Wow, what a week it has been for Rhabdo and Crossfit. My facebook, Twitter, IG, MySpace, MOL, and aksjeeves.com accounts are flooded with discussions about rhabdo. I know there are people out there waiting for what I have to say about it. I don’t want to write about it. I hate reading about it. But in order to hopefully end the fucking endless discussions or at least mitigate them I present to you my take…
Bottom Line Up Front: There is so much else wrong within the Crossfit community, why the fuck would someone focus on something so rare?
List of shit wrong within the Crossfit community that is worse than Rhabdo
1. Complete retards are opening gyms. For 1000 dollars and a weekend (plus 3k to HQ and some other bullshit) you can own a Crossfit gym. People who know even less about fitness, if that is possible, will trust you to teach them how to get healthy, olympic lift, powerlift, do gymnastics, and a ton of other bullshit. Less than 1 percent of Crossfitters get rhabdo. But more than 99 percent of Crossfit coaches are complete retards.
2. Steroid Use. WWE has more stringent drug testing procedures.
Fran and the filthy 50 brah. that’s all.
3. Inappropriate coach/client relationships. Raise your hand if there is an affair happening at your gym. Keep your hand up if that affair involves a coach or owner of your gym. Keep your hand up if that person has ground guts with a coach/owner of more than one gym. Your hand is still in the air isn’t it?
4. The struggle to invent new shit. Ring rows from rings suspended from your partner’s neck, partner deadlifts, people suspended from barbells whilst others lift them, and the list goes on. HQ has created some stupid shit. But nothing like the retards hosting competitions come up with every weekend across America.
5. Safe movements performed dangerously. Box jumps and depth jumps, when performed correctly, are a great way to build explosive power. Pullups are the king of upper back workouts. Sumo deadlifting is a real sport. But somehow you turn these into a contest for time. And ruin the fucking gainz.
6. Using the word “Elite”. Its all over the military too. Elite Marine Corps and Navy units. Have you ever seen what 99.9 percent of the military does in a “Combat Zone“? Shit would make you laugh. Have you ever seen what 99 percent of Crossfitters call elite? Shit makes me laugh. Rich Froning is elite. That fat fuck who has been “Forging Elite Fitness” for the last week, is not.
7. Alienating everyone who knows shit or refuses to take a Kool-aid IV. Rippetoe, Wolf, OPT, Beastmode, Naked Crossfitter, and probably more. Sorry if I left you out. The best leaders in the word take criticism and make changes if needed. They laugh at jokes. And they sure as fuck don’t execute their knowledge base. Stalin did that shit. So did Hitler. And the mother fucking Al-Qaidas. All of these people Crossfit has made fun of in a video btw. (LULZ @ that video for comparing Mark Rippetoe to UBL.)
Recap – Rhabdo is serious. People die from that shit. People also die from gonorrhea but that gets spread around the boxes like a paleo brownie recipe and no one says anything. There are major issues with Crossfit that need to be addressed. Dwelling on Rhabdo is equivalent to worrying about illegal Candians in the country when we have millions of people starving and without proper education.
We can’t always work out in our fully equipped facilities. Sometimes we have to train in a public gym. Have no fear, there are ways to get an adequate workout in, even though you have to train at the fail factory for a short time.
