Since we brought CrossFit home, I have honed my "skills" in how I program our daily grind. I found about 8 to 10 CrossFit gyms that I found interesting with regards to their daily workouts and browsed them daily when I woke up. Then, I rotated through the major lifts weekly. For example, Monday was always front or back squats. Tuesday, we'd go overhead. Wednesday, we'd go below parallel again. Thursday was a rest day and Friday was always Deadlift Friday. Saturday was maybe bench press or perhaps just a long, grueling workout. I am a huge fan of Hero workouts and it wasn't abnormal to see at least one a week. So, based on the lift and the WOD, I designed a warmup that played to those movements to appropriately warm the body up. Fast forward to about 6 week ago when I chose to "subscribe" to one of those 8-10 gyms.
Pat Sherwood, former Navy SEAL, owner of CrossFit Linchpin, is a former CrossFit Games athlete, CrossFit Seminar Trainer and currently on staff at CrossFit HQ in their media department. You'll often see him on the Update Show covering the CrossFit Games. Little did I know until recently, CrossFit Linchpin is his garage affiliate and always has been. He works out with his wife, as I do, and has some friends over from time to time. His workouts have earned, over time, the hashtag #brutallyelegant and he takes the "elegance" seriously. While I've never met Pat, I have come to respect him from afar. Both Navy vets, a few years apart in age, both love our families and hold them high in priority, and don't believe fitness is the KING of all, rather a way to enjoy life to its maximum for as many years as we are given. Pat believes an hour in the garage is plenty to be "fit" and it's important to get out of there as well. Of course, the workout isn't the first step in fitness, it's nutrition, but for me, CrossFit Linchpin has struck a nerve with me and is a great parallel to how I view life, fitness, and things #brutallyelegant.
Pat offers his "private track" for only $10 a month which gives access to his crafted warmup, the workout, and most recently added, accessory work. I have looked at programming "services" before and I must say, $10 a month is nothing as compared to the value received. Bargain is a gross understatement...so THANK YOU, Pat. At right is a screen shot of what I see when I open the Beyond the Whiteboard app. All of Linchpin's programming is found daily here. BTWB also tracks everything so when something is repeated, for example, like 3 set of 10 dumbbell hammer curls as accessory work, it'll show you exactly what you did last time, removing the guesswork of what DB to grab and also a source of motivation to perhaps go heavier and push for a few more reps. There are a lot more tools here, but I haven't dug into them at all. By clicking on "Today's WODs," you can also look in reverse and to the week ahead. I have a "thing" about not looking ahead, though. I never look at "tomorrow" until the evening before. I tend to start thinking about the workout once I know what it is and that's a boundary I set for myself to prevent myself from obsessing over it.
On weaknesses: the one BIG downfall to doing things wholly on my own is the tendency to avoid things I cannot do and/or workouts I don't have to scale. I mean...who doesn't like to write "Rx" next to every finishing result?! Because I'm an all-in kind of person, I am loyal to the workouts Pat writes and don't shy away from anything. I scale, I embrace learning new things, and I face head on things I cannot do. Case in point: yesterday. In those first two CrossFit affiliates, I was never taught how to do handstand push-ups and therefore, never learned them or tried. But, because Pat programmed them, I worked on them and yesterday, I finally got them. Now, it DOES help that I feel stronger than ever and am 20+ pounds lighter than I was on January 1st, but I wouldn't have gotten those had he not programmed them. L-sit pull-ups, tons of DB accessory work, and the list goes on.
Variety: One of CrossFit tenets is the notion of being "constantly varied." This could not be more true with CrossFit Linchpin. There is absolutely no pattern to the programming from what I can tell. I may be wrong but if I am, I don't want to know! I like that, actually. It's not that certain things are ignored because Pat pays close attention to what's been done and how long it's been. He also doesn't shy away from working on your "engine." As he just recently said in one of his Instastory videos,
"If you're avoiding conditioning, you're avoiding fitness."
Sooo true! Just lifting heavy doesn't translate into being "fit." It's a package deal. So, I always find a good dose of running, rowing, or biking on the calendar and moving weight over distance. I love that stuff...especially getting loaded down with weight and moving distance with it.
Overall, I take seriously who/what I support and thought long about signing up with CrossFit Linchpin. The way I see it, Pat was selected to be a SEAL, earned his trident, and served his country honorably. We have that service in common so I feel like hey, this is a guy I can get behind and trust a bit. That training, combined with hundreds of seminars teaching the CrossFit methodology the globe over, making it to the CrossFit Games, soaking in wisdom from interviewing countless Games athletes, and really just years of pursuing fitness is a pretty good resume when it comes to what I seek. Throw in a stance or belief that you don't need to spend hours a day in the gym to be fit and fitness isn't the end all, be all, and there you go. I signed up and have no intention of leaving the CrossFit Linchpin community anytime soon.
Oh yea, before I go, I have to mention again his video commentary. Pat has a "different" kind of sense of humor. "Quick and witty" is how my wife describes him. "Mischievous" comes to mind for me. Either way, we almost always chuckle when we watch together. I do appreciate hearing the "why" behind the workouts, the iterations they went through to get to the final product, scaling suggestions and of course, the time it takes to assemble it all. It really is the cherry on top of my subscription to the private track. For this garage CrossFitter, the total package makes me feel like I am part of the global CrossFit community and the Linchpin community, even though only virtually.