Invictus Weightlifter with a massively heavy barbell in the front rack position getting ready to go overhead.
Getting Stronger is More Important for Your CrossFit Game Than You Think
Written by Jared Enderton
If you think of CrossFit competitions – how many events are super heavy? One out of four? Two out of five? It’s not a high percentage, yet, thinking about it that simply will leave you shorthanded. Let me explain why. Even though most competitions only have one or two heavier events – there are plenty of other events where strength is CRUCIAL to you doing well. Let’s take Fran for example. 21-15-9 of 95/65lb Thrusters and Pull-Ups. You wouldn’t think strength plays a role – but it DOES!
Take a guy who front squats 225 and push presses 185 for example. He is doing 45 front squats at 42% of his max, and doing 45 push presses at 51% of his max. Ok, what if that athlete increased his front squat to 265 and his push press to 215? He is now doing 45 FS at 35% of his max and 45 PP at 44% of his max. That’s a HUGE difference! 7% less across 45 reps on both the front squat and push press (AKA a Thruster!). That athlete is now able to relax WAY more throughout the thruster reps because he’s working at a lighter %, and, his heart rate will stay much lower as a result. Without any increase in aerobic capacity – he is FITTER just by becoming stronger.
Think about Isabel (30 snatches for time at 135/95). What if a female athlete snatched 165? Then 95lbs is 57% of their max. Not bad. For an athlete who snatches 130 – their 57% would be 75lbs! I always bring this example up when you see top athletes crush barbell movements – most of the time the athletes winning the barbell events are the STRONGEST. They are simply working at a lighter % of their max than the rest of the field. Of course, they are incredibly aerobically fit and all that – but you get my point. Think about all of the champions in recent years – they are ALWAYS in the top in the heavy weightlifting events (Froning, Fraser, Toomey, Thorisdottir, Medeiros, etc).

It pays off to be strong. It’d be pretty fun to work at a lighter % of your max than most other athletes in the field! Even when it’s as simple as a wallball – that slightly lighter % you’d be working at across all of those reps pays off big time in terms of your heart rate and energy conservation over the course of long time domains!

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