One of the mistakes I see a lot with many new coaches is trying to put the cart before the horse. They want to see results so fast that they forget who they are working with and what their needs and goals actually are. They take no consideration that the room of 20 people all consist of 20 different
needs and abilities. They conjure up all sorts of variations of simple exercises like kettlebell swings and have a room of people of varying abilities perform double banded kettlebell snatches with a donkey kick supersetted with reverse handstand chained med ball slams while performing a circumcision. "Of course for time, you idiot! Hell no, there's no rest, rest when you're dead, you PUSSY!" I know what you're saying right now, "That sounds like a sweet WOD, dude!" Yeah.
To quote Greg Glassman of CrossFit fame in his ever popular "Virtuosity" article...
Rarely do trainers really nitpick the mechanics of fundamental movements. I understand how this occurs. It is natural to want to teach people advanced and fancy movements. The urge to quickly move away from the basics and toward advanced movements arises out of the natural desire to entertain your client and impress him with your skills and knowledge. But make no mistake: it is a sucker’s move. Teaching a snatch where there is not yet an overhead squat, teaching an overhead squat where there is not yet an air squat, is a colossal mistake. This rush to advancement increases the chance of injury, delays advancement and progress, and blunts the client’s rate of return on his efforts. In short, it retards his fitness.
Read the article in full here...
I used Glassman's article for 2 reasons, 1. because it's good, 2. because most beginning CrossFitter's suck on that big fat CrossFit Cock so good that they won't listen to anyone else's perspective. So here is CrossFit's faithful leader telling them to chill the fuck out and master the basics, while his puppet cronies write some Jack WOD on the Main Site consisting of 50 of these and 100 of those and 36,239 of these, 7 rounds for time. The actions don't match the goals. Its confuses people. From this point on, you will not blindly follow some idiotic mess of a program without thinking for yourself first. HAHA, I know thats not gonna happen, you sad silly Kool-Aid sucking fitness freak. But just keep working hard and don't hurt yourself, ok? Cool. Of course most CrossFitters are not silly, but some are, and they MUST be laughed at. I pick on CrossFit a lot because they are popular, and "Everything popular is wrong" - Oscar Wilde. But in reality, I love 90% of CrossFit and what it has done for us fitness fucks. (I love those silly Comedy Central Roasts too, with that ugly Jewish dude, Jeffrey Ross, so that always makes me feel better about making fun of people that I like. If I make fun of you now, or at any other time in the past, it's because I love you, I mean that, sincerely. So don't get all Suzy Sandypussy on me just because you got caught with your pants down. We can go have a beer later and talk about where I went wrong in my youth.) But the other 10% really needs to get a beatin' and deserves to be made fun of on a regular basis. You obviously can play with those 90/10 percentages as you see fit. But it's not even CrossFit that I am making fun of, it's the silly trainers doing silly shit, and they need a damn beatin' and an edumacation. Check out Beastmodal Domains or Drywall CrossFit to see what I am saying. Or this video...
Let's demonstrate what I am talking about with a cool exercise that I recently saw on Tony Gentilcore's website that he performed at Cressey Performance. It's great stuff, watch his mechanics and pay attention to the stability of his body as he builds strength and mobility for athleticism and fitness. This is how you demonstrate precision, technique, and grace.
That was so perfectly executed, from the pause at the top of the rep, to the laser like straight line of his body from the ankle to the neck. In fact, it was so sexy, I actually envisioned myself licking him from his calves to the back of his ears while riding him like a fat ex-pole dancer trying to live out her glory days on stage, but now she's just swinging around her basement posting videos on YouTube when the pole breaks and she lands on her head in front of her kids and they steal the last of the ice cream out of the fridge because she can't stop them because her back just landed on a 6 pound plastic Tonka truck. (I know this happens, I used to date a fat ex-stripper). Where was I? Oh, yeah, perfect technique... Well done, Tony. Seriously, this needs to be practiced, especially as you are learning what is happening with your body, developing kinesthetic awareness, and developing strength and stability in your early years of training.
