Last week, the CrossFit community banded together to tackle Open Workout 20.3 -- the workout consisted of handstand push ups, deadlifts, and, if you were fit enough, handstand walks.
As a coach, the honor to observe the fruits of labor culminating in a five-week period brings endless joy -- to watch and celebrate with the community often reminds the professional coaches of the world of the "why" behind the art of instruction. More specifically, the early mornings & late nights, the daily damage to one's vocal cords, and the brain-busters of meticulous direction.
On the opposing hand, the fun times abruptly ended after a few uncounted reps, due to the nature of the new [old] standard of handstand push ups. Now, I'm not saying the standard is perfect, but here's the truth: it is a standard.
As an athlete, the understanding of a standard may come with certain favorings towards one type of individual - in this case, athletes with shorter arms (ulnas, to be specific) had the advantage here. Another example of this would be, let's say, dunking a basketball: the taller you are, the closer you are to the target, the easier it should be, yes?
Now, it wouldn't be fair to leave you puzzled and in a position where you shrug your shoulders, turn the other cheek, and walk away from an important lesson. Here's the fix:
It is of utmost importance that the standards are reviewed and put into practice as soon as you decide to hit the "register" button and realize that some things are going to be favorable and that others aren't. That's the nature of the game. But, out of 300 workouts in a year, how many times are you being seemingly obsessive about the movement standards? I would argue, minimally.
The next time you choose to complain to your judge about the "stupid standards", think to yourself: is it really the standard that's failing me? Or was I missing the 'deliberate practice' piece of this open-book test?
Chances are, there will be a little more clarity in the deficiencies and frustrations.
(BONUS: This doesn't just apply to working out)