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Old 12-13-2006, 05:02 AM   #31
James Evans
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Default Some regrets...

I'm feeling a little regretful that I posted this and I guess I set things out in a rather ambiguous manner. I was interested to see what people thought of the Boyle approach. I have taken a lot of good stuff from his book and the articles he has written.

Dan correctly points out that Boyle responds as comment #152. This is immediately followed by someone defending Mark Twight (ironically) and maybe two more posts. When I first wrote this, the day after, there were only 151 comments and the last one was by Coach Glassman. From what I have read of Mike Boyle his post does not surprise me. Thoughtful and courteous. I wouldn't have bothered to step in.

As has been said above, Boyle trains professional athletes. If an athlete is injured while training, you are looking at a business consideration. You reconsider who you employ as a strength and conditioning coach. In Rugby Union too many players are injured while training. That is utterly inexcusable. Boyle has developed his own system of training, Glassman his, and of course so have Mark Twight, Dan John, Robb Wolf etc. All based upon experience and all subject to change as experience progresses.

From my point of view I like the approach to single leg training Boyle employs. I very really have access to squat racks and am normally reliant on dbs, step-ups etc. to train my legs. His ideas are useful to me because I have other requirements than that which he intends. But I have no desire to master pistols on a whoopee cushion. Furthermore, like Steve, I don't have the aversion to benching that many "functional" guys have. Press ups with torso rotation on a Reebok core board is a stage of evolution I can live without. Suddenly Boyle becomes a bad coach? No. Read his stuff on warming up. Very good.

I read Robb say that he didn't like standing lunges much. He may have changed his mind, I don't know, but it rang true with me. I've never felt particularly stable while doing them and certainly will avoid anything like jumping lunges. Still, lots of people do them. Good for them.

I hurt my lower back about a year ago. When I eventually got to see a physio it had eased a lot and I was training again. She asked me when it hurt and I replied that overhead squats were a little uncomfortable. She looked at me in horror and said "well I don't think you should be doing those."
So started a tedious professional relationship. She thinks I'm a lunatic. I think she's an idiot. We're probably both right to degree but I'm trying (struggling) to find some middle ground and guess she is as well. If I ever told her my full theories on training she'd collapse in a fit.

Let's consider the issue of high rep Olympic lifts. Boyle made a very simple statement and whole universes have been inferred from it. What constitutes high reps? I remember a workout described on the CrossFit message board:

10 Power cleans @ 60kg
15 Press ups

5 rounds

This was aimed as a test for MMA guys and the mark was sub 5 mins. Someone mentioned that they had referred to this on another board and had been berated with "why the **** do you want to do high rep cleans?".

Are we talking about 10, 15, 21, 50 reps? What weight are we talking about? This has all been covered to exhausting lengths. Workouts are set for different aims. I've done 150 clean and presses at 50kg and felt fine. Thanks to Mark Twight I've done 208 deadlifts @ 208lbs and felt appalling (see definition of SMMF at www.gymjones.com - I won't be doing that again in a long time.) Mike Boyle's aims are different to those of Greg Glassman's, and Glassman's are different to Mark Twight's.

Incidentally, the last time I attempted the above clean/press up workout, I got a severe headache after only 4 cleans. So severe I was sent to hospital with a suspected subarachnoid haemorrhage. I'm ok now but still unsure as to why the headache happened. I'm also a little reluctant to push the buttons much at the moment. Lumbar punctures can do that to you.

One area I would like to finish with is the conditions in which people train, something I think has as much pertinence as the exercises which they perform. CrossFit is for the most part correspondence training and this is a fantastic element of the movement. However, many of those who train at home or even at a private gym have never been coached, have never been supervised, are self taught in the basic exercises. For every person who asks "what is a back squat?" on Comments, how many more don't have a clue, don't ask and just have a go? This can obviously be dangerous. I realise that scalability is hammered home all the time, as is form but people do pile in and do stupid **** (see 208 deadlifts @ 208lbs above).

Now I believe you don't push yourself as hard when you train on your own and that suits me to some degrees. I tend to work myself over more when I train with others because I become competitive. That's normally when I hurt myself. However, you don't have the scrutiny applied to you that a professional athlete under Mike Boyle or a client at CrossFit Santa Cruz enjoys every time they work out. Bad habits become ingrained. Form drops when you're tired and no one is watching. You've over estimated what you should lift for a workout and there's no one to say "come on, back off a little."

