Olympic-Lifting, Power-Lifting, Strength and Conditioning
The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.
October is breast cancer awareness month and today I had a chance to participate in the "Killin' it for a Cure" fundraiser at Crossfit Will County. It was a fun event consisting of a team WOD. Teams of two had to complete the following: 3rnds of 20 Clean&Jerk 135#, 40 Kettlebell swings 53#, 30 pullups. My partner Mike (Crossfit Naperville) and I finished the task in 13:25, here's a pic of the two of us post workout.
I had a few hours off from doing research at the APS so I dropped in to Crossfit Chicago on Friday. Little did I know I would be in for a little treat called "Linda" aka 3 bars of death! Good bunch of guys/gals and a puppy make up this quaint little box. Coach Rudy Tapalla ran the WOD while Coach Bryce Wood motivated and spotted me through out the workout. I had a great time guys and I look forward to sporting my new crossfit chicago t-shirt.
The truth is that people who offer great Crossfit or other services will do exceptionally well and people who offer mediocre crossfit will still do ok. The reason being is that even poorly executed crossfit programming and functional movements provide a better workout that 90% of the programs / globo gyms / personal trainers out there. The magic is in the movements, even when those movements are not done exactly as they should be. It seems wierd but it is the truth. There are 1000's of people a month becoming new crossfit trainers and opening up their own affliates who know nothing about how to train people. Some of these will do well as coaches and others not so well but hopefully they will be constantly learning how to be better coaches and that makes all the difference. All good coaches and trainers started off as amateurs before they became all-stars it just takes time. New unqualified trainers will unfortunately injure a client or two but this will hopefully remind them to keep improving their knowledge in exercise physiology, biomechanics, olympic lifting, etc. I have trained at a lot of bad crossfits, some get better everytime I go back and some don't. The only good thing is that eventually there will be 5-10 Crossfits in every big city and 2-4 in every small town and the crappy crossfits will all be weeded out.
Alec Hanson from Crossfit Costa Mesa says it best (CFJ article )- "A great trainer is someone who inspires those they train. They create new opportunities for their members. They push them and encourage them and are invested in their lives and their success. If they are bad trainers, their clients will either get hurt, hit plateaus or realize they don’t really know anything and leave."
For all new trainers I think it is important for them to stick with what they know and slowly expand their knowledge. People can get very fit doing 4rnds of 400m run, 50 air squats or 3rnds of 30 pushups, 50 situps. Sometimes less is more (effective and safe)! Use the tools you have and then build from there. As your clients grow so will their needs and your coaching will have to follow suit because if you can't keep up they will leave. If you can't do a clean and jerk or if you don't know the proper way to teach the movement then you can't expect your clients to perform them in the workout. When you have some idea of how the C&J goes you can put it into the programming at low weight for high reps and when you have a solid foundation of the C&J you can start to get your clients lifting heavy singles. (This is the same reason I don't teach people how to do backflips.)
So which is worse, doing crossfit.com by yourself (can't see form) at a Globo Gym or working out at a Crappy Crossfit (doing horrible programming)? The answer is different for everyone for me it's the crappy crossfit but for someone who doesn't know the movements correctly it is the globo gym. Either way both are better than the typical "back and bicept" day followed by 30 min of cardio when trying to get fit.
Keep functional, keep fit!
Trainers - Keep learning you never know enough and keep up to the needs of your clients or lose them!
Athletes - If you are not seeing results or you find yourself getting hurt/injured find a new trainer!
Williston working on an iron cross hold on the rings
Bodyweight strength is extremely important. The ability to control your body on a frictionless plane involves tonnes and tonnes of muscles throughout the entire body! Start with holding yourself up on the rings for 10, 20, 30sec up to 1-2 min. You can then start working on being inverted on the rings, "skin the cat", muscle-ups and finally back/front lever progressions. Progressions are the key! Don't just jump into a highly skilled move, go through each step until you can start combining them in the final product. Other progressions like the one seen above allow you to shorten the lever on which the forces act, therefore making it slightly easier to perform. So Practise your gymnastics and you will become a machine!