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

Part 3: There is No Prototype


                You must be shorter than 6 feet for a male and 5’6 for a female. You must be younger than 30. You must be lighter than 200lbs or 140 for a female. Society has formed the habit in us to place labels on ourselves. We start to believe the lie that we will never be strong enough, never lose “the weight”, never get that pull up and that we are not progressing.  I’m here to tell you, none of this is true.


                Looking at the games this year several individuals stuck out, none of which came in first, second or third place. I think one of the biggest sensations was Cody Anderson, standing at 5’7 and 160lbs, he went unbroken on all his muscle ups for the biathlon. The moment though that separated his performance  was when he cleared round 2 of the speed clean ladder, setting for himself a personal record at 305lbs.  Chris Spealler and Valerie Voboril proved age is just a number, Chris in his 7th games at 35 and Val finishing 5th overall at age 36. Kara Webb at 160lbs was in 1st through much of the games until her injury. She showed an atypical frame with far from typical results.


                Locally, the events I participated in had similar examples.  The winner of the Dirty South games was a male weighing 230 pounds and 32 years of age. Second place at Dirty South games, by an extra final workout, was a girl 5’4 130lbs going against a regional athlete who was 5’8 and 160 lbs. Masters men and women age 40+ doing the same workouts as scaled competitors 20+ years younger are doing. Repeatedly I was shocked to see that looks were deceiving. Sizing up your opponent is impossible in Crossfit until you see them perform.


                So what was the same in each athlete? Here is a list:


  1. Intensity- In looking back at my last post, power=intensity and intensity=results. All the people I saw that seemed to defy stereotypes had a switch that once turned on didn’t stop. They had an extra gear. Obviously, it was not solely based on athletic ability but on a will to push through the pain.
  2. Efficiency of movement – Being able to do a pull-up and being able to do a pull-up well are two different things. Learning movement in reference to one’s body type can take you far. Each of us was created differently, therefore there is a standard way to learn a movement and then there is a way to make that movement your own by adapting it to your physical traits. Each of the above individuals were able to adjust their height, weight, age, and body type to make the movements necessary for Crossfit work in harmony with their traits.
  3. Strength- I just did a whole post on this. See last weeks and go squat something.
  4. Work capacity- Via Strength and Science-“Work capacity is, essentially, the total amount of work you can perform and recover from”.  The people I saw could not only perform great amounts of work in short times, they were able to recover and do it again. All the above factor into this including diet, sleep, and training regimen. Pushing ourselves just a little harder in our workouts can help to stretch the amount of work we can do over time. This is the reason Crossfit is based in different domains of time.  Another quote from same text,” Once you’ve increased your work capacity and allow recovery to catch up, you’re in a position where you’re able to tolerate much more volume, which means a greater stimulus, which means an increased potential for gains.” GAINNZ, now I like the sound of that.




So quit being so down on yourself, you were made perfect in Gods image and have distinct characteristics for a reason. These characteristics may be viewed as flaws or as assets. I could look at my long arms as a hindrance to overhead movements or as an asset to things like rope climbs where longer reach makes for more effective movement. All I’m saying is embrace who you are today and utilize the traits you possess. Also, work on the things you know conflict with your body type. If hip mobility is an issue, mobilize. If you putter during workouts based in longer time domains, make sure you show up on days we program them. Lastly, there is no body type for effort, giving your all is not genetic. Push yourself to get better every day, up the intensity and up the results. Repeat after me “ I can do it” whatever that may be.


Goals for the Week


  1. Write down a list of your Crossfit assets and things you feel may need work.
  2. Praise your assets and tell them to someone so they can praise them too. Give yourself a hug….feels nice doesn’t it
  3. Go hard, 100% effort. Thanks in advance