Back to the Basics via Mad Apple CrossFit

Post written by Mallory Shinneman, Head Coach at MadApple CrossFit

Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit once said, “the magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation and the fun is in the community.”

The magic is in the movement. 

When you first begin CrossFit everything is new and exciting. The gym is reminiscent of grade-school-playground-days with monkey bars, ropes and rings. It’s easy to understand why athletes want to jump right into learning the advanced skills such as, handstands, muscle-ups or pistols (single-leg squats) and bypass the fundamentals. With any new skill or activity, it is essential to learn the basics, whether it’s learning to play the piano, dribble a basketball or riding a bike. This is the curse of any new athlete, to skip the fundamentals. 

How then, do we “reverse the curse”? One simple way is to set small, manageable goals that make it easy to see progress. Once an athlete understands that mastery of any movement, such as a squat, deadlift or handstand is a process that takes time, it becomes much easier to focus on the small details. Those fundamental details will help an athlete lift heavier loads, learn advanced skills more quickly, and possibly, prevent injury. 

Another way, is to be surrounded by knowledgeable coaches and athletes that are in pursuit of the same perfection. The science is in the explanation. Find a coach who will continually return to the basics in order to improve an athlete’s movement. Coaches who understand that the quality of movement is just as important, if not more, than the quantity of movement are able to influence and build an athlete to his/her full potential. 

Our third key to success is to understand the phrase form follows function. How we move in the gym will directly translate in everything we do outside of the gym. Creating the correct movement patterns in my deadlift will impact how I pick up my kids, the way I move a wheelbarrow while working around the house or how I pick up my grocery bags. Our ultimate goal is to create a solid foundation in our fitness that we can build on throughout our lives and it all starts with the basics. 

“Stick to the basics and when you feel you’ve mastered them it’s time to start over again. This time paying closer attention.”- Coach Glassman