In the Royal Marines, doctors have to constantly monitor the potential officer recruits to make sure that they are not training through injuries. It has not been uncommon for guys to attempt the final selection tests with stress fractures. I've seen players in Rugby League, a sport which avoids much contact work off the field, take to the pitch off their heads with pain killers to mask their injuries. Thankfully this practice has been banned now. There's being a hard man and there's being a wingnut.

Ok, these are two very extreme examples but I'm trying to convey the idea that many of us don't have the protective cushioning of organised coaching or even a governing body who say: "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!". Perhaps it would do a lot of garage athletes some good to think about that, to go out and get some Olympic coaching, watch some decent videos, read more of what Dan, Robb, Rip, Steve, even Mike Boyle have to say.

Right, I'm off to do a 1000 Moldavian Fanny Hammers for time. Sorry for wasting your time.
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Old 12-13-2006, 06:35 AM   #32
Steve Shafley
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Yeah, Rugby and Soccer are the next two sports that need a serious S&C revolution.

Ironically, both rugby and soccer S&C, when done correctly, can look a lot like XF. I'd have more lifting for rugby forwards, though.

So many rugby teams follow what teams like the NZ All Blacks perform for S&C, without taking into consideration that the islander blood is loaded with fast twitch genes, and that these folks NEED more conditioning, as opposed to the white European genotypes.
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:10 AM   #33
James Evans
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Steve,

I could talk to you all day about that subject.
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:19 AM   #34
Mike ODonnell
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Anyone ever read the book "ProBodX" from Marv Mirinovich? Now that was some weird training stuff he wanted all the pro's doing. Never using over 20lbs....and I still think he does train some pros.

Yael, let's just say I'd rather have the $5mil and skills if it came along with the 3 pullup ability! lt's easier to learn pullups than make my hands work better at shooting.
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:31 AM   #35
Danny John
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I have to comment on this:

"If you start out with a medicine ball or broomstick, and move up over the course of several years to a 135 lb. bar, with a competent coach giving you feedback on technique, I find it hard to believe that this will lead to many injuries."

My first workout with Dick Notmeyer...after I saw Pete Hoffman do the snatch...I snatched 135 and finished with 165 that day. Three weeks later, in my first meet I snatched 187. I had just turned 18 and weighed...when I met Dick 162ish and ended up at 202 four months later. Obviously, I needed some legs under me.

This is EXACTLY what drives me crazy about this discussion. I have given three or four clinics to this community in question and I have had grown men tell me that their "PR" in the snatch is 85 pounds (funny...the workouts call for 95...or more) and it turns out after an hours work they can snatch 165...more if we could meet three times a week for two weeks.

If you define "fitness" in a way that supports how you train, you get to measure fitness in a way that supports how you train.

I have always defined "fitness" from Maffetone's excellent definition: the ability to do a task. Nothing else.

So, you are complete tool if you can't throw the discus (the two kilo international discus) over 160 feet. Why? Because, from now on...that is the danjohn standard for fitness. Cuz I said so.

Strength Coaches...the real ones, like Ethan Reeve...are FORCED to use measurements like this: he has two punters in the NFL right now. Both cleaned over 300 at Wake Forest. Now, maybe these two punters can't do a bunch of kipping pullups or have a lousy time in Edna, but they are measured by a task: punting. Reeve helped them on this journey.

I saw this "he said/she said" post at that site and I continued to read. There was a point made about "how many NFL, NHL, blah blah blah guys" and how it has no meaning. Well, if like Ralph Maughan, I take four high school kids and train them up to being on the Olympic team...my methods work.

I point this out all the time...like when I read that so and so "coached" 400 Olympians. As of this day, no one I know has ever used high rep Olympic lifting...or Concept II rowers...to make the Olympic team in the discus. I would be interested to see the other events take on this, too.

And there is the crux of my issue: those of us who live in the world of Sports Performance have a very short shelf life...if a program isn't working...it isn't working.

Listen: it isn't an issue with me. I had a roomful of kids last night snatching 8 sets of 3 with most around the mid-100s. We also pulled sleds and did some other stuff and made progress. Our football program went 10-2 and we just got "over humanned" in the second round of playoffs...you can't be the smallest school in 3A by 300 students and not get exposed somewhere...

