Session: connection failed

Most, Most, Most: Safety vs. Intensity by Tony Budding and Pat Sherwood - CrossFit Journal

Most, Most, Most: Safety vs. Intensity

By Tony Budding and Pat Sherwood

In Coaching, CrossFit, HD Videos

November 21, 2012

Video Article

In this video, CrossFit Media’s Tony Budding and Pat Sherwood discuss CrossFit’s updated definition of technique. They also delve into the broader boundaries of definitions and knowledge, as well as what can be measured and what can’t, all in an effort to improve dialogue within the CrossFit coaching community. CrossFit is about measurable, observable and repeatable results, and knowing what you know and what you don’t are key to understanding how to improve fitness.

Technique can be defined as the movements the athlete completes to accomplish the task. A technique is considered better if it improves work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Understanding these definitions, what they mean and also what they don’t mean is extremely valuable.

For example, great technique for a one-rep-max snatch might not be ideal for 75 snatches at light weight. Another example is considering short-term and long-term results. Most people want results over the long term, so techniques that accelerate short-term progress but limit long-term gains are considered sub-optimal—unless, of course, unusual circumstances require accelerated short-term gains.

The majority of the methods and programming found in CrossFit are those that optimize training for most people most of the time under most circumstances.

“It’s very important to recognize that when we say, ‘most, most, most,’ this is the analysis that we’ve done over the years. This is all of the results that we’ve seen. If you are not an exception—and most of you are not—you should be following these techniques most of the time,” Budding explains.

He adds: “There are lots of times where an individual athlete or an individual coach will go outside these boundaries, but it will be done with the knowledge of risk and reward. When you go outside of this, you have to have some very specific piece of information that is pushing you in one direction or another.”

Finally, any and all claims to improvements in techniques, methodologies and programming must be supported with measurable data. This is easier said than done when talking about something as complex as fitness. This difficulty, though, is not an excuse to shun data. Instead, it is a call to elevate the effort and discussion to meet the challenge.

30min 52sec

HD file size: 523 MB
SD wmv file size: 369 MB
SD mov file size: 180 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Understanding CrossFit by Greg Glassman, published April 1, 2007.

Free Download


10 Comments on “Most, Most, Most: Safety vs. Intensity”


wrote …

Yep, Jesse Owens and Micheal Johnson, two of the fastest men in history ran with what the world considered horrible technique. Technique is what ever is the best way to accomplish the task at hand for that person.


wrote …

Tony, Pat, I like the concept of this video. I hope you have the time to open more discussion around varrying topics. In the mean time, I hope I can contribute to the data and discussion myself.


wrote …

Great discussion! As an affiliate owner, myself, my trainers and our athletes deal with this exact topic everyday, every class & with every movement. Everybody has different levers and therefore different versions of the "optimal" technique. Throw in different levels of experience and you get constantly varied, functional debates sometimes done at high intensity.


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Cool to see Tony and Pat on the Journal again.

I train a group called the Champions Club which consists of a bunch of teen athletes. Since we see them as long term projects, we have been very strict on form (pretty much exactly what Tony talks about at the 4:15 mark with leaning towards effective technique.) We have implimented a lot of methods Carl Paoli, Dr. Romanov, and Kelly Starrett have been talking about recently and really concentrated on reinforcing those habits of good movement. In doing so, we have seen nothing but HUGE improvements coming at around the 4-5 month mark. It's obviously an ongoing process, but so far the results have been promising.

I train all of my other athletes (college rec kids, moms, dads, etc) with the "Most, Most, Most" methodology. However, after seeing how our younger athletes are doing, I've been leaning towards the "effective technique" a little more with the older folks, but not quite to the extent.

It's something I'm constantly debating with myself. Having to stop someone every time they're dipping forward on a push press or stopping short of a 1 rep max clean because they weren't unweighting properly can definitely take some fun out of the experience. But it also builds great movement patterns. Like both Tony and Pat mentioned in the video, it's about knowing the people you're with. Our moms attend to work out with their kids and de-stress. So maybe 100% technique isn't always first priority. And maybe for our group of high school freshman that have a sick future, the technique should be reinforced first.

Interesting topic though. And Pat and Tony, you guys did a nice job on making it clear. Thanks.

ps. Mr. Sherwood, if you feel so inclined, I would love another Zone Chrinicles series!


wrote …

Risk vs Reward is the prefect cope out

Increases in W/C over Broad TM Domains is not a doing justice to the benefits of CF as a Strength and Conditioning Program
The change into a sport has destroyed the valid strength and conditioning method that is CF
People have to stop equiting a training movement designed to be overloaded in order to illict a training effect and doing a movement (Fast) to win something
This difference means they do not have a relationship and therefore no comparsion.


wrote …

This was a very nice article on defining and explaining the importance of exercising and fitness as it relates to psychological well-being. There have been studies of this relationship over the years. I recall coming across them when I was getting my undergraduate degree in psychology back in the day.

However, it should be pointed out that this relationship between exercise and fitness with a healthier psychological well-being is not exclusive to CrossFit. As a CrossFittter, I, and all of you know of the inherit benefits of CrossFit. We all especially know the greater benefits of CrossFit as a training program when compared to other modalities, such as the standard Globo Gym routine for example. Even still, I trained at Globo Gyms in my dark days before CrossFit and I did feel good after workouts and I did have more focus and motivation because of it. Plus, I saw camaraderie all over the Globo Gym. My one friend was an expert at making friends and having social hour at the gym. I always felt that there was too much camaraderie and not enough work being done at the old Globo gyms I trained at
I think many people who are able to get out exercise will feel better overall psychologically. Whether it be at Globo Gym where the do isolation movements on machines and then spend 45 minutes on a treadmill or say the person who is just a runner or bike rider, the need to go and be physical will also invariably lead to meeting new people and making friends. These things can be achieved not only through CrossFit, but simply by people (Americans in particular) as long as they get off their buts and do something physical. Not everyone will be into CrossFit, but they are still able to experience much of benefits mentioned in the article.

Again, if the discussion would turn into which modality or method will get people the fitness, then hands down it is CrossFit. In that way CrossFit may lead even in greater increases psychological well-being. That would be a great follow-up study: Compare and measure the psychological well-being (Self Determination Theory as the article states) of CrossFitters to other individuals who train with different programs and such.


wrote …

Oops! posted under the wrong aricle, should be under CrossFit and Transferance. My bad, just ignore this comment here.


wrote …

Thanks for the great discussion.
I personally agree wholeheartedly that we must use "The right tool for the job" at the right time and at the right place.


wrote …

Great video, and one that I have to do my best to keep an open mind about. I am a huge form first advocate, and sometimes it does even inhibit action. This is something i will definitely work on and become more open about. Also, where I can read the article you mentioned concerning lumbar curve and the deadlift? Thanks gentlemen.


wrote …

So true. Excellent video.

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)