Thursday, May 14, 2009

CrossFit Stopwatch Whores

Spencer Nix Of Dallas CrossFit leaves nothing on the table.

This post was inspired by the following response from Spencer Nix of Dallas CrossFit on Dutch Lowry's Blog.

"-THESE GUYS ARE FOCUSED ON THE PROCESS NOT THE OUTCOME. How many of you guys out there are ’stop-watch whores’? You put out a sub 3 minute Fran but half of your thrusters you didn’t push your head all the way through, and 10 of your butterfly pull-ups were technically over the bar but not really? These guys aren’t like that. I get to workout with dutch pretty regularly and ALL his reps count. He is focused on the execution of the rep and not really the stopwatch. OPT - same way; look at all his videos and read the ROM requirements on the blog (borderline obsessed with the process). These guys focus FIRST on doing the movement flawlessly and SECOND on the clock. If your goal is to be the stud of your garage or gym, then this might not pertain to you BUT if your goal is to compete, then this has to be your mindset."

(As an aside, I got the idea for the 50 unbroken burpee finisher yesterday from Spencer).

I definitely started out CF as a SW (Stopwatch Whore). My form was abysmal, and I kidded myself into counting every ugly rep and posting some pretty good times, that, in retrospect, were a joke.

I am very strict with form at my affiliate, and we have transitioned to C2B pull-ups for all WODs for men, with women to join them after the games this year. Some (Andrea, Elaine, Polly, Ynez, Hodges) have made the transition already.

I feel that true excellence in CrossFit requires excellent form, regardless of speed. In some ways I am more impressed with a middle-of-the-pack athlete with HEART who does everything right, than a Firebreathing animal who cuts corners to make their blazing times even hotter. Of course what I really love to see is blazing intensity with excellent form. We want virtuosity!

A search of what people have posted on YouTube is downright embarrassing. I recently saw a 30+ round Cindy and a 2:30-ish Fran in both of which, in my gym, NOT ONE REP would have counted!

And, as pointed out, if you are going to enter the brand-new sport of Competitive CrossFit, your shitty 1/2 reps are not going to cut it.

I am striving to become mentally stronger all the time these days, and part of that is total honesty with myself about my workouts. In the past if I got confused about reps/rounds, etc. I would probably engage in "wishful counting" some of the time. Lately any time I become confused or don't know if I got full ROM (I do the WODs by myself most of the time) I just don't count it and do the extra reps. I have been much more satisfied with my WOD times since doing this. I don't care about being the fastest or the best, but I do care about doing CrossFit with integrity and what I can approach of virtuosity.


Jay Ashman said...

fantastic post, Max. I have started already incorporating chest to bar pullups in my workouts exclusively and really making sure my form is perfect or at least close to perfect.

This is a great lesson for all of us who do CrossFit. We only get out of it what we put into it.

Spencer said...

Maximus - I'm really flattered at the shout out man. Most of what I said is what I'm just trying to implement myself. I hear you on the concept of wishful thinking; at the end of the day, I have to be honest with humbling as that may be.

All the best,

Eric said...

Technique beats strength. Every time. ;)

YPA said...

Do it right or go home.