What are We Trying to Do?
One of the problems I see with CrossFit is the confusion that occurs between the Competitive “Sport” of Fitness and the General Physical Preparedness aspects.
The Sport of Fitness—the CrossFit Games—is a fun fantasy for most of us. We do Friday Night Lights during the open as a intramural “competition” hoping to bring more fun to the gym. But, the reality is there are few if any of us who are going to go to the games. The Sport of Fitness is not a sport as much as it is a selection process for the Fittest persons, teams…
The General Physical Preparedness (GPP) is the preparation for the unknown and unknowable. It does not make us better a specific sport skill—running, skiing, baseball… It does condition us for most life events—running a marathon is not a common life event.
Too often we bring a competitive mindset—I’m guilty of this—into the gym and try to out do each other. We look at the whiteboard to see how well others have done with the workout—even though we don’t know what it is—and get our competition persona engaged.
But the purpose of our training is not to get you to the CrossFit Games, this can take years and will not happen in a group class setting. If you’re a CrossFit geek like I am you realize that the people who make it to the games are being Coached individually and possible by multiple coaches: Strength, Oly, Gymnastics… They are professional athletes in that preparing for the game is what they do, sure they may Coach at a gym, but their focus is to make it on to the podium at the games.
The purpose of our training is not to get you to do a CrossFit main site workout Rx either—you may notice that we don’t use the term Rx in our programming. Who cares if you can do an arbitrary workout like Fran Rx?
Our purpose is condition you for Longevity. To help you get better every year. With that in mind a workout like Fran becomes an important measurement tool to gauge one’s progress.
We have a strength bias to our programming. The lifts we do are geared more towards what we need in life rather than the Sport of Fitness. It can be frustrating that we change the lift just when we think we’re getting better or about to PR. It’s not arbitrary. Changing our programming from Deadlift and Bench Press to Front Squat and Push Press is in direct response to what we can expect to see in the Saturday Night Lights during the Open. We want to be strong enough to have a good time, and stay safe.