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Back to the basics

-Natasha Bowling


“Grab a bar and don’t start adding weight yet?”

“You should treat the empty bar just as if it was your 1 RM?”

“Let’s drop the weight on that bar and work on your form a little more.”

“How about we try some squat therapy?”

How many times have you heard one of your coaches make one of these comments? It runs all over your and you huff, puff and mumble underneath your breathe? I would be lying if I said I am not guilty of this reaction myself. I mean I have been doing CrossFit for two years now, what does it matter if I do the beginning of the strength training with the empty bar. Or why does it matter that I get in six to seven sets before hitting my heaviest set?


I am stubborn and I know it but I recently saw this picture that had a barbell and a PVC pipe side by side and it said to master the barbell you need to master the PVC pipe. I couldn’t agree more with this statement! When I took my CrossFit Level 1 training we didn’t touch a barbell till day two of the training. The PVC pipe made me just as sore as if I was lifting my 1 RM. It didn’t make sense to me at first but now that I am having to go back myself and correct some things, the PVC pipe makes sense……it is light. When you are using something as light as a PVC to work through barbell movements it makes you really focus on the movement. If you can move the PVC pipe properly as if it was the heaviest weight you have lifted then the barbell work is going to come easier. The PVC pipe forces you to think about each pull and push you are doing in movements. Also, if you master the proper form of any movement in the beginning, you won’t be apt to use bad form when a WOD arises.

Going back to the basics doesn’t make you any less of a CrossFitter. If you master the skills with a PVC pipe then you won’t develop bad form and have to correct it later. I’d rather fix a problem in the beginning or now before it because a bad habit that gets you hurt later on,

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