Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hater-ade


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'...

51 comments:

  1. love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Interesting how crossfits view on straps is no no no doesn't count. Yea everytime they do deadlifts for reps they "bounce" the weight off the ground for momentum, its called a DEADlift for a reason. So when you cheat bounce your deadlift reps do you count that as a PR as well? If so, that's a highly ironic method

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    1. Kind of hard to bounce a one rep max deadlift.

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    2. ^ Haha, I'm glad someone else was smart enough to realize that.

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    3. He clearly says for reps, bouncers.

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    4. deadlifting in a metcon is not something we use as a max weight or pr at Crossfit. We know full and well that for PR or Max deadlifts to count they must begin from the ground and end on the ground with a pause in between.

      How about all of those bodybuilders that don't squat below or even TO parallel yet they claim the high weight as a rep or 5 ... um, if you can't squat it you can't claim it ... it's a SQUAT not a knee bend.

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  3. Intersting how there is always some anti-CrossFit douchebag on every blog that loves to talk about stuff they know nothing about... CrossFit Games movement standard for deadlift or ANY lift coming from the ground is no bounce... Furthermore, I don't think straps, braces, belts or wraps of any kind should NOT be allowed... they all add an advantage in terms of joint or core support. If your core fails under load then does adding a belt make the lift legit? Or do you need a stronger core? A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Just sayin'...

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    1. That's true I think belt should not be allowed. Crossfit is looked at as functional fitness for life. No one is going to be like, "hold on a minute let me put my belt on!", when they are needing to lift heavy loads in the real world. The same with knee support and tape. If your body is breaking down you need to check yourself not use braces and shit...

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    2. Why is it that anytime a person is critical of Crossfit, it is assumed that they aren't a crossfitter? It's healthy and in fact one of the basic principles of Crossfit to criticize and develop; the Crossfit charter is open source. ...and since there are a TON of douche bags in the CF community, there will plenty to criticize lol.

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    3. Agreed. Why are people who want to bag CF even reading this blog. Was confused by your double negative in your comment?! Assuming you mean no assistance should be allowed?

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  4. Good blog. But I wish you, and everyone else in the world would stop using the phrase "just sayin'" to try and soften the blow of something controversial. We know you are saying it. You just said it. It's a trend lately that needs to go away.

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    1. .....just saying, right?

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  5. Hilarious post Aja Barto. This blog makes me think of one SoCal competitior named Ryan Fischer. Guy uses straps on his 260lb snatches and calls it a PR. I kept asking my coaches how thats fair and how that can be called a PR? Thanks for the clarification.

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  6. If you require the assistance of lifting straps, then the weight you are lifting or pulling is probably to much for you. Having a strong grip is a must for any weight lifting movement. Your body has to compensate for that weak area and could lead to a injury. When you are out in the real world and need to lift something heavy, I doubt you will say "i better get my lifting straps to help me with this" right?! Well unless you carry them all the time, then more power to you. Just work on your grip strength!

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  7. Maybe you should tell Jon North this isn't a PR...after all, he was using straps.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJHXVzFZ818
    I mean, he's only the best 94 Kilo lifter in the country. But you're right, I guess it doesn't count because, straps.

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    1. Agree with you 100 %, can't really hide the sun with just your hand. Knowledge is power.

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    2. THe thing that you dont realize is that the reason Jon North and all of the MDUSA athletes use straps is because of the volume of lifting they do on a daily basis. All of them workout 6 days a weeks with two sessions a day with boatloads of snatches and C&Js daily. Doing that much lifting would destroy your hands and you would not be able to train as often and hard as they do. Look at any vids of Shankle or North in any comp(even small MDUSA comps they do in house) and they are not wearing straps. So no they would not think PRs with straps are real PRs....just saying

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    3. hahaha... talking to a crossfitter about destroying hands...

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    4. It's so cute and really validates your shitty point when you end it with some serious wit. Jon knows in his head exactly what his PRs are with and without aids like straps. Insert smug smartass last sentence here.

