A Note About Standards (Wed 11/24/10)

By November 23, 2010CFMC Blog Archives

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There are standards that have to be met in just about everything you do. Some of the standards are made up arbitrarily by you (is the bathroom is clean enough, did you eat enough, etc.) while others are set by someone else. What does this have to do with the price of eggs? I’m glad you asked. It’s quite simple, really – if the price of eggs is $2.99 and you go into the store with $2.90, then you’re going home eggless.

I’ve heard a lot of people talking about the standards in CrossFit as well. There’s a lot of debate about how high a kettlebell swing needs to be in order to be “legal,” or whether stepping up on a box is the same as doing a full box jump. I also hear a lot of people talk about the “new CrossFit standard” when they see something on the CrossFit main site or at the CrossFit Games that has a different requirement than what they’re used to (chest-to-bar pullups comes to mind).

The fact is that for the most part, the movement standards in CrossFit are the same no matter where you go or what event you’re competing in. A wallball does not count unless the crease of your hip drops below your knee in the squat, AND the ball hits the target you’re aiming for. The good news is that if you do both of those things then your reps will count every time. Same thing with pushups – if you make your chest HIT the ground at the bottom and make your arms lock out completely straight at the top, they will always count. Anything else, regardless of how close it comes, simply doesn’t qualify as a pushup.

All of the movements we do in CrossFit have clearly defined standards, and they’re always based on that old formula you see me write on the board all the time:

When we’re training we’re trying to achieve the highest power output we’re able so that we can improve our fitness as much as possible, and sacrificing the value for d (distance) by shorting reps for any reason (trying to go faster, too tired to do it the whole way, etc.) yields a lower power output.

When we’re competing, either in a formal CrossFit event (like the CrossFit Games or the Mid-Atlantic Hopper Challenge) or in the box on “Fran” day, we’re not trying to see who can flub their way through the workout the fastest, we’re measuring who has the highest work capacity (a.k.a. who can produce the most power in a given workout). That’s why there are judges there, to insure that every rep is a valid representation of the work (f x d) required to complete that task. If 100% of the work isn’t completed (e.g. they don’t squat to full depth, they don’t extend their hips at the top, the ball doesn’t hit 10′, etc.) then the rep doesn’t count and they have to do it over.

So let me be clear about the standards we have in place. The standards are exactly that – the standards. They are not higher or lower than the CrossFit Games standards. If your chin doesn’t go over the bar, the rep doesn’t count. If you don’t open your hip to full extension at the top of a squat, the rep doesn’t count.

Meet the standards for the movements, and meet them in a way that can leave no doubt whatsoever that they were met. Do it on each and every rep of each and every movement you do, each and every time you come into the gym, and do it as fast as you can. And whether you’re a fire breather or a newbie, you’ll become better than you ever thought possible.


10 Olympic Lift Jumps (Clean grip)
10 Rack Delivery Drills
10 Mid-Hang Muscle Cleans
10 Clean Drops
10 Mid-Hang Power Cleans


Clean Ladder (135/93)

With a continuously running clock, do one clean (power or squat) in the first minute, two cleans in the second minute, three cleans in the third minute, etc., until you are unable to complete the round.

When you fail to complete a round, do the following beginning on the next minute:

3 Rounds:

1 minute Pullups for max reps
1 minute Double-Unders for max reps


Mobility WOD of your choice – or 100 burpees.

Groupon WOD:

With a 15 minute clock, do the following:

5 min as many rounds as possible (AMRAP):

5 Burpees
10 Kettlebell Deadlifts
15 Box Jumps

5 min AMRAP:

5 Wallballs
10 Kettlebell Swings
15 Abmat Situps

5 min AMRAP:

5 Pushups
10 Goblet Squats
15 Jump Rope (singles)

  • Angelina

    I like it. A workout where slow people like me finish first 🙂

    Also, I don’t know if any of you guys are doing Paleo still but I thought about you when I went to Trader Joe’s last night. They have some coconut date rolls that have 3 ingredients: coconut, dates and almonds. They are good too. I bet they would be awesome frozen. I found them in the fresh fruit section.