Absolute Strength vs Strength Speed

I find it quite interesting that so many coaches, both in and outside of CrossFit misunderstand that the information that they seemingly don't have, is, in fact right there, either in the L1 handbook or on the CF Journal.

It seems that most coaches don't seem to get the idea that both speed strength and strength speed MUST be built upon a foundation of absolute strength, and that the deadlift is the most effective of the absolute strength movements, given that it lacks eccentric loading capacity (if you do it correctly and don't bounce it off the floor). If you dont deadlift every week at a load slightly heavier than the previous week, how can you possibly get any stronger? How can you be stronger if you dont increase your ground reaction force? But, since you might be a bout to spit the dummy and tell me that drilling your cleans will continue to make your cleans better (it wont unless your are a novice and remember that there is a difference between training and training optimally), here are a couple of direct quotes from Greg Glassman's article on the deadlift on the CF Journal, 12 August 2003.

"if you want to get stronger, improve your deadlift. Driving your deadlift up can nudge your other lifts upward, especially the Olympic lifts."




"The deadlift keeps company with standing, running, jumping and throwing for functionality but imparts quick and prominent athletic advantage like no other exercise."

"We recommend deadlifting at near max loads once per

week or so..."

It seems to me that the issue here isnt that CrossFIt is a load of shit, but more that your coach doesnt have a clue what he/ she is doing and is giving you a prescription that is too complex for the general gym demographic (for more on prescribed workouts check out my article coming soon on 'the myth of Rx'. You cannot possibly get better at speed strength without absolute strength outwith the period of the novice effect. Once all the low hanging fruit have been picked, a program of progressive overload based on a push a pull and a hinge is the only way to get stronger and increase your Ground Reaction Force. Anything else and you are going to be victim of the law of diminishing returns. That's right, the LAW of diminishing returns, this means that whether you want it to happen or not, it's inevitable unless some kind of progressive and linear plan is in place. 

Ok, will let you go back to drilling your snatch with a PVC pipe now.


Remember: Strength is the most basic of all the physical skills and therefore the most broadly applicable. 


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