Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm Back! Some Thoughts and a Quick Update

It's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog, which is partially due to me being busy but mostly because of me being lazy. Anyways, I've had a few thoughts going on through my head recently that I wanted to lay down. Here we go.

Whenever I tell someone about Crossfit, the question "what is that?" always arises. I then proceed to explain what Crossfit is and how it focuses on functional fitness as opposed to aesthetics. I explain how it incorporates movements from a wide variety of sources, such as gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, rowing, etc. I tell them about what a difference it's made on my life, how it's made me fitter, as well as how challenging it can be.

If people ever reach this point and can go on listening to me rave, I know they're interested. They start asking more questions and try to figure it all out. They start questioning modern fitness practices such as bicep curls, "steady cardio", and tricep extensions. Note that people never actually make it this far, they usually run once I mention intensity.

Finally, I decide to show them a Crossfit video demo. I figured seeing such videos would show people what they're capable of, despite what the health care professionals say. The response:

"That's dangerous! Big weights are scary!"

Here's my real beef with the modern fitness industry. Apparently, heavy things are the most dangerous thing in the world, so dangerous that they should be avoided at the cost of your health. People were MADE to be strong. Sure, the need to lift heavy doesn't really have a place in modern mechanized society. But that doesn't make it any less important.

And the "safety" issue. Pure shit. If you want to lift, you get a coach, learn the movements, and move up as you become more advanced. Strength is a skill that requires learning. Walking into a gym and attempting to half-squat 500 pounds is just idiotic (I fucking hate half squaters). Soccer is the most dangerous sport in the world (seriously, look it up), yet people don't seem to have a problem with little kids doing it. Why such caution when it comes to weights?

This frustrates me almost more than anything, and I've never really found a way to convey this to other people. Well, I was watching Mark Rippetoe interview Dan John (arguably two of the best strength coaches in the world) the other day online when Dan John put what I was thinking perfectly:

"Nothing worth doing is completely safe"

Now let's pause for a moment. I don't doubt the importance of safety, and there's definitely a certain albeit small risk factor when it comes to the gym. Fine. But the gains from lifting heavy are so great, there really isn't a reason why ANYBODY shouldn't be doing it. Childbirth is the most dangerous thing in the world, yet the rewards are great so people keep doing it. But no, everything has to be "safe." Don't climb the monkey bars in the playground, don't stand on top of your chair, and don't even think about picking up a barbell. This is why kids no longer play outside and play video games all day instead. It's not "safe". Just a quick note to all the "safe" people out there, type II diabetes isn't exactly safe either.

I could go on about this forever. People don't want to be strong anymore. They'd rather sit at their desk all day. Now I'm not the strongest guy in the world, I'm far from it, but at least I'm trying. So here's what I'm getting at:

Lift Big. Get Strong. And Stop Sucking as a Man (or Woman). Girls can lift heavy weights too
, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Some Goals: Get Strong (I'm currently super weak, this I admit)
  • Deadlift: 300 lbs
  • Back Squat: 240 lbs
Some Links:

Dan John and Mark Rippetoe!

A Good Movie

Some Numbers:

Current Backsquat: 190
Current Deadlift: 220
Current Press: 105

I've got a long way to go before I'll even consider myself strong.