The Holistic View

Leslie; flying high on her pushups.

Leslie; flying high on her pushups.

Happy Birthday Judy and Beto!

Happy Birthday Judy and Beto!

We were doing back squats the other day in class. After one of the athletes PR’d, she commented that she hoped this wouldn’t be like her deadlift.  She had set a PR in the deadlift last summer and, even though she has been close, had not PR’d in it since and she was naturally a bit frustrated.  I remembered the day that she had PR’d.  Her daughter, another CrossFitter, was visiting and the two of them were really finding encouragement in each others’ presence and consequently were pretty fired up.

Anyway, I asked her if she had had any other PRs lately.  She responded with a list ranging from the aforementioned back squat to a couple minutes off of Helen.  I looked at her and said that seemed like improved fitness to me.  But what about the deadlift, she replied.

Well, what about the deadlift?  Does it matter that she has not PR’d in it since the summer?  Yes and no.  Obviously it matters to her and so it is important.  We all have favorite lifts or WODs that seem especially important to us.  And of course, the deadlift is a real indicator of strength, so I certainly want her to PR in it.  But over all, by CrossFit standards, no, it does not matter.  Demonstrably she has gotten much more fit than she was in the summer.  Almost across the board (except the deadlift) her numbers are up and her times are dropping.  And that counts much more than a single movement.

Measuring progress, ie fitness, in CrossFit is an holistic enterprise.  You have to look at the whole picture, and the whole picture is generalistic.  CrossFit is about plurality and therein lies a lot of the appeal, and also the pain, of CrossFit.  With CrossFit’s many ingredients, there is always another avenue open for progress, another area ripe for training.  But you never get to just sit on your laurels.  CrossFit is the compete opposite of the one trick pony. Killing it on the WODs?  Great, how are your lifts coming?  Been PRing on the O-lifts?  That is awesome, how about your gymnastics?  Been working hard on your pressing and handstand strength?  That’s great, can you put it to use in Diane?  You are a CrossFit animal?  Right on, but where is that sport, that activity, the top of the pyramid?

Being cross fit is about being fit across borders and genres.  It is an holistic approach to fitness and health.  So don’t get so engrossed in the individual trees that you forget to look at the big CrossFit forest.

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Push Press

1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1,




5 Rounds

10 Back Squats bw

10 Kettlebell Swings 53/35#

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