Thursday, 15 October 2009

95% and 5%

Before I start this post, a disclaimer:  I'm using Dutch as an example because a) we (Russ and I) have had some fairly public debates with him and b) we have a post coming up specifically addressing that debate.   There are countless other people we feel the same about.
Dutch Lowy is NOTHING like this guy.

In case you haven't noticed, we at EYF are pretty sure we're right.  That's not to say we don't think we can learn: we are constantly learning, and we don't mind being proven wrong.  But for the most part, we're strongly convinced that the way we go about achieving CrossFit's definition of fitness is the right way.  To the extent of our ability to interpret the data correctly, which we obviously think is pretty good, that data seems to indicate that we're doing the right thing.

On top of that, we're pretty confrontational.  We like to argue.  We like to question those who disagree with us (and we appreciate it when they treat us the same way.)  As I said in a previous post, we're going to do our best to take those folks to task.


We also realize something: we disagree with Dutch about 5% of the time.  The 95% we agree on, we tend to take for granted.  When surrounded most of the time by CrossFitters, Olympic lifters, powerlifters, gymnasts, and the like, it's easy to forget that most people out there still think fitness is about how long you can jog and how your abs look.  When I remember this, I am suddenly very thankful that Dutch holds the views on training that he does, even if they differ very slightly from ours. 

So Dutch, consider this post a peace offering.  We know we're assholes who are completely convinced that we're doing the right thing, and we're going to act like it sometimes.  But we know that you know your shit, you're helping people, and on top of that, you're a good guy.  We like you.  We really do.

As a reminder of what the rest of the world is like, I present a few choice comments posted by Complete Moron on a video one of my athletes posted of her power clean.  I have changed his name to a) protect his privacy and b) more accurately reflect his nature.  My notes are in red, but there aren't many: he pretty much saved me the trouble of making it clear what an idiot he is.

Complete Moron says: "Sigh... is your goal to move weight or train and develop your muscles? Hate to say this but your using momentum and technique more than your muscle."

Complete Moron says: "I am familiar (with the Olympic lifts)  but whats the point your throwing the weight then trying to get under it as quickly as possible and catching it. Your spending more time trying to perfect your"cheating" technique and physiological adaptation than actually training the muscles as in breaking down tissue. Does it make you tired? Yes. Are you using a little bit of everything? Yes. Is it an overly complicated movement? Yes. Does it train your muscles in the most effective way? No not at all. Is it a good thing for someone to incorporate into their training who doesn't actually want to look like they lift weights but may want a to develop reaction time and or speed possibly. Is it really a good use of training time for the average person who wants to improve there body composition? No. Most of your gains(and when I say gains I mean in weight "lifted"(but in this case really moved is a more accurate term)) on this are going to come from technique and CNS adaptation not muscular development. Its just really not an effective way to train."

Complete Moron says: "Obviously I train explosively but I think there is a difference between explosive movements and momentum based movements (I've been trying for days to figure out where the momentum in the clean is coming from, if not the athletes muscles). There is a reason olympic style lifting fell out of favor with serious weight lifters decades ago. I also understand why it is back and it is the same reason people now train "core" training and plyometrics. Making things complicated and different or new or throwback and lets trainers justify their jobs. Dragging chains bouncing medicine balls and using kettle balls is not effective. The truth is basic simple movements are the most effective.  The idea that what works to build muscle for "bodybuilders" isnt what works for everyone else makes no sense. We are all the same. Our goals are all the same to increase or strength and yes strength is correlated to size. At the same time increased muscle increases your metabolic rate and hence reduces your bodyfat. When people say they don't want to improve their body composition it is simply not true. And to say someone has big muscles but isnt strong is beyond dumb. The reason this is frustrating is because I love (person who posted video) and she is killing herself with this kind of training. The truth is if she spent 1/3rd of the time doing a traditional weight lifting program she would be walking around 365 days a year looking like a fitness cover model. Athletic capacity? Thats a really nice way of saying lets use subjective criteria (as opposed to appearance, apparently). To put things in perspective I have seen how you guys train and so called 100 set pullups. The strongest women I have ever met was 140lbs and used 75lb dumbelss for sets of 10 on incline. She could do 12 proper pullups. I will post a pic from today as in now not dieting down not after a workout but how I look 365 days a year and have looked for over a decade at 225lbs. I train 3-4 days a week for 45min using a traditional weight training program. But please keep telling people they need to play with kettle balls."

