Why Strength Is So Important to a CrossFit Athlete
Written by Hunter Britt
The stronger you are, the better. That’s a simple fact in CrossFit.
The stronger you are at whatever you are doing, the easier it will be to perform that task. Whether it is deadlifting 315lbs, performing 10 minutes for max calories on an Assault Bike or performing a muscle-up.
What is Strength in CrossFit?
Strength is how much force your muscles can create. Strength shouldn’t be confused with size. Size is definitely associated with strength, but this article is focused on increasing the amount of force your muscles can create and why it’s important.
The obvious example in why strength helps in CrossFit is in weightlifting and powerlifting.
It is easy to see that an athlete has gotten stronger when they used to deadlift 400lbs and now they can lift 500lbs.
Now, when that athlete needs to deadlift 315lbs for a metcon, it feels a whole lot lighter. Where we do not always pay attention to strength helping us is on cardio machines.
There are four things that make someone a good “Rower” – technique, strength, body weight, and conditioning. Training in each is going to be helpful in improving your pace and making your times faster.
You can really observe rowing strength by setting the monitor to Watts. This will show you directly how much power you’re creating. The higher the power, the faster your time will be.
In gymnastics, strength is also important.
There are different kinds of strength and in these last two examples, we’ve discussed the concept of “absolute strength”.
Absolute strength means all that matters is how much strength is present, regardless of body weight.
Gymnastics is more about relative strength. Relative strength is an athlete’s absolute strength compared to their own body weight is what makes up their relative strength.
When we improve the absolute strength of an athlete and they stay the same size, their relative strength goes up.
The reason that this is important to understand is that with powerlifting training we can increase both absolute strength and relative strength.
If you want to be better at muscle-ups, jumping or handstand push-ups, powerlifting training paired with accessory work will help.
The faster your hips can move, the better your kip.
The more you can press or bench press, the better your handstand push-ups and dips.
8-Week CrossFit Strength Program
Strength is involved in every single aspect of CrossFit. Invictus has an online 8-Week CrossFit Strength Program designed for athletes to be able to train strength in a smart way.
Fully planned out and thought through with the goal of sustainable training and not draining the system. Heavy lifting with compound movements and most of the volume coming from accessory movements will keep from dramatic fatigue to the Central Nervous System. That will allow enough time to recover from previous training days and hit the next day hard.
Make strength a priority in your training. Your CrossFit and ability to get work done will only improve as you get stronger.