Now More Than Ever
Now more than ever, I am loving the controversial turn CrossFit founder Greg Glassman has taken in crossfit.com workout programming.
I have seen immediate benefit in my own fitness as well as in the fitness of my clients at CrossFit Jerusalem. (The meat of our programming sandwich is taken directly from CrossFit.com, with expert level coaching as the surrounding pita. Lettuce, tomato and mustard are supplied with accessory work.)
In recent weeks we have seen a strong bias towards basic gymnastics strength, with weightlifting movements showing up less frequently. Workouts featuring strict pullups, pushups, and squats have been a staple, and skill sessions focused on handstands, L-sits, and many others have been regular items.
Tellingly, the usual image accompanying the WOD (Workout of the Day) of athletes exercising have been replaced by a daily pic of a senior citizen performing a basic version at home on his couch.
Here’s why this is exactly what most CrossFitters need:
It is a fundamental truth that you get better when you do new things. Specifically things that make you uncomfortable.
A distance runner will reap greater performance gains by working on her vertical jump than she will by adding another pavement pounding session.
A power lifter will achieve more functional fitness by spending some time on Cardio than she would by doing yet another cycle of 5 by 5 low bar back squats.
The greatest coaches in the world know this. Its why the strongest power lifting coach in the world, Louie Simmons, has his athletes apply as much variance as possible in their training, alongside focused work on their individual weaknesses. Its also why Lasha Talakhadze, the greatest Olympic weightlifter currently competing on the world scene, jumps in a pool every Saturday.
Most CrossFitters love the barbell. This is a good thing! Most CrossFitters love the feeling you get after a tight couplet of wall ball shots and rowing. This too is fantastic!
What is less great is when every workout features heavy cleans as the Entree followed by a finisher in a routinized domain. Most CrossFitters are missing basic positional strength in their bodies. I know I am and I’ve been doing this stuff for 15 years!
If you cant hold a perfect hollow handstand with nose to wall for 60 seconds what business do you have doing handstand pushups??
Working on the fundamentals will ALWAYS benefit you seven-fold when you go back to the more dynamic stuff, and you will see gains far beyond anything you could have achieved by simply doing more.
Now, who wants to do some kettle bell swings and burpee-pullups?