Written by Einar Leon
The CrossFit pyramid represents the theoretical development of an athlete. It is meant to be read from the bottom up, with the most important components at the bottom, and the least important at the top. If an athlete has a deficiency at any level of the pyramid, the components above will suffer. The idea is that, if a person progressively acquires proficiency at each level of the pyramid, then the individual’s goals will be met. In other words, there is a direct relationship between each level of the pyramid and the athlete’s goals. This training methodology was first published by Glassman in October 2002 as part of the CrossFit Journal titled “What is Fitness”.
Unfortunately, this methodology is typically ignored. In most cases when you attend a CrossFit class, you will immediately note within the first 60 seconds that the “pyramid” is completely disregarded. A coach will ask people to gather by the whiteboard, then he/she will describe the workout of the day, talk about the stimulus of the workout, demonstrate the standards of movement, and correct people through the duration of the class. The coach will also provide some guidance on the amount of weight to be used, and the time required to complete the workout. The athletes on the other hand, will be searching the whiteboard for the name of the athlete who lifted the heaviest weight, or with the fastest time to beat. At no point during the class will the coach talk about your skills in the context of your fitness goals. Similarly, there will be no discussion whatsoever about your nutrition.
The methodology followed during a typical CrossFit class ends up looking more like the pyramid presented below. Assigning more importance to sport (e.g. competition between classmates), weightlifting (people are always trying to lift heavier weights disregarding proper technique or form), gymnastics (athletes admire those who are able to do cool stuff such as a muscle up), and metabolic conditioning (as coaches push athletes in class to move faster). Nutrition, is totally disregarded. In essence this pyramid is an upside-down representation of the original one conceptualized by Glassman.
So, how did Glassman’s original methodology got turned upside-down? The answer is very simple: CrossFit was intended for one-on-one training, or small groups.
Yes, at the end of a large CF group class people will be sweaty, punished and trashed by the workout, but with no context to the athlete’s personal fitness goals. Large group classes give athletes a chance to improve their fitness, but they do not improve their quality of life in the long term. Do you disagree with this last statement? Really? Then ask anyone what the first word that comes into mind when you say “CrossFit”, their most likely answer: INJURY.
At IKAIKA our goal is not for you to feel trashed or punished at the end of class, instead our goals are:
- To equip you with the skills to live a better life.
- To provide a model of sustainable and repeatable fitness where you are not going to break down physically or mentally.
- To provide an environment where you are part of an authentic community of coaches who know you, and care about you. A coach for LIFE.
Our members get started on a one-on-one setting in order to get to know you at a more intimate level first. Then, after a series of private coaching sessions, we will make sure that you have the skills to join a group class. However, you will have regular follow-up appointments with your original coach, to make sure that you are in the right track. All of this will be done within the context of your personal fitness goals, just as Glassman’s original pyramid!
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