1. Here’s what you need to know to survive a workout at a commercial fitness gym… You may have to scan an ID card or some shit like that. Unlike the gym you train at, the staff at a commercial fitness facility will have no fucking clue who you are. They will require you to scan in at the front desk. All employees at these gyms are complete noobs. And the noobest of all the noobs is at the front desk. So completely ignore EVERYTHING this person ever tells you. Refuse to even acknowledge this person’s existence and continue walking…
2. Your next encounter will be with what some people call a “Cardio Area”. This will encompass roughly 80 percent of the gym. Here you will see some rather strange contraptions. Many will resemble things normal people do for free on a daily basis. Machines that allow you to practice walking and running. The never ending staircase machine. And of course, the machine that mimics a person cross-country skiing whilst simultaneously jacking two dudes off. You have no business in the section. Proceed on…
3. Next you will encounter an area filled with medieval torture devices. These devices are actually extremely expensive and complicated contraptions designed to work a small muscle group or, when used in a circuit, take the place of a major movement. Here is where you will see the men with the really small penises throwing dozens of plates onto a machine which moves about two inches. Keep walking, you are almost there…
There may be one reason to stop in this area after all…
4. Now you should be reaching the group fitness area. There will be Zumba classes. There will be step aerobics. You may even see yoga or pilates. You, like me when I was young and stupid, might be tempted to look into the windows and drool over all the fine ass soccer moms which enroll in these classes. Resist the temptation for you will be forever disappointed if your gaze should fall upon the decrepit hippopotamuses’ which make up the majority of these classes. Hang in there, you will be seeing the barbells soon…
Your typical group fitness class
5. Finally you will reach the section with the barbells. It will be hard to spot at first, since it only comprises roughly 6.5 percent of the available floor space of the building. But not so fast hot shot… you aren’t ready to workout yet. There are some things you will need to know first…
a. There will only be one squat rack. And there will be a skinny fuck curling an empty barbell in it. He will be doing 21’s. And he will have 6 more sets.
b. There will be no bumper plates. Only those mother fucking eight sided metal plates that make it fucking impossible to deadlift safely.
c. It is considered rude to laugh at the dude who is benching 400 pounds but later quarter squatting 225.
d. If you do eventually get into the squat rack, you will be told you are squatting too low. This advice might be coming from an employee, but likely it will be coming from the before mentioned benchpresser with the 100 kilo quarter squat.
e. Any Olympic lift will be greeted by looks of awe from a bystander. This is a normal reaction. Sometimes there will be follow up questions. You may take this opportunity to educate if you should desire.
f. Dropping of weights, any weights, including your plates after you take them off the bar, is considered a “no-no”. In fact, any noise at all is frowned upon. It is good practice to pretend like you are a Viet Cong sneaking through the jungle. I have found this to be an acceptable level of noise in a commercial fitness gym.
This brodey will surely have squat advice for you.
Print off this map in case you get lost. I have added some notes to it which cover some of the finer details left out of the previous instructions.
1. Chalk should be broken into tiny particles. Chalk isn’t all that expensive. So don’t feel bad when you crush those nice, square, easy to use blocks into a fine powder and then clap your hands together like you are some sort of WWE wrestler. Those chalk clouds are fucking e-l33t.
2. You may write all over the gym with chalk. I know those notebooks are expensive and require you to keep a pen or pencil handy. So don’t worry about it. Just take one of those stupid blocks of chalk and write shit all over the platforms, walls, each other, etc. I don’t give a fuck. Eventually someone will come by and say “Holy shit! Look at all that dude’s reps and sets written in chalk. He is fucking strong.” And the maid will come by after closing hours and mop all that shit up.
3. Don’t bother cleaning the chalk out of the knurling. Those thousand dollar barbells all have lifetime warranties and are made of unobtainium or some shit. They don’t rust. The finish won’t be damaged. And if it does somehow ruin the bar, and I wouldn’t know how, those bars can be easily replaced. Enough about the fucking chalk. I think you get it.
Stolen from someone’s facebook
4. Shirts are optional. For snatches I personally don’t give a shit if you wear a shirt or not. But for cleans and squats, you should be shirtless. Your sweat and those metallic barbells should be making as frequent contact as possible. The salt in your sweat will keep my bars shiny and new. Another benefit of the shirtless cleans is the removal of your boob pubes. If you clean shirtless, you don’t have to worry about shaving your chest. Win.
5. Dubstep will be played at 120 decibels or fuck you. There is only one type of music to be played whilst weightlifting and it’s motherfucking Dubstep. Or the Rocky 4 soundtrack. No other music. Period.
6. Use up the little weights first. There are a lot of pussies in weightlifting. They are always making 5 or 10 kilo jumps and that shit pisses me off. So in order to prevent those pussies from making their little girly weight increases, you will always use the 10 kilo plates first. After that, you should pile on all the change you can find. If you are a real man you should be using a shit-ton of 10s and 15s. Then when the weak n00bs come into the gym they are forced to start their lifts at 60 kilos (or 55 if they are equipped with vaginas). Their next jump will have to be to 100 kilos, or 110 maybe even. This is how we get strong people.
