Four Competitions in Seven Weeks: What I Learned by Coach Brett

Part 2: Size Matters

 I know you look at it when you come in the gym. Compare yours to others and wonder how and why it is bigger. You sometimes feel inadequate in comparison. You’ve taken supplements to try to help with the problem, been to clinics but no matter what you try you just cannot, under any circumstance get it fixed. Your PR’s of course and looking at the PR board at the gym just makes it worse. So you quit and think,” Ah, who cares size doesn’t matter.” However, it does.

 Of the three individual competitions I did, in my division, 5 out of the 6 winners came in first place in the strength category. Of the other divisions, scaled and masters, no one came lower than 4th.  There is a lot to be said for the ability to do skills correctly and the aerobic capacity necessary to move consistently through a Crossfit workout, but personally I have found no greater correlation than between strength and Crossfit success. This is true for the highest levels like the Crossfit games, Rich Froning and Matt Fraser were one and two in the games and one in two in the OHS max. It also applies completely to you and your goals as well.

 Lately, we have had a great emphasis on strength building and many ask the questions why. I have heard people say,” I just come to get breathing heavy” or “I don’t want to be too big”. Getting stronger does not mean you have to get bigger or weightlifters would never be successful in there resected weight classes. It may happen but personally, I have stayed the same weight for some time now and have been able to raise all my personal records. So why me, why is this important to my goals?

 Results in Crossfit are shown through the equation for power, force x distance/time. Moving objects long distances over smaller time domains. I know, I know, “Don’t get all scientific on us.” Jason Khalipa said in a speech that “the good stuff” happens when the top figures go up as the time numbers go down. So when larger loads go greater distances faster we get better. It is intensity in a nutshell, doing more work in a smaller amount of time. Intensity in Crossfit=results. What’s your point in regards to strength? So a simple example: Say my clean and jerk is 275 and say your clean and jerk is a respectable 200. No shame in that. Now let’s say we are doing a workout like Grace, 30 Clean and Jerk for time. Now I am working with just less than 50% of my max where as you are at almost 70%. Common sense would say I would have an easier time moving this load; therefore  I could perform more work in less time, creating greater intensity and therefore greater results. I recall a conversation at the gym between myself and two clients. It was asked,” How do I get strong like you?” I replied, ”Squat more.” The person next to them asked, “How do I get abs like that?” my answer,” Squat more.” Now you know why.

 Whether you love it or hate it, it is necessary to any and every goal you have. It also has many secondary benefits, in an article by the Mayo clinic they stated that strength training could develop strong bones, control your weight, boost your stamina, aid in chronic conditions such as arthritis and heart disease, and sharpen mental focus. This Is not such a daunting task, Jim Wendler said once,” Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s not performing multiple sets of whatever cable Kegel exercise is being pushed as “The Answer.” Just a little hard, smart, basic work." Whether it is improving in bodyweight movements or in the Olympic lifts keep it simple and follow the plan. Do not skip your strength days but embrace them. Get better every day, work hard and realize that Size Matters.

Goals for the week:

1. Find an area of your own personal strength to work on. Whether it is better positioning or mobility for better strength gains. Whether it is a bodyweight movement or with free weights. Map out a plan.

2. Write down your PRs somewhere, anywhere and REMEMBER them. When we do percentage work I expect all to know these….seriously, you guys are driving me crazy.