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This is not for anyone,it’s for everyone.

April 29, 2009

What does doing a workout prescribed mean?
Is the weight the first thing that pops into your mind? That’s really only one,albeit important, ingredient. Let’s illustrate it this way-when you think of a cheeseburger you are probably picturing the entire “sandwich” -of course the meat is the main ingredient- but if you ask for a cheeseburger and someone slaps a naked patty on your plate that’s just not going to cut it. You see where this is going…there are other ingredients that are key. “BUNS!”-did somebody say buns? Its funny you should mention that because without getting YOUR buns where they should be in a workout the movement is likely being done with improper form or range of motion. Going below parallel in a squat or staying planked in a push up are two movements that come to mind. If you don’t go the full range of motion in the movements in the workout-a critical ingredient is absent-it ain’t a burger without a bun and it ain’t prescribed without the range of motion that is required. As a side note that concept of going the entire distance should become very obvious if we liken it to the run or row. It would be silly if someone did 475m and we put their time on the board for the 500m row. Close but just not the same. That’s how it is with things like chin over the bar, hips below parallel, locking out a press, full swing of the KB, chest to the deck burpee or push ups etc. As CrossFitters we hold a high standard for ourselves and it’s only making us stronger faster and fitter.-Keep this in mind the next time you approach your WOD. This brings us to our next question…

How important is going Rx’d on a workout?
Well, let’s go back to the Cheeseburger. There are some that are a manageable 6oz patty and a normal assortment of accompanying buns and various garnishes and condiments. Just about anyone could eat a whole one. Then you have your abnormally large American burger with a loaf on either end, a jar of pickles on it and each condiment left an empty bottle in its wake. Now depending entirely upon what you are capable of, you might decide that you are only going to eat what you can to call it a meal. For some that could mean the entire thing then it’s in the pool an hour later for some laps. Many though would be better off just eating what they could handle. You see where this is going…if you got the burger for lunch and you are still at the table fighting back tears and vomit when everyone else is having dinner…who cares if you finish the cheeseburger? Some WOD’s are just meant for the big boy’s and girls, those who have developed the capacity over a long time. We are all pretty new to the Program and there is no shame in biting off what you can chew. You will get there the same way that Henry will someday be able to eat two of the colossal burgers, but for now he’s growing with slightly smaller portions.

This brings me to the third point. In the classes among the other athletes-it’s kinda more like an eating contest than a picnic. Understandably this will not always be pretty. There will be some ugly moments. But here still-we have standards. Obvious right? All the reps, and all of them done within acceptable standard- as quickly as possible. At the end of an eating contest is there a shred of cheese? Maybe a smear of catsup? Little leaf of lettuce left on the plate? You still ate the whole thing. But leave more than that on the table it was close but incomplete.

The final word.
There are standards in CrossFit because it is the art and science of measuring YOUR fitness. There is real, hard, evidence of what you are capable of after each WOD. You are able to compare it to yourself and to others. Let’s honor the standards and feel good about the times and numbers that we post-no icky feelings from cutting corners or being too sloppy. Also don’t feel shame if you scale to your level of fitness- that’s what you are supposed to do. And of course all of the trainers have worked very hard and invested time money and incalculable energy into knowing how to help you understand the strongest most efficient way to attain to these standards and reach your fitness goals. So listen when we try to help you and if you need us to work with you we all love what we are doing. We all want the best for you and out of you. Please don’t concern yourself too much with what other athletes are doing concerning these things-that’s our job. Feel free to yell stuff at me when I’m working out-I love it, but that’s about it. The best results come from getting the most out of the training that you receive and being exemplary in your standards.

We have built an awesome community together! I love each athlete and the amazing progress everyone has displayed! Let’s keep the athletes strong and the community stronger-we’ve come a long way but we are just getting started. Let’s keep getting stronger. Let’s keep getting faster. Let’s keep getting greater intensity, and let’s do it all with integrity.


Bench Press

Weighted Pull Up

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  1. Nicole Reply

    Thanks for putting things in perspective Mark! I love the burger analogy; it illustrates the intricate details that we all need to consider when tackling these functional and technical movements and WODs.

    Miss everyone, see you Thursday…

  2. Jane Reply

    Great, now I’m craving a cheeseburger! Mark, thanks for the reminders, it’s always good to keep in mind full range of motion when doing a workout. On that note, I’m really excited I can join everyone for this one! WOOOHOO!

  3. Mark Lee Reply

    Have a great massage Nicole!

    So, the Ninja will be there for the fight…dojo be ware.

  4. crossfit mama Reply

    Wow Mark you can write. That was inspirational! See you all at 5!

  5. Mark Lee Reply

    Alright, mama in the house!

  6. Tim Gagne Reply

    Fantastic post, Mark. You should submit this to the a-blog, or somewhere where the entire CrossFit community can read and benefit from this excellent advice. Applying your words will get people where they want to be in the fastest possible way. Nobody should feel offended by the prospective that you gave. You’ve learned these lessons through hard work and dedication. We are both lucky and privileged to be coached by you.

    Performing to such a high standard should be a source of pride for us. If/when we see other Crossfitters or affiliates taking shortcuts, we’ll know that we’re better than that! Time to go eat a cheeseburger…

  7. sarah lee Reply

    2 Things.
    #1. I love the part about integrity. We all feel so good when we know we did an awesome job at a workout with full range of motion. I am always at awe with any of our C3 athletes who have great form. Making every rep count will make us stronger and faster next time.

    #2. Henry could eat two colossal cheeseburgers faster than any of us.

  8. Littles Reply

    Send this to CF Mark, it’s great writing and really gets the point across.

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