21 December 2009


To reiterate, fitness is your body's ability to control movement. In understanding this we can establish a foundation of training implements that promote a greater level of fitness or body movement control. We do not train body parts! The body is a whole and as a whole functions as a whole. We train body movements. Our view on strength is the body's ability to control movement under a load or opposing force. To increase an individual's strength we either increase the amount of the load used during the movement or increase the number of movements at the original load.

I like to break down this series of strength movements into three categories that come from strength and conditioning coach Dan John. Each of the following categories are the definition of functional fitness and strength. Over the next couple of days we will break down each category into a series of movements we can train regularly to maximize our fitness strength. Today we'll start with Category 1: Your ability to pick something heavy up off the ground. The movement break down of this category from picking up a heavy object from the ground is a three part progression. The first part is a foundational lift, it was the thought to be the only weighted exercise needed by the Greeks they called it the health lift we call it the "Deadlift." The deadlift allows an individual to lift an object off the ground and hold it at waist level while standing fully erect. There is little to no other exercise that engages as many muscles from top to bottom as this lift. Training the deadlift is also relatively open as you can pretty much lift anything from a barbell or dumbbells to a rock, sandbag, or tire. Technique however is paramount, and the key to safe success. Often shirked as a dangerous and unsafe exercise the deadlift has a bad rap. Although, with proper training technique this lift is a fail safe at building a strong and hard working posterior chain.

From the deadlift we progress into the "Sumo Deadlift High-pull" or SDHP. The SDHP is a wider stance movement than the deadlift and allows the individual the ability to take an object from the ground and pull it up to chin height. This is useful in putting heavy objects in the back of a truck or on a high shelf. I've also heard success stories of this movement allowing soldiers to pick up and assist their fellow wounded soldiers while under fire. We will begin training this movement next week.

The third and final movement in Category 1 is the "Clean." The clean highly rivals the deadlift in engaging the majority of the body's muscles from top to bottom. If I could only train one movement for the rest of my life it would be the clean or the deadlift. The clean allows an individual to take a load from the ground and pull it high enough to catch at shoulder level. This means the individual is now able to stand erect with the load either shouldered or in the "Rack position." This is a highly technical movement; however, the ability to master the clean opens the door to a world of opportunity for forward progression in daily fitness. We will be doing a lot of cleans and you will get your practice.

All three of these movements require in depth explanations and demonstration. You can find videos of each exercise under the exercises and demos tab at crossfit.com by Coach Glassman a founder in the new wave of functional fitness. Tomorrow's workout is the same for "Both body weight only" and "Regular" training sessions. Courtesy, of Rob Shaul at militaryathlete.com we will be utilizing "Jingle Jangles" for tomorrow's interval training. Estimate a 5-7 yard space you can run in; once marked out and measured sprint back and forth touching the ground at each side. These are jingle jangles.

10 Rounds
30 secs. Jingle Jangles
30 secs. rest

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