Absorb Everything

Jocelyn warms up her shoulder while waiting to be discovered by Hollywood.

You never know where you might find something useful for your training.

At CFLG, two champion powerlifters lift in the Cage.  I like to stretch and foam roll near where they are lifting.  Sure, I can ask them any question I want and I always get a great answer, but I find that the best bits, the real nuggets, come from watching them lift and just listening to them talk about their training.

At the health club where CFLG rents space, a couple of athletes work out amidst the wannabe bodybuilders and the clueless.  I always keep the NHL player in the corner of my eye while he is working out.  Some of what he does has me shaking my head in dismay, but here and there are some great movements and ideas. I try to get into his team’s trainer’s mind and figure out why this trainer has a pro athlete doing these movements, this programming. I like to talk to the collegiate rugby player about his programming and how he takes into consideration that he plays 3 competitive seasons a year—collegiate rugby, collegiate club rugby, and club rugby.

At CFWSC, Jocelyn is being trained by a former US national champion weightlifter.  I like to watch her lift and I always take note of her programming.  Again, I can always ask her questions, and I do, but I like to just take note of what she is doing and let my subconscious play with it.

I like interval training a lot.  Boxers and other pugilists are the masters of interval work.  They have been doing AMRAP high intensity circuit work for at least a hundred years.  There is a lot to learn there.  Same thing with grapplers.  Judoka and wrestlers are maybe the best conditioned athletes in Olympic sport.  They do some traditional weight lifting, but they have a huge repertoire of bodyweight movements that make a burpee look like a leisurely morning playing chess in the park.

The amount of information and ideas that can be gleaned from watching youtube is staggering.  From watching elite and not-so-elite athletes work out to listening to collegiate strength and conditioning coaches explain their programs, the mental challenges posed by all of them are great and broad.  Sometimes I will see an idea or a movement and immediately incorporate it into my programming, but what I really like to do is just think about all that I have seen.  Do I agree with this person’s training or programming?  Why are they doing it?  How would I make it better?  If I just mull it over and around in my mind, I find some great connections and bridges.  For example, I am training a collegiate running back with ideas and concepts I picked up from watching an 80s Olympic shot putter train.  And he is making great gains.

Martial artists, gymnasts, capoeiristas, rock climbers, alpinists.  It is from the unlikely sources that you will find that something that your training is missing. My brother is a professional dancer.  His company, ABT, has its dancers keep hellish hours.  They will literally rehearse 5-8 hours a day and then perform in the evenings while in season.  He knows more about recovery techniques than any CrossFitter I have ever met. He was just in town and I was marveling at his foam rolling technique.  Ah, so that’s how you do it.

I try to vet everything I see with the CrossFit mantras of increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains and large loads long distances quickly.  In other words, will this or that help make me faster, stronger, more explosive.  Will it make me fitter, a better athlete.

Absorb everything.

Please post thoughts to Comments.


Full Clean

8×2 @ 85% 1RM


3 Rounds

10 Power Snatch

10 Thrusters

Lads use 115, lasses use 75 pounds. Firebreathers go with 135/85#.