Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why Do We Call Ourselves "The Lab"


     Ever since the we opened people have asked me why we call ourselves “The Lab”.  To answer that goes back to my garage gym on Amadeus Drive.  My garage was called the Lab because that is where I began to experiment with different ideas inside the CrossFit community.  I experimented with the 5/3/1 program, 5x5 squats, Olympic lifting and powerlifting, chains and bands, and different metcon philosophies.  Ever since I started CrossFit back in 2008, I have always considered it an experiment.  In fact, the fluid aspect of it is what drew me into it in the first place.  What do I mean by that?
     The definition of CrossFit is “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity”.  It is a very broad general definition and it is intended to be so.  When it comes to the CrossFit program, anything and everything can be CrossFit.  What we have learned is that there is no one best way to train.  Many great trainers have their own idea of what is the best way to train but there is no one way that will work for all people.  Every person is genetically different therefore you have to use multiple means of training to achieve the goal of broad, general, and inclusive fitness.  The “Lab” name is a symbolic gesture to say that we test these different methodologies.  I consider DCL a human performance laboratory.  We are constantly pushing the boundaries of what makes people fitter human beings.  We work with moms and dads, tactical athletes, Olympic weightlifters, powerlifters, strongman and endurance athletes. By what means is the best way to train all these people from so many different walks of life?  When it comes to the world of strength and conditioning, there are so many out there that claim to have the new and best way to train.  Everyone is a fitness coach these days.  One thing that I feel is important is for people to read and, when they read, to give credit to those who actually did the research.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training.  Each athlete has their own strengths and weaknesses and it’s the job of the coach to find them.  I always find it funny when I hear a coach tell me how they came up with this system.  No! You created nothing.  You took ideas from great people and use them in your training.  Finding the program that works for your athletes is that challenge.  
      The DCL Program is a mixture of various ideas from geniuses in the world of strength and conditioning.  We are obviously a CrossFit gym so we took the ideas of Greg Glassman.  We follow the principles of Dr. Verkhoshansky, Dr. Kelly Starrett, Dr. Mel Siff, Brian Mckenzie, Vladimir Zatsiorsky, and Louie Simmons.  We have taken the ideas from these great men and mixed and applied them to create the DCL Program.  I call my gym the Lab because how else would I know these ideas work if I didn’t test them myself? Since our opening in 2014 (and arguably several years before we opened) we have athletes set multiple PR’s and set new records continually.  My athletes don’t plateau in their training.  Why? Because I use the principles of geniuses and apply them to my athletes.  I mix and match these ideas and use them to each individual athlete.  It’s easy to get a new athlete to set a record, it’s much more difficult to get even your best athletes to constantly improve.  When a new idea comes out, I must test it! I don’t take it at face value as more and more coaches try to sell things.  Testing these ideas is critical to the DCL program. 
     DCL is a human performance laboratory.  I don’t want to help people excel in only one area as the argument can then be made that I’m only a good “weightlifting coach” or a good “CrossFit Coach”.  I consider myself a “human performance coach” and will always read and test the limits of my athletes to help them excel in any area of life.  The DCL program will constantly evolve and apply new methods to help our athletes reach their highest potential possible.