If you would use up all the 10′s the Noobs won’t break your shit.
7. Personal hygiene is optional. You are going to get sweaty anyway. So why the fuck would you waste your time with a shower or washing your clothes. Ideally, you would really only need one set of workout clothes. Same goes for your knee sleeves. Those things take forever to dry after washing them, and you have to squat twice a day, every day. So just don’t wash them.
8. Sit directly in front of the lifters. I know the platforms are not set up in a fashion which makes this easy, but every effort should be made to sit closely in front of the lifters’ line of site. If you are not too busy texting your bros you should stare directly into the lifters eyes before, during, and after the lift. This will ensure the lifters have the focus of a champion.
9. No one cares about your problems. IF you are experiencing pain, or any discomfort, no one gives a fuck. Keep your boo-boos to yourself and move the fucking iron.
10. Excessive Celebration is encouraged. If you hit a PR you have to slam the bar down as hard as possible, even if there are only 10s on the bar, and instantly break into a chicken dance celebration. This will ensure the entire gym knows you did something great. Even if your lifts are shit.
The “After School Special”. That’s what I call the Olympic Lifting programs ran out of most @fit gyms. Just about every @fit gym in the world does some sort of strength program in addition to the normal “Today we will flail around for 5-20 minutes” programing. This is a checklist to start your own @fit Olympic lifting program.
Step One – Get a Cert. All you have to do is fork over 800 dollars and attend a weekend seminar. You will become intimately familiar with a PVC pipe, sleep with crossluts, learn the importance of pretreating an STD with antibiotics, and earn a fancy certification, thereby making you fully qualified to run an “After School Special”. No competitive experience is required. There is really no difference between IWF standards and the @fit standards.
Step Two – Find a time to host the class. Ideally this would be immediately after a 20 minute chipper. If you host the “After School Special” right after a metcon you don’t have to worry about all that pesky warm up work. And if there were air squats in the metcon you don’t have to worry about getting in any additional leg work. And you will only need an hour. Anything more than that is just wasted time.
Step Three – Record all the lifts. Although your @fit Olympic lifting cert taught you everything you need to know about weightlifting, you may desire to rewatch your lifters’ attempts. This will allow you to point out all the things that went wrong. Although you will probably lack the knowledge to correct the mistakes, at least you will still be able to tell your athletes how terrible they are.
You see this here??? These are your hips… and when you squat, they go dooowwwnnn.
Step Four – Train with shitty equipment. You have seen Rocky 4, right? Who hasn’t? The only reason Rocky wasn’t victim number two for the Russian Bear was because he trained in shitty conditions and used equipment and techniques that had nothing to do with boxing. The same goes for your athletes. Make them use really shitty bushing bars, hi-temp bumpers in pounds, and don’t let them lift on wooden surfaces. This way, when they make it to their first meet the bearing bars, nice bumpers, and stable platforms will surprise the fuck out of them.
Step Five – Sign ‘em up for a local meet. Don’t worry about weight classes, converting your lifters’ attempts to kilos, or knowing IWF rules. The referees will probably be just like the @fit judges at local competitions… completely in the fucking dark. So focus on cleaning your athletes urine. Because unlike @fit, USAW screens for steroids.
Yeah brah… we are opening you at 150. You are at the end of the session.
Step Six – Exploit your athletes. Since most of the n00bs are bound to add 30 kilos to their snatches in a few months you must take advantage of this. Be sure to brag to all the other coaches in the area how your coaching has allowed Susy Rottencrotch to go from lifting a PVC pipe to an amazing 40 kilo competition PR total in only a few months.
If you read this blog you should probably already heave competed in some sort of weightlifting meet. Or you should at least be preparing for your first one. IF you haven’t read the rules and become intimately familiar with them you are an idiot. But I come across it all the time… “What do you mean that wasn’t a good lift?” This isn’t @fit people… there are standards. Ground to overhead doesn’t apply here.
Common noobisms you will see at every weightlifting meet.
