Specialists -vs- JOATs
One of the frequent arguments against CrossFit in the sports community is that WE (“WE” as in the typical CrossFit gym protagonist) don’t do enough of anything specific for CF to have any advantage to any REAL sport. I beg to differ. While it’s true, if you look any CF gym’s programming (HQ included) on the surface, the WODs seem to be completely random without rhyme or reason for when certain movements are done. This is usually not the case, as I know many good programmers, and they take a considerable effort to plan multi-faceted WODs in a timely manner. Mixing in a good amount of strength, endurance, agility, and conditioning… spaced out in a scheduled manner as not to overtrain a particular area, but provide for progress in all areas. This is all fine and good, but still doesn’t acknowledge the claim that because our scope of movements is so broad, we don’t do enough sport specific training to “get good” at anything particular other than CF. Again untrue. While I’ll admit if you compare a seasoned crossfitter to any sports-specialist in their chosen field, with the rare exception, we can’t compare to their level of performance. I can’t snatch 300#… can’t run a 4min mile… no 2:30 marathon… hold an “iron-cross”, nor play 15 weeks of football at a competitive level without injury… AND I never will. BUT, what I can say is this… while CF doesn’t train for a specific sport, it makes us “pretty good” at almost EVERY sport. We run, lift, climb, jump, throw, crawl, and balance. We are the JOATs (Jacks of all trades) of the sports/fitness community… and human beings in general.
Currently, here are my rough stats…
squat – 2xBW bench – 1.5xBW deadlift – 2.5XBW snatch – BW C&J – 1.25xBW 1 mile run – 6min marathon – 3hr 30min
To any real weightlifter or competitive runner these totals are laughable. But, in the realm of overall general physical preparedness, I’d argue they are respectable. How many lifters with a 300# C&J can run a mile under 8minutes? Which world class marathoner can squat their own bodyweight on a barbell? Their specialism makes them great in their sport, but at a cost in other areas. At some point competitive sports end no matter how good you are (even Michael Jordan retired), LIFE goes on. And as John Lennon said “Life is what happens when you are making other plans.” Life is the unexpected, the chaotic, the difficult, under non-ideal circumstances, and sometimes even the mundane. Life at times expects you to react quickly and adapt to any situation regardless of if you’ve warmed-up, had a good meal, or if you have any chalk handy. CrossFit prepares you for life. This to me is the most beautiful aspect of CrossFit training methodology, although you couldn’t have convinced me of this just 2 years ago. At my current fitness level, at any given time I’m ready at a moment’s notice to help a buddy move furniture, go rock climbing or kayaking, do a big hike, revel in the occasional pub-brawl, or spontaneously jump in a local 10k. And despite claims of CF’s danger of injury, I attest to the opposite. At 43 years old, I can say I’m more unbreakable than I was 20 years ago. Such broad and general training definitely avoids overtraining and burnout. I want to be strong and fit enough to still enjoy a wealth of physical activities well into my senior years including chasing my grandkids. Getting old isn’t for sissies, so I want to prepare for old age now. CF is helping me do this.
The fact that we never devote significant time to getting really good at one thing is what makes us pretty good at everything. Coach Glassman said it best when he referred to a critic about how kipping pullups was “cheating”. “We do your stuff nearly as well as you do, you can’t do ours very well at all, and we do everything that we both don’t do much better than you can. Not very humble, I know, but true.” Another great quote from a newbie at my 6am class after we had done a 1RMax of benchpress, in which mine went up by 20# since I randomly benched at a gym years ago… (note this was the first time a benchpress has ever been programmed at my gym in 3 years to my knowledge)… noob “So you’re saying you’re bench went up, and yall NEVER benchpress?” Classic. THAT is sport-carryover. So my point is that while crossfitters may not be the absolute best at a particular sport, the CF methods (and madness) are proven effective at getting the most bang for the buck in most every aspect of fitness and producing the most well-rounded injury-free athlete prepared for almost anything that I have ever found. In Omnia Paratus. Bring on 14.5
1) EMOM for 3 sets. 5x UB Hi-Hang snatch @ 55%. Note: this will be a standard part of the warmup for the next 2 weeks. Get good at getting to rock-bottom fast.
2) EMOM for 10 sets 1x Power snatch + 1x Hang snatch (full). AHAP.
E90S for 3 sets each, alternate between a) and b).
a) 10x alternating pistol
b) 8/10x HSPU. Use the very least # of AbMats… none or deficit if possible.
3x power snatch 115/78#
6x thruster 115/78#
CFV Wednesday WOD
20min AMRAP of…
20x Pushup… (everyone needs work on these… chest to floor, no worming)
10x KBS 53/35
5x HBBS @BW/.75BW