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Every CrossFitter has weaknesses, whether it be a brand new member for whom every movement seems like a weakness or an elite level CrossFitter who perhaps has only a few.  Even the most decorated CrossFit athlete of all time, Rich Froning (games Champion from 2011-2014) has weaknesses.  During the 2010 Games, Froning entered the final event with a substantial lead and had been virtually untouchable for most of the competition.  That was of course until it was discovered that Rich Froning had one critical weakness that would ultimately prevent him from claiming the title….Rope Climbs.  Turns out, Rich had never learned to climb a rope, and this weakness manifested itself very explicitly when Rich quite literally fell off the rope from about 10 feet up in the middle of a workout.  Ouch!!

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Rich would later say that he had just never trained that particular weakness and was hoping that it wouldn’t show up in the workouts at the games. Ruh Roh….So how did Rich cope with the disappointment of losing the games because of an untrained weakness??  He trained it, hard.  And what happened?  In the 2011 games Rich destroyed the Rope Climb/Clean and Jerk workout and went on to win the competition.

This example is not meant to imply that if you work on your weaknesses you will become Rich Froning, because you won’t.  He is from a different planet and therefore his level of fitness is accessible to us mortals.  However this example IS meant to illuminate the fact that everyone, even the best, need to work and develop their weaknesses (or GOATs as they are called in the CrossFit world).  You are not going to improve as a CrossFitter if you do not develop your weaknesses…plain and simple.

Now many of you are not looking to be competitive CrossFit athletes and only CrossFit as a way to maintain your health and look good.  I get it and love it.  However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train you weaknesses.  There is an inexplicable link between working weaknesses and improving overall fitness.  Take the following example: Suppose that you are an athlete who is struggling with your jump roping.  In workouts that feature this skill, you are likely taking substantive breaks caused primarily by your lack of competency in this movement.  Guess how many calories you are burning while you are just standing there staring at the rope??? Zero.  If you develop your weaknesses you will cultivate your capacity to complete more work which will ultimately lead to athletic and aesthetic gains.

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So here’s a short and sweet  template for improving your weaknesses.  WORK YOUR WEAKNESSES.  Pick out something that you are absolutely terrible at and work on it.  Ask a trainer to take you through some progressions that will help you develop the requisite strength or movement patterns to improve your weakness.   Even if its for 10 minutes at the end of class, you will only get better at a movement by performing said movement or working through the proper progression to achieve more competency in it.  Get after those weaknesses!!!!

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is just to try one more time.” – Thomas Edison