Dropping the bar behind the head: It usually happens when a lifter has to chase a snatch to the front of the platform. After gaining stability the lifter realizes he/she is out of platform and instead of taking a couple steps back, drops the bar behind his/her head. Three Red Lights. The bar must be dropped in front of the lifter and onto the platform. The Fix – Settle the fuck down and adjust yourself after you have gained control of the weight. Coach your athletes to always drop the bar in front. Also, read the fucking rules.
Dropping the bar before the “Down” command: This is more common than you think. It usually occurs after a PR. I have seen experienced lifters do this too. You must wait for the down signal before lowering the bar. It might seem like you are waiting forever for he signal and you probably are missing something. Are your feet in line? are you demonstrating control? Run through a mental checklist and stay tight. For this mistake I largely blame the coaches. Coaches should train lifters to CLEARLY demonstrate control on all attempts. Lifters should maintain that control as long as reasonable. The Fix – Train every attempt as if you are on the platform. Have a fellow lifter or coach give you “Down” commands in training. Also, read the fucking rules.
Ghosting the Bar: 9 outta 10 you will get away with this, but it’s total noob thing to do. Whilst dropping the bar after a lift, your hands must maintain a hold on the bar until the bar passes your waist. The Fix – Practice releasing the weights properly. Also, read the fucking rules.
These Marines probably got fucked so hard by their 1st Sgt. But I thank them for the humor.
Fucked up elbows: Everyone knows at least one lifter who has an arm that appears to be locked in position for thunderous masturbation. I am referring to the dude who cannot straighten his elbow to save his life. Most judges don’t know you are a chronic meat masher and will not credit your lift, unless you inform them PRIOR to your attempt. The Fix – meet with the judges before the session. Or at least have your coach talk to them. Also, read the fucking rules.
Misloaded bar: Usually the persons responsible for loading the bar are doing so on a voluntary basis. They are sometimes new to lifting or maybe not even a lifter at all. Bars will be misloaded at nearly every meet. The judges should be keeping an eye out for this, as should the lifters’ coaches. But the responsibility ultimately rests on the lifter. A misloaded bar is a little tricky and the decision lies with the jury. You will usually be given another attempt in this situation, but who the fuck wants to waste energy on an unnecessary practice attempt. The Fix – Learn to quickly recognize proper loads. If you are color blind you are truly fucked.
Cursing: I say “fuck” probably 200 times per day. But I never say it within 100 feet of anyone judging me during a competition. Swearing is cool when done at the proper times. It is never cool while you are on the platform with 200 people watching. Even if you bombed on snatches and you are eliminated anyway… just keep your mouth shut and be professional. There are not a lot of judges out there and chances are, the one who heard you yell fuck words at 110 decibels will be a judge again at your next meet.
Elbows hitting the legs during a clean: Also more common than you think. If your elbows touch your legs in the bottom of a clean you will not be credited with the lift. Don’t waste your energy and just dump the bar. Most judges will give you a “down” command or blow the horn right away upon seeing it. The fix – Read the rules. Develop a faster turnover. Become better at weightlifting.
What else do you guys see? I will add it to the list.
Fuck yes, you do.
Mark Rippetoe said it (and he is the smartest man I know). Weightlifting shoes are the only piece of equipment you actually need. Those probably wern’t his exact words, but I have read it in at least two of his books and on numerous posts of his on the intertoobs. Here is my say… If you don’t own and wear weightlifting shoes but you take a protein supplement or “pre-workout” you are n00b. I was guilty of it once. I paid 50 or more per month for a pre-workout and that much or more for protein powders. I spent over 100 per month on shit that wasn’t making much of a difference. Don’t get me wrong about protein… Progenix will surely help recovery and shit like that, but those gainz pale in comparison to wearing lifting shoes.
What will weightlifting shoes do for me?
1. Something Solid to stand on. Does anyone remember those Reebok Zigs commercials with the super ugly, bouncy, foam sole of the shoe designed for functional fitness? What a terrible fucking thing to lift weights with. There is little I can think of that is as uncomfortable as lifting heavy weight whilst standing on a bosu ball (what i imagine it feels like wearing these shoes). I had a friend who wore these and he could CJ 140 kilos in them. Pretty impressive but imagine what he could have done with something solid to stand on. Basically weightlifting shoes are designed with a wooden or rigid plastic sole with zero give.
