Saturday, February 07, 2009

You there. Stop your adaptation.

Failure to adapt to training is to adapt to training.--Westside Barbell Club

The Crossfit Prescription is to keep our training exercises constantly varied.
Per Glassman, "We fail at the margins of our experiences."

Too true.

And while we may perform many barbell, dumbell, and kettlebell variants, there tends to be a great deal of stance homogeneity within our movements. In fact ask any Crossfitter to perform a "landing position" movement and they will occupy the same foot position that they employ for the air squat, front squat, back squat, Olympic lifting receiving position, overhead squat, kettlebell swing, dumbell snatch, etc.

About the only variation that occurs in a wider than "jumping position" stance for your average Crossfitter occurs solely in the Sumo Deadlift Highpull. And while I would argue that the beauty of Crossfit is that there are so many things to suck at, we need to go farther in finding conjugates to our staple movements. Enough people have been Crossfitting for long enough that we must continue to find ways to expand upon our "constantly varied" mandate.

Great, you deadlift (this is no small achievement I know but...) Can you sumo deadlift? Let's expand the conversation beyond foot positioning. What happens when you pull while standing on a couple of 45's? What about deadlifting from a snatch grip for a one rep max? Or, what about pulling a couple of inches off the floor? What's your five rep max? Your bodyweight for reps max? I bet you don't know. And, therein lies an whole new world of new training stimuli.

We have a whole host of Olympic lifting skill transfer exercises (snatch balance, hang snatch, hang power snatch, hang muscle snatch etc.) Why is it you have never tried to squat from a narrow stance? Yeah you suck at it because it loaded your back. Of course it wasn't your strongest effort. But, it was a new PR in a narrrow "olympic high bar squat". And that's cool because it will tell you volumes about what you need to work on, and it will continue to be a novel training stimulus.

What's that? Competing in a squat contest? Well pull out your big gun, best squat stance ever. But in training, keep that sucker different. Add chains, squat lower, squat wider, you get the idea.

If we are going to continue to evolve as a community, we are going to have to get more sophisticated in our understanding of our movements and how to exploit the nuances of each for all they are worth. You need to be able to pull out like, ten different squats.

So go and see. Start to examine your basic movements with "beginner's mind".
Then go set some records and take some more names.

Coach K-hold-my-trophy-while-I-kiss-your-girlfriend-star


FilthyBrit said...

No head faults there! Strong work.

Bring on the weirdness!

. said...

"...the beauty of CrossFit is there are so many things to suck at". Word.

Lauren L. said...

Yeah, uh, "." = Lauren.