Level Method, Lat Pulldowns, and Learning New Stuff

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Friends, I’ve never been one for dogma.
I’m not great at following trends in fitness, because most “fitness advice” you read has no merit. Pills, “toning and sculpting”, and almost all supplements are garbage.
We adopted CrossFit–the most effective fitness program in the last hundred years–only after spending 6 months trying to prove it DIDN’T Work. Yesterday was my 10-year anniversary as a CrossFit affiliate, because we now know it’s the only thing that DOES. CrossFit–in a group, or tailored through our ID program–plus nutrition can reverse the chronic diseases that kill us.
The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, sat at his kitchen table in Portland with me a few months ago. We were talking about another well-known sport scientist, Mel Siff.

“Mel believed that everything was bulls***”, Greg told me. “And since 99.9% of it IS bulls***,” he was mostly right. (You can listen to the whole interview on my podcast if you’re into CrossFit THAT much.)

The problem is knowing which 0.1% of all the fitness info out there is the truth. That takes time to uncover. Here are our top discoveries and changes this month:
Now, these ideas aren’t actually new. I work with nearly 400 gyms worldwide, and cull what’s working for their clients every day. But it takes the dedicated ACTION of a determined, caring leader to make stuff happen. That’s where Jamie and Miranda come in.
First, our coaches were led by Miranda through Level Method Training. You’ve seen that big, beautiful rainbow chart on our wall; that’s our new belt system for fitness. It’s brilliant, and tells you exactly how to scale movements to maximize your time in the gym. It’s the coaches’ job to guide you toward optimal progress, and this is another tool for them to use. But you can play along at home–it’s super fun to move from “orange” to “red” on pull-ups, but if you’re not doing appropriate work for your personal level, you won’t progress.
For example, getting your first kipping pull-up is awesome. We celebrate with you (and you know that.) But if you’re not close to doing a pull-up, the best scale might be a ring row…or it might actually be a pull-DOWN. This is where we need to bravely step away from the dogma of “we never use machines” and ask, “What will actually help our clients MOST?”
Jamie spent his entire Victoria Day weekend building stuff for YOU.
That includes an outdoor pull-up bar (which I LOVED using yesterday) and the reintroduction of some very expensive (and useful) aides to your training: a lat pulldown machine, a braced row machine, a leg extension and an adjustable set of cables.


CrossFit is a tool. It’s an awesome tool. But some coaches have a fixed mindset about CrossFit: they think that CrossFitters don’t bench press (we’ve never stopped bench pressing) or do arm curls (ok, guilty) or use machines (kinda guilty here too.) And then, one day, the bench press shows up at Regionals…
…because CrossFit has never been about “we don’t do that.” It’s ALWAYS been about “What’s the most effective thing I can do for my client right NOW?” And when we started doing CrossFit, everyone else was solely doing bench presses and using machines. many of us took the polar opposite view because that’s what almost every client needed.
Now, guess what? Our clients are way better! And SOME need bench presses! SOME need lat pulldowns! SOME need bikes! So we buy them and build them and hope you love them.
You already know this, but “better” is just on the other side of “change.” Change is scary, but you’ve already made the biggest change of all: you walked in our door and asked us to help you. That help keeps improving, thanks mostly to Jamie and Miranda and the coaches who have ALL stepped up their game in the last six months. After 22 years as a coach, 13 as a gym owner and exactly ten as a CrossFit affiliate, this is the best gym I’ve ever been part of.