Movement Redundancy

Friday’s workout at both gyms was a 15 min AMRAP 5 power cleans 115/85, 3 full cleans, 20 medball cleans 20/14, and 10 ea. dead KB squat clean 70/53. We used three different implements, a barbell, a medball, and a kettlebell, to perform a clean. The objective of the workout was to test our athletes’ ability to maintain quality movement under the stress of redundant movement patterns.


CrossFit has this amazing concept of infinite scalability and Friday’s workout took the normal implementation of that scalability to another level. Each clean movement started with a pull from the ground followed by a rapid extension of the hip to a catch of the implement on the chest. If there is a conceptual misunderstanding of that pattern or if there is a physical limitation then the need for scaling weights, reps, or even changing the pattern becomes even more important for the athlete to stay within the intent of the workout and to promote health and wellness. Because all the movements were essentially the same, the coaches were truly tested as well. 


Workouts like Friday’s, provide an opportunity for all our athletes at both gyms. They test our coaches’ ability to provide actionable scales and they test you as an athlete in your knowledge of CrossFit and your ability to maintain above average movement within a single movement pattern. The ultimate goal of days like Friday are to hammer home that the concept of scalability is not a referendum on failure or indication of weakness, rather it is to promote the idea that we all need to be aware of what our bodies can handle. 


Using myself as an example, I warmed up a few dead KB squat cleans at 70lbs and I did them up to my standard. But I knew that it was going to be too heavy for me, especially if the goal was to get at least 3 rounds. So I lowered the weight to 53lbs, a weight that I knew I could perform correctly even under intensity. As a result, I was able to get a great workout and get 4 full rounds.


On Friday we had athletes doing Russian kettlebell swings, front squats, goblet squats, kettlebell dead muscle cleans, and quite a few progressions in between. As coaches we are always trying to create an environment that blends safety, efficacy, and efficiency in such a way that our athletes have the most successful hour they can have. Not all workouts have that much purpose behind them, and sometimes the goal is just to workout and have fun. As we move forward remember only to compete with yourself and not to compare your performance, your weights, or your progressions to anyone else. 

Friday was awesome. It was great to see how creative the coaches were with scales and how virtuous the movement was. Here’s to an awesome next week!