There is always a big buzz in CrossFit about standards and form. Yeah, buzz. Maybe argument or bitching is more accurate. You know the old joke about how many CrossFitters does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three. One to screw in the lightbulb, one to time it, and one to bitch about form.
On one hand, standards are certainly a necessary part of CrossFit. If someone says they can to 50 pullups, I want to know that means the chin was over the bar every time. Or if someone says they squatted 4 plates, I want to believe that it was not a golds gym squat, but fully below parallel. Or that there was full lockout overhead on a 1:30 Grace. We need organizational standards that tell us what is the criteria for a successful or satisfactory movement.
On the other hand, way too much can be made about standards. CrossFit is constantly evolving. Standards are constantly changing. Take a look at some of the earlier CrossFit videos, such as the Everett/Amundson Fran showdown. By today’s standards, most of the thruster reps wouldn’t be acceptable. Does that take away from the performance those two guys exhibited? Not at all.
The muscle up is another point of contention. Specifically full extension at the bottom. If you don’t fully extend the arms, does it count as a real muscle up? Yes, of course. The main site has a list going back almost 10 years of people who have gotten a muscle up. The vast majority of those muscle ups, if not all, were done without full extension at the bottom. I know, I saw a bunch of those people do the muscle ups. Yet, the recent NorCal Qualifier changed its muscle up standards a day after announcing the WOD due to pressure from HQ and others.
So what is right or wrong about standards? Honestly, I don’t know. Do the movement how ever your affiliate says is the right form. Hopefully, the trainers have a good reason why they do it this certain way and can articulate it. If you are going to the Games, do the movement in accordance with the Games standard.
All that said, however, don’t cheat yourself. Ultimately you do CrossFit for yourself. Not to be in the Games, or in a main site video. You know that not standing tall after a power clean or jerk is cheating yourself. You know that if you are not squatting to at least parallel then your posterior chain is not getting the full benefit of the movement. You also know that you got a muscle up even if you can’t flip the hands out to get full extension of the arms yet. Be proud of yourself. Be totally stoked. I sure was when I got my first one. But also realize that there is still a further step to take.
Sound off folks. What do you think?
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7 Deadlifts 275/185#
12 Burpee Box Jumps 20″
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