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Old 05-05-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
Ryan Anderson
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Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

So I mostly just use the search button for many of my questions, but this is one that has been nagging at me for a while, and has not really been answered. I have noticed, that many different sectionals effectively, or straight out banned butterfly pull ups. Also having been to several different affiliates, I have seen some who love the idea of the butterfly, and some who say that it "does not count here". I personally can, and do the butterfly when allowed. I can actually do chest to bar (actually hitting my chest to the bar) butterfly pull ups faster and easier than I can do normal kipping pull ups
Now the issue here is that for example, had I competed at sectionals in so cal, even those most likely would not have counted. Cross fit is about doing more work faster, aka moving the load through the distance the fastest. The butterfly allows you to start from your arms fully locked out, to getting your chin above the height of the bar, and back down, just like the regular kipping pull up. It makes you go through the same vertical distance as a strict pull up, which is the whole idea of the kipping pull up. You are moving the same weight, through the same distance, only faster, which is one of the original ideas of the kipping pull up. Do more work.
This is much like the debate between the clean and jerk workout at last years games. The fastest times from that workout did not come from people who actually did a full clean, and then jerked it. The fastest times came from the people who were pretty much doing squat clean thrusters. They moved the same weight through the same ROM, but faster. Should we go back and DQ them because they did thrusters instead of jerks?
As our sport grows, I want to see people come up with new ideas for exercises, instead of squelching them before they start. I personally think, especially with more people joining everyday, that the butterfly will soon become obsolete compared to a new unknown style. Heck, I know a few people that can bust out 10-15 strict pull ups faster than I can butterfly. Nonetheless thanks for listening to my rant, and hopefully I open some eyes up to the butterfly.


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Old 05-05-2010, 02:58 PM   #2
Chris Walls
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

I am kind of curious about this myself...
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
Tom Reyes
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

Just from my watching videos, at speed, the butterfly can be difficult to tell if the chin actually clears the bar's height. Also, when doing the butterfly, the chin doesn't clear the horizontal plane of the bar. If you can chest to bar and actually contact the bar, there is no question that your chin is over the bar, but does the chin clear the horizontal plane?
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:13 PM   #4
Chris Walls
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

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Originally Posted by Tom Reyes View Post
Just from my watching videos, at speed, the butterfly can be difficult to tell if the chin actually clears the bar's height. Also, when doing the butterfly, the chin doesn't clear the horizontal plane of the bar. If you can chest to bar and actually contact the bar, there is no question that your chin is over the bar, but does the chin clear the horizontal plane?
If that is the standard fine, but if the standard is merely chest to bar who cares how it gets there?

edit: I just reread that... I was thinking vertical plane, not horizontal. Agreed that you should still be above the horizontal plane, but it's not that hard to judge...
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:52 PM   #5
Casey Raiford
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

I judged at the PA/MD/DE sectionals this year and while butteryflies weren't banned per se, the standard was chin breaking the vertical plane. That of course effectively eliminated butterflies. No real reason was put out as to why, and none of the judges (myself included) really seemed to care one way or the other.

My own issue with the butterfly is that I don't see a clear benefit in terms of training adaptation to them.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:13 PM   #6
Andrew Breyer
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

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My own issue with the butterfly is that I don't see a clear benefit in terms of training adaptation to them.
Butterfly stroke in the pool?

I think what this comes down to is judging standards. Sure, they can be done faster but being able to do them shouldn't set you apart from the pack. Putting everyone on the same level evens the playing field and promotes fair competition.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:22 PM   #7
Casey Raiford
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

No, the butterfly kip.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:07 PM   #8
Ryan Anderson
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Breyer View Post
Butterfly stroke in the pool?

I think what this comes down to is judging standards. Sure, they can be done faster but being able to do them shouldn't set you apart from the pack. Putting everyone on the same level evens the playing field and promotes fair competition.

Why should there be a handicap? If I know how to do something better than other people, I need to be penalized? That would be like telling josh everett because he is a former olympic lifter, he can only do power cleans on a 1rm clean and jerk(clearly a skill) because they are "promoting fair competition", and other competitors aren't good at squat cleans.

I also look at this as a former track athlete. the sport of high jump was completely changed when Dick Fosbury, started jumping over the high jump backwards. People thought he was crazy, but if you look at any high jumper now, its the standard, as you can jump much higher. Should they have banned it because originally other competitors could not do it?
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:14 PM   #9
Shane Skowron
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

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Cross fit is about doing more work faster, aka moving the load through the distance the fastest.
I hate this argument. Why do we do overhead presses then, when we can do more work faster by doing push presses?
Heck I can do more work faster by carrying barbells in my car.

It shouldn't be about doing more work faster, it should be about training to achieve more work faster.

Last edited by Shane Skowron : 05-05-2010 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:20 PM   #10
Scott A Martin
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Re: Whats with the hate on the butterfly pull up?

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The butterfly allows you to start from your arms fully locked out, to getting your chin above the height of the bar, and back down, just like the regular kipping pull up. It makes you go through the same vertical distance as a strict pull up, which is the whole idea of the kipping pull up. You are moving the same weight, through the same distance, only faster, which is one of the original ideas of the kipping pull up. Do more work.
Once again, it shows the inconsistency in the thinking/rational behind kipping in the CF community. If it's really just about doing more work, then why doesn't everyone just do jumping pullups...same distance traveled, less time, no external assistance. Seems like all the arguments in favor of the kip over the strict apply equally well the the jump over the kip.
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