2. Lateral Support. Those powerlifters with 1000 pound squats blow out powerlifting shoes. If you squat properly and with enough volume you will eventually blow the sides out of any shoe. The force that is driven outwards is immense. cloth shoes will flex and therefore are for noobs. Weightlifting shoes are made of thick leather with one or maybe two straps to ensure this stability.
3. Depth in the squat. Way way back in the days of weightlifting everyone split snatched. It was seen as the most efficient way to get deep under a barbell. The Soviets even had high top leather shoes specifically designed for it. Then, someone determined it was much easier to just squat deeper. Safer too. So then a low top shoe with a raised heel was developed and the world never looked back. (actually, there are a few people who still split snatch). The raised heel is essentially what allows for the depth. It compensates for your terribly poor flexibility in your ankles.
Shit you won’t like about the shoes.
1. Weight. Thick leather, wooden soles, straps. All this adds up to a heavyasfuck shoe. Some people claim the heavy shoes slow their feet down. I would tell them to get stronger legs. They are heavier than a pair of hunting boots.
2. Cost. They are almost all over 100 dollars per pair. Even used ones can be well over 100 dollars. I blame the functional fitness community for this. Their demand for the shoes has caused a shortage in the market. I have paid full price for a pair of used Adistars from some Polish dude. I have paid near full price for a pair of used Nikes. All because they were sold out in every store in the world. A smart shopper can find a used pair for around 100 dollars though. I would encourage you to pass on your used shoes for free though. I have passed on three pairs of my used shoes to new lifters now (free of charge). The weightlifting Gods will surely find a place for me in their heaven because of that.
3. Looks. These are one step below bowling shoes in the fugly department. I usually don’t give a shit how I look. But I take off my lifting shoes as soon as possible. They are the most hideous looking things you can put on your feet. They are brightly colored, have components added to them that make zero sense, and even Justin Bieber couldn’t get laid in them if he wore them to a roller skating rink. The only exception to this is the Adistar Weightlifters.
FAQ regarding shoes. (People actually asked me these questions)
1. Should I wear them when I deadlift? I have been asked this 100 times. Doesn’t seem like a lot until you realize it’s a fucking question regarding shoes. The answer is yes. Back when I was powerlifting a lot in the 90s deadlifting slippers were all the rage. They were essential grippy socks. The idea was… the closer you were to the ground, the less distance you had to pull. Whilst this is technically correct, the knee angle and lateral stability you lose is not worth the 5/8″ extra distance you have to pull.
2. Where do you find used shoes? Ebay and Craigslist. Ask around the club. Chances are someone has an old pair laying around they would part with.
3. Where do I find new shoes? Google that shit. Rogue. Dynamic Eleiko. Viking Weightlifting.
4. Rippetoe says you can squat with a board under your heels. True, this is a temporary fix until you can get shoes. But moving your feet during the competition lifts is important. And I don’t like to try to find a board with my heels when i have 200 kilos on my back.
5. How close to normal shoes do they fit? I will cover this later. But in my experience they fit just about the same or slightly larger than a street shoe.
Adidas Adistar. If you can get your hands on these but them. They are no longer made and only available used or in giant sizes like 16 EEEE. They are the only shoe that somewhat resembles a decent looking shoe. I own two pairs and I had to buy them both used from ebay. I paid more than new of one of the pairs.
Cost. 159 doll hairs new. If you can find them in your size. 100-220 used. If you can find them.
Weight. 4/5. Not a lightweight, but better most of the other styles I have used.
Firmness. 4/5. Very solid platform. Wish it had two straps though.
Heel Height. 4/5. Seems a little low for me.
Appearance and Fit. 4/5. I wear my Military boots in 9.5 extra wide and I wear a 10.5 in these. So the whole rumor about Adidas shoes being narrow is false IMO. They are also the only shoe that looks somewhat decent. I would maybe go 1/2 size smaller if you cant try some on before buying them.