However, the problem with this, over time, after you develop a sufficient amount of strength, you will be limited in your ability to use this type of training in your life and on your chosen field of battle. Take a look again at Tony's technique, while flawless, envision moving like that in real life, or during a football game. Real life moves at a much faster pace. What he is doing is safe, and correct for all beginners and even for advanced athletes. But the advanced athlete has different needs as well. The advanced athlete needs to be powerful as hell and be prepared for some crazy shit. Because a shit storm is coming, whether you want it or not.
Below I show a variation of the same type of exercise that Tony just demonstrated above, a split stance pulley row. Except mine is performed dynamically with a lot more power but less stability. These are similar exercises, with different goals in mind, designed for different athletes, during different times. Like I said earlier, there is a time and place for all types of training. This next video is not for beginners, as they will not benefit much from it if they failed to develop any real strength or stability yet in their training, it is probably too risky and will provide little positive benefit. But, if you are a well prepared athlete, it doesn't take much time to realize the benefit you will get from the power and dynamic mobility you will gain from such an exercise. It is very athletic and extremely demanding.
Back to Basics Seminar!
Click the photo to see the page for the seminar that Smitty and I put on last year at TSS. The basic exercises, performed safely and as perfectly as possible, are the best way to train novice (most) athletes. We all think we are more advanced than we really are. But a few key movements, trained with focus and diligence, will yield the greatest results.
Click the photo for the EXTREME! DVD. It's random, it's chaotic, it's INSANE! You'll NEVER get bored again with over 130+ new, never before seen exercises that have never been performed by anyone on the face of the universe!! You'll be blown away by shit that no one has ever fuckin done before!
These are two polarized concepts being promoted by the same guy, WTF? On one hand he gives you a KISS, keep it simple slut, on the other, he says GO EXTREME! It's the key to advanced athleticism. Which one is right? They both are is the cop out answer, but it is the truth. You just have to know when and how to apply the concepts, not just throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and hope that something sticks. It usually depends on the ability of the athlete and their training "age". Meaning, are they a newbie or advanced. The reason for this extreme training, ironically, is to prepare you for the inevitable. The tragic missed step, the twisted leg on the rebound, the over rotation of the bat or club, the blind side hit on the grid iron. I am kind of mocking the sales copy of Extreme, but only because I love it, I only roast the ones I love. I loved the DVD, I love all the products that Smitty, Joe D, and other like minded coaches put out there. They are all valuable, you just have to know when and how to apply them, which they cover in detail in their products.
Below is a must see video from Ido Portal, his Improper Alignment speech, which covers essentially what I am talking about with being prepared for a shitty situation if, and WHEN, it occurs. Imperfect training needs to be introduced to your training, but in a gradual, safe manner.
I got it, that makes sense, well, explain this...
Showing your ability to smash yourself or your clients to pieces with a high rep cluster fuck of a WOD does not make the athletes better. Showing your ability to constantly enhance their technique, keeping them safe and healthy and progressing for years is the hallmark of a great coach. Always preach what's important to the athlete and stay true to yourself to maintain your integrity. If the athlete has spent the time to prepare themselves accordingly, then a few sloppy reps at the end of a ball busting set won't hurt them. It will, however, make it a little easier to get those same few reps, even at a heavier weight, that much easier next time around. So for now, put the camera down when coaching your athletes, and get back to hands on teaching and focus on what's important. I hope this article was informative to you, maybe enough to share with someone whom you think needs it. But more importantly, I hope I succeeded in getting your hand of your pecker long enough to learn something valuable, you porn addicted numb skull. HAHA.
If you like what we are doing here, do yourself a favor, and by that, I mean do ME a favor, and check out The Consummate Athlete. Its FREE for a week, and only 3 Starbuck's Mocha Latte's a month after that.
Also, if you are interested in attending one of The Strength Shop's Seminars, we have a few in the works coming up very soon in Europe. If you are in the Copenhagen area, or anywhere centrally located between Okinawa and Ohio, you really want to give it a go, or be forced to face the wrath of the Irish Circle Jerk when I see you.