Good Afternoon CFTP,
Friday night was a blast! Thank you all for coming out and hanging out and for cheering on all those who performed 18.5. I love being able to hang out with all of you every chance I get. The BBQ was awesome and the movie was so good. Great job to everyone who competed in the 2018 Open. It has been one of my favorites as an athlete so far. Fun workouts and I have loved watching all of you compete and push during this time. If you haven’t gotten your shirt please come and get it.
At my level 1 CrossFit certification and every certification I have gone to since, I would hear “program for the best and scale for the rest.” and this is how we have done it at The Point. I want to delve into this a little bit. Every day when I program a workout I always put an Rx version of the workout or a prescribed version of the workout. Usually this involves a certain weight and a certain amount of reps and some different movements.
What is the purpose of having a prescribed workout? Having a prescribed workout pushes us to sometimes do things that we didn’t think we could do. Sometimes a weight is prescribed that pushes us past what we thought we were capable of and this in turn provides an opportunity for us to improve. When a gymnastic movement is prescribed that we have never done before and we push ourselves to do it, we might surprise ourselves with something that we didn’t think we were capable of.
I want to use this past open as an example. In week 3 Dave Castro did a workout with 100 double unders at the beginning and then the second movement after overhead squats was a ring muscle up. This was frustrating for some who struggle with double unders and very frustrating for those who cannot do ring muscle ups yet but guess what? We had 3 individuals get their first muscle up that week! Not only that, we had multiple people do more double unders than they have ever done in a single workout.
The point I am trying to get across here is this. When I prescribe a workout, it isn’t to break your spirit. It isn’t to frustrate you. I’m not trying to make you feel like less of an athlete. My goal and the goal of our training team is to provide workouts that challenge you and that make you do things you never thought you could do. Our coaching cues aren’t there to tell you that you are doing it wrong, they are there to help correct you so you can do it right.
This brings me to my next point. The cursed SCALED word. A few weeks back I read an article where it talks about how CrossFit got it wrong referring to Rx and Scaled and I tend to agree. Scaled sometimes has a negative connotation that you are less than the person who is doing it as prescribed. This was not the intended purpose behind the word scaled. The term scaled was used because you are scaling the prescribed workout to your current physical ability. You are scaling the workout in a way that benefits you the most at the time of the WOD. So in all reality, a better term than scaled is actually TAILOR-MADE.
When you come into the gym our desire as a coaching team is to make your workout tailor-made for you. This could vary day to day. I’ve had many times that I had to adjust my workout to fit my current situation. Maybe I had an injury or I had an upcoming competition or whatever it might be, I have had to adjust or scale the workout to my individual needs. Steve Ross’ story below is a perfect example of what it takes to ease back into the different movements after an injury.
Another reason it is imperative that we adjust the workouts for individuals is to avoid injury. Sometimes our body isn’t ready for certain movements. For example, I have had many people who have had the desire to get their first pullup. They come to me and want to work on kipping or on the butterfly pullup but at the time they still aren’t able to do a strict pullup. While I understand the urgency to get that pullup, I am going to be tentative to introduce a movement that could injure this athlete. As athletes we need to progress into each of the movements. We need to build up the stabilizing muscles that are going to be put through strain during the explosive movement.
Nothing would make me happier than to see everyone in the gym able to do every movement and to lift every weight that I ever prescribe. I’m not trying to take that away from you, I’m trying to keep you healthy so that you can eventually build up your strength and skill to achieve these movements. The moment we allow ourselves to skip steps in progression to gain that strength and ability needed to accomplish the task, we end up injuring ourselves and we set ourselves back from becoming fitter versions of ourselves.
I implore you all to be patient with yourselves. The definition of patience is interesting: “able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious”. Sounds pretty accurate to what it takes to conquer certain CrossFit movements. The movements and the weight will come. Don’t compare yourself to your workouts buddies. People progress at different rates. Some athletes get double unders on their first day and for others it take years to get them. Some athletes are built to deadlift 400/250 pounds and do so with ease but for some of us it takes years to get to that point and for some, they may never achieve those massive weights and THAT’S OK! It’s not about being able to do certain weights and movements, it’s about the journey it takes to get there. It’s about progress. It’s about overcoming your own personal weaknesses and about getting out of your head and not letting your frustration get the best of you. IN THE END, IT’S ABOUT YOU BECOMING A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF.
It will be 3 yrs in July this year. I am a product of the July Promotion!
I am a Founding Partner of Common Sense Financial where we specialize in a number of different financial and insurance based products
I was on of the guys who after playing sports growing up would sporadically find interest in different things and then for 90 days or so would go for it and ultimately lose the excitement and I would stop doing it. Right before Crossfit came along all I was doing was playing basketball every once in awhile
As many know I had a couple fingers amputated last Jun. When I was all drugged up on morphine in the hospital (imagine one of those videos where someone got their wisdom teeth out) all I could think about and apparently kept saying out loud was, “I wonder if I will still be able to do Crossfit”. So being able to come back after only 2 months was big deal to me.
