Today’s blog is about the DogTown CrossFit annual holiday party, which has come to be known as “Festivus”.
The roots of DogTown’s Festivus party are based on the infamous episode from televisions’ Seinfeld. In the TV episode, the Costanza family celebrated Festivus rather than participate in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas and holiday season. This alternative holiday included a Festivus dinner, “Airing of Grievances”, labeling easily explainable events as “Festivus Miracles”, and of course “Feats of Strength”.
At DogTown CrossFit, we celebrate the “Feats of Strength” very literally. In year’s past, there have been incredible feats of strength: Over a 600 pound deadlift. Over a 300 pound overhead squat. Over a 150 pound weighted pull up.
The 2013 DogTown Festivus Party will be different than past year’s events because of the amazing growth of the gym. Instead of each member defining a specific goal (barbell lift) to get better at and perform the day of Festivus, we as coaches are defining the goal: The CrossFit Total.
As most of you are aware by now, the CrossFit Total is the combination of your heaviest (and successful) Back Squat, Shoulder Press, and Deadlift in one training session.
DogTown’s weekly strength and conditioning program will adjust to this new goal of getting members stronger at the three core lifts involved in the CrossFit Total. We will be squatting. A lot. We will be pressing. A lot. We will be deadlifting. A lot.
This will get you stronger. This will get you healthier. This will allow you to push harder in conditioning workouts.
So why is getting strong so important to the coaches at DogTown CrossFit?
Simple. “Strength is the most general of all athletic adaptations. All other physical capacities, such as power (a guy with a 400-pound deadlift cleans more than a guy with a 150-pound deadlift), even balance and coordination depend on the production of force within the physical environment. If strength improves, all other capacities improve with it, to varying degrees.”
For a person who is not strong, time spent getting stronger returns more improvement in all measures of physical capacity than time spent specifically developing any of the other derivative capacities that so many exercise programs consist of. And yes, that does sometimes include CrossFit training. Think back to that last 30 some minute workout you did…
So how do we define “strong”. Using the core lifts of the CrossFit Total (Squat, Press, and Deadlift), trainees should aim to be around 1x bodyweight, 2x bodyweight, and 3x bodyweight, respectfully. Until a trainee reaches those numbers, there is no need to be performing 30 minute AMRAP’s.
The great thing about strength training is that it doesn’t take that long to get stronger. The 8 week program we are embarking on at DogTown will yield hundreds (literally) of PRs (personal records) the day of Festivus.
You may be asking yourself, are we ever going to do conditioning workouts at DogTown ever again?
Of course we will. We as coaches need you as members to understand some of the science behind what we do though. For novice athletes, or for members with many other things to learn, strength training improves cardio-respiratory endurance (VO2 Max) as efficiently as conditioning programs that take much more time and produce no useful strength improvement. It is pure science at the end of the day.
Strength doesn’t disappear after a vacation or break from the gym. Once you get strong, you will always be stronger than you were. Even if you quit training. Your body will adapt to your new baseline level of strength forever.
Conditioning, however, develops very quickly and goes away very quickly. Most of you have experienced this at DogTown. You go away for a week, come back to the gym, and get crushed by a 10 minute workout. Easy come, easy go.
Moral of the story is this: increase your strength base, and all other aspects of athletic performance will increase.
So, enjoy the next training cycle. Embrace the fact that you are getting stronger. Understand where conditioning has its place in a strength and conditioning program.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about anything related to these topics.
See you at the gym!