Master the Basics
In the age of instagram, Facebook, etc. Social media seems to be influencing us as CrossFitters, more and more to get the idea that we need to center our workouts around intensity and volume and we just need to do more… Now don’t get it wrong, when applied correctly with an experienced coach helping and supervising, this is absolutely a way to becoming that next level of athlete,. But for 98% of us, unsupervised intensity and volume should not be in our path.
Whatever happened to mastering the basics?
Back in the day (which wasn’t that long ago) it was regular for all athletes to practice to drill over and over and over on basic movements. In fact, if you watched our Instagram story on Monday you would have seen a video of 17 year old Varsity Teen member Barrett Lloyd hitting two easy complexes, one at 205 with a push jerk to end and one at 225 with a split jerk to end. This didn’t happen overnight. Barrett first spent years mastering the PVC pipe, empty bar and light weight, dialing in quality movement before adding weight or speed. In fact if you were to spend time watching the majority of long term CFI kids in class, you would be blown away by the technique and quality at which these kids move. They have been drilling the basics for years. For all athletes, all movements, ranging from gymnastics to the Olympic lifts, hours upon hours have been spent mastering the basics, long before we ever worried about intensity becoming a primary or even secondary concern.
Modern “Open Gym” CrossFit Athlete
If we look at today, you see athletes who have shifted their focus to intensity and volume way too early in their development. The unsupervised “open gym athlete” had made a major spark across gyms all over the world the past 2 years. For this reason, we implemented a must attend at least 2 classes a week, be a member longer then 6 months and have the coach on shift clearance to use open gym for other then basics.
The newer athletes watch the CrossFit Games, they “drink the kook-aid” and they decide this is what they want to aim for. They’re taking the mindset of “I don’t need that now, I’ll do the ‘easy’ stuff later.” But how often do they actually do that? We hear it all the time, how do I link more pull-ups, or T2B, or how can I PR my OHS? We in return ask, how often do you come in before to increase mobility, or stay after class to build skill.
You can utilize open gym to build basics, to work on the kip swing, PVC drills, or footwork and basic strength. Any CFI coach will give you a set of drill you can practice on your own and be safe. These drills will make you better all around in and outside the gym.
Intensity seems Sexy
What we commonly see today is athletes that are excited to improve and in that excitement they lose focus. Rather than spending the time to learn how to properly and efficiently move, they start looking around the room, seeing what long term athletes with basics practiced are doing and want to jump right to that level of training, in turn skipping the basics!
Details, mastering the basics and consistently being in class should be the first step to any athlete, basic or elite. If done right, they should never be forgotten or overlooked, and should always be applied in practice. If you’ve ever watched a top level athlete train, you’ll see that they always go back to the basics. If you notice in our programming we go back to basic movements for all levels and in our focus we not only practice strength work, we also do a lot of skill work.
Become a master student
Be a coaches favorite athlete and next time you see a movement on the board that you struggle with, ask them to break it down for you into the most basic components. Than soak that information in like a sponge, and use this new approach to learn how to move better and more efficiently. We promise you that the better you become at the basics, the easier it will be to add and increase intensity as well as avoid injury because of your new found ability to move effectively and efficiently!
Wednesday November 15, 2017
WOD: 20 mins
This is a play on our 100 Thrusters workout
With a continuously running clock complete 5 Thrusters every minute.
From 0:00-5:00 use 75/55
From 5:00-10:00 use 95/65
From 10:00-15:00 use 115/80
From 15:00-20:00 use 135/95
If you are unable to meet the 5 reps in a minute with increased weight, move back to the weight you have previously used and was successful at, then hold on there.
1st 5 mins – 65/45
2nd 5 mins – 75/55
3rd 5 mins – 85/60
4th 5 mins – 95/65
Chose a weight you can hold continuously and only increase as technique and stamina will allow
1st 5 mins – 95/65
2nd 5 mins – 115/80
3rd 5 mins – 135/95
4th 5 mins – 155/105
Check back each night at 8pm for the next days WOD