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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 09-04-2004, 09:57 AM   #1
Barry Cooper
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I was doing the WOD today, and a guy came up to me in the gym talking about how nobody does Clean and Jerks anymore, when they used to be very common. Being me, I of course made a modest effort to convert him, but in the end continued my string of unsuccess.

However, I said something to him that made sense only after I said it, which is that with the advent of performance and size-enhancing drugs, it was no longer necessary to BE strong to LOOK strong. If you think about it, the O-lifts were pretty big in this country (and our team was pretty good) until roughly the early to mid-sixties. Bodybuilding trumped strength development.

If you think about it John Grimek is remembered as a bodybuilder who ALSO did O-lifting. Does anyone know how well he did in the Olympics? I don't. Reg Park, and who knows who else. They were bodybuilders who were ALSO strong. The only O-lifter who was also a bodybuilder I can think of is Tommy Kono. He's remembered first as an O-Lifter, and only secondarily as a bodybuilder.

Bottom line, my theory is the O-lifts shriveled up like the nuts of somebody on testosterone, because they were no longer needed. (Hopefully I didn't cross the line there. If I did, Scott Kustes is a good guy, so maybe I could take his place down there)
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Old 09-04-2004, 10:47 AM   #2
Scott Kustes
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:biggrin:

Barry, I know what you mean. I do my WOD in the gym at Rolfs (the newest gym at ND) and all the pretty boy undergrads are in there hitting their biceps, chest, and back from 83 different angles while trying to scope some of the attractive tail dressed oh-so-cutsie on the treadmill (cause everyone knows you can't workout hard if you aren't dressed nicely). I get the same strange looks doing C&J, C&J/running combos, and other of the more "unorthodox" WODs that we used to get at Powerhouse. It's like people are amazed that you can workout in 20 minutes without spending 5 minutes between sets resting. I still enjoy being the weirdo.

One guy that I hang out with wants to get bigger and stronger. So he's working out with a self-proclaimed bodybuilder that says "Scott, this is all show. I workout for looks." We talked about it and he KNOWS that doing the complex movements that CF focuses on are the key to being stronger than one looks, yet he still wants to do curls and such. Doesn't make sense to me....
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Old 09-04-2004, 11:24 AM   #3
Brian Hand
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Drugs killed weightlifting? Maybe, but I think powerlifting, Joe Weider's marketing / media, and pro football probably contributed more to the decline of weightlifting in the USA.
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Old 09-05-2004, 10:20 AM   #4
Dan John
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It is because they are hard. Seriously, I always tell my throwers: "If it were easy, everybody would do it...like 5K runs on the weekends." (Yes, it is a cheap shot...no need to comment on it)

My simple point is that you get very little immediate gratification. It could take three weeks to finally get it right...whereas you can do the exercise machine right the first time. My brother and I were talking about discus throwing and Highland Games. If you go to a meet a new thrower and toss 104 at your first meet, that is really, really good. Yet, I toss 170 and the distance difference is smoking. Yet, the World Record is 243!

In Highland Games, you throw a rock 20 and I throw it 38. Next week, you get the same rock 22...you are now in LOVE with HG! So, within a year, you do 26 Highland Games in a summer. Next year, two...the following you quit.

The problem with O lifting is that we have standards that just sit there... 587 (I think) is Taranako's Clean and Jerk. My 308 effort last month seems a bit "pale" in contrast.

There are no "fun runs" in the O lifts. It is hard. People don't like hard. It is like this 40 rep pullup challenge that people are doing. Anyone who can do 40 reps in the pullups has obviously had to do something right. So, to mimic the workout, I slap the Lat Pulldown machine to 70 pounds and do 40 reps...is this the same?

Ah...hard.


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Old 09-05-2004, 10:44 AM   #5
Aptdwler
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Well, it's a lot easier to talk to the hot looking babes after a set of isolateral isolation chest press es than after clean and jerks!

