then perform 3×3 @ 90% of 3rm
3 Position Snatch Deadlift *Shin/Knee/Hip
Work to a difficult 3
20 Overhead Walking Lunges 45/25
More and More toys!
So as I sit here and try to think about how I want to word and structure this little story for you, I am vigorously rubbing tiger balm on my arms to get the pain of not being able to completely straighten my arms to go away. The product of a couple of competitive wods over the last couple of days. Bad idea? perhaps, but I am okay with the cost benefit what I am doing, and what its doing to me. Which brings me to the reason for this post. Wantingto compete at a high level and what its going to do to you.
The role of a coach is to support the client in his or hers chosen endeavor, but its helpful to remind clients of the inherent costs of climbing the ladder to that elite performance.
Now lets not confuse supporting you in your endeavor with “Programming the way you want us to so that you can do all of the shit that you like to do”
Carl and I spend a lot of time studying, tooling, and re-tooling our programming to fit the guidelines of making you better Crossfitters in the direction of performance, health, and longevity. We want you strong, we want you to be flexible, to eat clean, to be able to perform technical lifts and gymnastics movements with some competency, all the while giving you the avenue to back off of the main classes if you think they are too hard, as well as competing at different levels if you so desire.
We tackle programming our main classes in such a way that minimizes burnout and optimizes performance, Strength and technical work make up the majority, with capacity being maintained or expanded on an individual basis throughout the year, environmental factors such as sleep, stress, nutrition, recovery methods, how well you are following our program, all play into your ability to make progress.
What Carl and I see constantly is the tendency for coaches to prescribe “more” instead of quality programming. It seems to be what is glamorous in Crossfit, volume volume volume.
You see Rich Froning doing 5 workouts a day, then performing well (maybe a little better than well) in the games. So most people think, “He does it, so should I.”
How do I put this delicately, you are not Rich Froning.
Take a long hard look at who you are as an athlete.
Do you follow a program? or do you skip workouts that you don’t like and then complain about not being able to PR?
How is your nutrition? is your sleep doing well? Do you stress out all of the time? Are you injured at the moment?
How is your mobility? do you have the genetics to recover from the workload you are trying to perform?
These are just a few of the questions and they shouldn’t only be applied to whether or not you want to compete at a high level, but at whatever level you would like to train at. Meaning, are you doing what it takes to get to where you want to be, or to stay there?
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of volume at the Crossfit Games and if you want more, then take a look at yourself as a person and ask yourself whether the responsibility of an elite level is enough for you. Going to bed early, staying away from shitty food, doing mobility when you are not at the gym, being CONSISTENT in those habits as well.
So whats the next step once you have figured out who you are? Find out where you want to be, then figure out what it takes to get there. But before you start doing triple Murph, lets talk about a few things.
There are a lot of people We have met over the last 5 or so years who are not aware of the Law of Diminishing returns, or the costs of moving up a notch in performance. If you want to compete in Crossfit, it pushes the limits of human performance with all of the potential downsides that you will see in every other sport.
In economics, diminishing returns (also called diminishing marginal returns) is the decrease in the marginal (per-unit) output of a production process as the amount of a single factor of production is increased, while the amounts of all other factors of production stay constant.
In athletic terms, to put it simply, it means we can get reasonably fit or competent at a given activity with relatively low time and effort investment. If you want to be “elite” its going to cost you.
Robb Wolf has said, “We can make decisions in life that will accentuate one of these 3 variables: Performance, Health, and Longevity”
Performance is the ability to “do stuff.” Not exclusively work capacity but also technicality in a movement.
Health is the moment to moment likelihood that you will continue to live, your ability to survive and thrive right now. What is your blood pressure? blood sugar? mental outlook? stress level? immune response? ability to survive falling off a 12’ ladder? Its a simplistic view of health, but it works well.
Longevity is simple health, extrapolated over time.
Example: If Carl and I are approached with an athlete that wants to compete at a HIGH level at ANY sport. We can give them the best case scenario for their individual environmental factors. Reducing as much of the negative impacts of their training load as possible. At the end of the day whats important to people that want to compete at a HIGH level is winning. High level athletes run with training volumes and intensities, food amounts and quality that are NOT great for health and longevity, but are integral for optimizing performance. It compromises health with the amount of wear and tear you take on your body, the large oxidative load that damages DNA and negatively alters both hormonal and immunological function. some of us are okay with that, but 99% of our members do not fall within this competitive bracket.
Don’t get me wrong, I WANT you all to compete, I helps push those personal bests, compete against yourself, compete against others within the gym. Keep that fire lit and enjoy the competition. But with each notch up, there comes a cost.
Crossfit is great for performance, health and longevity, its what we design our main programming around, If you want to look good, have community and be challenged at your individual level of performance along with some weakness biased work. If you are looking for something a notch up or down from our regular programming, we can facilitate it. But if we want to be successful and do right by all of you, that involves being honest with people who want to compete and the risks that are inherent with it. Be careful out there 🙂