Thursday, May 18

I am writing this post with full knowledge that today’s workout involves a lot of barbell work, but I think we’re seeing a shift in CrossFit training and fitness in general. Or maybe we are seeing some balance come back to the sport of CrossFit that had gone a little too far in the weightlifting direction.

Everyone was up in arms about the CrossFit Regional events being sans barbell, including myself. I thought this dumbbell thing from the Open was over and we could move back to the barbell we all know and love. However, after listening to a lot of other people discuss this and thinking more about it, I can see why CrossFit decided to go barbell free for the Regionals.

I think, and many others do too, that CrossFit had shifted hard in the last few years towards weightlifting. We haven’t seen one major CrossFit event that didn’t feature some sort of max snatch or clean and jerk. It seemed like all we were seeing on social media was big lifts and barbell work.

Now, it’s probably our (CrossFit’s) own fault because athletes in the sport of CrossFit will train for what they think is coming in competition. Then those things inevitably trickle into the day-to-day classes at every affiliate. But if you look at the original intent of CrossFit and Greg Glassman’s “World Class Fitness in 100 Words” you’ll see that it was a fitness program, not a sport, that was meant to prepare you for everything that could come at you in life.

• Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
• Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly,
master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to
handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
• Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns
as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
• Regularly learn and play new sports.

It looks like CrossFit HQ decided to right the course with the programming in this year’s Regionals. And, like usual, there’s no easing into it with HQ. They took the barbell away and said let’s see how well you can move your body and other objects that aren’t so standard.

If CrossFit truly is a fitness program that is supposed to prepare us the best way possible for everyday life, then we need to be lifting things other than barbells. We need to have better control of our own body (gymnastics) and we need to be able to run and jump and throw. Read the last line of “World Class Fitness” again – “Regularly learn and play new sports.” When was the last time any of us did that?

Look, I love the sport of weighlifting and CrossFit. And I believe weighltifting is an important skill we should all work on to get stronger, faster, and more athletic. However, we never want to shift too far in one direction. CrossFit is defined as constantly varied, functional movement done at high intensity. So don’t forget to vary the things you’re picking up.

I’m excited to see what happens this weekend as Regionals kicks off. I’m sure the top athletes will be fine, but these workouts will show who has a well-rounded fitness and who has been focusing too much on the barbell.

Workout for Thursday, May 18
Front Squats
2X2 @ 80%
2X1 @ 85%
3X1 @ 90% to 95%

9 min AMRAP
1-2-3-4…Continue Increasing By 1 Rep Each Round
Thrusters (135/95)
10-20-30-40…Continue Increasing By 10 Reps Each Round
Double Unders (scale with Hurdle Hops)