Pyramid schemes are just misunderstood.

Sure, having people pay money to join some sketchy organization just so that the person above them can recoup their buy-in cost is bad. But in training? A pyramid approach is vital to success.

For the athletes at the top of our sport, the peak of their training is on show at competitions.
the very top of the pyramid is what we get to see and what aspiring competitors aim for. But the foundation of the work is unseen by the masses. The foundation is the key to how high the peak of the pyramid can get.

When you break down the skills and attributes required to be successful in the sport of CrossFit, there are so many components to the foundation there. Want to get to 20 unbroken ring muscle ups? You better have shown the ability to repeat sets of 5, to perform a strict rep, to master control of a kip on the rings, to develop the pulling strength to get high enough, to build stability and control to hold the catch position, to ensure your grip endurance can match your reps…

So many pieces go into creating that set of 20, but often get overlooked by the Instagram followers just looking for the next feat to be achieved.

Starting at the foundation for any movement is stability and motor control. If you can’t maintain a good torso position during an air squat, how can you hope to squat 500lbs? If you can’t show perfect bar path, timing and control on a snatch with a PVC, how can you expect to win a snatch ladder event? If you can’t hold a handstand with control, how can you expect to walk 100ft on your hands under fatigue?

Strength and muscular endurance plays a huge role in the foundation of an athlete. Does your lower body work consist only of squats and deadlifts? Or are you doing single leg work, movement through different planes of motion, uneven loading, glute and hamstring focused work, and joint stability work?

If you think you only need to work squats to have high power leg strength in a competition, then think again.

Under fatigue, in a high-paced situation, you’re not going to be moving in a perfect pattern every time. Your body needs to have done the foundational strength work to handle less than ideal bar paths, loading, or fatigue, to be able to perform in that setting.

So while we look at the peak of our sport and admire the performances, don’t forget the foundation that was built to get there. Don’t forget the hours and hours of work that led to the peak of performance.

Join a pyramid scheme and build for your peak.