Tuesday 12.4.12

Today starts a series of posts revealing the Rules of CrossFit Central Houston. We're working on getting another white board so that we can get these posted on the wall above the weights, but for now, just because they're not posted yet doesn't mean we shouldn't call one another on them. As a matter of fact, the rules that will be outlined over the next week or so are put in place to make you safer, to keep our gym culture strong, and to ensure that everyone's getting the most out of their time at CFCH. Let's get to it:

RULE #1: LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR.

It's more important to do things right than to do them fast or heavy. The two ways that this most often plays out are when it comes to scaling and range of motion.

Scaling
Scaling is not cheating, it's not a sign that you're a sucky CrossFitter, or anything else that someone might negatively associate with it. Scaling is that way that you become a better athlete. Some folks live and die for that "RX"...but there's good reason to scale back sometimes.
 - For your safety: Hey, if you can't deadlift 250# without blowing out your back, let's lighten the load for the workout. 
- To work on form: You might be able to do those squat cleans at 95# instead of 75#, but think of a workout as practice. If the workout has 50 cleans in it, and you choose a weight so heavy that you can't hold good form, you've just told your body how to do terrible squat clean 50 times in a row.
- To elicit a specific metabolic response: For instance, Fran (21-15-9 of thrusters and pull ups) is supposed to be around a 5 minute workout. A newer CrossFitter who has just learned how to string a couple of kipping pull ups together might be tempted to try and complete the workout as prescribed, but if it takes that person 20 minutes to do it, that is a completely different feeling than the 5 minute burner that it's designed to be. It's better to scale the WOD using a band and keep moving quickly the entire time, the way the workout was intended.

No one cares that you're scaling the workout, they're busy worrying about their own WOD. Time has to be taken to learn proper technique and to build metabolic capacity in all domains (short, medium and long workouts) so that you can get stronger, faster, and able to perform more movements as prescribed.

Range of Motion
Some folks are so worried about being the fastest time on the whiteboard that they short range of motion in an effort to get through the workout faster. Think about the difference between a power and and a full squat clean - the squat clean is much more taxing because you have to get to full depth. If the workout says you have to get to a full squat, then any rep not to full depth doesn't count. The wall ball has to hit the line each time, you have to stand up all the way with your snatch before you bring the bar down, and your ears have to show on a kettlebell swing. It is NOT OK to short the movements just to get done faster. Have some pride in your workout and the way you represent yourself. It's better to have a little bit slower time and know that standards were met in each movement than to cheat your way through the workout.

The culture at our gym so far is something that Phil and I are extrememly proud of. You have no idea how gratifying it is to hear members say, "I think I could do a little more weight, but I really want to focus on form." Don't ever lose that attitude, because it's what makes you better. People who don't worry about form and don't who short range of motion only get better to a certain point before they plateau. Raw strength only gets you so far, and the rest is technique. Take the time to learn do it right, then worry about weight and speed. 

WOD
Back squat: 5-5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1