Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Doesn't Count

"Doesn't count."
"Doesn't count."
"Doesn't count."


The competitive atmosphere of the Crossfit gym encourages speed. You want to win. You want to beat every other person in the room and post some outrageously low time, proving that you are (as if it wasn't obvious) the best athlete.

The problem comes when we sacrifice form for speed. Evidently, we've been doing a lot of this lately. Neal came back from Crossfit HQ with a newfound emphasis on form. Somewhere between ring dip 30 and ring dip 40, I started hearing this:

"Didn't go deep enough. Doesn't count."
"Didn't lock out. Doesn't count."
"Hahahahaha. Doesn't count."

The last one might have been in my head.

I came in dead last. Five other Crossfitters, subjected to the same scrutiny I was experiencing, beat me to the finish line. Humiliating.

Despite my overwhelming urge to see if I could pile-drive a 250 pound man, I think I learned a thing or two. When you're working with near-perfect form, everything gets a hell of a lot harder. The difficulty ramps up quickly toward the end. Form degrades as fatigue sets in, and you have to try twice as hard to maintain the integrity of the exercise.

This level of effort is hard to self-enforce. When you're working out alone, it's easy to give yourself credit for a less-than-perfect rep. It's an ego check to realize that your poundages fall and your times increase when you strive for perfect form. Odds are you're not going to set a Cindy PR if your pullups are full-extension, your pushups are chest-to-deck, and your squats are ass-to-the-grass.

You know when you're striving for perfection and when you're just going through the motions. Don't let your ego get in the way of progress. Time doesn't mean sh*t if you've got the form of Kermit the Frog on valium.

I'm going to make sure I hear "doesn't count" a little less in the future. I'm also making sure I don't spend any more time in last place. Last place sucks.


Blogger ec said...

that's one of the things i really learned this past wkend too.

i had eva t watching me do 7 reps of ball cleans and jerks. i kept hearing, "no", "no", "no"... and then at number 11, i heard "1".

the time helps with the intensity - but if its wrong, you might as well not do it at all.

good posting.

5/16/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...

Thanks for weighing in, EC. I think we're all in for a good ego check. I'm down for anything that makes this sh*t harder anyway.

5/16/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Will T said...

I think that there are going to be alot of unhappy folks around CFB for the next week or so. There is a new standard and we all have to meet it. Just wait until HSPU full ROM or it doesn't count.

5/16/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Josh Roman said...

damn. great post, though.

5/16/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...

:) Full ROM HSPUs--those may sap the light from my soul...I can't wait.

5/17/2006 02:07:00 PM  

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