Keeping it Simple
By: Jeremy Warner
Muscle-ups, Olympic Lifts, Double Unders and Pistols. These movements are on almost every athlete’s goal list as they work to add more RXd movements to their skill set. These athletes often lose sight of the training aspect of the CrossFit program with their search towards that RXd WOD score. Now do not take this the wrong way and decide to never learn or practice a new skill, as that is not what I am suggesting.
What I am proposing is that, to obtain an effective training response (workout) then keep your movements simple. If you are an accomplished athlete then Snatches and Double Unders might be easy for you, and in that case I say have at it. However, if you are not a highly skilled and conditioned athlete then how about we simply scale a pistol down to a split squat, or lunge step. Putting one of these movements in place of some bastardized version of a pistol can actually improve an athlete’s ability while being measurable and repeatable. Much better than bouncing up and down on a band using 1 leg acting like you know what you are doing.
For any fitness program to be successful you must have measurable and repeatable work to actually compute the gains made. So when looking for a way to complete a workout that looks too complicated and highly skilled for you, dumb down the movement. A Snatch contains a deadlift, a jump, and a squat, so if you can not safely do a Snatch then how about a deadlift or squat paired with a box jump. Those movements have defined start and end points where a fixed load is moved through space by your body the same way each time. In contrast a Snatch not performed correctly, by an athlete with limited practice, strength and Range of Motion can be inconsistently measured at best and absolutely dangerous in the worst case.
Technique, Consistency, and then Intensity are the chief tenets of CrossFit. Practice the movements often, add some load or speed, make corrections then repeat the process. During the WOD use the movements you are confident with, until you and the Coach come to an understanding of your ability level and as a team, then you can test the water out. You would not jump into the middle of the ocean if you could not swim, so do not jump into the middle of a WOD without having a clear plan into the goal of the training session.