This is a post that I could go on for days talking and get all sciencey/fancy on some points but I’m going to keep it simple. If you want some science, just ask me or one of our coaches next time you see us : ) The big thing here it to talk to you all about the “Why” behind what we do from the exercise component but also our deeper CrossFit Prototype community “why”.
As you all know, every workout you do at CFP is different. There are days when we “retest” certain movements or workouts and the goal for these days is to MEASURE your progress vs. where you were previously. For example, re-testing a particular lift (1RM Back Squat for example) or re-testing a particular benchmark WOD (“Fran”, “Cindy”, “Murph”, “The Human Torch Was Denied A Bank Loan”… that’s a long one…) gives you an indication of progress.
However, if you’re not always aware of the “Why” behind what we do, then some days you may be thinking “Hmm, what’s the point of doing this?” Guess what! We love answering that question, so don’t hesitate to ask if the dots haven’t been connected for you (that’s on us and we will do a better job!). So, I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to give you an explanation to the “Why” behind what we do.
Why we do CrossFit:
CrossFit allows you to be a well-rounded athlete (yes, I said athlete because when you do CrossFit you’re an athlete!). With that being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with focusing on particular elements (getting stronger by doing the Strength Class as an example) or if you’re dedicated to a particular form of exercise to enhance your sport (sports specific conditioning or training for Marathon runners for example) if that’s your goal. The bigger thing here is when you’re looking to improve your general fitness (decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lose body fat, be able to play with your kids) and make it part of your lifestyle, we believe CrossFit gives you the best bang for your buck.
We help you enhance your flexibility, strength, endurance, power, balance, coordination, etc… When you train very specific elements ONLY (like just running for example) you’re only enhancing those specific parts of your fitness (stamina and cardiovascular endurance as an example here). Being well rounded gives you the ability to do all the things in life that require variability (jumping, hiking, manual labor). Think of it as being superhuman generalists… you’re working on doing well at EVERYTHING!
Why we perform the major Barbell Lifts:
Exercises like the Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Deadlift, Back and Front Squat as a few examples, help get you stronger and become more powerful. The bottom line with these movements is that they build lean body mass and require a TON of energy in order to perform them. Yes… lifting heavy stuff requires a lot of energy. That energy is in the form of calories. Lifting heavy things not only requires a lot of metabolic demand (calorie burn), it builds lean muscle mass which means your body burns more calories when it’s resting.
And no… for the ladies out there thinking “I don’t want to get too bulky”… you won’t. If your energy in (food) aligns with your output (exercise and living), you will be fine. If you overeat while building lean body mass then you can gain weight, but that’s a better conversation for our Head Nutrition Coach, Jon.
So these movements get you stronger, they build lean body mass, they require a lot of energy to perform and guess what… they’re fun to do because they’re hard! When you get the movement down and can see your numbers increase it’s an AMAZING feeling! It’s always great to see the progress and pay off of hard work!
Why we perform Skill work:
Days like today (Wednesday 4/17/19) we have programmed a 3 position snatch, some core accessory work paired with it on the minute. Additionally, we have a gymnastics GOAT WOD, which means you get to choose a gymnastics movement (pull up, toe to bar, handstand hold, etc) that you get to practice which is also paired with some more accessory work.
So, why are we doing this? Well, skill work (or practice) will translate to better efficiency in your workouts over time. You have heard the saying “practice makes perfect”, the reality is, “perfect practice makes perfect”. In order to get better at a skill, we need to practice it when our heart rates aren’t through the roof. So an EMOM is a perfect opportunity to get your HR up a little bit, but allow you to maintain your focus and on acquiring the skill.
Getting better at movements like double unders, pull-ups or the snatch, will allow you to get more out of your workout. Think of it like this, the amount of energy it takes to do a double under vs. a single under is significantly greater. You’ll feel a lot more tired doing 50 unbroken double unders than you would be doing 50 unbroken single unders because you’re moving the rope under your twice on one jump and you’re jumping a little higher… so it makes sense that if you get this skill down, the intensity of your workouts will increase! This demand will require you to burn more calories and for those out there looking to lose weight and increase lean body mass, this is an EASY example of why we encourage you to practice!
Why we do so much accessory work:
The accessory work that is sometimes blended into your WOD is tremendously beneficial. These exercises are smaller/single joint strength exercises that complement the major strength lifts we do. Approximately 50-60 percent of the strength work we incorporate into our program are accessory exercises following the conditioning piece. We sometimes call these “Special Exercises”.
The band tension work (specifically) helps increase end range of motion strength or “lockout” and can help increase tendon strength to prevent strain or injury. Additionally, they are always complimentary to what we are doing in the main block of your workout (strength or metcon) whether hitting similar muscle groups or antagonist muscle groups (think like the opposite side).
Why we encourage you to be part of the community:
At the end of the day, if you’re a member here at Prototype you’re part of the #CFPFamily and we should all be here for each other and to support one another. From participating in our Prototype Open, social events, competitions, scavenger hunt and even waiting to put your stuff away until everyone finishes the workout, these are things that we encourage you to do and always will.
Being a member at CFP is different (as you all should know) than your typical gym. You’re all in here busting your butt together, building life long relationships and getting outside your comfort zones continuously. Events we host at the gym and outside of the gym allow you to get to know each other and build those relationships. In addition, the support from the community adds another layer of accountability. I’m sure all of you reading this have gotten a message from one of your coaches or CFP team members at some point if you were missing from the gym for a while. Maybe you even got a note from another CFP member who you workout with “Hey (insert name), where have you been?” What other gym does that?
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, when you’re at CFP you’re around like-minded people. The people in this community only want to help you, inside and outside of the gym!
I hope this connects some of the dots for those out there that have those questions and as I said, we are always happy to answer them because there is always a why behind what we do.