Good Afternoon CFTP,
Delighted to have another Open Week under our belts. The bar muscle ups were kind of a curve ball and you all have adapted well. I loved seeing you all working on and for some of you completing your first bar muscle up. There has been much discussion on what would constitute a valid bar muscle up and I’d like to just discuss a little about my view on this movement. Officially the rules state that you must start from a hanging position, pass through the dip at the top and sustain control of your body with our arms locked out at the top. I have seen many variations, not only from our affiliate, but from gyms across the world and I just want to address this movement but also movement standards in general. While, in my opinion, as long as the movement standards are met then it will count this does not mean that we shouldn’t strive to be better.
There are three types of bar muscle ups that I have seen as a coach. The first is the nice pull to the belly button finish with a beautiful lockout at the top without much of a pause. This is the preferred movement and the one we should strive to achieve.
Then there is what we like to call the “Chicken Wing Bar Muscle up”. This is the muscle up where the athlete throws one shoulder above the bar and then fights to get their second one up there. While this muscle up is allowed and for many first time muscle ups this is the path I must caution you against making this a habit. Throwing a lone shoulder above the bar can be very unsafe and has potential to cause damage to the rotator and labrum in the shoulder. If you are currently completing muscle ups this way please approach one of the trainers and let us give you some drills to strengthen that even-weighted pull so that you can do muscle ups safely.
The final muscle up I’d like to address would be better described as a “struggle up”. I will be the first person to cheer someone on as they struggle to accomplish something they never have done before. Those who accomplish the muscle up in this fashion are some of the most strong-willed and determined people I know but this is not a muscle up. In my opinion it meets the criteria given in the open but it’s definitely not something you want to make a habit of outside of competition. If this is the way you accomplish your muscle ups then it’s time to break down the movement and strengthen your pull and your transition onto the bar. Sometimes when accomplishing complicated tasks we all need to slow down and build up our foundation before jumping into the deep end.
I bring up this specific movement because it is a perfect example of how even though one way is allowed it doesn’t mean it is the best way. This goes for every movement accomplished at the box; from box jumps to snatches. While you may think you know how to do something doesn’t mean there isn’t a better more efficient way. This is why you see me and my trainers harping on you every day about how you are moving at the box. It is our job to watch you move and help you move better. It is our job to see your deficiencies and do everything we can to fix them. Every one of my trainers brings a fresh new set of eyes to your movement. Coach Dave may be able to see something that Coach LaDee can’t or vise versa. Just because we’ve given you cues on one part of the movement and you corrected that movement doesn’t mean there isn’t something else that we may see to cue you on.
Even the best athletes in the world have coaches. Why would the best athletes/players in the world really need a coach? Aren’t they the best at what they do? What can a coach really have to teach them? The fact is, athletes need coaches because athletes can’t see the whole picture. Coaches are there to watch you while you are focusing on completing the task at hand. It is up to the coach to evaluate and correct the athlete in order to make them better. As an athlete it is your job to swallow your pride and take advice as it is given. The best athletes out there are those who are the most coachable. There will never come a time in my career as a CrossFitter, a soccer player, or even in life where I will not welcome the advice of others.
So, if you are struggling with a movement. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t cut corners. Put in the work and seek the advice of your coaches and trainers. This is my job. While you are a member of The Point my only job is to make you better. My job is to help you accomplish your goals. Put me to work and put yourself to work and we will accomplish beautiful things together.
NOW… Onto some really exciting news. I have teamed up with ROMWOD to help you move better! Monday nights at 7:45 we will now be performing a ROMWOD workout to help you with your range of motion. Many of us, myself included, are tied up in knots. In order to help with this I called in the big guns and bought an affiliate package so you all can benefit from this at least once a week on Monday nights. They also offer a 14-day individual trial period where you can get your own through this link here. I have done a couple of these and I will say that this is what has been missing in my personal training. If you are available I would love for you to join me Monday nights at 7:45 PM and get your flexy on!
I am excited to see you all again this week.