Sun 18 Jan 15 – Clean Technique, CF Misperceptions, Opinions and More Nutrition

imageAs seems to be the case on most weekends, I have fallen in to a nice pattern of using Sundays to work Clean technique.

The warm up that I went through today really did help with the overall movement and notably so. I could feel the hip extension throughout and was pleased with the weight thrown up in the Power Cleans. Yes, I had intended for these to be full cleans but in my own garage I am simply reluctant in a way I don’t seem to be in the gym; perhaps I’m just not willing to push my self to my limits while isolated in an unsafe place. NEvertheless, 90kg Power Cleans, multiple times was acceptable and something to work on.

From here, I decided to work on some 5 RM Cleans with 90 sec rest in between each set. These enabled a lot of CNS (muscle memory) development and I hope to transfer this in to later this week. To get up to 77.5kg was a really big plus point for me and I’m happy with that; it’s the kind of work I need to be doing for the Open.


I’m not usually one to get too upset by the anti-CrossFit trolls and idiots out there generally but recently I got upset by an article I saw. As a coach, I left a comment but was then responded to by a proper idiot. It was nothing serious but was essentially this:

the article was “20 CrossFit workouts that you can do at home”. It was written by some fitness trainer who seemed to have once been to a CrossFit box but just the once. My issue with articles such as that are that while it was full of some really good workouts, it completely missed the point about CrossFit on lots of levels. The main one I will address now is that belief that CrossFit is just a set of workouts that can be seized upon and must be hammered through.

CrossFit is a programme. It is a programme that covers all quantifiable aspects of fitness and does so through a structured format. It is not random. In themselves, a CrossFit WOD on any given day could simply be called, “circuit training” and routinely is by people who don’t take the time to look at the whole picture yet chose to comment on it negatively. It is a programme that looks to develop multiple metabolic pathways through the use of CV (speed & endurance), gymnastic movements and Olympic lifting movements (and developmental movements). Over time, through the use of good logging & analytical software such as Beyond The Whiteboard, you will see development across the three major pathways and in the 10 definable elements of fitness (see for more).

I saw this article and read the comments below from people either lauding the virtues of CrossFit or trolling the site; because the premise of the article was flawed, I commented similar to the message above about the real structure behind CrossFit and its utility as a programme, not a set on individual workouts (especially as those workouts had no strength progression to them). Conducted at random (or cherry-picked from), they could actually cause quite serious stress-related injuries and ultimately prove useless, further giving fuel to the anti-CF haters out there.

My comment was completely neutral, expressing the excellent utility of such high intensity workouts but also noting that a programme is required to truly see benefits. What I was replied to with was, “well I bet he is great fun at parties”. It’s not exactly the killer-blow insult that it could have been and in itself hasn’t exactly scolded but it did piss me off a little. Why do people feel the need to write articles in the public forum (it was from a fitness magazine) about subjects that genuinely have no knowledge about and then why do others feel the need to get insulting when you try to point out inaccuracies (but also point out ways to use the information presented in a more useful fashion?). In person, I can be pretty off-putting, I’m sure of that, but I am always careful about what I write down.

I’m not sure why such a lame retort has got to me but it has and I felt the need to share it anyway. I like what CrossFit has set out to achieve (despite the highly corporate way it has become), especially along the holistic, whole-life path that it has chosen. The programming is logical for me and the messages on nutrition suit my scientific sensibilities. I love the community aspect, having been welcomed in to multiple boxes throughout the last few years, and I’m just a little pissed off with people either intentionally trying to attack it without any scientific evidence or, almost worse, presenting CrossFit in a fashion that will almost certainly result in providing fuel for those haters when someone gets hurt.

Meh, it’s late. Time for bed.



Oh, before I go to bed, I implore any of you who actually read this to spend time over the next few days watching the following video on YouTube. It’s self-explanatory and might just change your life. Ignore the fact the guy it presenting at a CrossFit seminar and just listen to the message. Make sure you watch parts 2 and 3 (as well as the questions). I cannot express enough how it might just change your life. I wish EVERYONE would watch this. I wish my parents would watch it. I wish my whole family would watch it. It’s Science too!






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