The Hopper


23 Mar
23Mar

The naysayers will tell you that CrossFitters are only good at one thing: exercising.  The belief behind this is because so many other methods of fitness “specialize” in something.  Bodybuilders specialize in “getting ripped.”  Endurance runners specialize in “going the distance.”  Many athletes have specialized plans that are specific to the sport and position they play.  CrossFit is designed for variance (if you recall the definition from Coach Glassman last week: Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements).  As a result, it is highly unlikely that a CrossFitter will ever hold the world record for “World’s Heaviest Deadlift.” And that’s okay.

It’s also perfectly okay that many people opt to choose other methods of fitness.  Doing something to improve your health is always better than living a sedentary life.  Whether it be that you enjoy running races, lifting heavy objects and carrying them (Strongman), or building a body that is set for the stage, you are still choosing to be active, utilizing the functionality, strength, and endurance that you have been gifted.  There is much truth in the statement “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”

So why do we encourage CrossFit?  CrossFit’s methodology focuses on all of the general physical skills of fitness.  We can use CrossFit to increase your: 1) Cardio Respiratory Endurance; 2) Strength; 3) Stamina; 4) Flexibility; 5) Power; 6) Speed; 7) Coordination; 8) Accuracy; 9) Agility; and 10) Balance.  The specialty of CrossFit is NOT specializing in any of these skills.  Instead, we focus on all of them with equal importance. 

One of CrossFit’s Fitness Models is called “The Hopper.”  I have provided this picture of a hopper, so you have a visual understanding of this model.  The theory behind this is that fitness requires an ability to perform well at all tasks, even unfamiliar tasks and tasks combined in infinitely varying combinations. 

Imagine there is a task on each of the balls in the hopper (225 lbs. Deadlifts, Running 800 Meters, Strict Pull-ups, Burpees, etc.).  It is very likely that someone who trains with Strongman methodology would be able to complete more repetitions of a 225 lbs. deadlift than an endurance runner.  Similarly, it is very likely that the endurance runner will excel in the 800 meter run.  Lastly, a bodybuilder will likely be able to complete more repetitions of strict pull-ups than both of the aforementioned athletes.  However, if you took all of those tasks and put them in one workout, a CrossFitter should be able to perform all of the tasks well.  The CrossFitter probably still wouldn’t be better than the Strongman athlete at the deadlifts, but he/she SHOULD be better than the endurance runner.  The CrossFitter isn’t likely to be better at running 800 meters than an endurance runner, but he/she SHOULD be better than the Strongman athlete at this task.

So how does this apply to our job?  Your adversary is always an unpredictable factor.  The scenario you are given to face that adversary is just as unpredictable as the skillset of your adversary.  We have to train you to perform well no matter what the circumstances are that you are dealt.  It might be scaling a fence in a foot chase, utilizing your balance, agility, and coordination.  Or it could be having to low crawl to cover while shots are being fired in your direction, utilizing your cardio respiratory endurance, strength, and stamina.  No matter what the circumstances are, we are training you to win in EVERY scenario.  If we only focused on fence scaling skills, we could probably make you the best fence scaler in world.  We don’t need the best fence scaler in the world, if that person isn’t going to be able to maintain their stamina while low crawling to cover.

Again, this is not a sales pitch for a brand.  This is about your survival.  Everything we do at this Academy serves a functional, applicable purpose.  Yes, it is hard.  It will be even harder when you are here (especially if you aren’t physically preparing yourself), but “the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.”                

13Jan
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