She was blond and athletic, new to CrossFit but not new to exercise.
“Put your weight on your heels and keep your chest up,” I said.
The workout lasted twenty-minutes. As positively as I could manage, every time she made it back to air squats, I pleaded for better mechanics.
After the workout was over, she left and never came back.
The week after she left, I learned that she was an aerobics instructor, 5k’er, spinner (there has to be a better name for that) and personal trainer. A “fitness expert” others trusted. That was two years ago.
Recently, I saw her at a local throw down squatting like a dog taking a dump. The team name painted across her chest told the tale of the box she now calls home.
She had traps like mountains and softball-like shoulders, and the capability to do everything correctly. She wasn’t injured or defective or even lazy. But somehow, two years later, she still looks like a question mark throwing up when she squats.
Maybe it was too much for her to admit that she’d jacked-up fitness for her entire life.
I’ve been there. Over six years ago I stared down the barrel called CrossFit and made a decision. I could admit that my way wasn’t very effective, that something a million times better existed, or I could remain selling snake oil to the few poor souls equally confused about what health really was.
Perhaps those precious certificates gave her a false sense of security, like a knife in a gun fight. Maybe she wasn’t ready to be questioned. I wonder if she’ll be ready now, more than a dozen no-reps later.
Was I offensive and heartless when I cued and instructed her years ago? No, but maybe she thought so.
Even so, my lack of tact has nothing to do with the standards every CrossFit should hold each other accountable too. If an athlete is fully capable of good movement, then good movement is all we should ever see.
I know the trainers at her box. They’re good people trying to do good things like most CrossFit affiliates. But for some reason, they’ve allowed poison to fester one bad squat at a time. Why?
Because, and I’m speculating of course, they’re scared to hold a standard that may cost them people they care for. It’s cost us for sure. But what’s worse; losing an athlete early on because you expect them to give all they’re capable of, or having them resent you years later, when they realize you never believed in them enough to demand better.
No one likes to be the guy who brings the class back to something as simple as the air squat, but that’s exactly what most athletes need. They need the guy who agreed to hold the standard at all costs. Even when it’s not popular, even when it’s not profitable, even when blonds with big traps leave and never come back.
Practice 10 Minutes for quality.
*Enter the skill ladder wherever you need the most work and go in the order of weakness to strength. This particular ladder will come up several times so if you miss something today, start there tomorrow.
25-Back squats 95/135
AMRAP 25 Minutes
Spend as much time as possible rolling, or spend the week in pain.
-Pull-up dip complex
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