“Well, It Depends…”
Written by Hunter Britt for crossfitinvictus.com
When you listen to CJ Martin answer questions or explain reasons for certain things, you often hear him say, “Well, it depends”. At this point the person asking him the question is usually a little bummed because everyone wants to hear one answer that is the 100% perfect – the correct way to do whatever they are inquiring about. I love the “it depends” answer that CJ responds with.
Let’s talk about what “it depends” means. When you tell someone that “it depends”, it means that the answer to the question is going to vary from person to person. Each person’s lifestyle, body type, attitude, etc. are going to be determining factors. Whether we are talking about the best diet to eat throughout the week, the proper way to do a deadlift, or even how to teach an athlete how to do a muscle-up, there are a number of things that need to be taken into account that can change the answer.
A diet is going to be dependent upon many things: body composition, goals, lifestyle, and how a person digests and handles certain foods. A deadlift has a proper set up… to an extent. We can understand that there is a safe way to brace the body for a lift and that it should be done in about the same way for everyone; but I am sorry to inform you, if everyone had the exact same setup as the strongest person in the world, there is a good chance it is not going to be the most optimal position for you, as an individual, to lift from. For the strongest person in the world, it is clearly working; but you are different in terms of which muscle groups are more developed on your body versus theirs, how flexible you are, and how your limbs compare to each other.
The muscle-up can be taught a million different ways. As a coach, we need to figure out which way is going to work best for which athletes and decide which cues are necessary.
If you struggle with the “it depends” answer, below are steps to find out what will work best for you in an “it depends” situation:
Step 1- Try Everything
You must try all of the available options. Make a list, or at least a mental list, of all of the ideas that are in contention for the best choice and then try them all. When trying them, take your time to study what you are doing, how you are feeling and understand what exactly is going on.
Step 2- Compare and Contrast
Take all of the movements, foods, ideas, or whatever it is you are testing and compare what you liked and disliked about each of the options. For example, maybe in one of the diets you were trying you had a lot of energy, but started gaining weight and you didn’t want to gain weight. Figure out what is giving you energy and what is causing you to gain weight. Is there a way to just get rid of the weight gaining problem and keep the energy?
Step 3- Make a Decision
You have decided that deadlifting feels better when you place your feet a little bit wider apart than directly under your hips because you are less flexible than the average person – that’s fantastic! Make decisions based off what works best for you and and what feels good. Once you make a decision, do your best to understand why it is that this works for you.
Step 4- Keep Your Eyes Open
Never stop looking for new ideas or ways to improve. There will always be new ideas thrown around so be careful to not ignore the new thoughts because you already have a way that works for you. Be willing to try something new and maybe you will surprise yourself and get results that are even better.
In summation, there are countless ways to get a fruit from the top of a tree. If you’re Tarzan you can climb it, but if you’re a lumberjack you can cut it down. Do not do yourself a disservice by doing what is commonly accepted and rarely questioned. Study and decide what makes the most sense for you personally.