The stronger you are, the better. That’s a simple fact in the gym, outside the gym, and in life in general.
The stronger you are at whatever you are doing, the easier it will be to perform that task. Whether it is squatting 225lbs, performing 10 minutes for max calories on a rower or performing a muscle-up.
What about Strength in CrossFit?
Strength is how much force your muscles can produce. Strength is not how big your muscles are, or how big a person gets. Size is definitely associated with strength, but we are focused on increasing the amount of force your muscles can create and why it’s important.
The obvious examples we look at on a daily basis in the gym is weightlifting (snatch, clean & jerk) and powerlifting (squat, deadlift, bench).
It is easy to see that an athlete has gotten stronger when they used to deadlift 300lbs and now they can lift 400lbs.
Now, when that same athlete needs to deadlift 275lbs for a high intensity workout, it feels a whole lot lighter. Where we do not always pay attention to strength helping us in those faster, heart racing, workouts.
There are 4 things that make someone a good “Rower” – technique, strength, body weight, and conditioning. Training in each is going to be helpful in improving your pace and making your times faster.
If you set your monitor on the rower to WATTS you can really observe rowing strength. Doing this will directly show you how much power you’re generating. The higher the power output, the faster your time will be.
In gymnastics, strength is also very important.
There are different kinds of strength and in these last two examples, we’ve discussed the concept of “absolute strength”.
Absolute strength means all that matters is how much strength is present, regardless of body weight.
Gymnastics is more about relative strength. Relative strength is an athlete’s absolute strength compared to their own body weight is what makes up their relative strength. We smaller guys like to focus on this one more since we can never really achieve what larger athletes can given their size. While relatively we might be stronger… absolutely stronger?… No.
When we improve the absolute strength of an athlete and they stay the same size, their relative strength goes up.
Want to get stronger? Want to perform better. Then come in, get strong, and show everyone what you got!