How CrossFit Makes You Better At Curling

Originally this article was going to cover performance loss due to aging and how to slow said loss. That was until yesterday when Amy and I ventured to the jungle of North Fulton for a visit to the Peachtree Curling Association to try our hand at bocce on ice.

The experience reminded me of one of my favorite features of CrossFit: the transfer of training.

One of our goals at CrossFit Decatur is to produce a ‘ready state’ from which adapting to more advanced athletic endeavors becomes more efficient. Having the ability to do more pull-ups will make you a better skier, performing better at anaerobic workouts will make you a better distance swimmer and mastering the handstand push-up will make you a better at weeding your garden. This idea is what we refer to as the Transfer of Training.

Unfortunately, this idea is rarely talked by about by the media or in the scientific communities because it’s very hard, if not impossible to set up tests to prove that muscle-ups make better soccer players. However over the last 9+ years CrossFit that I have been doing I have accumulated enough personal anecdotal data to show that I’d be willing to bet my 401k that improving your General Physical Preparedness and will make you perform better at sports outside of the gym.

Amy & I’s curling endeavor is a great illustration of this principle of transfer of training. Practicing the air squat made us able to easily get into the squat position required to set-up in the “hack” (starting blocks). Olympic lifting and gymnastics gave us the body control, balance and spatial awareness to quickly figure out the movement required to create force for pushing “the rock” and never once were we a slip and fall risk on the ice, because well we know how to balance. Perhaps the most noticeable transfer of CrossFit was our ability to take a cue from a coach and apply it instantly which made for rapid improvements while our competitors were still struggling to figure out how to stand up.

The point of this story is that we have never curled once in our lives and we were able to go jump into a sport that requires very specific training protocol and not look like total idiots. This is one of the many reasons I love CrossFit. You never know why or how, but at some point getting better at that bench press, handstand or snatch will make you better outside of the gym.

Next week: How Much Does Aging Really Impact Performance?

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