In the last installment I discussed how Strength is the Glass that forms the capacity to perform tasks. Combined with aerobic fitness we have work capacity. Since CrossFit’s mission is to ‘Increase work capacity across broad times and modal domains’. Clearly strength plays an integral role in CrossFit, but how does one define strength. Ask 10 different people and they will give you 10 different definitions of strength. Is it a 1 Rep Max lift like a squat or dead-lift? A gymnast holding form on the rings? Perhaps an olympic shotputter… The answer is that all of these are demonstrations of strength. And a high level of strength is required for any of these tasks.
In Supertraining, Strength is defined as, “… the ability of a given muscle or group of muscles to generate muscular force under specific conditions.” Read that over again and notice how comprehensive a definition it is. What resonates most with me is the ‘specific conditions’ whereas there are many different conditions where Strength can be demonstrated. They are:
Maximal Strength: A 1RM squat or dead-lift
Strength-Endurance: An iron cross on the gymnastics rings
Speed-Strength: An Olympic shotputter
Strength-Speed: An Olympic clean and jerk
Explosive Strength: A max vertical jump
Starting Strength: A sprinter coming out of the blocks
Functional Strength is a new term that has been catching eyes lately. You can think of functional strength as a combination of strength, stability, and flexibility. We also like to refer to this as Mobility: An example of Functional Strength would be a deep Cossack squat
All 3 of these differing examples forms of Strength
Clearly there is a need for all levels and varieties of strength in CrossFit. As our goal is not mastery in anything but competency in everything. Paying equal attention to all forms of strength is key in our program design.
An insight into our training strategies Pt. 3 – Painting a Picture of Fitness
In 20 minutes :
KB Clean and press x3/arm,
Hip Flexor wall stretch x10/side,
Squat series x3 of each
5 Rounds NFT:
8-10 DBL KB Overhead/front rack lunges,
AMRAP Strict Pull-ups,
8-10 DBL KB Bent over row,
Max ring dips/ring push-ups/push-ups,
This was a fun training session I did with Brent Fikowski yesterday. The idea is the move from exercise to exercise with a consistent pace while still meeting the required rep ranges and weights. Pick a weight that is ‘Tough’ for the prescribed rest. This type of protocol is referred to as Oxidative Lifting. It helps build your body’s ability to use aerobic energy systems to fuel fast twitch muscle fibers.