Good Movement Pays Off – by Coach Andy Smyth

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Crossfit Games Athlete Bjork Odinsdottir and Coach Nordic gym Owner

Good Movement Pays Off

” The body will become better at whatever you do, or don’t do. If you don’t move, your body will make you better at not moving. If you move, your body will allow you more movement” Ido Portal

I have recently attended some coaching seminars and I would like to share my experience. I think now is an important time to remind ourselves why we do crossfit. The open is upon us and things can get a little bit crazy. It seems to be all about numbers, what score you got and how fast you complete the task. But take a step back and remind yourself why your doing crossfit.

I travelled to Concor crossfit in Stockholm to attend the Gymnastic Certification. Many people don’t make the association between crossfit and gymnastics, but when we look a little closer at each the links are obvious. Gymnastics is bodyweight movement and it can be considered the baseline to everything…life is gymnastics! Range of movement and form are paramount in gymnastics and all this bleeds over into the vision of what crossfit should be.

As a coach I want to see members getting stronger and being injury free to enjoy life. For me its all about longevity. You might have realised by now that crossfit is addictive. I know personally I don’t ever want to stop and why would I? The majority of us will be hitting WOD’s for decades. So now is the time to build a solid base and consistently make improvements, however small. Sure there will be set backs and periods where you feel your not improving. Stick with improving the basics, everyone wants to bang out Muscle Ups and RX everything, Remember virtuosity, master the air squat even games athletes are working to perfect the air squat and so should you.

Don’t get all consumed by the clock and what number goes on the whiteboard. Do a workout and don’t look at the clock at all. Just rate yourself on how well you think you moved.

This all relates back to Box Culture. What kind of gym to do want to train at? I recently spoke to a CFD member who told me about their crossfit drop in session in a gym in the states. He said everything was for time and reps, there was no warm up or focus on technique it was all 3.2.1 go go go!! He looked around on a Deadlift wod and couldn’t believe the amount of people pulling weight off the ground with rounded backs. Even people that had been training for some time at the gym had extremely poor movement.There is no improvement in this, just injury. This is compete bullshit for a gym to put so much emphasis on time and weight. Its not about how fast you did it but how well you completed the task.

So this is a call to you to lead from the front. Be an inspiration to those around you and be someone who is committed to improving your movement. It will not go unnoticed and the benefits will be felt.The praise often does go to the person who gets their first muscle up or deadlifts double bodyweight, Don’t get me wrong these are great achievements. But what about the person who does impeccably good push ups in a WOD, who doesn’t break form. Reward athletes who move with virtuosity, who work on mobility and take onboard coaching cues. This is what gives me satisfaction. Not to boost my ego but because I know this will make you stronger, this will prevent shoulder injury, this is what will give you a better quality of life to spend time doing what you enjoy.

I have started Implementing the “last rep rule ” in my workouts and have seen huge improvements.The Last Rep Rule by Jami Tikkanen is an idea that you should move better on your last rep than on your first one. Using all the previous repetitions to practice for my last one and that the workout is not over before your last rep is a good one. You can judge the quality of the rep by feel as good form also feels good or your coach can give you feedback. Think of the workout Grace 30 clean and jerks for time, your given all those reps why make the last rep look like shit!

To quote the famous coach John Wooden, ‘there is a difference between winning and success.’ Winning may look like a faster time in a WOD or a new PB in your back squat.Thats good but what did your body learn from this? How to move poorly? So think of what success is “doing your best today to become the best you are capable of becoming” to achieve virtuosity which is to do the common uncommonly well.

I hope this has given you some food for thought and something you can implement in your workouts.

Thank you for reading.

Andy S

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