Why Heavy Metal?

I probably owe my entire career to CrossFit.  Through CrossFit I applied my voracious appetite for knowledge unto the eternal blue sky of Sport Performance.  It took an addictive kick in the pants to discover my love for training and experimenting, and the engaging nature of “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.”  Now I’m here, with a few medals on my wall, a whole lot stronger, smarter, and healthier.

I was never going to the CrossFit Games, but I found functional fitness very useful for my own training as an athlete who just wanted to expand my work capacity for sport.  But how could I get myself to hit people harder?  How could I chase down smaller athletes?  How could I fix and prevent injury?  These were questions I couldn’t find answers to in a basic metcon.  So I sought out coaches and read books that did answer my questions.

I never intended to be a full time athlete, and I found that most of the time my quest for knowledge was so that I could better myself for the service of others.  When I was young I had the misconception that teachers were people who failed in the real world, but  I have found that it is my passion to teach no matter how hard I have tried to get away from it.  During my development as a coach I’ve managed and programmed for an affiliate; served as a personal trainer for a wide variety of populations; coached speed and agility as well as strength and conditioning for professional and collegiate athletes; spent hours alongside or under the instruction of Senior International Weightlifting Coaches and an Olympic champion; and traveled to different countries to instruct athletes at international seminars.  I don’t intend to ever stop learning and as renowned coach once told me -- if you think you have it all figured out, then you should quit.

I may be a weightlifter but my roots come from WODs.  And although I may be an athlete, I will always be a coach first.  It is with these facts in mind that I have wanted to publish daily competitive programming for athletes in the sport of fitness.  I have coached and programmed for regional competitors, but most of my time is occupied by weightlifting, coaching weightlifting, studying weightlifting, thinking about weightlifting, going to weightlifting meets, eating/cooking for weightlifting, doing corrective and accessory exercises for weightlifting.  Did I mention that sometimes I lift weights?

If you’re going to teach something at the highest level you need to be immersed in it, responding to it’s evolution, spending an inordinate amount of time contemplating within that field. To me, all areas of human physical performance outside the specific field of weightlifting are just hobbies.  I enjoy them and do spend a great deal of time thinking about them, but I don’t live them.

Enter my good friend and partner Mike Vidas.

Mike lives CrossFit.  No, he’s not a Games athlete.  But he spends most of his day inside his CrossFit affiliate building tremendous athletes and has been doing this for quite some time.  He is my subject matter expert in this field and it is for this purpose that I’ve asked him to join me in this venture to provide the public with high performance programming.  Mike and I have spent hours consulting each other in our coaching practices for as long as we’ve known each other and it’s time that we make our coaching philosophy “internet official” (the highest law of the land).

One of the biggest things that Mike and I share is our mutual tie to friend, coach, and internet supertroll Jacob Tsypkin.  I mention this relationship because while the Heavy Metal Barbell program will be somewhat different from Jacob’s own approach to programming, it will share the same guiding principle:

“Movement is king.”

You can’t out lift a shit position.  You can’t out run a shit stride.  You will not out capacity shit movement patterns.  Consistent winners dominate consistency.

We like lifting weights a lot. I think I may have mentioned it.  And we think that we can help people lift weights better than most folks.  But we will not ignore progressions in gymnastics, mastery of skill, and energy system development.  And by not ignore, I mean these elements will be shoved violently into your face.  Performance athletes must come to be comfortable and thrive on volume and intensity.  This program is long term and will develop athletes year after year with the intent of improving their efficiency, skill set, work capacity, and strength for high performance in the Games Season.  If this is your goal, then jump over to the WOD and prepare to work!

--Sean Michael Rigsby