Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hard Core
A lot of trainees spend a lot of time wishing they were ripped. If you look at mainstream health magazines, like Men's Health or Muscle and Fitness, you'll notice that the covers are dominated by guys with washboard abs and 4% bodyfat. There's a reason for this. It sells magazines! Your average "fitness" enthusiast doesn't give a flying f*ck if you're NSCA certified, RKC certified, or certifiably crazy. They're going to take advice from a person that looks like they want to look.

At Crossfit, we like to think we're a different breed. For the most part, we are. We work harder and faster and we know exactly where you can shove your bodypart split workout. But if anyone tells you that they care exclusively about performance, and not how they look naked, call them out on it. Believe me, they care, Crossfit or not.

You probably do your fair share of situps, but if you do Crossfit, you've noticed that there's no such thing as an "ab exercise". They're all core exercises. There's not a damn thing we do that doesn't call for a strong and dynamic torso. I figure I'm working my core all the time--abs, obliques, erectors, lats, etc. are all constantly engaged. It turns out "engaged" and "ENGAGED" are two different things.

Last night, Will Tagye gave me a hell of a lesson. After the workout, I racked up 135# for a few front squats. A little grease-the-groove kind of thing.

Will: "After you do a few, push press it over your head and take a lap around."
Me: "Um...okay."

I did five front squats, and then I pushed it over my head. So far so good. Then I took my first step, turning as I held the weight at extension, using a clean grip. Holy sh*t. Every muscle in my body fired--hard. My shoulders burned trying to keep the weight extended. My obliques were trying to find a new home closer to my spine. My back was pissed off, and my legs were tenser than Hillary Clinton. I made it about 20 feet.

Welcome to the Will T. Show.

Will: "Try it with a snatch grip." Of course, the damn thing weighs 135 pounds, and it's extended over my head. Not an ideal time to change grips, but I try anyway. I got my right hand out, and lost my balance. I dropped the barbell. I tried to snatch it. I missed, cleaned it, push jerked it, and put it across my shoulders.

Will: "Push press it up with the snatch grip."
Me: "Dude, I'm a little tired right now."

Oh, f*ckin' boo-hoo. I dipped and drove it up from my shoulders. Miraculously, it stayed up. I went for another walk. After 15 feet of full-body muscle contraction, I dumped the bar. I felt like a pussy, but boy...that made an impression.

Situps help get you ripped like the UN helps keep World Peace. What a waste of time. You want to be ripped? Push something above your head at full extension and go for a walk. Throw a few (slow) turns in there.

Next time I feel like doing crunches, I going to push press 135 over my head and go for distance. I'll never make the cover of Men's Health, and I won't care. The satisfaction of knowing I could rip the cover model in half will be enough for me. Plus, I won't have to wax my legs...


Anonymous BPB chick said...

Finally, someone who knows the way abs actually form....not from sit-ups! Duh

5/10/2006 07:58:00 PM  

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