This year I decided to post all my Open Qualifier workouts on Vimeo and share them on Facebook. Human nature in this “submit your own score” format is to doubt the performance of others. I figure my videos will be out there to be judged and no one can doubt my performance numbers are not legit. It would be awesome if everyone who was in contention to move onto the next level followed suit. A Vimeo or Youtube account is free and everyone has a video recording device these days.
Since I started posting my videos, it led to me watching other videos of workout 12.2. I was appalled at what I saw on several videos. I wasn’t so flabbergasted at the technique. I have alread wrote that if you throw a technical movement at people and ask them to do it fast for lots of reps, technique goes out the window. Even if it isn’t a very technical movement, fatigue sets in and technique takes a shit. This is the CrossFit way. The best CrossFitters are the ones who can maintain the integrity of their movement the longest. Watch Rich Froning do workout 12.2. His movement is beautiful throughout the entire workout. It's why he is such a badass.
So it wasn't so much the lack of "technique" that bothered me in the videos. It was an important part of technique that people were missing that made me want to throw my laptop across the room. What bothered me was people not completing full range of motion (via the standards set by CrossFit) and counting the movement as a completed rep.
The written standards for the "snatch" movement stated,
“Each rep will be counted once the athlete clearly shows control of the barbell overhead.”
Since the video demonstration showed that the heel, knee, hip, shoulder and barbell need to all be aligned at the completion of the movement, it is safe to say that if your feet are still moving when you dump the bar, that is a missed rep (just like a snatch in an Olympic weightlifitng competition). Also (though this could be debated), “clearly shows control” means there should be a slight pause with the load overhead before the load is dumped to the floor.
I guess if you are in 743rd place, how good you do the workout doesn’t really matter, but one video I saw in particular was of an athlete hitting 91 reps. 91 reps is a great score in any division and the score put the athlete I saw into 4th place in their region. Unfortunately, I counted minimally 5 reps where the athlete's feet were clearly still moving when the athlete dumped the bar. Once or twice I can see a judge giving a warning, but 5 times is unacceptable, especially if you are in contention to move onto the next level. If I was sitting in the 60-65 position in that region and I saw that video, I would be pissed!
After watching numerous videos with people not completeing full range of motion (because not showing control in a snatch is exactly that....not completing full range of motion), all I could think was, “Train like you fight.” I don’t know anything about any of the people I saw in video, but my guess is that if you move like that in a competiton setting, you probably train that way also. If you are skipping full range of motion in your trianing to be faster or get a better time/score, that is likely going to manifest itself during your performance if you want to be a “competitive CrossFitter.”
I’ve heard the term “train like you fight” in every athletic endeavor I’ve ever participated in. We also mention it often in SWAT training and police work in general. “Train like you fight” does not mean that you go balls to the wall every time you train for your sport (or job). Train like you fight means your training focuses on perfecting the technical skills needed to be the best at what you do. Part of being technically sound includes full range of motion in your movements. If your training/programming is smart, everything else (strength, conditioning, power, speed, etc.) will follow suit.
I will use a boxer as an example. The best fighters in the world have speed, power and ring savvy, but they are also the best technical fighters. Whether it be in the way they punch, defend, bob or weave, their whole package is a thing of beauty and gracefulness to watch. They didn’t get that way by short changing their punches in practice or cutting corners while practicing their skills. They trained like they fight.
I have shared many a drinks with other coaches while debating this subject. Some coaches argue the point that every now and then, you need to push the limits of your physical capacity so you can hit that complete exhaustion realm. The argument continues that not hitting full range of motion when you are trying to get to that uncomfortable zone is okay. My counter argument is simple. You are training yourself to perform poorly when you are tired. Is that what the best athletes in the world train for? I doubt it.
This morning, Chyna told me a quote from one of her swim coaches when she was ten years old. I thought it pretty profound that is stuck with her over all these years. How many people remember something that a teacher or coach told you when you were ten? Chyna was gripping about having to practice. She was whining that practice does not make perfect. Her coach told her,
“Practice does not make you perfect. Perfect practice makes you perfect.”
If you want to be a better CrossFit competitor, or you just want to be better at CrossFit in general, concentrate more on your technique and your range of motion. You may not end up with the best results on the dry erase board, but you will be better served in the long run.
Train like you fight.
WORKOUT & POWER HOUR 3/7/2012
- Find your 3 rep max back squat
Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
- 4 back squats (75% of your 3 rep max)
- 8 ring dips
- 20 double unders
- 10/20/30 yard shuttle run
What is a shuttle run???