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    5. I know crossfitters are hardcore because they tear their hands doing kipping pullups and deadlifts but the reason I was bringing this point up is because I was recently listening to weightlifting talk (Jon North online radio show) where he had Elizabeth Akinwale as a guest( 5 place crossfit games 2012 maybe you have heard of her). She visited MDUSA for a weekend and after the FIRST day she said he hands hurt. Mind you this is a girl who is more than likely stronger than you and definitely does more volume crossfit wise than you do and she was complaining about her hands hurting. Jon goes on to say "yeah a lot of people give us crap for using straps but with our volume we have to keep our hands healthy" (paraphrasing you can listen to is yourself it is only about a week old). He does not use them to get PRs that he cannot obtain without the straps because he is a professional weightlifter whose weights only count if they are in a competition where you cannot use straps. I'm not trying to be a dick just illustrate the fact that neither of you know what you are talking about. (I'm a 3+ year CFer)

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  8. Do you even lift?

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  9. DO you know what straps are?

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  10. Taping or wrapping your wrists is not the same thing as lifting straps. So frustrating to read posts like some of these. So. Frustrating.

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  11. Get a job Labowski.

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  12. "Yea everytime they do deadlifts for reps they "bounce" the weight off the ground for momentum, its called a DEADlift for a reason." ...he said deadlifts for reps, not 1RM.

    I heard they have openings in at "The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too!"

    "Do you even lift?" That's your brilliant response to the post above yours? Good job, bro!

    I'm just sayin...

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  13. Interesting point about the deadlifts being bounced off the ground. One person above states that Crossfit Games standards are no bounce, yet I witnessed one elite Crossfitter in the Mid Atlantic Regional actually "punch" the deadlifts on that final workout. He was definitely getting an advantage and yet no judge (even Boz was there) was calling him out on it.

    I definitely agree with what Aja's blog was here though.

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  14. If you read the fine print, the article clearly mentions that if you've done snatch's with a strap and then done them again with a higher weight it's a PR (PR in Snatch's with a strap)...

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  15. If thats the logic here, someone call Chris Spealler and tell him that his 225 snatch PR at regionals doesn't count because he caught it with a bent right arm and straightened as he stood up. Would that count in an olympic competition? No. But it counted at regionals because, hey, CrossFit.

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    1. Spealler also gets credit for a lot of reps that wouldn't count for other athletes because he's Chris Spealler. Watch his "Diane" performance from regionals last year; if he were a nobody he would've been no-repped on half the reps. Spealler, Froning, Chan, etc aren't about to get no-repped.

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  16. Just sayin... Clearly the most genius comment ever thought up.... Juuuuust sayin... Hah ;-)

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  17. How about everyone pull the stick out of your collective butt and worry about yourselves. If someone uses straps, bounces a deadlift or straightens an arm during a snatch for a PR and costs you money, say something. Until then, Crossfit is about making the best YOU. For people who are supposed to be more enlightened about fitness, you all sure are a bunch of whiners. Go catch a rep-cutter or chalk over-user at your box. That'll make you feel better.

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  18. everyone makes good points... i think the initial point was dont mistake your new pr you make with assistance to be your new pr without.

    its all relative to your own individual training.... do whatever you gotta do to get better but dont bullshit yourself. gear is designed to assist, duh. Use whatever you want for training... who cares as long as it gets you to your goals

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  19. So I googled "stupid crossfit blogs" and came across this one. For all you Kool Aid drinking new crossfiters, I have news for you.....put down tht kool aid and come back to us.

    Don't worry, someday you will wake up, feel like crap or injured and say to yourself...."what the hell was the point of the 150 dead lifts I did yesterday"? Oh yeah, I was training for life, Hahahahah! More like destroying yourself for life. If you drink the BS Crossfit Kool aid, chances are you are young, never a former athlete, or your just stupid.
    Before you all start hating on my comment just relax for a second. I posted this to just furter illustrate my point and how stupid you are. You will attempt to defend the 200 box jumps you did last week, or the ugliest C&J you hit that tweaked your back or knee and you dont even realize it yet. So before all the hate comments please know the following....
    I train at a crossfit gym and do not crossfit(a friend of mine owns the gym and doesnt charge me so it's kind of nice). I was "doing" crossfit way before it was cool. Don't vomit but I do isolated movements and get on the elliptical from time to time. I do a little of everything but know how to train smart and look at any workout and say "that's retarded".
    I was called out recently at the crossfit gym I workout at for doing some bicep curls and DB flys. I had just rowed a 10k because it's mindless and not intense at all. So in the middle of my bicep session, some dudes and gals were calling me out about not doing the WOD's. I laughed and said no thanks, but great job on the 100 KB swings for time or some stupid workout they were doing.
    So after a few minutes they talked me into doing some stupid WOD that years ago I would've been like..."hell yeah", but I have gotten much smarter sine then.
    Long story short is that all my "meat head" and long boring cardio workouts I do these days paid off becuase I destroyed all of them, even the gym "elite" training 2xday, 6xweek(can you say over training). So i got lucky on this particular WOD. Since then I have destoyed them on 3 other workouts.
    Point is, you don't have to do Crossfit to be "good" at crossfit. Open your minds Kool aid drinkers and realize that your workouts are not making you better for life. They are helping you feel better about yourself. You have bought into a bunch of BS and that's cool. The average life span of a typical Crossfiter is about 4 years. Then you wake up and say.."why am I doint this agagin"?
    So Kool aid crossfiters, come down off the pedestal that you have put yourslef on and join us peasants. Do some none crossfit workouts from time to time. Do some curls, go a zumba class, don't be afraid of not doing 150 DL in a wod. You might be surprised at your performance improvement. But above all you will realize how much of an asshole you have become. Believe me, your friends and family(if you have any outside of your fellow kool aid drinking crossfiters) will thank you!
    PS-Last year in the Open, I competed in the SW region after 2 years of no xfit training and finished in the top 10 just to prove a point.

