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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 09-18-2004, 01:20 PM   #1
John Walsh
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I was just curious why so much emphasis is placed on the pullup. It seems like a week doesn't go by without at least 2 workouts with pullups but weeks may go by with out a single weighted squat workout. Not complaining just curious.
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Old 09-18-2004, 01:55 PM   #2
Paul Theodorescu
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I've only been doing the WOD for about 2 weeks and I've noticed this as well. It's even more noticeable due to the fact that I have to replace muscle-ups and rope climbs with pull-ups all the time.

Great question, I'm curious what the answer is :-)
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Old 09-18-2004, 02:40 PM   #3
Larry Lindenman
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John and Paul, the pullup is one of the most basic movements in gymnastics and weight training. It trains the back muscles which, for the most part are ignored or just worked occasionally in most lifting programs. Most lifting programs are horizantal pushing dominant (bench press first thing in the week, first exercise). Crossfit cures this. Also, the pullup is a primary movement used in many sports (or elements of it).
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Old 09-18-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
Paul Theodorescu
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I think the same case could be made for squats (?)

Is there ever any heavy rowing to target the upper back in WOD? (I personally dislike rows, so I don't mind). I take it rows are less functional?
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Old 09-18-2004, 06:55 PM   #5
John Walsh
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I concur with Paul about the squat. I realize that pull-ups are basic to strength training. My question is directed more at the functionality of the pull-up in other sports, besides gymnastics. How would pull-ups improve my punching power or tackling ability for example? The squat carries over to virtually every sport there is and works an enormous amount of muscle. I come from a football, boxing and PL background so I'm a big fan of the squat. I'm truly impressed by the crowd that does 30 plus pull-ups in a row and would like to shoot for it myself as a fitness goal. Having said that I’m still far more impressed by a guy that can squat 300+ pounds for 20 reps, regardless of how much he weighs. You can’ t use tricks or momentum to get yourself out of the hole and your system is being taxed hard every second you have the weight on your shoulders. Maybe I’m missing something.
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Old 09-18-2004, 11:38 PM   #6
Tyler Hass
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I recently went back and counted the appearances of every exercise within CrossFit for the past 4 months. Pullups came out on top.

Pullups- 36
Situps- 21
Run- 18
Air Squat- 13
Barbell Squat- 12
Clean, Deadlift, HSPU, Row-10 each
Pushups- 9
Muscle-up- 8
Ring Dips- 7
KB Swing- 6
Bench Press- 5
Thruster, Snatch, Lunge, Back Ext., Burpee- 4 each
L-Sit, Clean and Jerk, Jerk/Push Press- 3 each

Pullups and muscle-ups come out as only a bit more frequent than air squats, barbell squats, cleans, thruster, etc.
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Old 09-19-2004, 03:49 AM   #7
James R. Climer
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If you've looked at the West Side program for powerlifts you'll notice they don't even directly train the squats or deads to get stronger, just to get the form & feel down before competition (well maybe with box squats). They do however have heavy emphasis on posterior chain development...something that seems to come up very frequently in the WOD.
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Old 09-19-2004, 04:43 AM   #8
Larry Lindenman
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Tyler good job, this also fits in well for people looking to purchase equipment. Start from the top and work down (pullup bar first, barbell and squat stand second, etc).
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Old 09-19-2004, 04:53 AM   #9
Paul Theodorescu
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Tyler, that's very neat. I was wondering if anyone had done that.

I wonder if it's the same pattern every 4 months or if it's even more random than that!
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Old 09-19-2004, 08:59 AM   #10
John Walsh
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Thanks Tyler. I'm only really looking at weighted squats vs. pull-ups and 3 to 1 seems reasonable since it takes so long to recovery from weighted squats. Air squats are not in the same league as weighted squats. It puts things into perspective but it doesn't really answer my question about why CFers put so much emphasis on the pull-up as opposed to any other useful exercise. I hear a lot about people shooting for pull-up goals but not squat or C&J goals. Why are pull-ups the holy grail of CF? Not trying to stir up the pot just trying get an answer
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