Bryce and Holden during an EMOM

Do You ONLY Lift Bro?!
Written by Tino Marini

Before you start reading this article, pull up your social media feed, scroll down and count how many times you see someone celebrating a PR lift or hitting a monstrous number on a complex they performed in training or competition. Do you see many? The answer is most likely yes.

Here’s a few that came across my feed today. . .

“Big day today, lifting was good in the morning and I hit a PB Jerk in the evening at 150kg”

“A 10# PR in the Split Jerk today, followed by a 20# PR in the Push Jerk!”

“90kg jerk pb today! 2.5kg increase!!”

As coaches, we love to see these PRs and, quite rightly so, they need to be celebrated. At the end of the day all we want to see is progress; that the athlete is performing well in their program and in training.

But where have all the posts about a 5000 meter row PR, 1-Mile Run PR, “Sage” PR, or a “Jackie” PR gone?!

I understand that posting a 20 minute long video of you performing 6 rounds of “Sage” or 5 minute video of your 1-Mile time trial wouldn’t get many likes on social media but the trend is also apparent in many competitive CrossFit athletes’ day to day training. Oddly enough, as I finished writing this post, CrossFit HQ had just published a similar article touching on this exact subject. You can read it here.

I’m fortunate enough to coach some great athletes onsite in our Competition Classes. These guys come in day to day and bust their asses chasing those lifting PRs. Firing themselves up to make their lifts. Making sure they have calculated all of their percentages for the day and have all their weights set out before they start their 20 minute EMOM. Oh and by damn they will make sure they get in every lift, even if it means they run over the time or come back to a later class because they didn’t have a good lifting day. They also get extremely down if they don’t hit those numbers.

I love all of this as it shows their passion to get better but do you know what I would love more? An athlete who has the same attention to detail in their conditioning pieces.

If you do apply the same attention to detail in both aspects of fitness, then well done! I’m pretty sure this has been extremely beneficial to your progress. If you don’t, however, maybe you should start giving it a little more attention to your conditioning sessions. Take the same pride in completing that 30 minute EMOM on a Wednesday as you would hitting all your numbers in your Snatch session on a Monday. The reason for highlighting this is that it has been apparent, both in-house and online, that there seems to be a misconception to what it takes to be a high level CrossFit Athlete.

Max lifts contribute to around 10% of many competitions. Take the CrossFit Games as an example; there were two events out of the fifteen that involved a heavy barbell. So why do we place so much emphasis on lifting? Personally I believe it’s much easier to coach someone to squat or Snatch than it is to be mentally strong and have the ability to grind through a tough workout. You can’t teach someone the mental toughness to push; that has to come from within. You can give them the tools and skills to get to that intensity but if they are unwilling to apply themselves then they will never progress and excel in the sport. I can name dozens of athletes that can outlift the majority of Games Athletes but they come nowhere close to being able to compete with them in a conditioning piece. A 300lb. Snatch and 360lb. Clean & Jerk will only take you so far when you can only perform 3 rounds of “Sage”.

If you feel that your mental game hinders your progress in the sport, then I would highly recommend reading our book on the subject, “The Invictus Mindset”. If you feel that your conditioning limits your ability to progress as an athlete, then learn to embrace the grind and get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you see that progress, make sure you celebrate it just as much as you would PR’ing your Snatch by 30 lbs.!

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