Virtuosity: CrossFit Fundamentals

There is a compelling tendency among novices developing any skill or art – whether learning to play the violin, write poetry or compete in gymnastics – to quickly move past the fundamentals and onto more elaborate more sophisticated movement skills or techniques. This compulsion is the novices curse.”


We are adding a CrossFit class called Fundamentals. Fundamentals will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6:30pm. This class is great for people just coming out of our Intro Class who don’t feel quite ready to enter the regular classes. It is also great for our experienced athletes who just need a little more personal attention or who want additional work on movement mechanics.

The goal in this class is virtuosity. The difference between our Fundamentals class and our regular CrossFit class is that we will only do the Conditioning portion of the Workout of the Day. The extra time will be used to do extra movement drills for each movement in the workout. You will be surprised how tired you will get from empty bar and PVC work, and basic body movement drills! These drills will create good motor patterns, and get you ready for the workout.

It will not be easy. You will be asked to hold certain positions work smaller positions, and to do this repetitively and consistently over the hour. You will sweat. You will work hard. You will improve regardless of your fitness level.
I watched a video not long ago featuring a well-known CrossFitter, Christmas Abbott. Christmas is also an accomplished weightlifter. In the video she was getting coaching from a Russian Olympian. He has her do lightweight snatches over and over and over again. You can tell she’s trying to hide her annoyance. However, the Russian coach is only making the point that every lift that we do in the gym should be perfect. There are no good enough lifts.

When I first started Olympic Weightlifting, I was given an empty bar. That’s it. I was not allowed to put plates on it for months. I learned the technique with that empty bar. I went through drill after drill perfecting the positions. Weight on the bar was something I earned, it wasn’t something I expected to have just because I was there.

It was a great day on my coach told me I could put weight on the bar.

Regardless of your fitness level, CrossFit experience, or how much you can lift, empty barbell and body weight drills are a great way to improve performance. Athletes with great mechanics look the same with an empty bar and in the first few reps as they do with load and under fatigue. The goal is the same perfect technique with an empty bar repeated at your one rep max. This is possible. You just have to work on the fundamentals. That is the new tool we are providing both beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes at Lyft Health & Fitness.

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