Imagine you’re at the driving range, working on your golf swing. You’re just an average day chopper, hoping for the off-chance you’ll catch one flush at the 150 yard marker. Someone comes up next to you, lays down a basket of balls. You look up…it’s Tiger Woods.
A scenario like this is close to impossible. But in Crossfit, the possibility of encountering the world’s best is high. If you travel around to enough gyms, there is a chance you may literally be doing the same workout as a Games level athlete. Whenever I golf, there’s no freaking chance I’ll ever be in the same pairing as a top professional golfer (unless I decide to buy my way into a pro-am). The Crossfit community is different and inclusive. If I wanted to work out with Rich Froning, I could probably drop-in at his box at Crossfit Mayhem. There’s even a chance he’ll be coaching the class. This could be slightly stalkerish, but still highly possible. Do you think I can walk into Tiger’s country club and get some putting tips for a $20 drop-in fee?
I premise this scenario because at Hyperfit, I’ve been accustomed to seeing many Games level athletes drop-by. Some come in for special extra training, most come in for the Weekend Games Training Camp. Our gym regularly holds a Weekend Camp of all the Crossfit training your heart desires. The athletes range from the average joe looking to get better to Regional-level athletes hoping to make the Games to the mutants looking to get on the podium. Just think to your youth days of basketball or soccer camp, where all day you just runs drills, practice, and scrimmage; now substitute that with nonstop drilling of Crossfit movements for about 9 hours a day. The program is geared in preparation for the Games competition, the skills covered but not limited to are:
- Weightlifting Skills – all the olift movements such as cleaning and jerking, snatching, and jerking off the blocks, it’s not necessarily about setting 1-rep maxes but refining technique. The lifts are also taught from different starting positions to break down the movement and to generate a more consistent lift.
- Kettlebell Conditioning – movements such as Russian swings using a banded distraction (dynamic method) for increased hip explosion or learning difficult KB movements like the Turkish get-up
- MoFo Conditioning – a brutal combination of a lower body movement combined with an upper body movement at an X% of your max EMOTM (ie. deadlift/thruster), this type of conditioning imposes strength with a metcon twist
- Gymnastics Skill
- Competition Preparation (Mental and nutrition) – how to mentally prepare for that battle in the pain cave, the games athletes have an unbelievable motor due to their ability to tolerate pain
- Mobility and Movement – body maintenance and addressing range of motion issues
- Prison Rules – like in prison you just need to survive, in this WOD you just HOPE to survive. A short, yet brutal workout which tests muscle endurance and speed requiring 2-3 reps of a certain movement every 15 seconds for 16 intervals at a “light” weight. It becomes 4 minutes of suck. This method trains you how to string barbell movements unbroken. In order to succeed at the Games, you need to learn how to touch and go complicated movements.
- Dynamic Lifting – a method explained well by WestSide Barbell, in which you’re using a band for resistance to increase speed and explosion at a submaximal load, really forcing you to develop acceleration out of the hole
- Strongman – these movements don’t require a lot of technique such as throwing Atlas stones, carrying a Yoke, or just pushing around heavy shit. It becomes a great way to develop conditioning with a low chance of injury due to the simplicity of the movement.
An itinerary like this should whet any Crossfit aficionado’s appetite. Additionally, we got the privilege to mix in with the Camp athletes in our regular WOD schedule. This whole week we’ve been re-testing the 2013 Open WODs, so on Saturday we all geared up for 13.5 (if you recall a Fran type WOD with a time checkpoint). Since the class was probably 60+, we had to go into 3 different heats. To avoid stacking the groups (you didn’t want all the mutants in 3 different heats for time purposes), I ended up being in a group with at least one mutant with the mutant obviously going last for drama purposes. The joes were counting the mutants’ reps, and the mutants were cheering on the joes. The best part is everyone surrounding and cheering the last person standing, as she went into her 3rd round of thrusters/chest to bars. With the sport growing exponentially, there may be a day Games athletes are treated as mainstream sport stars, but the community will always be inclusive enough to have us working out side-by-side with them.