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Cause and Effect

Matt Lutsky; CrossFit West Santa Cruz's first double body-weight squat! Congratulations Matt, that is an awesome achievement.

A cause does not become apparent until the effect is revealed.  Especially if there is no precedent.  Until the effect is apparent or unless there is a precedent, that cause is just a matter of faith.  In something as sensitive as health and fitness, that faith can be hard to come by.

As an experience trainer who has worked with ex-professional and Olympic athletes, the overweight and completely deconditioned, and just about everyone in between, the cause and the effect are not matters of faith for me, but rather dead certainty.  I know that X added to W equal Z.  I know that X and W mixed with W will change Z is such and such manner.  But to a person who has no experience with CrossFit, no ability to link the effect to the cause, it might as well be black magic.

I am talking about health and fitness, of course.  The cause is CrossFit–heavy lifting and hard metcons, and nutrition–Paleo.  The effect is fitness–strength, power, stamina, bone density, speed, and the whole litany of attributes.  Convincing someone that heavy deadlifts, cleans and squats, and interval sprints, coupled with a low carb, high fat and protein, and no sugar diet will bring about health and fitness greater than they ever imagined, well, let’s just say that its not easy.

Not too long ago in CrossFit, there was the concept of the black box.  Very simply put, the black box ignores the relationship between cause and effect and focuses on the effect.  I think that CrossFit is well past this idea.  Its all dialed in now.  There is no grey area, no fuzziness.  You want this–the effect, we can give it to you–the cause.

But you have to do the work.

Please post thoughts to Comments.


Max Rep Pullups



3 Rounds

400m Run

12 Deadlifts @bodyweight

21 Box Jumps 20″

Post pullup number and WOD time to Comments.


  1. Stock

    Congrats, but how close are you to a double body weight front squat? New race.

  2. Matt L.

    I’m 40 pounds away from a double bw front squat? What are you, 70? Game on.

  3. Matt L.

    The question mark at the end of the first sentence in my reply is either my incredulity at being such a bad ass, or a typo. Yup, one or the other.

  4. Stock

    Nah, I was only 45 pounds away a month ago.

  5. Sanders

    Way to go Lutsky, your squat strength is amazing. Keep pushing hard bro!

    BTW: Great post on cause and effect too!

  6. Matt S

    Nice job Matto

  7. Way to go, Matt!!!

  8. Shane

    Amazing job Matt!

  9. Desmond, I will call and raise you one. First “Adult Male” with a double BW Front Squat, new race…

  10. Stock

    Good point. Matt’s squat shouldn’t count because he isn’t an adult male. Matt, gain 30 pounds then get that double body weight squat again. New squat race is on.

  11. Matt L

    Kyle and Desmond, what were your squats at 170 lbs body weight? Trust me, it’s better for both of you if I don’t become an “adult male”. At least that way you’ll still have excuses you can make.

  12. Stock

    No, please do. I would like you to beat me as an adult male.

  13. Matt that’s awesome! and no matter how much or how little you weigh body weights body weight my friend.Keep it up

  14. Sorry Matt, I don’t remember what I could squat when I weighed 170lb, cause that was when I was 12 years old.

  15. Matt L

    We can compromise. I’ll put on 10-15 pounds and beat you both outright. 80’s medium.

  16. Sam Y

    Ah, the banter.. CrossFit would not be complete without it! Matt L, way to kill that double-body-weight squat – it was a pleasure to witness..Appears your achievement was the CAUSE and the ensuing banter, the EFFECT :)