Thursday 10/18

For time:
45 sec L-sit (buy in)
7 rounds of
7 Push up
9 Kb swing @ 53/35
45 sec L-sit (cash out)


Barbell For Boobs is Saturday, 10/20. You don’t have to donate to participate, though any contributions will be appreciated. Just like last year’s  B4B or an event like FGB or Hope, we will be running heats but please sign up for class. All are welcome to attend, even if you have already attended three classes. If you are interested in donating, follow the link to our Barbell for Boobs page, here.

Yesterday I began a discussion about what it means to be fit. Today I want to finish things up by mentioning some of the top names on the list that Men’s Health came up with. Here are there top 10

10. Bjorn Daehlie – a Norwegian skier, don’t worry I’ve never heard of him either

9. Manny Pacquiao – he’s a boxer, who at his heaviest weighed 154lbs. He is fast, agile and explosive but not particularly strong because too much muscle would cause him to not make weight.

8. Lance Armstrong – obviously this list was compiled before the current scandal surrounding this cheater.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo – soccer player, so I’m sure he’s a good runner. I’m also guessing his strength numbers leave something to be desired.

6. Jim Thorpe – very impressive athletic achievements much like the rest of this list. Unfortunately athletic achievements don’t necessarily equate to fitness. I don’t really have a snarky comment for him, he was a stud.

5. Herschel Walker – great football player, we have no way to know what his fitness was in his prime.

4. Jack LaLanne – RESPECT. Unlike all the others on this list LaLanne actually demonstrated his fitness with a multitude of feats that could certainly be considered a high level of work capacity across broad time and modal domains. He was an amazing swimmer, demonstrated capacity with body weight, and I’m sure wasn’t bad when it came to weightlifting.

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger – “Arnold boasted a 470-pound squat, a 440-pound bench press, and a 680-pound deadlift.” Impressive to be sure. Could he run a mile? What were his gymnastic skills like? Remember that strength is only ONE of the 10 components of fitness we use. The others are cardio respiratory endurance, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, accuracy, coordination, agility and balance.

2. Bruce Lee – again, RESPECT. Bruce Lee trained in ways few ever have at a time when few understood what he was truly striving for. I remember watching an interview with him where he talked about fighting using your whole body so “you’d better train every part of your body”. There’s no doubt he was lean and fast, agile and explosive. I’m not sure how he would have handled an endurance event or one requiring him to move heavy weight.

1. Michael Phelps – This name is the heart of the reason behind this post. Yes Michael Phelps won a ton of gold medals. But, let’s take a look at what he was so good at.

Olympic medal record
2008 Beijing – Men’s swimming
Competitor for the USA
Gold 100 m butterfly 50.58 (OR)
Gold 200 m butterfly 1:52.03 (WR)
Gold 200 m freestyle 1:42.96 (WR)
Gold 200 m individual medley 1:54.23 (WR)
Gold 400 m individual medley 4:03.84 (WR)
Gold 4×100 m freestyle relay 3:08.24 (WR)
Gold 4×200 m freestyle relay 6:58.56 (WR)
Gold 4×100 m medley relay 3:29.34 (WR)
It’s true that this is just a sample but you’ll get the idea. Phelps is really good at swimming fast for between about 1 and 4 minutes. That’s it. Now don’t get me wrong he may be the best the world has ever seen at swimming fast for about 1 to 4 minutes and that’s an amazing feat. What it doesn’t represent however is work capacity across broad time and modal domains.
Just like we did with Richard Simmons yesterday, I want you to imagine Mr. Phelps in the field of athletes competing in the 2012 CrossFit Games. Let’s take a look at the first event. It started with an open water swim of about 700 m. I’m willing to concede that Phelps would be the first one out of the water, maybe by a landslide. Now though he has to get on a single speed bike and pedal for about 8K and then an 11K nasty, hilly run. Michael Phelps swims really well. He gets crushed by the bike and the run.

Look at the rest of the events over the course of the competition. I would honestly be shocked if Michael Phelps finished anywhere but dead last in every single event with the possible exception of the broad jump since he may have trained that explosiveness to work on his push off the wall during the turns. Any of the participants from the last few years in the Games would dominate Phelps in nearly anything not involving swimming.

That’s what fitness is!


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