In CrossFit competitions movement standards are set in order to even the playing field between athletes. It’s a way for the judges to determine what “counts.” In other words the movement standards are the rules of the game.
A few of the most common and fairly universal rules are things like hip crease below the knee for squats, full elbow lock out on ring dips and muscle ups, chin over the bar for pull ups, standing up fully before lowering a power clean. But even in competition rules may vary from event to event, year to year. In the 2008 CrossFit Games, the standards for pull ups were chest to bar. However in the 2010 games during the “Helen” event the standards were simply chin over the bar. One interesting movement standard that showed up in the Games last year was the push up standard in which the athlete had to pick their hands up off of the ground at the bottom of each push up. This eliminated the subjectivity of standards between judges. And regardless of what standards are set, the bottom line is that athletes need to be prepared for anything.
The same is true right here in our CF West classes. Sometimes as coaches we define movement standards for a workout based on what stimulus we want our athletes to achieve. One very basic example would be the burpee. In one workout a strict burpee might be assigned, forcing the athlete to work their push up and core strength while eliminating any “slop” that might occur otherwise. Yet in another workout, a “Games” burpee (in which the athlete is allowed to hit the floor and use his torso to assist himself up) might be assigned in order to maximize the metabolic stimulus intended for that workout by allowing him/her to move very quickly. And just as the competitive Games athletes do, our athletes should be ready for anything.
But when it comes down to it, when you are here in class, unless you are trying to win the CrossFit Games there’s no such thing as a movement not “counting” so long as you are making daily improvement in the quality of your movement. There’s plenty of folks who showed up their first day of CrossFit unable to get into a simple squat. And yet today, they are finally able to hit parallel while in a healthy, athletic position (chest up, knees out, weight on the heals!). And that’s what’s most important; getting better day by day.
What are your thoughts on movement standards? Are there any that you think are silly? That you love? Please post to comments.
3 Jerks (155/105)
7 KB Swings (2 Pood/53)