Making Sense of Variance


Making sense of variance can be tough, especially from a distance. With varied training programs like CrossFit garnering great success and results, one could understand how, from a distance, one could critique the rhyme or reason to some of the variance in programming. Two key elements are important to understand here before we move forward.

The first, of course, is to understand what the training goal is. Variance can be a key element to training if it speaks to the goal in mind. CrossFit, for example, seeks the most board fitness possible. With such goals come a great deal of responsibility to variance. In the same vein, an athlete training for a more narrow focus (say to improve capacity for football) can still benefit from a true sense of variance as long as it doesn’t stray far from the goal. In this case, one could argue that there may be better time spent than spending hours on handstand walking progressions for a football player with more specific goals than GPP.

The second key element is that athletes and coaches can draw very strong connections across constantly varied programming with skill transfer. A worldview that understands movement and skill as one giant conversation could grasp the idea that maybe power cleans aren’t the only way to get strong in the power clean. Understanding jumping and landing and proper as well as explosive hip function are transferable concepts found a million other places.

I’d argue, in fact, that a skill-based approach is the most liberating training perspective one could have. Use variance. Connect the dots with skill transfer. Win.



Logan Gelbrich