2015, the year of building functional tolerance.
“What is functional tolerance?” you ask
Well, really it is what we do every day at CrossFit LoDo, but the refocus will be coming
back to the fundamentals of functional movement. How is your set up and execution of a
deadlift? If you come to CFLD, I bet it is pretty good. But how much better can it be?
CrossFit is a unique animal. It gets a bad wrap for “bad form” or “cheating things” to get
results. Well, if you watch competitive CrossFit, isn’t it strange how the person that
moves the best wins the CrossFit Games? (Have you ever seen Rich Froning do
ANYTHING and it looks easy, even a 305 pound snatch?)
Do you think he could snatch 305 with a starfish and lack of shoulder stability? There is
Are we Rich Froning? Well, some days we might feel like him in our own way, but one of
CrossFit’s main tenants in the needs of the every day athlete vary in DEGREE from the
needs of the elite athlete, not in kind. So you getting into a perfect Deadlift Position,
remembering what that is, only going heavy enough to hit those positions. Appreciate the
Have you felt stagnant with your lifts, WOD times, direction? It happens to all of us, after
doing a training program for a while, we go through the motions, we probably hover
around our PR on Fran or our 1 RM back squat, but what is missing? Might it be shutting
off the coach during your wall balls because you know you are maybe not getting low
enough but, “i mean, it counts. Whatever, I just want it to be done.”
If this journey really is for our lifetime, and we at CFLD genuinely want this to be your
lifetime fitness pursuit. Not only to PR your DL this year but to PR your deadlift again
next year, and be able to play golf with your great grandchildren.
So what is functional tolerance, all that seems great, but how does it effect or change my
Functional tolerance is a vitally important piece to what we do every day in training. One
of CrossFit’s definitions of fitness is fitness as a way to health through being a buffer to
sickness and injury. Thus, let me share two stories.
The first involves my grandpa, who had a massive heart attack while shoveling the
driveway for his neighbor last year. By definition, his cardiovascular system didn’t have
the functional tolerance for the intense interval. (Yes that is what I am calling shoveling
snow, and if you ever have you know this is pretty accurate). If he had more of a base of
interval training, or his body was “ready” for the intensity, a heart attack could have, and
most likely would have been avoided.
The second involves one of your coaches: coach Dan. Dan was waterskiing a few years
back, and he fell, and his arm got caught in the triangle, and he severely damaged his
arm. He wasn’t sure to what extent when he got to the hospital. The doctor informed him
he had compartment syndrome, and didn’t know the extent of the muscle injury until
relieving the pressure on his arm through two large incisions. The doctor was amazed
dan’s arm was still on his shoulder with how damaged his arm muscles were, with what
he saw his muscles actually tore in the middle, which means that his shoulder and elbow
joint were strong enough to withstand a massive force. Dan’s functional tolerance for
trauma far exceeded what was “normal” because of his basis of functional training. He
now is even stronger than he was before his injury, one that would have left an untrained
individual without an arm.
At the end of the day, it is what we at CFLD are in the business of. Yes, pr’s are
amazing, but they really are only markers of the “strongest” “healthiest” “most functionally
tolerant” version of yourself you have ever been. That means when life throws things
your way, you will be ready. Ready for the unknown and unknowable. Not just in WOD’s,
So, each month we are focusing on a movement, and will spend time in the warm up and
movements mastering it. One per month for 12 months. The year of functional tolerance,