Whenever I get into a Crossfit conversation with a Non Crossfitter the thing I always end up saying is that the only reason I have stuck with Crossfit (besides the people) and not other things, is that all I have had to do is make the decision 1 time to show up everyday. After that, everything else is done for you, and as long as you do the work, you see the results. That was the thing I was missing before that kept me from sticking to things for longer than 90 days. Because I had to decide and then plan all the time I lost my motivation. This btw is still my problem when it comes to eating healthy.
For some reason I have always liked Snatches. I had a goal for a long time to do a 200# Power Snatch and believe it or not I did it post injury which was awesome for me.
Lets be honest, any WOD where there there is no running and burpee’s and a lot are barbell work makes me happy. But one WOD I have enjoyed is the ladder where every minute you start by doing snatches until you fail, take a minute off and starting from the same weight you failed on the snatch you start to clean until you fail, and then deadlift until you fail.
My goal is to lose 10% body fat so that i can do the gymnastics movements better. I am a big guy and it doesn’t help that i have a 40# weight vest permanently connected to me. I have joked I could probably beat Nate Isham in a WOD if I lost 40# and then strapped a 40# weight vest on him and see what happens. I have other barbell goals like a 400# Back Squat (really close already) 285# clean (stuck at 265#), 300# bench (really close), and 225# Snatch.
I lived in Daybreak awhile back at there was a box there and I would see these guys/gals outside at times on the rowers and running and i would hear about people doing things like the filthy 50 and thinking, “wow, I can’t imagine doing that” Now I realize that everyone starts where they are at and build from there.
Thinking about this part gets me a little emotional. When I first started I had a mental battle everyday about how hard I should push myself. I was so out of shape and had not idea what weight I should do or how much i should scale etc. The competitive side me didn’t want to be the last in the class so I would cheat on reps at times thinking that only I would know, or I would break up the movements differently than the WOD prescribed just so I wasnt last. After awhile I just made the decision to stop doing that and commited myself to doing the reps no matter what, and that is when I feel I started making real progress and my fitness really changed. When I had my accident I had been doing Crossfit for about 2 yrs and felt like I was just starting to hit my stride, I had just started to do butterfly pull-ups, I started to be consistent on my double unders, I was hitting Pr’s on all my barbell lifts, I could actually run 400 Meters in a WOD multiple times without stopping…Fast forward to post accident. I gained 10#, I couldn’t even hang on the bar with my body weight to do a pull up, the mens bar was too big to grip so I had to use a girls bar, I couldnt pick up the 50# dumbbells with my injured hand and hold it. When I came back I had no expectations for myself on what i was going to be able to do. I just told myself i wasnt going to shy away from the challenge and be open at least trying to do everything that I could do before my injury. Since then there have been so many little quite moments/victories where I have tried to do something and blew my mind when I was able to do it. As an example one day we were doing snactches and someone left 185# mens bar out as we were warming up. This was close to my all time pre injury max. The most i had done up to this point post injury was 155# with a girls bar. I remember looking at the bar and saying to myself what the heck i am going to try this. I walked up grabbed the bar without any straps to assist me and nailed it! Now 9 months later I can hang from the bar, I can actually do butterfly pull-ups (with a strap), I can use a mens bar on all lifts, grip and move a 50# dumbbell without a strap, and a number of other little things that keep improving slowly but surely. Crossfit has truly been a huge blessing in my life both physically and mentally. I appreciate what everyone brings to the table and we all better for being a part of CFTP
Coach Dan: Steve has amazed me. I love that he shared the story of when he used to adjust the workout and cut reps when he first started but realized it was just slowing his progression and when he stopped being so competitive and did what was asked of him, he began to see his progress soar. Some people after such a horrific accident would start feeling sorry for themselves and give up but Steve did just the opposite, he has surpassed what he could do before his injury. He allowed this setback actually drive him to new heights. Really inspiring.
Coach Leslie: “Steve is a great athlete. He’s very coachable and is constantly asking for feedback on movement. I was so impressed with how fast and more determined than ever he came back after his accident. The Ross’s are such a great addition to The Point!”
Coach JoAnn: “I’ve watched Steve since he started, and he doesn’t back away from any challenge. It is inspiring to see. He is consistent, and always giving his all, and then when he’s done he’s cheering on others. Plus, he’s super tall, and I have a special place in my heart for the tall crossfitters. 🤣”
Below are the pictures of Steve’s hand… Some have pins in the fingers and what not so that’s why I am putting them below. Continue scrolling if you don’t mind seeing that type of thing. I wanted to include them because it represents just how far Steve has come from a terrible accident.
Three months after…
1 week after surgery