CrossFit is not Training. It is Exercise. And exercise – even poorly-programmed random flailing-around in the floor for time – causes progress to occur, for a while. For the novice, CrossFit Exercise mimics the effects of Training, because it’s hard and because stress causes adaptation. Then, progress slows, since the Laws of Physiology cannot be ignored. The more you adapt to physical stress, the stronger and fitter you become. And the stronger and fitter you become, the more difficult it is to get more strong and more fit, because the easy part of the process has already occurred.
Nothing shocking (or even controversial to all but the most dyed-in-the-wool CrossFit partisans, I’d expect) here, but a very balanced, nuanced, and clearly reasoned article (free of Rippetoe’s trademark…and tiresome…gruffness).
We have become lazy. I know you’ve heard this before, and I know it doesn’t necesasarily apply to you or me in the same way it does to the general public. But I dare you to read Steven Pressfield’s ‘Gates of Fire’, his marvelous retelling of the Spartan’s battle with the Persians at Thermopylae, and tell me you’re not a pussy
Since the basic nature of correct ab function is isometric, the exercises in which the abs perform this function will provide exercises for the abs as well. This may seem childishly apparent, yet virtually every strength coach adds extra concentric/eccentric ab work to the program anyway. The thinking must be that just squatting, deadlifting, pressing, cleaning, snatching, chins, and barbell curls – all of which involve trunk stabilization as a critical performance component – do not provide sufficient ab work by themselves. I disagree.
I cannot agree to disagree more. I’ve always had somewhat visible ab muscles. But after powerlifting they became more apparent, not in a visual sense but physical (because I was fatter). I just had to lose 20 pounds to get them to show. Spot reduction is a myth. You don’t do a million crunches everyday just like you don’t do a million deadlifts everyday. Unless you want turtle shell abs. If I am working out on my abs they are going to grow, therefore increasing my waist size. A lot of folks already have abs from these trunk stabilization exercises. You just can’t see them ‘cause you’re too damn fat. You can’t outwork a shitty diet.
The other day, doing overhead presses like a boss. Second to last set, felt a tweak in my neck and spine… I thought OH SHIT.
That was Monday. It wasn’t pain, more of a discomfort the rest of the day.
Same thing yesterday. I felt pain putting on my jacket, in my spine. I was thinking it’s X ray time.
Today, almost all gone. Lucky me. But then started feeling some pressure in my lower back. I was like W T F??
My legs are obliterated from Monday’s squats anyway (3 work sets of 260), so I decided to just do a maintenance round of squats, 2 at 135, 2 at 225. Then went straight to deadlifts. Got 325 at 5 reps.
Back feels fine.
Trying to get my bench back up. I did many many sets. I think I need a week off here pretty soon… it’s been about 3 straight months religiously 3 days a week of heavy lifting. Yes that was a poorly constructed sentence.
I finally started reading Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. I’ve been meaning to purchase the book for a number of months now, but didn’t get around to it last week. I knew I was going to learn a great deal about strength training and each exercise, but I didn’t know that I was doing the wrong exercise for the past 6 months.