Monday, February 4, 2013


Congrats to Brett, Corey, Abigail, Rick, Montel, and Chris on attaining their level 1 Blue bands!

Carryover, Carryover, Carryover.
By Coach Jan

     "Functional movement" is one of the three tenets of the CrossFit prescription. (Constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity.) One of the major reasons we use these movements exclusively is that they all have a high carryover into real life. In other words, these movements mimic something we do outside the box, whether you realize it or not. When you pick up grocery bags off of the floor, you apply concepts of the deadlift. When you heave a heavy bag of sand over your shoulder, you apply concepts of the clean and snatch. When you hit the latrine the morning after a cheat meal, you apply concepts of the squat. Hopefully we all understand that the things we do in the box are intended to help you outside of it. However, one thing you may not know is that a lot of the movements we do also have a carryover into each other!
     I'm sure some of us have experienced setting a personal record on a lift we haven't trained directly in a long time. Let's use the deadlift. Louie Simmons, one of the most renowned powerlifting coaches of our era, once said "To build your deadlift, don't deadlift." What he meant by this was that everything, from back squats, power cleans, kettlebell swings, and even pullups built his deadlift by training the muscles involved. In the box, we train pretty much every part of our body each week, so it's no wonder that we PR lifts on the regular, assuming rest and recovery are in order. This, my friends, is the magic of carryover.
     Unfortunately, although all the movements we do have a positive carryover into outside the box or each other, a select few also have a relative negative carryover. Let's talk about the famed "Low Bar Back Squat". The fact of the matter is, our body will adapt to the demands imposed on it. The low bar back squat trains our body to squat with a very forward-inclined torso position due to the placement of the bar on the back, as opposed to the "High Bar Back Squat" that forces your torso into a more upright position. The low bar torso position is very similar to that of the deadlift, and while it may have good carryover into that movement, as well as a huge strength carryover from training the core, hamstrings, and glutes, it has a negative carryover into movements that call for a more upright torso. If you list all the movements that require being strong in an upright torso position, and list all the movements that require being strong in a bent over position, the upright torso position wins by a long shot. Think, front squat, over head squat, thrusters, squat clean, squat snatch, wall ball, etcetera. Remember, I said STRONG in these positions. A lot of movements we do have us bent over, but being strong bent over versus upright is less important, and plus, all the movements we do actually WILL help you get strong in a bent over position. It is for these reasons that as a box, we should stay away from too much low bar back squatting, as well as frequent heavy deadlifts. If you look up legendary CrossFitter Josh Everett, this was his advice as well, because years of low bar and deadlifting have made it nearly impossible for him to get strong in an upright torso position. Furthermore, if you are worried about training the posterior chain, I can sit here and list the plethora of movements that we do daily that do just that, so rest assured that not low bar-ing as much will not affect you in any way but positively.
     In no way am I saying don't low bar, or don't deadlift. What I AM saying is that before you do ANYTHING in the box, think about the carryover it will have into other movements and outside the box. Practice your low bar back squat, and practice your deadlift. More times than not, the low bar back squat will yield higher numbers than the high bar back squat, so when it's time to hit the CrossFit Total, pull that out of your tool box. But for the most part, stick with the movements that will have the highest overall carryover into the rest of your CrossFit tool box. Are you a low bar squatter or a high bar squatter?


Skill Builder
Clean & Jerk

5 Clean & Jerks 155/135
250M row


3-3-3-1-1-1 @85-90%

M.R. 3 minutes
3 Thrusters 95/65
6 Box jumps 24/20
9 Kb swings  53/35

- Beginners

Air squat
Press & Push press w/pvc

Skill Builder 

3 Rounds
Row 200m
10 Thrusters

Post reps, loads or times to comments.

1 comment:

  1. Monday: 2 rounds + 3 C&J Rx. Focussed on form rather than intensity.

    Lifting shoes made a HUGE difference - could actually do a power jerk (as opposed to split jerk).

    Great assistant-coaching by Chris!