treatment in place, the best way we can keep everyone safe is to have EVERYONE WEARING MASKS. Coaches and athletes. Now, I know that sounds awful. And it is. But we can get used to it.


In addition, we are looking at rearranging the entire facility to be better structured for keeping you safe. That means when it’s time to open up it is going to look different in there. You might in fact have your own little plexiglass-enclosed workout and lifting platform to isolate you from your neighbors aerosols. Each station will have a set of equipment and its own set of santizing supplies so that you can use and clean everything before and after. Class times will be shortened slightly to ensure that everyone has time to clean up, clear out, and let the roof fans suck out some of the air before a new class enters.

For movement in and through the facility, everything will be clearly labeled so that it’s immediately evident where to go and how to get there.

Class sizes will also be reduced to accommodate this “New Normal”. We already ran small classes, and we will run smaller to keep us all safe.

Finally, we may need to change our class scheduling and reservation systems to make sure that we can get people in and out reliably – and enough of you – to keep our doors open. As that becomes clear, we will absolutely let you know.

For now, just understand that we’re thinking about all of it, we’re plotting out a course, and we’re not doing anything until we’re able to do it in a way that keeps you safe. We’re all grownups here and we’re not messing around when it comes to safety.

I’ve always said that in order to coach a thing well, you have to have experience in it. If we’re coaching oly lifts, we need substantial time under the bar. This is why I continue to encourage all of our coaches to get coaching and programming from other places – so that we can expand our own experience and coaching repertoires. 
That ZOOMWOD online workout I mentioned at the top? I did it today wearing my heavy fitted cloth mask. It sucked. But I need to know how it feels… and you need us to know how it feels too. I’ve done all my workouts lately, indoors or out, fully masked in preparation for the next phase of CFSV.
I’ve been getting a feel for what different masks feel like and how they interact with the workout and my breathing. Keeping an eye on my own fatigue and frustration with it. Watching for exhaustion signs and what changes about my rest intervals or where redline happens.
We are spending the time now to learn about it by doing it, and we’ll all be better at helping you through it when you return.
Financially as a gym we’re still fine for a while. But staying afloat isn’t just about the $$. It’s also about supporting each other in terms of getting our asses in gear, getting our workouts and life in order as best as possible. It’s about staying in touch with EACH OTHER and keeping YOUR spirits up and motivated. 
The ZOOMWODs will continue for now, and we’re looking to expand both the frequency of them and the reach of how many of you attend. I’ll post about expanded online offerings as we roll them out.
Things are getting better (slowly) from a testing standpoint and as more studies get done we’re learning more about how this virus works. Right now we’re dealing with the unknown – but not forever unknowable. Fortunately, CrossFit in general is aimed at preparing us for that.
In the end only you know what you need to stay afloat. So please stay in touch, let us know what you need, and we’ll do what we can to help.
Y’all are the best, and we’ll get through this together. I’ll keep you posted as things develop, as always. Thanks for everything.

Oh, and here’s the programming for today. Warm up wisely, and then GET AFTER IT! (I’ll be with you – in a mask.)

Bodyweight Strength Work
3 sets:
8-10 tempo air squats (5 sec down, 3 sec hold at bottom, fast up)*
* Hold a weight in the goblet position if you have one.
20-30 sec superman hold
Rest 1-2 minutes between sets

5 rounds for time:
10 push-ups
10 V-ups or tuck-ups
20 jumping air squats 

15 comments for “Preparing to Move With a Purpose

  1. Audrey says:

    Great blog post!

  2. DANIEL S. says:

    9:19 with regular air squats. Fun one!

  3. Heather Jacques says:

    Thanks for all of the update, JT! I appreciate all of the hard work you and the CFSV team are doing to prepare to make the gym a safe place for us!

    I did the strength work with a 35# KB and my legs are reallyyy sore from yesterday’s Zoom WoD so that was extra spicy.

    WoD: 8:11 with push-ups to a 16″ bench, tuck ups, and jumping air squats.

  4. Paul B. says:

    Indeed, thanks, JT!
    Strength with my igneous companion. 8:26 for the workout. No mask: couldn’t face it.

  5. EB says:

    Great Message JT! Thank you for always looking out for us. Now off to the driveway for that WOD. The neighbors are gonna love me cranking metal at 12:30!

  6. Josh Feinman says:

    7:15. Thanks for the great workout!

  7. Caitlin Diel says:

    Well, this was a fun one! I did not time myself and I halved all the reps because I haven’t done much crossfit during this whole time in quarantine. But i’m trying to get back into it and sweat/get my heart rate up every day.

    I was proud of myself that I did the push ups, from the floor and not elevated on a box. I wasn’t able to do that before quarantine started. 😀 I can only do about 5 at a time but its progress.

  8. Caitlin Diel says:

    That was a fun one! I halved all the reps and didn’t time myself because I’m just getting back into doing crossfit after only walking and doing yoga for most of quarantine.

    I’m proud of myself because I can do push ups now! On the floor, not on a box 😀 only 5 at a time but still, more than I could do before.

  9. Jack Orenstein says:

    13:30. Not proud, not ashamed. It is what it is.

  10. Eirik H says:

    Obviously I’m itching to get back in the gym again but I appreciate you all being cautious and taking everyone’s safety into consideration. I also really appreciate the daily WODs being posted. I know I haven’t commented in a while but I’ve been doing them almost every day and they’ve been great with keeping my physical and mental health in check.
    9:46 for the WOD today. Great full body workout

  11. Margaret says:

    Thank you for the update and your commitment to safe workouts. As for the workout, 7:51 with pushups to an elevated surface and tuck ups. Nice, quick workout.

  12. Sarah L says:

    9:31 w/ tuckups

  13. Bill Shoesmith says:

    Thanks for the update JT!

    Bill: 10:56 (v-ups)
    Sue: 10:32 (tuck-ups)

  14. Jack H. says:

    Thanks, JT. Great update. We’ll get through this together indeed!

    Definitely feeling those tempo squats during the squat jumps.. time 6:49

  15. JT Scott says:

    Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate the comments, feedback, and support – it helps to hear from y’all when things are tough. Y’all are the best!

    As an update, based on the Governor’s monday announcement, the soonest we could be open would be the end of June. Somerville will be proceeding more cautiously. So, we’ll keep working on keeping you moving in the meantime, and continue preparing for safe reopening protocols for the time when we can.

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