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Butt arms anyone?

March 16, 2009

I had an interesting conversation with Spencer Nix of Crossfit Dallas Central today. I went to his place to workout and as we were talking about possible workouts GHD situps came up. At Spencer’s request i will share with you my thoughts.

First, I want you to think back to the last time you did more than 30 GHD situps. Then try to remember how it felt to get out of bed the next day, and the next and the next. For me it may even take another day before i feel 100%. This is why i don’t do GHD situps. My reasons go past just being in pain although that is a huge factor in why i don’t do them. In my experience, doing them consistently has not improved my snatch, overhead squat, deadlift or fran time. They have however kept me from training for up to a week at a time. Now here is my question for you. Even if they are some kind of miracle midline strengthening movement the fact that i lost 4 good days of training negates that totally. Sometimes you have to think “is the athletic capacity gained from a movement or workout worth the time off you will have to take?”

Let me offer some additional things that go along the same line.
Bottom to bottom tabata squats – Last time i did them i pr’d with 22 but could barely walk for 4 days. The pain was deep and lasted well into the next week. I know for a fact that it kept me from training for at least 3 days.

Ripping your hands on pullups/muscle ups – In life and Crossfit, your hands are involved in just about everything you do. I solute the fact that you got 3 more pullups than you did last time or knocked 6 seconds off your fran time because you refused to let go of the bar but at what cost? It takes at least 2 weeks for your hands to fully recover and in that time do you ever get a good workout in? How long does it take to get back your confidence on the pullup bar? ( i have tons of thoughts on your hands and pullups that i will have to get into later)

1 pullup on the first minute, 2 pullups on the second minute, 3 pullups…- this workout not only has the potential of destroying your hands ( i am guilty for sure) but taking away the ability to to straighten your arms for at least 4 days usually more. Not to mention the difficulty you have holding a pen and writing your name.

JT- Push, Push, Push until complete muscle failure. Good luck doing anything with your arms for the next week.

High rep, Heavy deadlifts- for me this breaks me off for at least a week. I end up walking like an old man and complain everytime i have to bend over or stand up. I also think they are kind of dangerous and have hurt my back twice doing them.

Soreness is good. Don’t be afraid to work hard and maybe even occasionally do the movements or workouts above but understand that you will always get more out of 4 days of training than you ever will out of 1 hard day.

What are the movements/workouts that destroy you?

No Comments

  1. Amie
    March 17, 2009 at 1:20 am #

    The one WOD that absolutely broke me was Badger (3 rounds, 95# squat clean, 30 pullups, run 800 m). I remember the first time it came up – I quit it right in the middle, and the unwritten rule is you just can’t quit a HERO WOD. It wasn’t a good feeling to quit, and I did it again this past summer and finished in like 38 minutes. I remember the second time around being as hard as the first, and I don’t think I did another WOD for a few days afterwards.

    I don’t like tabata anything or any of the WODs that are on the minute, do so many reps. I think the worst one I ever did was cleans (it may have been clean and jerks), on the minute. I made it to minute seven, and it destroyed me. I will say those particular WODs, along with tabata, teach me more about not letting go of the bar, pushing through pain, than any others. One of my biggest weaknesses is letting go of the bar, rather then pushing forward when I am still able to.

    I also hate Mary. I’ve only done it once, when I first started CrossFit. I messed up my shoulder with the pullups and HSPU and didn’t get to do anything for like two months – I’ve never done it again. I’m sure it would be fine to do now, I just don’t want to.

    This past summer, I started “Navy Seal Wednesday”, and whatever came up on navyseals.com on Wednesday, that’s what I did. They were stupidly hard, and sometimes, it took me a couple of days to recover from them, but it was fun and challenging just to see if I could finish them. I’m bringing those back this month! :)

  2. spencer
    March 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    high rep heavy deadlifts, high rep heavy weight Overhead Squats, michael, murph,

    great post. good food for thought.

  3. dave
    March 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    heavy, high rep deadlifts for sure. i find putting on and taking off shorts/pants in the days following those to be extremely tricky.

    the other one is lots of muscle ups. 30 MU for time strips my wrists of skin every time. no matter what!

