I’ve met plenty of guys who were strong but not fast. Guys who were fast but not powerful. And more than a few who had boatloads of power trapped inside a crappy physique. Specializing in one area of training leaves you vulnerable in other areas you might not even be aware of. The founding principle of CrossFit is that nature abhors a specialist; but most athletes become specialists over time, practicing the things they are already good at. The only way to correct the deficiencies that arise as a result is to attack weak spots head-on.

The three most glaring problems I see over and over in clients are a lack of core strength, stability, and aerobic ­capacity. I should know: When I competed in amateur strongman competitions, I became known for overhead pressing. I was a one-dimensional athlete with a ton of room for improvement. Over the course of the next three years, I dedicated myself to fixing these areas and becoming a more well-rounded athlete.

This month’s challenge workout is a CrossFit classic: “Nancy.” I’ve chosen it because it will demand more from the typical problem areas: Overhead squats will test your core strength and stability, and combining them with the run will just about make your lungs bleed.



"The first time I tried Nancy, it was a brutal, humbling experience that exposed all my weaknesses."

5 rounds for time
– 400m Run
– Overhead Squat x 15 at 95 lbs.

Rob OrlandoRob Orlando is the owner and head trainer of Hybrid Athletics in Stamford, CT.