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Old 06-23-2006, 10:56 AM   #1
Lincoln Brigham
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A couple of functional strength tests:

The infamous Princeton Fitness Department under the notorious HIT Jedi Matt Bryzcki has an annual "Get A Grip" contest that includes hanging from a chinup bar for time. The 2004 winner posted a 1:57 time. 49 contestants. The 2005 winner (class of '06) got 2:38, 20 contestants. I tried it and figured I'd had enough at around 2:20. Could have gone longer if there'd been some competition around. I'll bet there plenty of Crossfitters who could kick some Princeton butt on this.

Similar to hanging from the chinup bar, there is an exercise I call "Monkey Swings". The idea is to increase the load by hanging from one hand at a time, for reps. I tried this with my clients today. Tracey got a pitiful 3 reps the first attempt. A little more practice, a little rest, a mental reset, a whole bunch of chalk, and she got a nice 18 reps, 45 seconds total hang time.

http://www.crossfitsedona.com/Videos/TraceySwings.mov (6 meg quicktime movie)

I tore the skin on the palm of my hands demoing how NOT to do this (wide grip and a jerky transition) so I wasn't able to go for a max on this one. A narrow grip, a gentle pendulum action, and a smooth transition - one hand, two hands, one hand - worked best.


Try this and remember the experience the next time you see a stunt man hanging from a helicopter doing 100mph!
Attached Files
File Type: email SwingsMediumGrip.mov (1.94 MB, 335 views)
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:21 AM   #2
Mark Roughton
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Hey, Lincoln, are y'all safe and out of the path of the wildfires burning in your area? You know we've got our fingers crossed for you...stay safe!

IIRC, the old Navy gymnastics book lists monkey swings too - I think theirs were on the rings: let go and do a full 360 degree turn before re-grabbing - much, much harder than it sounds...
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:06 PM   #3
Lincoln Brigham
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Yeah, we're good. No buildings have burned down, fire getting under control. Only Oak Creek Canyon had to evacuate and that's because they are closest to the fire and there is only one road in/out.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:33 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Interesting. We used to do Tracey's drill on rings and call it picking bananas as if we were in a tree and doing so.
Basically for grip strength and what not.
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:56 AM   #5
Anthony Bainbridge
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I do some similar stuff on the bar, but lots more movement, twisting, swinging, etc. I'll try the dead hang for time tonight after my workout and post the results.
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:59 PM   #6
Anthony Bainbridge
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2:29 after I rowed 1000m ... could have toughed it out a bit longer if absolutely required.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:29 AM   #7
Lincoln Brigham
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[face=courier new,courier]2:55[/face]
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:53 AM   #8
Christopher Sommer
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10 min 20 sec.

This is a rather rugged element when done for extended periods of time; however we have found that it is possible to post some rather impressive times IF you have been performing gymnastics intensive training. Our two best times in the gym to date are: Matt - 9 min 59 sec (he was extremely annoyed he missed the 10 min mark by 1 sec) and Justin - 10 min 20 sec. The first five minutes I required a two arm hang, after that they switched from back and forth from a two arm hang to a single arm hang as the mood struck them.

Matt says that that 9 min 59 sec was the closest to complete prolonged muscle failure that he has every come. He quite literally was able to do nothing else for the remainder of that day. His forearms were shot for days afterwards and he also got several spectacular rips from simply hanging.

Justin did not struggle nearly as much with this test as Matt and appeared as though he had quite a bit of hang time left in him physically, but psychologically he shut down after Matt fell and was quite content to simply bask in the glow of his victory - Matt is several years older than Justin.

This is not a movement that I feel is necessary on a regular basis, but it was interesting to see how the athletes would respond to a new challenge.


Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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Old 07-08-2006, 10:00 AM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
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Awesome Coach! something to shoot for.

I didn't try switching hands, just one slight grip adjustment at about the 1:45 mark.

Gymnastics intensive training? Hmmm... did my first handstand at age 46... Ditto the muscle up... skin-the-cat age 47... getting close to a front lever... can sort of do one handstand push against the wall, head touching floor. I'm a little behind the curve! Got some work to do!
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:07 AM   #10
Anthony Bainbridge
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10 minutes ... wow.
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