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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Karin cranking out the Pullups
"Filthy Fifty"
Once through for time of:
50 Box Jump 24"
50 Jumping Pullup
50 Kettlebell Swings 35 lbs.
50 Walking Lunge
50 Knees to Elbows
50 Push Press 45 lbs
50 Back Extensions
50 Wallball Shots 20 lbs.
50 Burpees
50 Double Unders

Todays discussion post comes from Catalyst Althetic and Crossfit (not to be confused with Catalyst Athletics). And address the difference between what some of you did before Crossfit and what you're doing now. And why what you're doing now is better for you. I've posted stuff like this before, but this a good one. So take some time to read it.

"CrossFit doesn't look like your workout.  No, it doesn't.
There are no '3 Sets of 8.'  Not a single 'triceps kickback' to be found.  And while we have lots of novel exercises to 'work your core' and 'improve your stability,' we prefer to teach you to move better in your own skin than stand you on a blue-pimple novelty and watch you quiver.
We make big claims: that we create an elite level of fitness.  That we get you places you've never, ever, ever been before.  That their workout is our warmup.  To back those claims up, we have to do movements that are efficient, challenging, and get you far more bang for your buck than a selectorized machine ever could.
A clean and jerk, for instance: once a staple of the workout crowd, and a fundamental lift for improving your grocery-carrying and storage, is banned from nearly every 'fitness club.'  For all the wrong reasons, too: it requires coaching, chalk, and the occasional drop of a barbell from overhead.  Knowledge plus cleanup plus noise?  Not an option if your teenage 'personal trainers' have to learn it all in a two-day course.
But a clean and jerk is a big lift, requiring a lot of energy.  From a purely mathematical standpoint, it's four times as challenging as a bench press.  If it seems scary, it's only because you haven't seen it around much - or have you?  Lifting your bike onto your roof racks - that's a clean and jerk.  Storing your Christmas lights on the top shelf - that's a clean and jerk.  Doing it in the gym first just makes you break fewer bulbs.  And fewer backs.
That's right: contrary, maybe, to what you've been told, this stuff prevents injuries.  The strongest, safest backs in the world belong to powerlifters, NOT bed-resters.  Knee injuries are typically the result of misuse, imbalanced use (the knee extension machine, anyone?) or non-use.  Deadlifts don't hurt your back - given the right chance, they'll save it.  Ask around: chiropractors, physiotherapists, and doctors send patients to us.  We modify our methods for the injured, yes.  But they're on the same road as our competitive CrossFitters, albeit a different starting line.
We choose to exercise in stark boxes.  While exercisers from the 1920s,1930s,1940s, and 1950s would feel right at home, the modern machine-indoctrinated fitness pursuer will struggle to comprehend our methods.  At least, at first. Slowly, they'll recognize little glimmers of sameness.  "Hey, I did that as a kid!"  "We do squats at my gym...but we don't go that low."  "I've seen this on TV, but I never thought I could do it...."
Our workouts are short, but tough.  But you'll want more.  After a month, you'll find yourself checking our website on a daily basis, and joke about 'drinking the Kool-Aid.'  After three months, you'll start breaking your own personal bests and bringing your friends.  We've grown because CrossFit is amazing, not because we have a special limited-time offer on our membership.
Now, there's no denying that for most people, once they've been immersed in CrossFit, they can't ever go back to average.  It tattoos you.  And once you've offered up your fresh, pink skin to the prick of the needle, its mark is indelible.  You can't undo CrossFit; once you've been painted, you can't go back to beige.
There's joy in sweat.  There's family in common discomfort.  There's a chemical addiction that comes from challenging yourself this way.  There's pleasure in learning new stuff every single time you're in the gym.  That's what CrossFit is: sweat+community+knowledge.  Call it what you like."
If you made it through all that I'd like to hear your thoughts.  For those of you drinking the Kool-aid (and I like to think all of you are) : What made you stick with it? Can you pinpoint a specific moment or was it a gradual change?  
-Paul Siegel


  1. Outstanding blog post Paul!

  2. Mine was gradual... example: Yesterday I ran in Chuck Taylor's and tried to do the pose method and my knee didn't hurt one time. That's remarkable! My knee usually starts hurting after 1/2 mile. I made it 1.5 miles forward and backward and never had knee pain. This is just better methods, more fun, and it doesn't hurt (the soreness hurts, but not my joints)!

  3. Uh..I came to CFSS to drop Isa off when she started and stayed to watch. Five minutes into the class I was awestruck, with my heart racing and butterflies in my stomach. I had to try this. I was already addicted after my first class. I jumped, screamed, banged on cabinet doors. My cheeks hurt for I couldn't close my smile. Wow... Breathtaking.... thank you Paul,for putting it down in words; for the formidable blog! You took me right back to that moment. Thank you Nate, Chace and all the CFitters for making this so enjoyable a jorney!

