Coach Stu Wyper
Do you find yourself looking at the big name CrossFit athletes and wondering how they get to be as good as they are? Everyone looks at these guys and girls, dreaming of being like them someday, but how many of you have stopped to think about the dedication and perseverance that athlete has gone through to get to where they are now? There are very few people in the world who have that much raw potential to pick highly complex movements up with minimal training and do well in competitions etc…Very very few.
Instead of dreaming about getting that elusive muscle up and flailing yourself up at the rings over and over again, why not break the complex movement up into its two basic movements of pull ups and ring dips and become perfect at both of those first? If you can’t do a strict pull up or ring dip, what makes you think you can magically pull a muscle up out of the hat? The answer is you won’t, and whilst failing at said muscle up you will probably end up doing yourself a fair bit of damage in the process.
Dedicate yourself to getting the basic fundamental movements to as close to perfect as possible and the more complex ones will fall into place a lot sooner than you think. If you know your overhead squat is pretty average at best, focus on working your mobility and technical deficiencies before trying to nail a heavy snatch. Movements like the clean and snatch, the muscle up, handstand push ups, kipping pull ups… The list goes on and on, can all be broken down into smaller movements that can be practised and practised and practised until you can perform each smaller movement as close to perfect as possible.
Once you have got the basic movements nailed and have got the coaches drooling over how good your squat or pull up looks only then should you be considering to step it up to the next level and start working on the complex movement. Don’t get me wrong, working technique with light load is still encouraged on the complex movements, but there is no point trying to do a deficit kipping handstand push up if you can’t even do a strict handstand push up.
Leave your egos at the door, focus on your weaknesses and get strong in the fundamental movements of CrossFit and the “cool stuff” will be waiting for you when your body is ready for it. I try my hardest to move the best that I can because I want you all to look at how I move and do things at the gym and copy my example. I will gladly sacrifice a few reps off my workout score to go a bit slower and make my movement look the best that it possibly can.
Nobody wants to be that guy or girl in the gym that has everyone else cringing the moment they start doing something when the timer starts. Yes it’s a bit different in a competition environment, but unless you’re on the cusp of qualifying for the regionals or games, is it really worth throwing out all technique and safety for the sake of a few reps that in the big scheme of things will move you up from not qualifying for regionals to “still” not qualifying for regionals with a f@#$’d something or other? I know I want to be able to turn up and train the following week and be able to move without injury. Master the basics and the difficult become easier
Originally published in our monthly newsletter AprilÂ 2014. Like what you are reading? Sign up for our newsletter at the top right of this page.