Archive for June 18, 2010

Well, if you were directly above him, how could you see him?… Because I was inverted… (Cough) Bullshit…

Posted in Articles on June 18, 2010 by oldcountrystrong

Well this is suppose to be a information site some of the time, Right? I like many people who visit OCS usual have 70’s Big on the sites they regularly check in the morning. Today article really peaked my interest so I thought I’d post it up with my thoughts then leave it open for discussion.

Where is your pullup god on PR Friday?

The following post is by Gant.
When you have to load four Atlas Stones on a trailer, the heaviest weighing over 400 pounds, your pullup God will not be able to save you.
-Dave Van Skike

There have been a lot of positive steps in the exercise industry in the last few years. While corporate “health centers” and machines still dominate the fitness landscape, a growing percentage of people are getting theirs from the iron. Gyms are starting to look less like dance clubs and more like a place you can get some work done. Many people have been turned on to this kind of training because of CrossFit, RossTraining, Mountain Athlete, or some other iteration of full-body functional training.

Unfortunately in the quest to become functional/tactical/elite/hardstyle, we have tossed out quite a few babies with the bathwater. People are pressing overhead again, which is great. But the bench press has been scorned and, apparently from the bench numbers in last month’s challenge, largely forgotten.

The case against the bench press is usually made by some domestique-looking guy who tries to convince you that doing 92 snatch burpees with an empty bar is better than pressing your body weight overhead. The problem is that some of you people have listened.

But nothing has been vilified like the barbell curl. Somewhere we have been told that all isolation training is bad, that we don’t need to curl because we can get all the arm strength and size we need from swinging madly about on a pullup bar. If your training goals culminate in posting more shirtless pictures of yourself on Facebook, you probably don’t need curls. But if you participate in a sport, especially one of the strength sports, you might consider throwing in a couple sets of a week.

Why are they helpful? For the same reason any isolation work is helpful. Because you are limiting the number of joints involved in the exercise, you will be using lighter weights (and typically higher reps). This lets you focus on strengthening the connective tissue, which does not adapt to heavy loads as quickly as muscles. This comes in handy when lifting odd objects, fighting an arm bar (or an armed bear), or throwing a lead weight as far as you can. I have heard people use them for everything from stabilizing the rack position in a snatch to tossing small trees.

I couldn’t care less about my arm size, but I’m damn concerned about my tendons. I didn’t do curls for years for the same reasons you guys don’t do them. A few months ago, I added a few sets of drag curls or hammer curls in a few months ago (once every week or so). You feel like a douchebag at first, but then you start kissing your guns at the top of each rep and “checking the time” and it’s all good.

The best quote on curls came from one of CrossFit’s videos with Louie Simmons. They were doing a CrossFit powerlifting cert at Westside. As someone was trying to put PVC into a monolift, a CrossFitting male asked one of the Westsiders why he did curls. The guy shrugged his shoulders and, with big arms folded, replied, “The strongest guys in the world do curls. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.”

My 2 Cents

Well first off I don’t know why Crossfit as a whole always gets the rap for a couple of extremists. Yes there are some douche bags out there that shun assistance exercises all together. The thing is, most of them arent very good Crossfitters. And they definitely aren’t very “strong”, why the “strong” you ask? Well because there is “strong” and then there is STRONG.

“Strong” is strong, but its not STRONG… Zach get to the point right, ok I will. “Strong” is strong by crossfit standards, I’m “strong” by Crossfit standards. I Squat 405, Snatch 225, Rack jerk 305, etc. My strength numbers for a Crossfitter are really good. But you go into other communities and those numbers don’t hold up very well. You hear things like “Not bad… for a Crossfitter”.

There are Crossfitters who take offense to this, I dont really. Why? Cause we are stepping into some one else arena, of course they are gonna be better then us. We look to take the best of everything and mix it together to make what we consider the most “complete athlete”. Now how do I personally do that for my program? By going out side Crossfits GPP standard, programs are mapped out to peak or be totally torn down at certain times. I talk with people outside the community, when I needed help with Johnnys bench program I went to a power Lifter. John from Grey Skull helped me out and totally opened me up to a lot of different stuff.

What did Johnny do? He benched… a lot. And did a ton of assistance exercises HEAVY hammer curls, kroc rows, shrugs, he’ll tell you it was the best time of his life. His back grew to epic silverback standards and he finished out his cycle benching 365. Now for my regular classes filled with people that dont care about their numbers (I still dont understand that), programming like this doesnt work. And I’ve said a number of times to some people who walk in here with bow flex muscle that they arent aloud to do curls.  Just do pullups IS what I say, why? Because these are the same douche bags who don’t wanna deadlift or squat deep. They just wanna do curls to build up muscle to fill out there tshirts.

Sorry I’m ranting here, this is suppose to be about me supporting assistance exercises. Which I do, why, because I like being “strong” but I wouldnt mine being STRONG. We work the head yoke, do shrugs, kroc rows all to be a better strength athlete. It’s silly to dismiss something cause it does work the “whole body”. Why do axel deadlifts, why would you want a stronger grip? Cause having a stronger wouldnt make you a better Crossfitter oh no sir.

I think everyone just needs to back up off each other and look at some of the top athletes from each sport and see they all are cross training. It just depends on what your sport is. I do know if viking or hammer curls can get me to do something beastly like this, I’m definitely not calling bullshit…

Posted by: Z