Thursday 150910

Take 20 minutes to work up to a 2 rep max front squat

Then, 8 x 1 1/4 front squats at 50% of 2 rep max for 3 sets

Post loads to comments and BTWB

And the CrossFit Team Series is off. Clancy and Nate wonder if the best way to do partner deadlifts is with interlaced hands. #dontjudge #partnersforlife

And the CrossFit Team Series is off. Clancy and Nate wonder if the best way to do partner deadlifts is with interlaced hands. #dontjudge #partnersforlife


CrossFit is just as good for the non-CrossFitter as it is for the CrossFitter. Say what? By (in small part) Courtney Shepherd and (in large part) Tony Leyland

CrossFit is considered a General Physical Preparedness Program, also known as GPP. In an article by Tony Leyland, published in the CrossFit Journal in September 2012, the author explains why general physical preparedness is a good thing for everyone from elite level athletes to beginners. CrossFit is considered the sport for the non specialist. We specialize in not specializing. Which turns out to be one of the biggest criticisms from the non CrossFiting world. For those athletes that do, in fact, specialize in a sport, their argument is how can we be really good at any one thing when we are constantly working on everything. CrossFitters will never have a 4 minute mile or a 1,000 lbs deadlift. Our argument as CrossFitters would be that we don’t want either of those things. Because if I have a 4 minute mile, I probably can’t deadlift by backpack. And if I have a 1,000 lbs deadlift, my cardio for the day consists of walking to and from my car. As CrossFitters we want a happy blend of both worlds, which is entirely possible. There are some CrossFit athletes out there with 5 minute miles and 500 plus pound deadlifts. I don’t know what you think about that, but I’d say well blended my friend, well blended.

Tony Leyland states, “. . . as the understanding of CrossFit grows, two large groups of people will view CrossFit as either beyond their capability and/or not relevant to their training needs. One group comprises competitive athletes who think CrossFit workouts are not relevant to their sport. The second and larger group comprises those looking for general fitness, those who are by nature not competitive and those who believe the general misconception that aerobic conditioning is all they need.” Building a strong work capacity across broad time and modal domains will help all athletes achieve their goals. For the non-competitive persons, this broad and general fitness can help them perform their daily activities more easily and reduce injuries.

Here is what Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit, has to say about a General Physical Preparedness Program and CrossFit:

• GPP is the most underdeveloped and neglected aspect of athletic training, especially in elite athletes.

CrossFit produces an unmatched GPP in novice, intermediate, and advanced athletes regardless of their prior training and sport.

• Every athlete we’ve worked with, from Olympic medalists to UFC legends, has some glaring chink in his/her GPP, and it takes at most two hours, two sessions, on average to find these chinks.

• Fixing these chinks, these deficiencies, has an immediate benefit within your sport and very often in ways not quite obvious mechanically and perhaps metabolically. For instance, more pull-ups make for better skiing and skiers. Upper-body pushing movements make for better rowing and rowers. Anaerobic training is a boon to endurance athletes.

There’s greater margin for improving performance in elite athletes by improving GPP with CrossFit than can be garnered through additional sport-specific training.

• “CrossFit produces a ‘ready state’ from which more advanced or sport-specific training becomes very efficient.” —Mark Twight

• CrossFit will for many sports reduce the total training volume, reduce training injuries, and allow more time for vital sport specific skills and drills.

• CrossFit is more fun and seems more athletic to experienced athletes than does traditional GPP.

• CrossFit has athletes improving their fitness for years beyond, to levels significantly beyond, traditional GPP.

• Sport training and physiology are not so well understood that highly specialized strength and conditioning routines are optimally effective.

Greg Glassman and Tony Leyland are not suggesting that to be a specialist in a sport doesn’t require a great amount of training in that sport. They are both merely stating the great benefits that come from GPP, improving over all fitness to a point that allows specialists to advance in their specialty. Can we possibly make the argument that working on the mechanics of, and mastering the kipping pull-up will have a benefit to the soccer player’s throw in? Or working on a kettle bell swing, thruster, or sumo deadlift high pull can help improve the core to extremity power for a baseball player stepping up to bat?

As for the general public, the non-competator, the person who simply wants health, happiness, and longevity in their lives, “If you are not a specialized athlete, your training should be aimed at keeping you healthy and prepared for the variety of challenges life will often throw at you. Unfortunately, many individuals with no aspirations to be competitive athletes train only in one or two physical skill areas and only in the oxidative energy system. Hence, they become specialized without intending to. Many others just lift weights and are only fit to lift weights. The net result is that many of the exercising public totally ignore, or are unaware of, the need for GPP. A strong argument to make when suggesting a non-athlete try CrossFit is that there are diminishing returns when you keep doing the same thing over and over.

Imagine, if you will, some of our daily activities. Picking up a 35 lbs bag of dog food off the ground and heaving it into the back of an SUV, tripping and falling on the ground, then having to pick yourself back up, sitting down on the couch/ toilet/ bed and then standing back up without needing assistance. These things look like a clean & jerk, a burpee, and a squat. All functional movements that if trained outside of real life applications would mean that facing them in our everyday lives would be that much easier. Or what about having to carry a crying child, several bags of groceries, up several flights of stairs, with the other child clinging to your leg as you walk. . . that’s basically a WOD, for time. Our bodies are made to be challenged, and training for these challenges makes them easier when they show up in the real world.

No matter the kind of athlete you are or wish to become, I will simply end on this, as Tony Leyland said it best, it takes a larger foundation to build a church than it does to build an outhouse. So get your GPP on my friend, CrossFit is for everyone.

*For full CrossFit Journal article, click here.

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