I do think lack of instruction is a major issue. You could go to 50 gyms and lucky to find one with instruction available.

I also think a lot of gyms are worried about liablity. I mean the lifts just LOOK dangerous compaired to the machines....
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:21 PM   #6
Barry Cooper
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Dan,

It seems like the implication of what you're saying is simply that people were tougher 40 years ago. I wasn't around then, but I would agree with that.

I think that idea does kind of jibe with my hypothesis. Essentially, I'm saying that you used to have to BE strong to LOOK strong. There was no other option. There was no shortcut. Once a shortcut opened up, people started taking it.

Scott,

If you ever get down here and want to hook up for some Hooverball, or Snowball, shoot me an email. Also, focus on the WOD, but no reason not to enjoy all the wonderful sights on the road of life.

Brian,

Pro Football? I'd be curious to hear you expound on that.

Apartment Dweller,

There are gymnastics studios in every major city. Usually a number of them. I don't think there's any serious question that gymnastics is more dangerous than O-Lifting. I've read on a number of occasions of people breaking or almost breaking their necks doing it.

I think if there were a market for O-lifting gyms, market forces would bring them into being. CrossFit is a superior fitness system, in my opinion, and my hope is some day to open a gym, but I don't expect to get rich. It's too damn hard for most people.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:22 PM   #7
Alexander Karatis
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It also has to do with who's doing it.

If you got Brad Pit to pose with an Eleiko bar while explaining that that's what got him looking like that, you'd have thousands streeming into gyms asking for Oly sets.

People today workout for appearance-the easier they can achieve that, the better. Hence magic pills, ab machines, etc.

It's a personality thing IMO. Most people will follow the norm and the norm today is "look good". What constitutes "good" is also defined BTW...The perception simply is that weighlifters are short fat guys, with huge, blown-up legs, and that is just not popular. If OLs poster boy fit society's norms, then you'd see gyms slowly introduce OL. But even then people would sloooowwwly start getting into the movements since we don't want to raise too many eyebrows with what we're doing in the gym, now do we?

When people in the gym used to ask me what "that thing develops"(snatch), I would point my index finger to my head and smile:happy: And that really ****ed some people off!!!:biggrin:
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:03 PM   #8
Brian Hand
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Barry, it is of course another half baked theory but football took over as the "glory sport" for strong kids. I think if football was never invented, we'd still be kicking *** in weightlifting every olympics. That's where our strong kids are going now.

The pure strength athletes go to powerlifting because it is easier. Weightlifting has shrunk to the point that there are no meets, no instruction, it doesn't even register on the radar. It's really too bad. Maybe the internet will allow more people to learn about WL, and about what great athletes WLers are, and help it make some comeback.

The truth is I don't feel human nature has changed much in the past 50 years, or the past 500. When I here myself muttering to myself "kids today..." I try to remind myself kids have always been this way. Check this out:

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/harrison/advice/teenag ers/

I don't think people are lazier or more narcissistic or more concerned with style over substance than they used to be. The style over substance thing is discussed in Plato's dialogs and the Bible, for Pete's sake. I as I get older I tend to romanticize the past, not necessarily a bad thing but not really accurate.

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Old 09-05-2004, 02:10 PM   #9
Kevin H
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I really don't know the history of Olympic lifts at all and I'm sort of young, but was working out ever as popular as it is now? I mean, right now, fitness videos, exercise and diet books, the supplement industry, and home gyms, all seem pretty popular right now, judging from all the advertising. So it seems reasonable to me that the O-lifts haven't disappeared, there might be around the same number of people doing them as ever before, but if you compare the number of people doing O-lifts relative to the number of people doing aerobics or bodybuilding routines, then it would look like they are disappearing. But I could be wrong.
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:18 PM   #10
Aptdwler
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I didn't mean to imply olympic lifts aren't safe, just that to the average untrained person they LOOK less safe than machines.

I don't even know the stats. Frankly, most sports safety stats seem to be developed to insure some sports are given sports status and other aren't...
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