I just get tired of a monthly attack on people on those massively CCed drunkemails. Also, on the thread in question...and in other places...guys "threatening to take a drive up" and physically deal with it. Stop it. Recess is over.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:11 AM   #36
Billy_Brummel
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Quote:
Anyone ever read the book "ProBodX" from Marv Mirinovich? Now that was some weird training stuff he wanted all the pro's doing. Never using over 20lbs....and I still think he does train some pros.
Mike,

I trained with Marv for a little while a couple years ago. Some very different stuff. He trains Jason Seahorn(NFL turned model) and Steve Finley (MLB) and some various minor leaguers now.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:54 AM   #37
Russell Greene
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"I have to comment on this:

"If you start out with a medicine ball or broomstick, and move up over the course of several years to a 135 lb. bar, with a competent coach giving you feedback on technique, I find it hard to believe that this will lead to many injuries."

This is EXACTLY what drives me crazy about this discussion. I have given three or four clinics to this community in question and I have had grown men tell me that their "PR" in the snatch is 85 pounds (funny...the workouts call for 95...or more) and it turns out after an hours work they can snatch 165...more if we could meet three times a week for two weeks."

I was not saying that it would take that long to lift 135 once, I was suggesting it may take that long to train somebody to lift that much with good form, safely, for 30 reps at a pace fast enough to be difficult metabolic conditioning, say under 4 minutes. Obviously someone capable of that will have a much much higher max than 135.

I don't think it's very surprising that many crossfitters who train on their own are incapable of olympic lifting very much. The vast majority people I meet outside of the gym don't know how to air squat correctly, let alone snatch. It may not be unreasonable to expect someone to learn to olympic lift well on without an olympic weightlifting coach, but it certainly is uncommon. Check out the local high school or even college football team's weight room for corroboration.

"If you define "fitness" in a way that supports how you train, you get to measure fitness in a way that supports how you train.

I have always defined "fitness" from Maffetone's excellent definition: the ability to do a task. Nothing else.

So, you are complete tool if you can't throw the discus (the two kilo international discus) over 160 feet. Why? Because, from now on...that is the danjohn standard for fitness. Cuz I said so."

It is clear that fitness is a normative concept. That is, it is up to the individual to decide which definition he prefers or which makes the most sense to him. But I do think that in the future it will be empirically shown beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone who can competently olympic lift, do gymnastics, run fast, and do high intensity mixed modality metabolic conditioning will have an excellent base of overall fitness and thus be miles ahead of his jogging, benching, and bosu ball competition in most if not all sports. And that general level of fitness is certainly worth training for, and worth measuring through a series of quantitative workouts or fitness tests. Does anyone disagree? If not, where has Crossfit gone wrong in pursuit of this goal? Too much metabolic conditioning? Not enough skill emphasis? Not enough heavy lifting?

I don't think it makes much sense to talk about what bad manners Greg Glassman has on other boards or emails on this board. It is not relevant to the fitness discussion here. Whether or not somebody is well-behaved has no logical bearing on whether his ideas have merit.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:27 AM   #38
Mike ODonnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny John View Post
I have to comment on this:
So, you are complete tool if you can't throw the discus (the two kilo international discus) over 160 feet. Why? Because, from now on...that is the danjohn standard for fitness. Cuz I said so. .
Yep...it's official now...I am a Tool. lol

Good points from all sides....I like to think it's a simple answer, you train for what you need to do and no one way is the right way. Training programs are good...strict unbending philosophies can be bad.
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:32 PM   #39
Danny John
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Not once, not once did I mention a name.

Frank Herbert said it best in "Dune:" I cut a piece of cloth and you made a suit of it.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:10 PM   #40
Danny John
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And that general level of fitness is certainly worth training for, and worth measuring through a series of quantitative workouts or fitness tests. Does anyone disagree? If not, where has Crossfit gone wrong in pursuit of this goal? Too much metabolic conditioning? Not enough skill emphasis? Not enough heavy lifting?

I don't think it makes much sense to talk about what bad manners Greg Glassman has on other boards or emails on this board. It is not relevant to the fitness discussion here. Whether or not somebody is well-behaved has no logical bearing on whether his ideas have merit.


Long before the internet, I gave a series of workshops in which I stated my two rules:

1. Everything works...for a while.
2. Specificity works...at a price.

So, yes general conditioning works...then it doesn't. And Specificity (discus throwing is wonderful)...until you get hurt from overuse stuff. So...

Listen, I was just yanking your chain on a lot of this. It's actually amazing to me that I even give a shit about this, but I do. I only do because I keep getting brought back into this from emails.

On someone's bad behavior...hmmm. Let me think it over. You see, I think it does. One of the knocks on me is that I write for people who sell supplements. My ideas about loaded carries and lifting followed by sprints are suspect because a place I write for sells protein.

Last edited by Danny John; 12-13-2006 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Words
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