Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Looking back on some of these blog posts, I see that my last entry was in August of 2011! What the hell is wrong with me for waiting this long to re-post something or anything intelligent, thought provoking or just insightful for that matter? I've said this time and time again, but I believe there are WAY too many excellent resources in this community not to fully take advantage of the wealth of information, knowledge or just plain instantaneous thought that exists in the social media world of our CrossFit community. I read athletes blogs constantly and take something away from them each and every time I go about perusing their paragraphs. Regardless of who that athlete is, games caliber, elite-shmilete or just a solid all around coach trying to better their clients, they all have something to say and for the most part, it's good shit.

So with that being said, I have made a committment to re-vitalize one of the best blogs ever created, voted on by my family. A lot has happened since my last post and I have promised myself to re-vamp Train Hard Live Smart more often, starting now and into the future. Whether thats weekly, monthly or occasionally, I promise there won't be a 2 year hiatus before the next post. Scout's honor.

I'm going to use this first post to bring to attention something that's been bothering me the past couple months. I am not usually one to speak my mind on videos that I see on the internet, facebook and twitter, but lately there has been a decent amount of posted "accomplishments" that have become a bit silly. I'm talking about all the snatch PRs that athletes are hitting with the help of straps. Now, is this really a PR? Granted, you did move the weight overhead and proceeded to stand up with it, showing full lockout, but would that qualify as a successful rep in an olympic weightlifting competition? CrossFit competition? Any competition?

I think straps are a great addition to a weightlifting program, but in the sense that they're used to optimize technique without having grip be an issue. For example, they can be used for multiple reps of the follwing: snatch deadlifts, snatch pulls, multiple position snatches, snatches for reps. These are all areas where grip is less of a priority than techmique, so we can utilize straps to aid in holding onto the bar, maximizing the speed and efficiency of our pulls. All without worrying about if you're going to drop the bar or not. I'm not a professional weightlifter nor coach on this topic, but what I can acclaim is I've snatched a load with straps and then attempted to snatch that same load without straps. Needless to say the weight slipped from my hands initiating my second pull. It's a world of difference, plain and simple.

So, with that being said, congrats to the lifts that are being completed with straps, the fact you completed that lift is a feat within itself, but if you are going to publicize and consider it a "PR", let's remove the training wheels. Nobody's deadlifting 500lbs off the ground with straps calling it a PR. That would just be silly. Here is some random dude using a bit of old fashioned grip strength, doing it right:

On another note, overhead squat "PRs" without actually having to jerk the bar overhead is not a PR. Let's be real. It's like saying we can all dunk a basketball as long as someone hoists us up to the rim. That's not dunking, that's just silly. This is a real PR...

Now obviously all of this is thrown out the window if your previous PR is also with the use of straps, that in fact would obviously be a PR, sorry for being an asshole. But if that's the case, you should probably build that grip and start lifting without straps more often. Just sayin'...