Hi Fearless Family,
One shape we can all recognize is a pyramid. We’ve all seen the picture of the food pyramid somewhere. The bottom level of the pyramid is the most important as it is the foundation, and as you move up the pyramid the importance lessens. CrossFit has a pyramid as well to help define what matter most in terms of performance.
The base of the CrossFit Pyramid (the most important part) is Nutrition. The first response I give every single time when someone asks me how to improve upon something is “How is your nutrition?” It’s a very broad question, but my intent is to bring the focus to the most important part of training. What you eat and drink is used as the fuel for your body during workouts. You always make sure you put the quality gas in your car to make it run efficiently, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your body? Nutrition is the single most important factor to health and fitness – period.
The second level to the pyramid is Metabolic Condition or Metcons. The benefit of Metcons is in the way that they train the metabolic pathways, or energy sources used by your body during the workouts. With the range of stimuli and time frames we work out with, we get the benefit of developing capacity in the short, medium, and long form energy sources. The capacity to work is the second most important part to training because it allows us to maintain the ability to move efficiently whether the workout is 5 minutes or 35 minutes.
The third level to the pyramid is Gymnastics. Gymnastics being the third most important thing in CrossFit behind nutrition and metabolic conditioning is no joke. While many of us get caught in the mindset of weightlifting and strength being one of the most important things, gymnastics takes the cake for importance over that because it focuses on intentional body movements, establishing functional body control, and range of motion. Knowing how to move your body with intention is the base for many movements both gymnastics and weightlifting based.
Weightlifting and Throwing together make up level four of the CrossFit Pyramid. This level is all about creating strength, developing power, and controlling external objects. This includes powerlifting movements like back squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses as well as Olympic lifting movements such as the snatch and the clean and jerk. To master these movements, you will need body control and range of motion – two skills that we develop with gymnastics.
The top of the pyramid is Sport. The first two words in the definition of CrossFit are “Constantly Varied.” Sports by nature are constantly varied. The movements occur much more randomly, and it allows you to apply fitness is a competitive setting. Not often in CrossFit do we sprint a route in football and try to outsprint an opponent to the goal line. Sports allow us to have fun and get a good, different, workout in.
Nutrition is the base. Then Metabolic Condition, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, and Sports. If you change one thing to make an improvement in your health and fitness, let it be nutrition. From there we can talk about how to improve even more.