I thought I would take some time today to let you all in on why we do what we do at CrossFit Worthy. This will be a post covering many points: Exactly what CrossFit is, Why we program the way we do, and why we scale exercises to the athlete the way we do. First off, read this post authored by Coach Rick Scarpulla. Click here. He is currently the head strength and conditioning coach for the United States Military Academy at West Point’s powerlifting team. This article will help you to understand all three points, the first two in particular. Exactly what is CrossFit? CrossFit is Two things. The first thing is that in its original most basic form, CrossFit is a world class CONDITIONING program. Notice the emphasis on conditioning. Performing a mixture of calisthenics, plyometrics, mono structural work (running, rowing, sprinting, jump rope), gymnastics, and olympic lifting combined into couplets and triplets, and performed in all three energy pathways/time domains is one of the best ways to get in shape or “fit” ever created. You will lose body fat and gain aerobic capacity by bucket loads, but you will not gain much strength. Absolute Strength is best gained through a programmed, systematic approach where you consistently work for strength. The second thing that CrossFit is is a strength sport. Not an endurance sport. Just as Coach Scarpulla put it in his article, “CrossFit is a strength sport that requires endurance, not an endurance sport that requires strength.” The single most standout difference between local CrossFit competitors and the elite you see at the CrossFit Games is their base level of strength. Let me put it this way, the last two years running Rich Froning has won the CrossFit Games. Rich boasts a 300# Snatch and a 370# Clean & Jerk. He accomplished both of these lifts in nanos, not oly shoes, and those numbers put him in the top three at the 2012 American Open. In other words, he is one strong s.o.b. So now that you know what CrossFit is, let’s quickly cover why we program the way we do at CrossFit Worthy. We program with two different populations in mind: general public, and athletes/competitors. The programming only differs between the two by degree not kind. In other words, everyone needs to be stronger, as strength is the single most important facet that allows for continued independence into your later years, and for elevated athletic performance. That is why we do so much strength work here. Whether you want to be more fit for life or you want to compete in CrossFit or (insert sport of choice here) you must get stronger. Even Harriett, our 81 year-young co-owner deadlifts and presses to keep gaining the strength she needs to remain independent. Our strength programming is built upon the practices of the strongest athletes out there, Powerlifters, Strongmen, and Olympic Weightlifters. These athletes are at the top of the strength paradigm, and one would be foolish not look upon them when seeking strength. Along with epic amounts of squatting, pressing, and deadlifting we do A LOT of olympic lifting. This is because of the great benefit of power, speed, balance, agility, and all around athletic performance derived from performing the lifts, and performing them CORRECTLY. As I’ve said in other posts and will continue to do so, GET STRONGER. The last point to be covered is the reasoning why and how we scale exercises to each athlete. Let’s look at two of the most basic exercises that people try to rush into; the kipping pull-up and the handstand push up. Until you have the basic strength to perform the basic upper body pressing and pulling movements of push ups and strict pull ups, you should not move onto the more advanced movement. Moving on too quickly is only asking for injury and slowed progress. We scale you down and ask that you build the necessary basic strength in the basic movements in order to move into the more advanced movements more easily and safely, and in the long run, get stronger in all the movements quicker. I hope this posts gives you all some insight into our programming and Coaching. There is a method to the madness, with your best interests in mind. Now as I’ve said before, GO GET STRONGER.