Work Your Weakness

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.”
– Tim Duncan

If you try to describe an athlete that we would consider to be best in their respective sport, one adjective you might use to describe them is “well-rounded”.  This is not a judgment of their body type, but instead of their lack of ugly sharp edges in their skillset.  A baseball player who is considered one of the greats will have demonstrated an ability to crush the ball out of the park, but also can throw you out at home from centerfield.  A soccer superstar is not only an amazingly talented goal scorer, but they never come off the field – they have extreme endurance and durability (as soccer players go, anyway…)

How would we apply this model to a CrossFit athlete, or just someone who strives to achieve a supreme level of fitness?  Well-rounded in this case would mean they are strong, fast, coordinated, agile, flexible, durable and endurable.  In general, they don’t have any holes in their game.  This does not mean that they are necessarily naturally talented — indeed they probably have great genetic potential in at least one of these fitness domains — but more likely they have worked their butt off to identify and fix any weaknesses.  They are hard workers, and also very honest and self-aware about the things that are holding them back.

Moving away from the theoretical view of an ultimate fitness machine, and bringing us back to today, let’s be honest about where we all are in terms of our fitness.  Many of us have developed significant holes in our game from our fitness and nutrition habits degrading during the COVID lockdown.  And that’s alright, that’s where we are and we just have to acknowledge it and deal with it in a positive way by turning back toward a more disciplined life (eat healthy foods, get back to training in the gym or outside).

Others came through the lockdown period with not as many chinks in their armor, as they remained focused and did what they could to maintain their fitness.  But… what about all those heavy weights that were sitting at the gym, not being lifted?  Many of us, even if we were consistent with our conditioning work and were throwing dumbbells around like there was no tomorrow, have developed a bit of a strength imbalance (I know I have!)

So, we’ve identified it, and we’re going to fix it!  Beginning next week, we will start a consistent schedule of strength training in our group classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  For our first 7-week cycle, each Monday we will work on Power Cleans, each Wednesday we will train with Presses, and each Friday we will get after some Front Squats.  We will start and end the cycle by testing our 1-rep max in each of these lifts.  After this initial 7-week cycle, we will switch gears to three more lifts and follow the same protocol.
We will be introducing a strength bias to our CrossFit program, which will be noticeably different from our group CrossFit class experience for at least the past couple years.  We’ll have to stay focused on our conditioning workouts as well, especially on the days that we are not training strength at all, to make sure that this aspect of our fitness does not fall off.

I’m pretty excited to have everyone set a new post-lockdown strength baseline, and then test again after 7 weeks of progressive strength work.  Let’s all work hard and lean into this opportunity to work on our weaknesses!

Ryan

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