Complete as many rounds as possible in 45 minutes of:
Run 800 meters
The Benchmark Series comes to an end this month. Never fear, it’s coming back in October and we’ll release the new workouts and structure next week.
But it’s not as if we’d leave you hanging for the month of September!…
We are pleased to present – (air) SQUATEMBER!
Last week the gym did The Chief which included many air squats. I was at the gym over the span of five different group class hours. As I scanned each class and looked at the quality of the air squats in front of me I was pissed, frustrated, and confused. Why the hell were my athletes’ squats (veteran and newbie) poor? How could this be?! I can walk into the gym on a heavy back squat day and see gold medal depth everywhere. I can coach front squats in a metcon and see quality movement patterns and effort toward better movement all over the place.
So why, if my athletes can squat well with a barbell, can they not do the air squat with as high a level of proficiency as the barbell version?
Is it because our athletes don’t try hard in the air squat? Is it because we coaches don’t coach the air squat as well as other movements? No, I really don’t believe that is it.
I’ve given this a lot of thought over the past week and there is a major reason why, as a gym, our air squats are less proficient than so many other movements we do. Plain and simple – we don’t air squat in workouts frequently enough to have reached a critical mass of reps and experience to get notably better.
I have overlooked THE MOST foundational and functional movement in CrossFit. Greg Glassman would be so disappointed in me. A quick look at the programming from the past few months and we’ve done more of each of pull-ups, handstand push-ups, and push-ups than we have air squatted. So yes, our handstand push-ups have gotten better – air squat, not so much.
You might be thinking, what’s the big deal, I can squat double my bodyweight. Yes, but you could squat a hell of a lot more if you had a strong foundation in which to layer on weight. When an athlete cannot squat well, a portion of the weight used in a barbell lift goes to counterbalance bad movement pattern. Ultimately, the human force on the barbell is distributed between countering bad movement and moving weight. The result is that you lift less weight. If you want to move the most weight, you need to move well.
If you cannot air squat at a high level, all of your barbell squats will be performed with less proficiency and ultimately you’ll squat less weight. Who wants that?
So naturally, we’re going to fix this. For the month of September, you’ll do the air squat in 1-2 workouts every week and you’ll do the air squat everyday, in some form, in warm-ups.
All we ask is that you give us your all this month as we all work toward this goal. And maybe forgive me a little bit for overlooking this…