Coach Mark’s Notes:
I understand the allure to bodybuilding; it’s not too difficult, it’s somewhat rewarding and anyone can do it even after a long day at the office. Before I go any further, let me give my own definition of bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is the performance of isolative and compound movements usually in short bursts (the majority of which are derived from the weightlifting modality) for the sole purpose of improving the aesthetic appearance of one’s body.
Bodybuilders may perform some gymnastic movements and they will almost certainly ride an elliptical, stationary bike or a similar gym anchor for hour upon low intensity hour hoping to improve their “cardio” and to occupy that “fat burning zone” they saw on a chart in the lobby next to the Powerade machine.
Bodybuilding is a sport on its own, and it should be respected just like any other, don’t think that I’m bashing it. By the way, please understand that when I say “bodybuilding”, I mean true, real deal, proper bodybuilding; think Arnold and Mentzer and Ronnie Coleman. The amount of passion and knowledge and commitment needed to become one of the greats is truly impressive. My concern is this; why is everyone looking to this type of training to achieve their fitness goals?
Men and women will always look to improve their physical appearance, by either losing weight or gaining muscle. Anyone in search of fitness or weight loss will almost certainly be lured into their local Globo Gym with high hopes and a credit card. Fitness is a business just like any other, and Globo does a superb job of deluding its customers into believing that bodybuilding is the answer to all of their fitness woes. I’ve got some sour news, it’s just not.
Every person who sets foot into any kind of fitness facility has at least one goal in mind. Almost every single one of those people is trying to achieve their goals using the wrong outlet: amateur bodybuilding and half-assed cardio at their local 24 hour fitness. Women lift some weights for a little while, (not too much though, don’t want to get bulky) then they hop on a cardio machine for way too long while reading a magazine to help prevent death by boredom. Guys perform isolative weightlifting movements for hours in front of a mirror, punctuating their sets with text messages.
The fitness goals of any person, from professional athlete to stay-at-home-mom, should not be attempted to be reached using these old-fashioned techniques, unless your goal is to be a steroid fueled bodybuilder. It is so obvious now to anyone who has moved on from these ways of the past that bodybuilding for general fitness has now become the workout world’s frontal lobotomy; useful in very few cases but otherwise the wrong choice for the masses. It’s over, if you haven’t already done so, you need to move on.
Move on to what though? Functional fitness. Squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks, pull ups, sprinting, dips, burpees, thrusters, overhead squats, the list is endless. Exercises that make sense for the human body to do, not cable-crossovers or side laterals or calf raises. Motions that require all if not most of your body. These exercises can be performed in an infinite number of ways depending on your goals. Below is an example. 3 different people, (all with different goals) and their 3 different workouts. Notice that the same 3 exercises are kept throughout, but the workout structure changes to accommodate ability.
Elite level 27-year-old male CrossFitter with upcoming competition:
10 Thrusters @ 155#
50 Double Unders
25-year-old woman, busy schedule, just looking to stay fit:
10 Thrusters @ 45#
30 Double Unders
As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.
55-year-old man recovering from a recent injury, very cautious:
10 Dumbbell Thrusters @ 10#
3 Rounds, rest 5 minutes, then:
10 minutes of skipping.
The same 3 movements, adapted for different skill levels and abilities. It makes so much sense to me, hopefully you too. Unless you think that this is a better alternative:
Go to GoodLife Fitness and give them your credit card information so that they can deduct their monthly fee from you twice next month and then act surprised when you show up pissed with your credit card statement. Then go and do 10 minutes of light cardio to warm up while watching Breakfast Television. After that head over to any machine you’d like and try your best to follow the laminated instruction sheet stuck to the side of it. If the GoodLife that you are at has a barbell, don’t even think about touching it. Fail miserably at hitting on that runner chick stretching at the back, grab a triple chocolate whey protein shake from the juice bar, (isolate not concentrate, you want the good stuff) and then hit the sauna.
I came from this type of training like so many others. Having drank my fair share of the functional fitness Kool-Aid and seeing the light, I look back on those days as a necessary mistake. Now I look at a weight room full of bicep curl zombies and can’t help but praise Thruster Jesus for showing me the way. Thank you so much Thruster Jesus, you are my saviour.
Back Squat 5x6xM.E.
Rest 5 minutes.
95/65 pound Power Clean, 20 reps
95/65 pound Power Clean, 10 reps
Prowler WOD with Rob Orlando [wmv][mov]