Absolute Strength and CrossFit


Golden, in route to 2:24.

There has always been a debate in Crossfit as to the importance of absolute strength. CrossFit has evolved a lot over the years. When I first did CrossFit, a good 10 years ago, there was no CF Total, 7×1 RM or 5×5 days, or Coach Rippetoe. There was a lot of circuits, a lot of wall ball. I don’t recall there being much weight over 95 pounds. In other words, there was very little focus on absolute strength. This has changed dramatically, but there still exists an attitude in CrossFit that ignores absolute strength. There are CrossFitters and affiliates that will never do Linda, no matter how many times they do Jackie or Helen.

Grace is my favorite of the CrossFit benchmark WODs. No other WOD has quite the same power output. Thirty reps, at 135 pounds, of the clean and jerk may not sound very difficult, but not a lot of people can go sub 3 in it. Today at CF West Santa Cruz, the existing Grace record was beaten by 13 seconds. Golden, the new record holder, has been doing CrossFit for barely a couple months. Frankly, his technique has no where to go but up. But, Gold is strong, really strong. And strength counts for a lot. He turned in a smoking time of 2:24.  As his technique improves more, I fully expect him to be near 2 minutes, which would put him in the CrossFit upper echelon.

OK, so what is the moral of the story, other than Golden is a rock star? Strength counts. A lot. It counts right across the board in all the WODs. This may not be politically correct, but do not listen to trainers or even affiliates that ignore absolute strength. Twenty reps of 315 in the deadlift, or a double bodyweight squat are enormous accomplishments and will drop your time in every benchmark WOD.

Have at it.  I expect to see heavy iron in everyone’s hands come the morrow.

Congratulations Golden. Killer time.



30 Snatches 135/85#

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