By Freddy Camacho | CrossFit O.G. and Owner of One World
The first time I heard Greg Glassman speak was at my CrossFit Level I Trainer Certification
back in July of 2006. Greg started off a lecture with this quote: “Men will die for points.”
He went on to elaborate on how we put point and/or time values on our workouts as a generic way to monitor our power output. Simply put, go faster, lift more weight, or score more points and your power output is increased. Write those scores where others can see them or train alongside others doing the same thing and everyone steps it up. I admit at the time the thought that “men will die for points” seemed a little extreme to me.
Four years later as an affiliate owner, a former member of the CrossFit trainer
certification staff, and a participant or attendee of all the CrossFit Games, I have finally figured out what Greg meant. People will push themselves to the limits of their physical ability to get a better score. ACrossFit Games
athlete is trying to win the title of “The Fittest Man/Woman On The Planet” and an increasingly growing purse of prize money. I understand it when they push themselves to the point of physical breakdown “to score more points.” That is the Sport of CrossFit.
What about CrossFit as The Strength and Conditioning Program For The Masses
? If the goal is to always be faster and score more points, one has to consider that there can be a tradeoff that might be counterproductive. I’ve seen this tradeoff many a time at CrossFit One World.
People get queasy. They get unsteady on their feet or have to lie down on the floor unable to stand. They speak incoherently. They are performing movements with horrible technique, and they are unresponsive to my coaching cues. Sometimes, a puking session is involved.
After the workout, people forget a range of items in the gym when they stumble out. Watches, jewelry, cellphones, sunglasses, and log books can all be found in our lost and found at any given time. In four years, I have collected enough workout clothing at the gym to accessorize a sporting team. I’m talking nice stuff: lululemon, Nike, Adidas, etc. Shoes get left behind too. How the hell do you not notice that you are barefooted when you get to the car?!?! In the mornings, I coach the first session of the day. I seem to always find equipment that has been left on the training floor or has been put in some new place(I especially hate the stopwatch Easter egg hunt).
One of my trainers affectionately named this bizarre behavior as WOD Drunk
WOD Drunk (adj.) : people so jacked up from trying to “score more points” that they don’t know who or what they are anymore.
Rafael Ruiz, super trainer and owner of 1441 Strength & Conditioning
, is one of the trainers/speakers on the CrossFit Football Certification staff. I’ve heard his lectures four times now, and I am always mesmerized by his wisdom. Rafael works with specialists in all types of sports and tactical teams from all over the country. In one of his lectures he talks about athletes that start their training as a creature of logic but then devolve into creatures of emotion. It’s this emotional state that is the precursor to the state of being WOD drunk. Rafael explains why it is important to keep your athletes in a logical state. In an emotional state, they can become “uncoachable.”
A perfect example: CrossFit One World has a team competing in the Weekend Warrior Series
, an affiliate team competition league. Recently, we hosted another CrossFit gym for a match. There was an athlete on the visiting team that went full tilt WOD drunk.
Her technique turned horrible. Numerous people cued her regarding her range of motion, but she just continued on. She dropped her kettlebell from overhead numerous times even after being told not to by her own teammates. Though I admire the athlete for all she has accomplished in her CrossFit career, I was appalled that a veteran CrossFitter from an established and well-known CrossFit affiliate could get soWOD drunk
and lose control. She became a creature of emotion. She could not be coached.
I don’t find anything wrong with an athlete occasionally reaching the state of being WOD Drunk. If an athlete is consistently hitting WOD Drunk, I start making some changes in their workouts. Simple things like turning off the clock, adding rest intervals, and team workouts are a great way to reel people back in.
At CrossFit One World, we have a “Wall of Fame” board with all the top performances in our benchmark workouts. Everyone loves to get their name on the board, but it isn’t the only reason people come to the gym and work hard. Most people don’t even care about ever making it on the board, but they workout hard and to the best of their ability. I’ll take that. If they occasionally get WOD drunk, it’s okay. I’ll clean up the mess afterward.
Of course, beer drunk is all good and I’m down for that any day…..