What CrossFit Can Teach You About Strength
Well, that was a first…
Though I spend a great deal of my time in a gym and around sweaty people adorned in tights and loose shorts – this weekend was the first time I’ve ever been in a room with hundreds of them as they pushed, pulled and sprinted in effort to prove who was fittest.
So where the hell was I?
I’ve spent the past two days watching hundreds of athletes compete at the third annual SweatRx Championship and Outlaw Invitational
Before you go and get your panties in a bunch over why a guy who preaches about strength and power is at a Crossfit event- let me remind you that despite all the negative things people have to say about Crossfit, it is still a system which teaches people how to get stronger…
At the end of the day Strength is my Culture, so I will support it even if I don’t agree with everything they do
Okay, so back to the event…
It was a three day competition which pitted Crossfitters from all over the country against each other to determine which individual athletes and boxes reigned supreme
As exciting as the competition was – the biggest takeaways as a coach had a lot more to do with the entire Crossfit culture and their unique approach to training
In this short post, I’m going to share with you the three biggest insights I walked away with this weekend and how they can help you become a better lifter in a shorter period of time
Insight #1: Strengthen Your P-Chain
If you’ve ever had a chance to watch a Crossfitter train you will immediately notice something; the majority of their exercises are based-around having a strong p-chain and no, a p-chain isn’t some brooklyn based rapper.
Your p-chain is the group of muscles (glutes, hamstrings and lower back) which help you express lower body power in most athletic feats. You use your posterior chain when squat, run and leap.
Commonly the posterior chain is strengthened by doings tons of lower body compound movements like squats, lunges and deadlifts.
Like most other strength athletes, Crossfitters focus a lot of time improving the big compound lifts.
If you head over to the Crossfit HQ site and scroll through the workout archives, it’ll become fairly apparent that nine times out of ten the WOD (workout of the day) includes a lower body compound lift.
The thing which separates Crossfit approach to using the big lifts from other modes of strength-training is; Crossfitters train the compound lifts as a means to improve overall athletic prowess.
If you want to become a stronger lifter or better all around athlete, it’s imperative that you start incorporating more posterior chain work into your workouts. Coach Rob Sulaver has a pretty good training system for incorporating more p-chain training into your workout, for more info about his method CLICK HERE
Insight #2: If You Want to Get Stronger, You MUST Get Plugged in
One of the things I MUST give Crossfit credit for; is bringing back the team component to training.
Though I can’t prove it- I would bet dollars to donuts that Crossfitters develop faster than most other strength athletes in their given sport.
Crossfitters who train out of a box are allowed an opportunity to train within a community of like-minded people who all have the same end goal; to get stronger.
This sort of social support lends to host of benefits like keeping each other accountable in and out of the gym and motivating each other when through training plateaus.
If you really want to maximize your workouts and push your results to the next level I would recommend you follow suit and find your own group of lifters dedicated to getting stronger, it’ll make a world of difference.
This advice may not be applicable for everyone, especially for lifters who train at home or live in remote parts of the country but even they can make strides by joining an online community of lifters who are focused on getting better every single day
Insight #3: If You Want To Get Stronger You Must Increase Your Movement Variety
I’m probably gonna get in hot water for this one but Crossfit’s approach of frequently varied movement patterns in training… is a good thing.
For years all of us coaches have been taught that athletes must stay on a program for a given period of time to allow the adaptation process to occur.
Though this linear approach to progression allows coaches to yield predictable results, since the advent of Crossfit we have seen that the non-linear approach can also yield tremendous results while creating a better-rounded athlete.
The smartest thing to do would be to follow a system which allows for lots of movement variety while still following some sort of linear progression – so you can get the best of both worlds.
The lesson here is simple; If you can apply increased movement variety to your training, it’ll help you avoid stagnation, make your stronger and turn you into a better rounded athlete.
As you can see Crossfit has done a few things really well to create a training system and a culture which allows athletes to get stronger. Even if you don’t ascribe to their method of training there is still value in using some of the lessons learned from observing their system.
If you want to experience the same sort of results as many Crossfit athletes without the chaos and exposure to potentially danger check out Rob Saluver’s Bossfit training program.
It’s essentially a Crossfit approach to training with a cohesive structure
Alright man, till next time
Go Big or Go Home