Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ring Work

The governing body of international gymnastics (FIG) puts the muscle-up in the same category as tying your shoes and breathing. It's an "A" skill, as easy as they come. Elite gymnasts perform the muscle-up as an afterthought--a convenient way to get on top of the rings.

Unfortunately, it requires a bit more effort from the rest of us.

On Sunday, we met at Crossfit Boston to work the sub-skills of the movement--pullups, dips, and a monster kip. Toby, Patrick, Marcia, Dave, Tara, and Dawn came for the lesson.

As the sole athlete in the room capable of a muscle-up, Dave demonstrated our end goal. Taking a false grip, he pulled through the transition smoothly and pressed to extension above the rings. He then proceeded to wreck the workout, turning in a sub-10:00 time for:

3 rounds

20 Knee-to-elbows
15 Dips
10 False-grip pullups
5 Beck's burpees

Skill development works. We neglected to tell Patrick that muscle-ups are hard, and he proceeded to bang out four in a row. Evidently, the muscle-up is an "A" move after all.

Never satisfied, Dave and I spent some time practicing the snatch. Dave's got a quick pull, and he gets under the bar just as fast. Like the muscle-up, the snatch is a technically demanding, multi-joint exercise, involving a pull and a strong push.

We've moved our focus toward skill development. Each weekend, we'll pick a feat and work toward it, couching the effort in a metabolically challenging workout. If you've got something you'd like Again Faster to incorporate, let me know.

Integrating new skills is just as important as refining existing ones, and it's time to step it up.

Go faster!


Blogger Dawn Adam-Brown said...

Jon, thanks for the workout and your keep going. Sometimes I find myself swimming in self pity... 'I work so hard, why haven't I been able to do that muscle up yet?' 'Maybe you're just to old for this Dawn'.

Thanks to you and all the people I see at againfaster, I can tell myself...'it's not about the end but the hard work you put in and the fun you have getting there'.

As always loved the workout, the people, the fact that I am constantly learning and the coach.

8/21/2006 02:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...


I haven't made the muscle-up yet, and it vexes me, as does the ease with which Pat pulled it off. I won't dwell on it.

Life is about the people you surround yourself with. In the end, muscle-ups, snatches, WOD times, and squats don't matter. The people you do them with matters.

We're improving the quality of our respective lives, meeting great people and maintaining extremely high levels of fitness.

That's why I'm here. To be a small part of the process.

I'm glad you had a great time--I did too. Next week will be even better!

Till next time.

8/21/2006 02:24:00 AM  

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