Kirkland CrossFit

Kirkland CrossFit

How to do CrossFit Total

Today we are doing the CrossFit total, weightlifting class and regular class.  After 3 cycles of the Wendler 5-3-1 I am continually being asked if we are going to test and when we are going to test our 1 rep max.  Today is the day.  Before getting into how to do the CrossFit total, I was going to try and impress upon you why your strength base in CrossFit is so important to your performance even if the need to “perform” is only in context of you trying to be in the best shape of your life.  Fortunately, Mark Rippetoe has explained this for me already in his article about how to do the CrossFit total.
“Coach Glassman discussed this with me recently, in a conversation about increasing CrossFit’s strength base. We have talked many times about the fact that people who come to CrossFit from a strength-training background tend to perform better in the key aspects of the program. When you’re stronger, metabolic conditioning is easier and endurance stuff (i.e., 5k or 10k runs) is about the same—and workouts like “Diane” (three rounds, at 21-15-9 reps, of 225-pound deadlifts and handstand push-ups) are just not possible without a considerable amount of strength. In essence, it is easier for a lifter to improve his or her time on “Diane” than it is for a runner to develop the ability even to finish the workout without scaling it back to a very light weight. So the conversation focused on a way to work more strength into the program while maintaining the CrossFit approach to it.”
The point of all of our strength training within the CrossFit setting is received differently between the boys and the girls, but when it comes down to performance within the toughest workouts of the CrossFit regimen, strength trumps endurance.  I’m sure I do not need to remind you of this…the top leaders of our gym are usually those whose performance in the CrossFit setting accelerates his or her ego, only to have it crushed in social settings by the uncomfortable tightness of his or her thighs in their jeans and their shoulders in dress shirts.  A common statistic employed by those uninterested in doing heavy work, but still hoping to be a top performer.  These same folks often never discuss his or her level of cellulite–not present.  The fact that I find missing from many KCF gym-goers understanding of why we do this strength work (ok, mostly the ladies) is that being a top performer in CrossFit and being in the best shape of your life are an inclusive characteristic.  Not wanting to lift weights for fear of “bulking up” is as much about diet and total training volume outside of lifting weights than it is about getting stronger.  I think maybe I have touched on something that should be covered in a different post.  Back to the Total….
Please read the article on how to do a CrossFit Total as Mark Rippetoe makes some excellent points about why it exists in relation to Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting. He has a nice argument.

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