The Power of ASS-istance

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Though this phrase has been exhausted due to its applicability to so many different aspects of life, its concept should never lose effect with those who are pursuing fitness. Whatever physical activity you do, the importance of the kinetic chain should never be overlooked. The ability of the body to move and function properly is largely dependent on the level at which the skeletal muscles are coordinated so that stress can be properly dispersed. This provides the structural stability for the joints and bones, properly aligning them so that nerves can fire properly, which in turn will allow the muscles to expand and contract, and support optimal circulation. In a nutshell, this is the kinetic chain.

Despite the simplicity, awareness is surprisingly low amongst the population of gym goers. As a trainer, it is the first thing I address with my clients. Though I believe that compound movements and gymnastic exercises will mitigate a majority of imbalances and weaknesses (when done regularly at the right volume and intensity), assistance work will always be prescribed as a means to improve efficiency of movement, strength, balance, and prevent injury. Scaption, rows, Bulgarian squats, pullovers, weighted pull-ups, glute raises; these are examples of some of the exercise I prescribe regularly, often with success. 

For most crossfitters, these are the boring, single-joint, slow and controlled movements reminiscent of high school weight room sessions after school when we all thought we were becoming men.  For others, these might sound like stigmatic “globo gym” exercises. However, the rate at which I see injuries and hindered performance resulting from weak rhomboids, shoulder imbalances, or weak gluteals warrants this discussion. Because CrossFit programming demands efficient movement at high intensities, it is crucial that all muscles are properly conditioned in order to avoid injury and increase fitness. It’s easy to get caught up in the highflying action of the metcon and forget about that nagging shoulder or shaky knee, but these are what might be holding you back from strength gains and/or skill improvements. Remember, one of the primary aims of CrossFit is functional, well-rounded fitness.

Many, if not all, of us possess a background in some type of physical exercise regimen prior to coming to CrossFit. Resistance training, both with bodyweight and free weights, provides the basis for any sound training program. This applies not only to the domain of fitness, but also health. The common fault is to disregard or forget the basics. Exercise is exercise. Don’t let stigma, time restraints, or the lure of a minimalist approach stop you from getting stronger. If it’s important, find a way. Now, let’s all indulge in some glute raises and bicep curls...

-Steve Kpa

-9AM Memorial Day "Murph" session

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Today's WOD menu: Please be sure you are signed-in before attending class:

Apéritif: Hang power clean 5-5-5+ @ 65,75,85% of your 0.9 X 1RM (90% 1RM).

  Example: if your 1RM is 315, you calculate all your percentages from 90% of that max, or 285 pounds.

 Entrée: "Urwerk"

Max rounds in 3 minutes of:

  • 185/125 pound squat cleans, 2 reps
  • 185/125 pound Deadlifts, 5 reps
  • 8 Bar Facing Burpees

Rest 1 minute.

Repeat for a total of 5 cycles.

Post rounds completed for each of the 5 cycles.

Dessert: Accumulate 3 minutes of an L-sit/tuck sit. Then, 40 ring rows.

Log results to your CSV BEYOND THE WHITEBOARD account.