This is 2012 Games week people. Finally. I can only imagine the excitement the participants are feeling right now. I know what I felt at the Home Depot Center back in 2010 when Guerrilla Fitness sent a team there. Besides my little league Lions team beating the Cubs to secure its first ever playoff spot, the Games were one of the best sports experiences I’ve ever had. And the Games have done nothing but grow by leaps and bounds since then. I for one plan on making a return trip to HDC. Not as a spectator mind you. And since I’m still just a couple of years too young for the Masters division (HQ, lower the age please), that means I have to live vicariously through programming for you and helping you get there. So buckle up your chinstraps people. Let’s get our grind on for the next 12 months.
As of right now (Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 4:00pm EST), HQ has released many of the wods for all the divisions. What has Facebook and Twitter abuzz though is the first Individual event – a sprint distance triathlon a Pendleton Military Camp. Seems most of the fans of The CrossFit Games were wowed by the announcement. HQ even released an article called “Shock and Awe” detailing the competitors’ reactions. Given the nature of humans and especially highly competitive humans, I would bet many of the athletes (and their coaches) were immediately questioning their training. Had they gone long enough, had they spent enough time in the pool, why did they spend all that time doing pull-ups? I’m sure they were shocked and awed.
My reaction? Eh.
While a mini-tri is a phenomenal first event and something I think will be a horrendous challenge, it doesn’t scare me into thinking I should program you for long endurance events. No, in fact, with the wods that have been released so far, it strengthens my conviction that our programming will best prepare you for doing well in CrossFit competitions run and organized by HQ. Remember, I laid out for you in The User’s Guide and in the FAQs that we’d concentrate heavily on the Olympic lifts, a few key movements and shorter more intense time domains.
There are really three big reasons we are going that route. These reasons are,
CrossFit competitions consist mostly of the Olympic lifts, running and pull-ups.
Don’t believe our programming is the way to go? Just check out the wods that have been announced and compare them to the movement grid from the FAQ. These three “movements” (bar muscle-ups are more pull-up- like than ring muscle-up-like), which we will likely practice almost daily, account for over 50% of the potential points in the 2012 Games. And this is just what they have announced thus far. If I were a betting man, I would say we’ll see more barbell movements with subsequent wod announcements and some of those are bound to have Olympic lifting in them.
CrossFit competition workouts tend to be shorter, under 10 minutes, rather than longer.
Again, I am sure the announcement of the first wod has many spooked into signing up for Brian MacKenzie endurance seminars by the truckload. But those folks should hold their respective horses. Of the wods announced, time domains of 10 or fewer minutes account for 58% of the potential points. And only one so far, the mini-tri, is longer than 13 minutes (the cap time on two workouts).
The movements we concentrate on have a high degree of athletic transferability.
In Gregg Glassman’s 2002 CrossFit Journal article, “Foundations”, he writes the following:
“The Olympic lifts train athletes to effectively activate more muscle fibers more rapidly than through any other modality of training. The explosiveness that results from this training is of vital necessity to every sport… Practicing the Olympic lifts teaches one to apply force to muscle groups in proper sequence, i.e., from the center of the body to its extremities (core to extremity).”
Generally speaking, there is no other movement we do, other than running, that has more athletic transferability than Olympic lifting. While swimming strengthens the lungs and the heart, it has little effect on aiding us in lifting a bar. While lifting a barbell in a dynamic and explosive fashion, will help us run, throw, jump, move and endure better.
Preparing for a competition like the CrossFit Games can drive you nuts if you let it. But in my opinion you’re spinning your wheels if you try to train for every possible scenario. The proverbial “unknown and unknowable”. I think it a better use of your training time, and your mental stability, to instead train for “the inevitable”.
I’m hyped up people. Let’s get after it.