Adidas Adipower. The Red Menace. These shoes only come in bright red, with bright red accents and bright red everything else. There is a touch of black on them somewhere, but you have to look closely. That said, they are pretty easy to buy and probably the best NEW shoe out there.
Cost. 199 doll hairs new. 150-200 used.
Weight. 5/5. They seem lighter than the adistars. Probably the lightest shoe that is still worth buying.
Firmness. 4/5. Again, only one strap. But they fit so god damn well and are of the highest quality manufacture.
Heel Height. 4/5. About the same as the adistar. seems slightly low to me.
Appearance and fit. 4/5. Only one color, communist red. But they feel like you are wearing a slipper. Really comfortable. Sizes the same as an adipower. So maybe go 1/2 size smaller than you think.
Nike Romaleos II. I was very happy with mine. I passed them onto a friend though, in favor of the Adidas. The Chinese wear them. They are fucking awesome lifters.
Cost. 189 doll hairs new.
Weight. 2/5. Heavyasfuck. Nike advertises they are 50 grams lighter than the previous generation. The previous generation must have been made of lead. How much is a gram anyway? I’m no drug dealer but isn’t that almost nothing at all?
Firmness. 5/5. Probably the most stable thing you will ever wear. Its like Robocop’s foot. Two straps as well. I like that.
Heel Height. 5/5. I love squatting in these shoes. Heel seems perfect.
Appearance and Fit. 3/5. At least they have some color options. But the combinations are nothing to be desired. They fit very close to street shoes for me.
Rogue Weightlifting Shoes. Probably most functional fitness peeps’ first weightlifting shoes. They are inexpensive and have all the requirements of a weightlifting shoe. I owned a pair a while back. Actually made by Do-Win, and relabled as Rogue.
Cost. 119 Doll Hairs.
Weight. 3/5. Heavy. Wooden soles.
Firmness. 3/5. Wooden soles may be heavy but they are firm. leather is thick. Two straps are a nice feature but could be placed better upon the shoe.
Heel Height. 4/5. Seems a little short but is advertised as 3/4″.
Appearance and Fit. 3/5. Pretty basic looking shoe. Imagine a bowling shoe with a wooden heel. Fits larger than a street shoe.
Reebok Crossfit Lifter. You can get them custom made in crazy colors and shit. They still aren’t cool. They are designed to be an all purpose shoe. I actually owned some of these when I did @fit. They were stolen out of my car by a crackhead. That crackhead is probably walking around, looking like a retard thinking he is wearing the new hotness. They are still a better option than lifting in running shoes.
Cost. 149 Doll Hairs. More if you want them custom designed.
Weight. 4/5. Very light weight.
Firmness. 3/5. One strap. It is far too short though. Mine would barely close. Feels a little too much like a running shoe.
Heel Height. 4/5. Heel seems about right.
Appearance and Fit. 2/5. I ordered them in the same size as my street shoes and they were way too small. The strap almost didn’t meet the velcro and they seemed far too narrow. There are colors that don’t look ridiculous, but they are hard to find.
Other options I have not tried myself
-Risto Shoes. These are old school. They have been around forever. I don’t know enough about them to write. Someone else have imput on these?
-VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe. These guys make all kinds of shit for track and field. They are the cheapest shoes out there but again, I don’t know enought to write about them.
-2013 Pendlay Weightlifting Shoes. These are also Do-Win Shoes re-labled. They are a new design for 2013 and I am excited to hear what you think about them. (130 Doll Hairs).
-Adidas Power Perfect II. I haven’t tried them. But my coach traded in his adipowers for some and he loves them. He can lift way more than me so I would assume they are good shoes. (Cost. 119 Doll Hairs).
A while back I was in the market for some bearing bars and I asked for your imput. Thanks for all your advice… I listened to none of it and I am glad I did that. I decided to buy a Mens’/Womens’ set of DHS training bars for just over 1000 delivered. (Thanks Sean Waxman for talking me into that). But in the few months since buying those bars the club I lift at has grown like syphilis on the dicks of sailors returning from a port call… out of control. We now have a Pendlay bearing bar, DHS mens’ and womens, Eleiko mens and womens’ competition bars, Eleiko Sport training bearing bar, werksan bearing bar, rogue bushing bars, Pendlay Nexgen HD bars, and a few others that I can’t think of now. Not bad for a club that is less than a year old. I am healed up enough from my injury that I have given a good ride to all the bars I just mentioned. Here are the results…
Cost: About 500 doll hairs
Whip: 3/5. Noticeable but nothing to write home about.