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    1. PS- how about you back it up with your name and some proof.

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    2. PSS-Why? Would it change your thoughts or your prespective on crossfit? No. You want proof because if anything I stated in my post was true(which it is) you wouldnt know what to think or say. Without a name or facts you can easily dismiss me and the others like me and say "no way". But I did just plant a seed. Seeing my name and a top 10 finish would not change your mind set. So doing so is really a mute point.
      Have a great WOD today.

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    3. Man, you are so awesome. I bet your fist fits in your mouth too?

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    4. What's a "mute" point? Get out of the gym and get into some books!

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    5. while we're drinking the Kool-Aid, why feel the need to drink the Hater-Ade?

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    6. Doing the open? Doing 4 more wods to prove a point at the local BOX? Sounds like a small man syndrome plagued human who, deep down, truly enjoys crossfit wods. Me too!

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    7. In response to being awesome. Why yes I am, thank you. Probably not as awesome as you but I can live with that.
      In response to "mute" point. That's all you have? Grading my post on grammatical errors. Ok, you win. I do need to read more books and then maybe I can be book smart like you.
      In respone to my man Thomas. I don't know you but I like your style. At time I do drink the "hater-ade" no doubt. Truth is I don't hate Crossfit. I personally think that most of the workouts are so random to a fault, but to each his own I guess. What I for sure can't tolerate is most "crossfiters" (sorry mr. mute, probably not a good word) are obnoxious. There is more to being fit then crossfit. That was the point of my post. It's not crossfit or nothing. It's ok to look at a WOD and say to yourself, "that's not smart". Or today after my WOD I might do some curls or crunches (OMG!!! Like seriously?!).Or you could do something even crazier like get the hell out of the gym and get outside. But then again we're training for life and doing a workout say at the park or going for a hike, or doing some chest and arms is crazy talk.
      As far as little man syndrome....not really. But deep down do I enjoy a WOD from time to time, of course! The same way I like to hit the elliptial or bike or do a spin class or yoga (did I just say that out loud).
      So in conclusion to my Crossfit Kool Aiders. Like the blog title..."think outside the box" and don't restrict yourself to what some 22 y/o Level 1 instructor is selling.
      This blog thing is kind of fun and so meaningless. I love it!!

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    8. If you're going to be an internet troll, you might want to learn how to spell and use proper grammer first. Just something to think about while you are being so freaking elite on the elliptical with all the other fat chicks.

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Crossfit has some kooky WODS. Randy is an all time fav in this regard. Ever see a bunch of newbies doing 75 power sntaches for time? Recipe for bad stuff. There are lots of other examples but that really isn't the biggest thing - the big thing is that any elite athlete and/or coach understands the need for periodization of training. Blah Blah.. am boring my self so much I have to go because I can't stand the fact that I am typing this this - the apathy is over taking me....

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  22. Well in crossfit there is no need for straps, especially in olympic lifting, because they are using warm-up weight for work weight

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  23. I agree 100%, but couldn't the argument be made for the weightlifting belt as well. That is an aid to support core and spinal strength and would constitute the use of the term "training wheels" by your definition, as well.

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  26. That is an aid to support core and spinal strength and would constitute the use of the term "training wheels" by your definition, as well. google

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