Hitting the Top 25%

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It was said a few years ago that in order to win the CrossFit Games you didn’t need to win a single event. In 2014 Rich Froning didn’t win a single event until the final day. In 2016 Matt Fraser only won 1 event (the first one) and still finished with the highest points total in CrossFit Games history.

How do these athletes do this? Because they very rarely, if ever, fall out of the top 25% in any workout.

The CrossFit Games has become much more competitive as the years have gone on, and with the dominance on the men's side of Rich Froning and Matt Fraser even finishing in the top 25% in each workout does not guarantee winning the CrossFit Games.

This being said, our goals are not to win the CrossFit Games. Some of us want to and enjoy competing, but the overall goal for all of us is health and fitness.

So what is my angle?

Why would I be talking about finishing in the top 25%. I’ve already talked previously about the perils of leader boarding (seeing someone else score and focusing on trying to beat it).

I’m talking about consistency.

In order to see our scores be as good as possible, we must be consistent. We must have very few holes in our armor. We are all good at certain things, the challenge in CrossFit is being good at everything. At the CrossFit Games, this means ideally finishing in the top 5 in every workout. Can you imagine just how hard that is?

We admire Games athletes. We see them post the big lifts, the PR’s, and the cool gymnastics. What we don’t generally see is them grinding out the long distance rows or runs. The incredible amount of burpees or the breaking down of movements into their elements in order to refine them and continue improving.

Ben Bergeron has talked about Katrin Davidsdottir doing EMOM’s of just leg clamps on the rope. Not climbing, literally just working at the bottom of the rope to perfect her foothold. That takes dedication.

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Granted, Games athletes are pursuing the reward of the title of Fittest on Earth (plus a nice sized paycheck). But, our focus should also be on refining and improving technique for something way more important. Our health and fitness.

As previously discussed in an earlier blog, in CrossFit we use the term productive application of force. This means when we develop a new skill such as a pull-up, we have figured out the way to apply the force from our hip and the strength we have in order to complete the skill. This makes learning and refining technique even more necessary. Once we have 1 pull-up we need to work to get 10, and then 20, and so on.

Frankly, our goal is to complete every workout and be in the top 25% of our performance. To be consistently ‘fit’ across each workout is the pinnacle. Using Beyond the Whiteboard we can see where our strengths and weaknesses lie and we can use that data to help us determine where our focus needs to be. If we can complete Fran in 3 minutes or less but it takes us 25+ minutes to complete a 5k row, then we know we need to work on our stamina and endurance.

We must continue to find a balance of developing what we are good at while working on what we are not. That can be hard to do. But if we are consistent, relentless, and determined, the outcome may just put you in that top 25%.