  4. jeri
    March 18, 2009 at 4:12 am #

    the bear complex.. that hang power clean/rope climb trashed my grip/hands for a couple days.

  5. Ryan P
    March 18, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    AMRAP in 10 mins of 1.5 pood kb snatches. Did these on tuesday – my hands are destroyed. Don’t think I’ll be attempting high rep kb snatches anytime soon.

    Good stuff dutch, I always thought about sitting these types of WOD’s out (every once and awhile) and it’s good to hear you’re on the same page.

  6. Dutch
    March 19, 2009 at 12:13 am #

    I like this stuff so far. I don’t want this to turn into a WOD bashing session so i want to point out that these are workouts or exercises that rob you of training time.

    Thanks and keep the comments coming.

  7. mike
    March 20, 2009 at 4:22 am #

    Maybe I’ve just trained it to the point of stupidity, but I don’t really have problems recovering from high rep deadlifts. I have my own vices when it comes to certain things in CF–the Sumo Deadlift High Pull tops the list, no doubt–but it boils down to your own ability to recover. Tabata squats does not keep me out of the game for days. On the other hand, Nicole will put me on the sidelines when it comes to anything overhead or requiring an overhead pulling motion. Kelly, for whatever reason, leaves me flat for days.

    I do, however, completely agree that excessive GHD sit-ups simply does not help–for me at least. I know people that can easily do 200 and feel great regardless. I can’t explain it.

    Dutch, when are you going to make it back down to San Diego to kick it at Invictus??

  8. dutch
    March 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    Mike,
    I’ll be back this year sometime. I need to get with CJ about scheduling my seminar down there.
    Maybe fall??

  9. Wayne
    March 22, 2009 at 3:56 am #

    Being new (6 months) to crossfit, I have learned to scale my workouts. I have strong points and I have weak points. I am careful not go too far beyond the limit of my ability and to be patient so that I don’t miss any time. It seems that the WOD’s are engineered for the more elite athlete as they should be. So I have learned to watch closely and anything high rep heavy weight, I drop the weight down in order to keep the intensity up. I will eventually reach the WOD as rx’d. But until then, I would rather keep training, rather than have to sit it out. Learned this by sitting out. Have also learned to tape hands on ridiculously high rep pullups. Even though it hinders the grip, I feel it is also strenghting my grip. If it takes me a little longer to finish, so what. Good subject to cover Dutch. There is a balancing act taking place all the time for me at this point.

  10. Mike M/20/5'10/165
    March 24, 2009 at 1:16 am #

    It’s Crossfit; if it was easy, they’d call it Body Sculpt or Jazzercise. Man up and train hard.

    Question: I may be my age, but does anyone else feel that eating nearly a double portion meal after a taxing workout aids in thier recovery?

  11. Dutch
    March 24, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    Mike,
    I think you are missing the point of this post. I agree that sometimes you have to suck it up and train. You are going to be sore and must push through it.
    What i am talking about are things that debilitate or severely hinder your training. I am encouraging people to be a little smarter with their training which will allow them to get more productive training days. With tears on your hands, regardless how tough you are, you will not train as hard the next time you have to use your hands.
    I truly think it is good for people to learn this by experience but only once. There is no point in torturing yourself and claiming to be tough. That is just stupid.

    As for the nutrition question. It is called post workout glycogen repletion. Robb talks about it as a reloading of the glycogen in the cells of your muscles when your body needs it the most (post workout). I am not the expert but so long as you are getting high quality foods you are on the right track. Robb preaches the sweet potato with cinnamon which makes you a little more insulin sensitive and allows you to absorb the glycogen better. I hope this helps you better understand your gorging after workouts.

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  14. Marcel Zwinger
    June 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    hi dutch,

    totally agree with what you are saying!
    “be smart” about what you are doing.
    what’s the point of grinding through everything if it doesn’t really help you as much as it could.

    …just wanted to add a few words the GHD suitups.
    I incorporated them into my workout (started with maybe 5, now doing 3 rounds of 12-16)
    If high reps GHD situps come up on the main site, I usually scale them back, but gradually increase the amount over time.
    it’s just one step after another, I guess…

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