Knurling: 5/5. I can pull on this bar all day and not worry about getting a blood transfusion. Soft, yet tacky enough to not have grip issues.
Spin: 3/5. Spin has not improved with use like the Eleiko, Werksan, and DHS bars
Durability/Appearance: 4/5. Slight discoloration of the metal. But we lift near the ocean and the bar is not chromed like the DHS, Werksan, Eleiko, etc. Everything else is great.
Value: 4/5. I prefer this bar if I am going to have a long session. It won’t beat up the hands or the neck… oh yeah. The bar doesn’t have center knurling which is strange at first. Then you realize center knurling is worthless. It’s made in the US and A by weightlifters.
DHS Needle Bearing Training Bars
Cost: About 480 doll hairs
Whip: 5/5. This thing is like a spaghetti noodle that returns to perfectly straight every time.
Knurling: 4/5. I still have the ability to jerk off after a 2 hour lifting session, but I better use lotion.
Spin. 4/5. Spins better with continued use. Nothing like the Eleiko though.
Durability/Appearance: 4/5. Not a single chip in the bar yet. But the cheap end caps are a detractor. Serial number is hand written. Chrome finish is pretty.
Value. 5/5. The only bearing bar under 500 dollars I would ever consider.
Cost: About 1100 doll hairs
Whip: 5/5. Nothing feels like this bar. You won’t forget your first heavy CJ on one of these.
Knurling: 4/5. A little aggressive for a two hour pulling session, but it’s a competition bar so they are supposed to have aggressive knurling. Will crater your shins if you aren’t careful. I mean this will dig a fucking trench up your legs if you let it.
Spin: 5/5. This mamma jamma will keep spinning as long as you wanna hold the weight off the ground.
Durability/Appearance: 5/5. Looks like new after thousands of drops. The fucking IFW certification stickers are still almost 100 percent intact. Amazing.
Value: 4/5. You can buy two DHS bars and some collars for the price of one of these. But it will allow you to host USAW competitions and it will last longer than you will with proper care.
Cost: about 850 doll hairs
Whip: 4/5. Seems to whip ok. not like the DHS though.
Knurling: 4/5. Similar to Eleiko knurling.
Spin: */*. Hasn’t broken in yet. There is some promise though I think it will never match the Eleiko
Durability/Appearance: 4/5. Looks great, except for the black end cap… whats up with that Werksan?
Value: */*. Too early to tell. You could buy a DHS bar, collars, and two 10 kilo plates for the same money.
These are just the four bars that I frequently lift with… I might write a review on bushing bars in the future, but who still lifts with those? Coming up soon – Pendlay vs Eleiko vs Werksan vs Uesaka bumpers
I let the domain expire back in April. I was sick of writing about @fit. It was too easy. Besides, I was pretty busy. I met a gorgeous women (with a better sinclair than anyone who reads this), bought a fishing kayak, took a few wilderness camping trips, and attempted to qualify for nationals as a 94 kilo lifter. (Update on the last one… I am a long way off. Holy shit these kids can lift fucking weight.)
But then there were a few people who messaged me and told me my blog actually provided them with useful information. So I feel obligated to continue to share what I know. And I feel there are still people out there who should be ridiculed for their retardation. But if you read this to hear me bash @fit you might leave here wanting. Here is the last update on @fit. They compared UBL (Usama Bin Laden) to Robb Wolfe and Mark Rippetoe, they established world records in events without standards that have never been done before, a few people got seriously hurt, and no gainz were made. Onto the useful shit.
Supportive Gear 2: Belts
Most reasonable people will not argue against the use of belts in weightlifting/powerlifting/strongman/or anything else that is worth doing. But there exists a small number of belt haters out there and most of them are in the functional fitness game. If you are one of those “belts weaken your core” idiots, prepare to be wronged.
