These days, the debate and controversy around individualized training plans, specification, periodization and the search for perfect programming is out of control. Logical arguments about whether or not programming for the masses concedes optimization for the individual misses a huge point that’s worth bringing forward.
CrossFit’s unique ability to, in general, up the quality of movements in modern fitness practices and create an environment of hard work has yielded incredible results. I mean, let’s be honest, The Box magazine exists for no other reason than CrossFit’s ability to change lives. So, while there is room for debate, for example, on an individual basis regarding appropriate programming for CrossFit Games competitors on their road to the Games in a competitive way, much of the conversation is muted for most of the population simply because of CrossFit’s ability to get athletes to do the work.
Let me explain with an analogy. I own a supplement brand called ORIGINAL Nutritionals, and the idea with fish-oil supplementation is perfect here. Compliance takes precedent. For the most part, taking fish oil is better than not taking fish oil, regardless of what kind it is. So, if someone won’t drink our oil, but they will take capsules, my stance of quality and performance are moot points. Capsules in their mouths outperform liquid fish oil in their refrigerators.
The same is true here. Compliance is huge.
CrossFit is fun. And, sometimes arguing whether GPP is enough or whether conjugate strength with a heavy gymnastic-skill workload is optimal for any particular athlete misses a huge point, in my opinion. That point is, “Will they show up for that?”
If squat progressions are unmotivating, like they are for Rob Orlando, maybe what’s optimal on paper goes right out the window when training isn’t fun anymore. Look at Rob. He won’t do that stuff, yet he found a way to get strong.
So, what gives?
Maybe we can spare our breath a bit on the programming discussion. At the end of the day, programming that gets athletes in the door, excited to train, outperforms its opposite every time.
— Logan Gelbrich