The horrible truth about elite training

Recently I’ve been immersed in visiting fellow CrossFit affiliates, going to coaching and athlete camps, reading the best literature by the greatest coaches walking Earth and there is a theme emerging.  The theme is that the ideas at the pillars of elite training are, well… dull and boring.  So much so that we tend to just ignore them.  Coach Dan John should be credited with that simple statement.

Olympic Lifts:  Snatch, clean and jerk.  Power lifts:  Squat, bench press and deadlift.  Classic exercises/gymnastics:  Pull-ups, burpees and push ups.

The fact remains that most of us cannot effectively complete these lifts in repetition with a PVC pipe, let alone throw serious weight.  The downside of a WOD, is that it is the expression of movements that each of us should be competent in before we add load or even consider Rx.

Rule of Thumb:  If I cannot execute the lift effectively with a PVC bar, I am not ready to WOD/Met-con with any additional weight.  

A Crossfit workout is the result of effective, repetitive, consistent, methodical, deliberate and exhaustive practice of the pillars of elite training.  We don’t WOD to get better at these movements, we WOD to use these movements as utility in metabolic conditioning.  We come to WOD because it is fast paced, competitive and interesting.  We ignore the fundamentals because they are dull, repetitive and boring.   Can you now see why we see such heinous images of people attempting a WOD before they have demonstrated competence in these movements?  (If you question this just type Crossfit into YouTube and brace yourself)

Here is your take home assignment:  

1. Write down the lifts/movements that you cannot demonstrate competency.  Write down the answer of this question under that list:  How many minutes have I deliberately trained these movements in the past week?

2. Present this list to your coach at The Arsenal.  We will then prescribe a training plan to build your competence in those lifts/movements.

We will not get better and remain healthy if we do not demonstrate competent execution of these lifts/movements every day, every WOD, all the time at The Arsenal.  For those nursing injuries, ask yourself, what is the likelihood that I was executing the lift/movement effectively?  If you have even a question about your confidence, ask a coach to put eyes on your lift.  That is why we are here.

The good news is that we are getting significantly better as group, but there are a percentage of us whose egos and concern about appearance are getting in the way of competence in the pillars of elite training.

Ask yourself:  Am I that person?