Fitness’ Barrier to Entry: ROM

Without sounding too much like a motivational poster, there really isn’t much standing in the way of you and exceptional fitness.
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CrossFit Fitness Barrier

Without sounding too much like a motivational poster, there really isn’t much standing in the way of you and exceptional fitness. Other than your own excuses, there’s no real valid argument as to why you couldn’t achieve it. There’s so much education available for free. In addition, so much is possible with little or no equipment that one can get extremely fit even on a low-income budget.

The minimalist revolution CrossFit has ignited in the fitness community has not only made elite-level fitness possible without tens of thousands of dollars in the latest fitness machines, it has brought beauty to training simply.

In addition, there aren’t enough hyperlinks in the world to share all the stories of folks who were too sick, old, injured or limited to get fit that, well, have. So, being that human performance is the egalitarian beast that it is, there’s isn’t a real barrier to entry to high level fitness…

...except one.

I better add the disclaimer now before I have to go back on my word. You see, luckily, this barrier to entry is one that can be overcome. It’s just one of those halting type issues that, regardless of willpower, quality coaching or nutrition, nothing can make up for it. It’s required.

That barrier to entry is your range of motion. The most ruthless glass ceiling on any athlete’s potential is his/her ability to achieve the positions required to yield exceptional fitness gains. For example, all of the Paleo/Zone diligence in the world can’t help an athlete who is too inflexible to squat get strong. Similarly, the road to elite fitness is halted in even the most motivated athlete whose immobile shoulders cannot bear load overhead.

This should being a flashing Vegas-Strip-esque sign that’s telling you that if your flexibility is impeding your range of motion in any critical lifts/positions, your life’s goals just got a new item in the top spot. Priority number one for any athlete ought to be to achieve and/or maintain the ability to achieve positions necessary to train for and compete in his/her sport. It’s that important.

So, go ahead and set a big hairy fitness goal. Whether it’s to lose 60 pounds, get a bodyweight snatch or a double-bodyweight front squat, I’ll tell you, “The sky is the limit (if you’ve got the flexibility)!”

— Logan Gelbrich
@functionalcoach