Head Coach Hayden-William Courtland

In Part 1 of this series I discussed CrossFit programming at Solace. CrossFit is the core of our fitness model and all members are encouraged to take these classes in order to develop a broad and all-inclusive fitness. CrossFit is a general physical preparedness program designed to make you above average in a variety of different skills. The ten skills targeted in CrossFit are as follows:

  1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance – The ability of the body to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina – The ability of the body’ to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
  3. Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
  5. Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
  6. Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
  9. Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
  10. Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

If you consider your potential to develop each of the above skill sets as a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being lowest, 10 being highest), CrossFit wants you (and will make you) above average in all of them. So, you are generally able to achieve numbers of 6-9 for each of those skills (10s will be rare as this level of proficiency usually takes “specialist” training at the expense of at least some of the other skill sets).

Although CrossFit makes individuals above average in many skill sets, I also mentioned in my previous article that it is very common for individuals to have weaknesses, specific interests and unique goals (i.e., improve a skill set more quickly than others). After training in CrossFit for a while, it is not uncommon for individuals to want to address these realities (and some even want to address them from the very beginning). In a typical CrossFit box this can be difficult to accomplish as there is rarely time or space to expand offerings. At Solace we are fortunate to have the time and space to offer more. In truth, it wasn’t fortune or chance that allowed this – it was design.

In this article (Part 2 of 3), I will discuss the additional key offerings of Solace and how they emphasize one or more of the above-mentioned skill sets. This article had key contributions from one of our Founders, Jim Loperfido, as well as Coaches Kenny Santucci, Nina Marchione, Michael Wolf, Dave Durante, Nicholas Novak, and Greg Nieratka. So, many thanks go to them.

SOLACE BODY. For those that want to emphasize cardiovascular endurance (conditioning), our Solace Body class is ideal. The class, developed by Kenny Santucci, incorporates high intensity interval training (HIIT) and bodyweight movements with elements from CrossFit and strength training. Highly technical movements are not present in this class, which makes it that much easier for individuals of all experience levels to push themselves hard.
Major Skill Sets Emphasized: Cardiovascular Endurance and Stamina
Additional Skill Sets Emphasized: Strength, Power, and Speed

SOLACE SCULPT. Sculpt was developed by Nina Marchione as a hybrid class that mixes barre, Pilates, and yoga with cardio conditioning and body weight training.
Major Skill Sets Emphasized: Stamina, Balance, and Flexibility
Additional Skill Sets Emphasized: Coordination and Cardiovascular Endurance

SOLACE STRONG. For those that feel they are lacking in strength, or whose goals require more emphasis on strength, we have a dedicated strength cycle based on the Starting Strength program and led by Starting Strength Coach Michael Wolf. By putting CrossFit aside for 8 weeks our members can develop a tremendous amount of strength and power in a short period of time. Since strength takes a long time to develop and is not easily lost, the investment is more than worthwhile.
Major Skill Sets Emphasized: Strength and Power
Additional Skill Sets Emphasized: Balance, Coordination, and Accuracy.

SOLACE BARRE BREAK. This class, also created by Nina Marchione, is a combination of hip-hop cardio dance with a blast of barre work for the lower body. Although the class is dance-based, there is plenty of floor work to train your core and upper body in every session.
Major Skill Sets Emphasized: Agility, Balance, Coordination
Additional Skill Sets Emphasized: Cardiovascular Endurance, Stamina, Speed, Accuracy

SOLACE GYMNASTICS. For those wanting to improve strength and control of their body weight in static and dynamic positions, our gymnastics cycles are perfect. Led by Dave Durante of Power Monkey Fitness, each cycle is 5 weeks and focuses on a specific gymnastics skill (i.e., Muscle-Ups). In addition, when cycles are not in session, we have regular hour-long classes that cover a variety of movements.
Major Skill Sets Emphasized: Coordination, Strength, Balance, and Accuracy
Additional Skill Sets Emphasized: Flexibility

SOLACE BARBELL CLUB. The Olympic lifts (Snatch and the Clean & Jerk) are very technical and require years to master. For those who wish to place additional emphasis on their Weightlifting training we offer dedicated classes programmed by Nicholas Novak on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, Barbell Club days cycle into our regular CrossFit classes on a bi-weekly basis.
Major Skill Sets Emphasized: Power, Balance, and Coordination
Additional Skill Sets Emphasized: Strength, Speed, and Accuracy

SOLACE ENDURANCE. We are currently in the process of building an Endurance Cycle similar to our Strength and Gymnastics cycles, so stay tuned for details! In the meantime, Greg Nieratka regularly works with Solace athletes who want to perform well in races. Using the CrossFit Endurance style, he custom tailors running plans geared towards our athletes’ specific races. These plans incorporate the standing Solace CrossFit WODs that appear each week so the benefits of class programming are still obtained.
Major Skill Sets Emphasized: Cardiovascular Endurance and Speed
Additional Skill Sets Emphasized: Stamina

SOLACE FLOW (YOGA) & MOBILITY. These classes are a fantastic supplement to all our other offerings. They place a large emphasis on flexibility, which is crucial to safe and effective development of all other skill sets.

The table below gives a general overview of how each class emphasizes the 10 major skills. As discussed above, the generalized scale of development runs from 1-10, with 10 being the highest level of emphasis. For simplicity, cells shaded in dark green represent the major skill sets developed and cells shaded in light green represent additional skill sets emphasized.  You can see from the table that Solace’s additional offerings permit members to place an emphasis on all of these 10 skills.


What separates Solace from other fitness studios are our goal-oriented offerings. When you take a class at Solace you’re not just training for the sake of training. Instead, you’re training to improve a specific aspect of your fitness as represented by 10 general skills – skills that are fundamental to life. Having presented you with Solace’s offerings we are left with the question of how to incorporate them effectively into a weekly, monthly and yearly training cycle. In the next and final part of this series I will discuss how you can tailor Solace’s offerings to create effective, personalized training programs that achieve any health or fitness goal.

Hayden-William Courtland, Ph.D.
Head Coach & Manager, 
Solace New York

Follow Hayden on his blog, Science for Fitness!