Is it Possible to be too Strong? Yes.

Barely a week goes by when someone doesn’t post the question on social media, “Is it possible to be too strong?”.

I’ve considered this concept, and for CrossFit at least, I believe it is. Not because you can become ‘too strong’ per se, but because the effort it took to become this strong came at the detriment of another element, in a sport that favours the generalist.

When strength becomes a strength, training efforts are better directed at your more limiting factors. It’s human nature to do more of what we’re good at. We’ve always done it because we enjoy what we excel at, and we do more of what we enjoy. For the pursuit of athletic balance however, we must devote our time and resources to those things that limit us – quite often, those things we dislike.

There’s a debate between structure and intuition as the best form of programming. I’m firmly in the ‘structure’ camp, but perhaps the best form of intuitive training comprises of doing whatever it is you least want to do. Counter-intuitive programming.

The lure of constant progress and social media likes on your videos is strong. But look at the big picture. Do you really need to increase your 200kg back squat if you can’t do 30 muscle-ups in under four minutes? Do you need 60 unbroken pull-ups in your can’t deadlift 200? Should you really be snatching four times a week to add to your 110kg snatch when you can’t swim a sub seven minute 400 freestyle?

Can you be too strong? Can you be too cardiovascularly conditioned? Can you have too much bodyweight stamina? FOR A CROSSFITTER, the answer is YES to all these things – IF YOU HAVE SACRIFICED SOMETHING ELSE TO GET THERE.

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.

Our Most Recent Articles: