The old timers know exactly what I’m talking about though you young lifters may be confused. Read to the end if you wish to be enlightened.
Thanks to Sprite for today’s April Fool’s Day WOD inspiration. Everyone had a blast. Especially HHH who got to choose between 240 lunges or using her unabbreviated CrossFit name. We asked attendees to name their favourite comic/comic actor or comedy show and came up with this list:
Tomorrow classes will be asked: What is your favourite lift?
20 mins SLIPS (4 mins each movement)
Figuring out squatting options
Points of performance (virtuosity)
Odd object squats
We may stay with triples and not get down to singles depending on weight available. We will start our next set on the 3 mins
Return to Raw
COVID is forcing CrossFitters and other fitness enthusiasts to get creative with our fitness. To return to our raw roots. When I first discovered CrossFit in 2005 one of the things about it that appealed to me was the simplicity. All you really needed was a pull up bar and barbell. Gymnastics rings, medicine ball and a rower were nice additions but not essential. Add in a kettlebell, skipping rope and a couple dumbbells and you had pretty much everything you were going to need to get crazy fit! But even if you didn’t have all those things, the CrossFit forums were full of creative suggestions on how to improvise or make DIY equipment on the cheap. It was raw, it was real and it worked.
No name brand gear required. No fancy gadgets. No gimmicks. Of course, I love fitness toys. That’s why I own a gym, because Sunghee won’t let me store all that fitness junk at home. But it’s good to be reminded that fitness is not about having all the toys and that it’s not the gear you invest in that makes you fit, it’s the hard work you invest in your workouts, wherever you are, with whatever tools are available. Remember that Rocky IV training montage with Drago training in the fancy high-tech gym and Rocky slogging through the snow and doing pull ups from the rafters of that beat up, weathered old shack? I know it was just a movie but that doesn’t mean the message wasn’t true. When you’re battling for your health, it’s not the gimmicks that win the fight. It’s not the polished chrome and mirror gym that gets you results. It’s the dirt-under-your-fingernails grit and determination that carries the battle.
I love seeing how many of you are improvising workouts at home or outside with whatever you can get your hands on: backpacks, text books, pussy cats, if you can hold it, you can lift it.
For the SLIPs and Back Squats HeeHee and I headed to the beach. I’ll admit, as effective as they are, SLIPS can get a bit monotonous but doing them at the beach made them fun and fresh again and challenging in new ways as you’ll see in our video. Plus sunshine, fresh air and a great view!
The Hardest Part is Getting it Up!
The back squat posed a different sort of challenge. There were lots of logs suitable for back squatting but none came prepared with a convenient rack to set up in forcing us to revisit the now nearly forgotten Steinborn Squat. Many young lifters these days have never seen or heard of this lift but believe it or not, before the 1960’s lifting racks were not commercially available which meant that anything you wanted to back squat had to first be lifted onto your back using the Steinborn Squat.
As you can see, getting the bar onto your back is harder than actually squatting it, thus the title of this blog. What did you think I was talking about Master Dray? Though this does not challenge your legs as much as you could with heavier weight, it requires a lot more full body strength and is also safer for your back. Because the weight was lower than I’d typically go for a 5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1-1, I instead did 3 sets of widow makers (sets of 20 reps each) which left my legs trembling like jelly. It was a solid, though unconventional, strength day that left me feeling that every part of me got worked. I was very pleased to resurrect this old-timey strongman lift! A bit of old time strongman history re-enacted on the beach. Also had this theme song playing through my head the entire WOD: