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I read an interesting post from an affiliate that keeps a can of "YBF" in the gym. When an athlete is getting tired, breaking down mentally, or generally hitting the wall, they quickly grab the remedy and spray it on the client. With the help of better chemistry, a supportive coach, and fellow athletes, they suddenly grit their teeth and get back to work.

The workout starts and we drive hard out of the starting gates. With a full tank of oxygen and ATP, we feel strong. As the repetitions accumulate we start to feel the effects of true output. We demand that the body adapts. Eventually we drop into a mental state far away from where we were. I experience this as a different world where I hear nothing, see little, and have difficulty focusing. Now is the time for reliable navigation instruments….sort of an "autopilot." We need to get negative thoughts out. We pace our efforts and chop it down, one rep at at time. We know it's going to be over soon. You can't quit. You'll be fine. "YBF"

Our St. Louis Affiliate Team competition is coming up. We are all set with the workouts and getting the agenda set. The workouts will not be revealed until Saturday, August 22nd. We are still looking for some judges and a few volunteers. Please let me know if you can assist us.

5 Responses

  1. Dan,

    The "YBF" attitude is one of the things I, professionally and personally, find most disturbing about Crossfit. I won't expound in detail online, unless you and other members of the CFVP community are interested in my opinon.

    There are many good things that happen at CFVP and many more good people. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work in the space, and even happier to see people discovering the benefits of the barbell and other methods of resistance training. I hope that CFVP and the other STL affiliates will choose to rise above it all and not let the lowest common denominator of "don't be a baby" or "more is better" or "faster is better" dominate in the gym.

    We "weekend warriors" and recreational exercisers need to understand that true elite athletes don't achieve greatness by training to failure every day. Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying to us, or just a complete idiot who needs a ticket on the clue bus.

    Most sincerely,
    Tracy Fober

  2. Chris


    I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this subject.

    I have to say that I believe in the YBF philosophy but to an extent. However, as a future medical professional I can't help but cringe watching some of the CF games videos. These people are staggering across the finish line when they should be staggering into the emergency room instead.

  3. Jon

    "true elite athletes don't achieve greatness by training to failure every day"

    I agree absolutely when the athlete has a particular goal. Like Gene Hackman in Hoosiers: "When do we scrimmage?" "We don't scrimmage."

    One of the interesting things about CrossFit is the goal is "be fit." Or, "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains." So how do you know if you're making strides toward that goal? With a watch.

    Or is that even necessary? Isn't it enough to know that your pants fit better, you like the way you look in the mirror, and you can play with your kids longer. Do we need to go all out all the time for that to happen? Probably not.

    And if the goal is "be fit," how fit? As fit as possible? Then maybe all out all the time is best for that. Well, maybe not ALL the time. There is that rest day…

    Now, let's say my goal were a sub-3 min Fran. (It's not.) Then even Glassman would probably agree that focused training and periodization would work best. (Maybe he wouldn't, but work with me here.)

    Anyway, point being, "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains" may seem like a specific goal, but I don't think it is. The only way to accurately measure it is to try everything. Whereas, if your goal is to deadlift 500lbs, that's simple. (To measure, not to do. Unless you're Dan.)

    So given the generic goal of "be fit," CrossFit's approach is that to attain that we need to adopt the YBF attitude. A couple questions linger for me:

    If you go until form sucks, are you getting better, or just getting hurt? (Chris cringed watching the run. I cringed watching the 30/30 wallball/snatch WOD.)

    How long is too long? There are many elite CrossFitters who will rarely if ever do anything more than twenty minutes.

    Is CrossFit sustainable in the long run, or will most CrossFitters burn out eventually?

    Is "increased work capacity dot dot dot" the proper definition of fitness. If it isn't, what is, and how do we best achieve it?

    My head is spinning. I don't even know if any of this makes sense. How about we all just do loads of steroids so we can train to failure twice a day, every day? Who's in?

  4. dan thacker

    Well I certainly meant this to be a very lighthearted post and the "YBF" thing to be somewhat true, kind of funny, but not to be mistaken for doing whatever it takes, no matter what. Looking back, I should have worded differently and sometimes my state of mind takes over when writing. I just think of all those times that something seems impossible, when I want to quit. The reward of getting through it has a value but will always run a risk. The nature of what we do is demanding and we find mental barriers perhaps the toughest. For new athletes, the process has to be built up obviously. Confidence is perhaps the best thing that comes from a tough, yet thoughtful program. We don't take pride in making anyone ill, overtained, or worse..injured. We also do our best to monitor everyone, making sure they train smart, recover, and don't overdo it. With CrossFit, it's easy to get the perception that we are trying to exceed real capabilities and at times, we probably are. We often walk that line of working towards capacity and hopefully we'll always be on the right side of that line. But crossing over happens. Yes, in the end, I'm fine but I certainly have the responsibility to make sure you are fine as well. Thanks for all the input!

  5. dan thacker

    Chris, conerning the games. I do understand that there were moments hard to watch. At the same time, they were inspiring. This is the case in many athletic events where the top athletes compete. I'm sure many marathon runners and triathletes stumble across the finish line. Any great effort shows in the face of the athlete. Were the events terribly grueling? Yes. They were meant to be. These athletes had to qualify. Most of us could not do what they did. The number of incidents were very low and most just overexertion/dehydration.

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