    Love y'all!
    Have a great day!

  4. Chad - congratulations. For winning Paleo, for improving your performance, but most of all, congratulations for being you.

    I knew I was in for a treat this morning when I say the Filthy Flubdub on the site, and it was the morning I had picked to come in at 6. Yep - you smoked me.

    Hell - I scaled the last three exercises down to 10 reps each. There was nothing left in the tank. I made Chace think that I had somewhere to be when I walked out - bullcrap. I was just sick of eating from the "i'm gonna wear that ass out 50 reps at a time" buffet. I had to leave. Period.

    'Till next time sucka. Out.

  5. WOW! Could not a have been said better, Paul.

    When I found CrossFit, I was competing professionally in jiu-jitsu and constantly searching for a better program to improve my fitness. In April of 2008 I Hit "Elizabeth" with Nate. Have no clue what my time was, i just remember not being able to get out of my car for 30min when I got back home. Above everything else though, for me it is you guys, it is our community, our family. I wake up everyday excited about who is going to get a new PR or their first Muscle-up. I share your excitement with every new goal met(sometimes more than you guys do) and I know i speak for all the trainers when I say, I enjoy just spending time with you guys the most.

  6. At the urging of a friend in Texas, I decided to try CrossFit. I was hooked from day one! I love the people, variety, speed and what it has done for my body. I feel so much better and stronger. As I tell everybody...CrossFit is fast, brutal and addictive! I look forward to every workout and am sad when I have to miss. Thanks to Nate, Chace and Paul for all you do!

  7. Cool, Chace...and I thought you were just a "pretty face around the gym"... :-)

    Thanks for the great 50 this morning, Chace. I can't sit nor stand. It feels like getting stuck in between is the best position, since I can't lie down...yet!

    YOu guys are awesome!

  8. I was told we do crossfit so that we can look better naked. I now believe we do crossfit so that we can look better as cadavers. Its workouts like these that accomplish just that

  9. GA, I think Nate is prettier :)

  10. Anonymous (probably Nate)- I agree :P

  11. Anonymous, please not the " ". Those aren't my words...just messing with Chace. My words: they both are very handsome, very nice and inspiring people!

    Carpe diem...

  12. Love the article on the blog today...

    the work out kick my bootie...if not for Nate cheering me on I think I would have quit. Thanks Nate!!!

  13. So day 2 of CrossFit for me... early June, hot as balls. The WOD was something with running 800s. The third round I hit this point. I literally felt like I was suffocating, like my body could not get oxygen fast enough even though I was breathing as deeply as possible. Luckily, Chace and Nate had explained that if you do CrossFit right, you'd learn to push your limits, so I kept going. That feeling hooked me. It was something I had never felt up to then, but something I've experienced enough now that it doesn't even register as a worthwhile memory anymore. But it makes sure I keep coming back.

    I stole this quote from the HQ comments section and some of you have probably seen it before but its my new favorite CrossFit line. I think it should be a shirt... it got me through today for sure. Not as well as I wanted, but I thought for my virgin Filthy 50 I did pretty decent. Anyways...

    "Don't wish it was easier. Wish you were better."

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  15. My boyfriend does crossfit religiously on his own time and is responsible for forcing me to pick up the phone and talk to Nate. Since that first visit and my experience through the on-ramp series with Chace I feel like I've been given a family away from home. That's one of the main reasons I keep coming back...not to mention I've totally drank the Kool-Aid! The motivation inside CFSS is like none other I've ever experienced.
    Thanks for the post Paul!
    p.s. Completely wrecked from today's WOD and I was scaled to 25 reps.

  16. @Chris - love hitting the wods with you bro. today was a beast. Having you there bout killed me trying to stay in front of you! It was a brutal one no doubt. Till we meet again!

    Crossfit is so amazing because it really does cover everything. I love the challenges, measurable progress, variety and like Chace said I most of all love the environment I'm in and people I'm around. It's not like the typical gym where you can slip in and not a soul know who you are. Heck there would be months I could not go to Gold's gym and NO ONE would know I had been gone. With my CFSS family, I get held accountable and I WANT to show up just to hang out and see all my buds. Because of all this I feel like I can finally stick with a true lifestyle change.

    Just today, I had meeting early up in north ga. I went WAY out of my way to get up early and drive all the way in to CFSS in time to hit this wod and then hightail it back north to make my meeting (still dripping in sweat I might add!). It would have been much easier to just skip today but I can't stand to miss. I would have never jumped through all these hoops to stroll in Golds and hit some bicep curls and 15 min on the treadmill!! This is the best Kool-aid I've ever had! No going back after seeing the light.

  17. I just like the cool T-shirts....