Get Jacked

A lot can be said (and has been said, over and over again) about the importance of technique.

But I’m going to say, without taking away any of its importance, that if your technique is adequate and/or improving, but your lifts aren’t going up, you probably just aren’t strong enough. 

A four cylinder engine might run perfectly, but there’s only so much horsepower you can get out of it.

The interwebz are full of guys with dog crap technique clean and jerking 350 pounds, or girls with a 200+ pound straight leg snatch chase the bar around the gym thing.

Chances are good that your technique is better. So why can you move less weight?

Strength. And if you aren’t genetically gifted with it, or your strength training has stalled out, it might be time to put on some muscle.

And as much as the “train for performance not for aesthetics” crowd wants to convince the masses that you can get jacked and huge with only 8 minute AMRAPs, that’s simply not the case with non-beginning athletes.

Integrating programming that’s specifically designed to pack on muscle is definitely possible within the realm of CrossFit, but it takes some things:

1. Coaches who don’t try to make their athletes gain appreciable muscle mass and also build strength and also increase conditioning and also improve skill and also try to get to Regionals in three months.

and

2. Athletes who don’t think it’s possible for athletes to gain appreciable muscle mass and also build strength and also increase conditioning and also improve skill and also try to get to Regionals in three months.

Can you develop all these things at the same time? YES. You can. But it will take a long time.

The approach I’m presenting here (which is by no means appropriate for everyone) is hypertrophy prioritized. Gaining muscle is the goal.

You will lose conditioning. Some of your benchmarks scores will tank (but some of them will go up). You will be less good at your sport.

You will have to eat more food and have less abs.

But all  things being equal, a bigger muscle is a stronger muscle, and a stronger muscle might be just the thing you need to raise your ultimate ceiling of potential. 

And with the right programming, that bigger muscle is a functional one, built with the necessary vascular systems in place that when conditioning and sport specific training does regain center stage, you’ve got more horsepower under the hood.

 

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