“Well, I can’t do that anyway.” The amount of times I’ve heard that in the last 10 years while coaching CrossFit probably lands somewhere in the stratosphere of a billion. Muscle ups on the docket today? “Well, I can’t do that anyway.” Rope climbs? “Well, I can’t do that anyway.” A long time ago when Coach Glassman was first beginning to train clients at his own “facility” he began by running sessions out of the corner of a Jiu-Jitsu studio. The Jiu-Jitsu guys began to take notice of his workouts, but when they would get approached by Coach Glassman to partake they would often tell him, “That’s too intense for me.”
Coach Glassman would proceed to ask them about their current match history and how often they lose. If they told him they had only lost a handful of times in a year, Coach Glassman would tell them, “Boy, you need to start losing more.”
You see if you’ve “mastered” a movement or only partake in movements you’ve “mastered” then you’re never going to make progress. Coach Glassman didn’t want to see the Jiu-Jitsu guys get their asses handed to them or anything like that. He did, however, recognize that they were on the road to zero progress if they just kept going against guys that they beat easily.
When trying to create adaptation or trying to get better at something there is a certain sweet spot an athlete needs to live at. There needs to be enough of a struggle that the athlete is learning how to cope with the stress, but not so much stress that the athlete gets burnt out or even worse, injured.
So, if you’re constantly avoiding days when muscle-ups are programmed, how are you supposed to get better at them? If you’re constantly avoiding days when snatches are programmed, how are you going to get better at them and ultimately enhance your fitness?
Coach Glassman knew the Jiu-Jitsu guys were capable, but he also knew what may happen if, God forbid, they get caught on the street one day by someone much better than them. Be willing to not have everything mastered and humble enough to show up when you don’t.
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