Complete Moron says: "rule one in training if you look like shit you don't know shit."

Complete Moron says: "In training weights are tools that should be used to train the muscles. Muscles moving the weights is really not the point. Although yes in athletic contest that is what you are trying to do however to train for that you should train the muscles. So called "isolation" lol. When your doing a clean your doing a shrug then your dropping underneath the bar without resistance then squatting up with resistance. You are not hitting any muscle group optimally you would be better off doing shrugs and squats separately. Especially for beginner weight lifters the movement is too complicated its like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time. Your trying to show your strength before you have developed it."

Complete Moron says: "Olympic style lifting is a great way to show how big and strong you are. It is not a great way to get big and strong."


Maximus Lewin said...

I agree with the poster.

Look how horrible this fellow looks:

See the awful body composition from using momentum? If only he knew about isolation "lol" exercises!

Dutch said...

Bullfrog and Russ,
You couldn't be more correct.
If we don't band together to educate these fools then we completely missed the point. face it, someone pulled you out of the darkness when they showed you Crossfit. I am forever thankful, and hope i can have the same impact on others.

Charge on fellas, I see the big picture too.

Keep up the good discussion between us as well, as it will benefit those already in the community.

Thanks and i'm glad to hear from ya'll.


traucer777 said...

due to the fact that the closest affiliate is over an hour away from my house with no traffic, i have had to go to a commercial gym and have always had to deal with guys who are so set on doing the whole bod building thing, rather than fitness.

after watching a guy to 1/4 reps on an incline machine, i tried to explain why full ROM was better. increases flexibility through dynamic stretching, as well as neuro endocrine response, etc...

he wouldnt listen at all. said he would rather walk around extremely
then proceeded to tell me i was squatting wrong, i was supposed to put the bar on my back instead of the front of my shoulders. also i was going to screw up my knees from going so deep.

i have since stopped trying to explain things. unless someone is trying to teach themselves a good squat or deadlift...

Jay Ashman said...

Dutch, Russ and Bullfrog,

your debate was read by a lot of people and regardless if people agree with EYF or Dutch, it was educational. Me, I fall somewhere in the middle. Dutch helped me a ton with some programming miscues I have had and some ideas for lifting with training and Russ and Bullfrog are very helpful as well.

we are a community and minor differences in training will happen, that is the way it will be. Not all of us choose mainsite, we often have other ideas as well.

Traucer, I train people, and workout at, a "globo". I am lucky in that the gym owner embraces my style and several people do CF style training there as well. Hell, yesterday in the middle of my workout was a guy doing "Fran". I didn't know him and we struck up a convo after I was done about CrossFit and how he found it, etc.

more and more people are coming around and debates like Russ/Bullfrog and I had and ones that Dutch had with them only solidify in my mind the superiority of our system in that there is more than one way to achieve the end result, whether we follow mainsite-style, a heavier hybrid or an catalyst-style program.

in the end, we all win.

Jay Ashman said...

furthermore... how the hell can you respond to that idiot who criticized the power clean... there is just much to pick apart, where do you even start??? haha

Tsypkin said...

Jay: We tried. I imagine the result was similar to what you would get if you attempted to teach calculus to a rock.

metric said...

Oh that is brilliant!
And the guy is so earnest and helpful!

And, err, it could have been me 15-20 years ago. Actually that scares me. A lot!
Thank goodness the internet wasn't around then and my ability to inflict damage was restricted to people who would actually listen to me.

DSC said...

Your = Possessive. You're = You are.
There = Adverb. Their = Possessive.

Sorry guys, great post, but I see these errors far too often to continue looking the other way. You can add another star to Complete Moron's firmament. :P

Great post btw. Did I say that already?

Tsypkin said...

DSC: Unless I'm missing something, the only instances of incorrect usage of "you're," your," "there," or "their," are from the comments made by Complete Moron. I cut and pasted those directly from the conversation, and didn't bother editing his poor grammar.

If I'm wrong however, could you e-mail me at pointing out specifically where the mistake is? I'm a grammar nazi too. Thanks!

DSC said...

Tsypkin: I was referring to Complete Moron!! That is why I added the phrase: "You can add another star to Complete Moron's firmament." As in the typical stars we got when we were kiddies at school :P

BTW, I have to add that CM convinced me and I'm gonna buy a Z-bar and do curls in front of the mirror and then we can all compare abs at the end of the day. All this olympic lifting and intense training is just a trend that won't last more than another two weekends ;)