March 08, 2010
Dan Williams proposes CrossFit athletes are only as strong as their weakest links and suggests a way to train these weaknesses to produce better all-around athletes.
The essence of CrossFit lies in its ability to define the previously undefined. Pioneering definitions have been created for such concepts as fitness, health and work capacity. Let’s consider CrossFit as an adjective rather than a noun. I am CrossFit, as opposed to I do CrossFit. This also deserves defining. What is it to be “CrossFit?” I propose that you are CrossFit if you are generally physically prepared for the unknown and the unknowable. It comes back to that random physical task you would least like to see come out of the hopper. I propose your performance in this least-favorite task is your true measure of CrossFitness.
You are only as strong as the weakest link in your exercise chain. The weight hanging on the end of this chain is your level of general physical preparedness (GPP). The more the chain can support, the higher your GPP. If each link in this metaphorical chain represents a component of fitness (cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, etc.), the focus of training should be obvious. The first link to snap and drop your GPP is the weakest link. To increase GPP, our weaknesses should not simply be overcome but rather improved to match our strengths. To quote Coach Glassman in What Is Fitness?, “You are as fit as you are competent in each of these 10 skills.” Perhaps this could be narrowed to state, “You are only as fit as you are proficient in your weakest skill.”
We have a CrossFit strength bias, a CrossFit endurance bias and, for argument’s sake, a CrossFit power bias (CrossFit Football). So why not a CrossFit weakness bias?