The Basics

Our post on 09/14/09 had David quering my thoughts on the exciting future of CrossFit, it’s potential reach to the community, and it’s parallel impact on adherents, to which I replied in kind on teaching sound nutrition and impeccable biomechanics.

Mastery of any endeavor begins and ends with ensuring foundational pieces be rock solid.  We strive to learn, practice, and train the basics, and upon completion, we’ll do it all over again.  Straying from this process is the curse of the novice and the temptation of the advanced athlete, whereas true masters know the key to success is unwavering commitment to fundamental elements.

David is right.  CrossFit’s future IS exciting;  it’s reach and impact is revolutionizing the fitness industry one person at a time, and at a breathtaking pace that confounds the imagination.  There’s no end in sight, I’m honored to be in the thick of it, and it’s a hell of a good time.  My message is, this exciting future we envision cannot be reached absent commitment to fundamentals.

For CrossFit, where the squat represents the foundational piece of body control, the deadlift represents that same foundation for external object control.  Defined as the biomechanically correct way by which we pick up objects from the ground, learning to deadlift correctly is as functional as it gets, is essential to independent living, elicits inordinate neuroendocrine response, and of course generates enormous amounts of power, leading to increased fitness.

Here is Coach Mark Rippetoes observations on anthropomorphically different athletes with perfectly sound deadlift starting positions.

Here is a very nice comparison of two different body types, illustrating two very different looking, but both very correct, starting positions off the floor in the deadlift. These guys are father and son, the older guy has a very slight kyphosis that prevents beauty in the position of his upper back. Note the extremely long tibia/normal femur/very short back on the father, at a height of 6′ 3″. The son is 5′ 9″, with a longer than average back/leg proportion.

– Mark Rippetoe, CrossFit Wichita Falls

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