Pat Sherwood and CrossFit Linchpin

“The goal is just to get fit.  Make it the best hour of your day.  Stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people, and blow off some steam.  So remember that.  Relax.  Have fun.  Work out.”
 – Pat Sherwood
In November 2018, we transitioned from following daily workouts pretty closely to instead following a new program called CrossFit Linchpin.  Linchpin was created and is programmed by Pat Sherwood, who has played many roles within the CrossFit world.  Pat is a former Navy SEAL, and as such was brought into the CrossFit fold near the beginning of it all in 2005 by Dave Castro, who is also a SEAL and had fully bought into CrossFit as the premier fitness program available for him and his teammates.  Pat quickly became a part of CrossFit’s Level 1 Seminar staff, who travel nearly every weekend to CrossFit gyms around the world teaching CrossFit to aspiring CrossFit trainers.  Eventually Pat was also responsible for programming the daily workouts on, for at least a short time – it’s a closely guarded secret how .com WODs are brainstormed and finalized, and who is involved, but it’s generally known that Pat has had a hand in it.  The workouts he strives to create are, by his own description, “brutally elegant.”  They generally don’t involve more than a 2 two 3 movements, and are simple to read on paper, but generally high on the suck-factor scale.  When Pat started his own programming scheme with Linchpin, we were eager to give it a shot here at CrossFit Kent Island.  We’ve been following Linchpin for the last 3 months – what do you think?
I was searching online for a bio on Pat, and came across a list of ten “Lessons Learned” from his first ten years in the CrossFit community.  I thought these were amazing, so wanted to share.  Enjoy!
“Aug. 18, 2015, marked my 10-year anniversary since doing my very first CrossFit workout. This last decade has taught me a lot. Looking back, I did a lot of things right, and even more things wrong. In sharing my observations and lessons learned, perhaps I can help some people as they progress toward their 10-year anniversary.
10. Take training seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Have more fun. When you are new, every day seems like it’s raining PRs. That will eventually slow down. Always strive to improve, but learn to enjoy going to the gym, working hard and going home … regardless of how the workout went.
9. Read the CrossFit Journal from the very first article, which was published in April of 2002. There is a wealth of information buried in those old articles.
8. Eating healthy is important, but please don’t be the weirdo that turns down cake and ice cream at a birthday party because it does not fit your diet.
7. The first time someone told me about CrossFit, I thought it sounded ridiculous. This was due to my ignorance of what CrossFit’s methodologies truly were. I was closed minded and thought I knew everything. If you encounter people like that (like I was), be patient. CrossFit is fun and effective; there is no denying that. Most of us thick-headed know-it-all types will eventually come around if you give us enough time and some sound information. (See No. 9.)
6. When it comes to getting fit, you can’t beat the classics: couplets, triplets, chippers, EMOMs, heavy lifting, gymnastics, running, etc. I’ve been very lucky to interview and spend a lot of time with the fittest people in our community. I will let the cat out of the bag: There is no secret training. Don’t cherry-pick workouts. Work your weaknesses. Train with variance. You will improve.
5. Get out of the gym. Working out is awesome! CrossFit is awesome! It’s safe to say that I’m a CrossFit fanatic. That being said, if 10 minutes after meeting you we are still talking about your back squat, I’m secretly bored to tears. Seek balance in your life. Go for a hike. Learn to play a new sport. Go use your fitness. Enjoy life.
4. Crawl. Walk. Run. Master the basics. These days people see the CrossFit Games and they want top-level lifts and times immediately. That’s not the way it works. Those men and women have put in years of work to be able to do what they do. You will have to do the same. Don’t be in a rush to advance. Do not blow off the fundamentals only to develop bad habits you will one day need to break.
3. Support other communities. If someone does not do CrossFit because they choose to only Olympic lift, power lift, run, do pilates, yoga or something else … WHO CARES? Obviously, I’m biased and think CrossFit would better prepare them for a long, healthy life, but at least they are not sitting on the couch stuffing their face with sugar.
2. Be humble. If you walk around with an attitude because you have fast times or big lifts, well, there’s no other way to put it … you’re a douche bag. Also, one day you will not be the strongest or the fastest. Someone will be better than you, and then you will be left with nothing and surrounded by people you did not treat with kindness.
1. Help others on their journey. Remember when you first picked up a barbell or tried a muscle-up? Remember when you could not kip or even do a single pull-up? Remember when proper nutrition seemed overwhelming and confusing? Do you remember the person who did not look down on you for being inexperienced, but rather genuinely cared and helped you? Be that person.
I look forward to the next 10 years.
—Pat Sherwood”

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