Aims part three “Looking at all sports and physical tasks collectively, we asked what physical skills and adaptations would most universally lend themselves to performance advantage.”
There are several ways a strength and conditioning program can be ordered. Traditionally, styles of ordering workouts have been to do muscle or body part splits or to separate lifting days with long aerobic sessions. Although these versions of programming work, they might not be the most effective, especially when looking at sport. Sports often require the body to be strong and bear a high heart rate simultaneously. For this reason, training should also demand this combo of strength and conditioning. In sport, movement is regularly large patterns utilized in high intensity situations. The older training methodologies do not lend themselves well to train and adapt for this level of stress on the body.
Of the many sports, we are most interested in the sports where the test is exactly based on the movement the athlete performs. We see this in the best gymnasts, weightlifters, powerlifters, endurance athletes, and more. Someplace between all these well-specialized athletes is a well-rounded athlete. Important movements like squatting, lunging, jumping, and lifting all benefit themselves when trained in the gym and when trained together in combination. Being able to indirectly train upper body strength and lower body power with constantly different movements at a relative intensity to the individual yields significant results in performance. This is important because many of the best athletes in these sports have health and fitness benefits the general population needs. We have found that these sports are the best place to start because the sport is based around moving the body in efficient and functional ways.
After looking further at the tasks gymnasts, weightlifters, powerlifters, endurance athletes, and more are doing, we have found these athletes share a common trait. All these athletes have gotten immensely good at one very specific movement: whether that be swinging on a pull-up bar, lifting a heavy barbell from the ground to overhead, bench pressing, or running. These athletes are extreme variations of what a general person needs. By studying the most effective qualities of these extremes, we can derive an effective program (CrossFit) that every person can, and should, partake in. This derived program is intentional and produces the best results from all extremes without lacking skills in any, creating a very well-rounded athlete (see “aims part one”). The ability to be well-rounded can improve quality of life, by having the ability to both lift a grandkid off the ground (powerlifting) and carry them around (endurance).
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