1. Something to push against. Contrary to what every high school football coach tells a weightroom full of kids… the belt is not used to support your lower back. Sure, it might prevent your L5 from shooting across the room on your max effort deadlift, but the primary use is for something to force your abdomen against, therefore allowing you to remain “tight” throughout a lift (more on this later).
2. You will lift more weight. If worn properly, and you know how to breathe correctly, you will be able to lift more weight. I can’t emphasis enough… you must know how to wear the belt correctly. It should be low on your back, but not so low that it falls into your crease as you squat (this pinches and really fucking hurts). It should also be loose enough to allow you a giant breathe in whilst allowing you room to push against the material. Too tight and you will crush your guts as you squat. Too loose and you won’t have a sufficient object to force your energy against. Basically you have to understand the VALSALVA MANEUVER. If you don’t know this you better start googling.
This is so important I will break from the blog to give you a mini instruction on this.
a. Take in a large breath, filling your “stomach” with as mush air as possible.
b. Close your throat (Glottis).
c. Force all that air against your throat and belt.
d. You should feel your back move into a firm and stable position, hence making a lift safer and easier.
Look, he wears one.
1. You may experience discomfort. Sometimes, and more frequently when I LBBS, my belt will find its way to a position that is far lower than it should be. The result is some skin and tissue getting pinched, with an intense burning sensation immediately thereafter. As stated earlier… the belt has to be put on correctly. Any slight deviance could cause a little pain. But nothing a strength athlete can’t handle.
The advantages really outweigh the disadvantages here. And all those myths about belts… “They will weaken your core”, “Injuries are worse when wearing belts”, “It’s cheating”, those are all bullshit excuses from some noob after you just warmed up with his PR. Belts are allowed by the IWF, all Powerlifting federations (including raw divisions), and all strongman groups that are worth a shit. They have been recognized by multiple respectable organizations as a viable tool to assist in safe lifting. So if you don’t know how to use a belt, or don’t even own one, you are potentially missing out on a simple item that could legally increase your lifts.
1. Powerlifting Belt. These are leather, heavy, expensive, will outlive you, and complex in design. Usually constructed of multiple layers are leather and fastened using a cam lever, ratchet strap, or traditional buckle (although the buckle will be very heavy gauge steel). These belts start around 75 dollars for the generic ones and run all the way up to 400 for the custom competition belts with ratchet straps. These belts are great for deadlifting and the LBBS. But they take forever to break in and put on. I own a Cardillo training belt with the cam lock. I really like the cam lock because it goes on and off in seconds and doesn’t require help from someone else. If you want to see some really funny shit, watch a group of powerlifters put their belts upon each other. It’s quite an affair.
I have the one on the right. It goes on and off quickly and performs well. Don’t buy that worthless shit on the left.
2. Weightlifting belts. These are of a lighter duty leather than a powerlifting belt and usually single ply. These are almost always fastened with a buckle. These belts are probably what you remember using incorrectly in high school, as this is the oldest, and most common form of belt around. It is usually larger (about 4″) in the back than in the front. There is really no need for the belt to be smaller in the front, although some people claim they get less skin pinching with the tapered belts. These belts cost around 20-50 dollars. I own the Eleiko model, which is loosely modeled after some type of high speed Russian belt from the 70′s.
Another of my belts… I have recently fallen out of love with this belt in favor of my cheap Valeo.
3. All purpose belts. These are the belts that will probably be adequate for 99 percent of people out there. They are typically canvas or some type of cloth. The most common closure is velcro, although some use a plastic clasp. Velcro is the preferred closure and will degrade over time, but steer clear of anything plastic on a belt. You will break it at the wrong time and the results can be disastrous. I own a Valeo that is 4″ around the entire length of the belt. I think I paid 20 dollars for it. The velcro is starting to fail, but who gives a fuck. It was only 20 dollars. These are also great because it allows for exact adjustments.
10 dollars and it works very, very well.
Now some FAQs I get all the time regarding belts.
1. At what percent of my maxes should I wear my belt? I don’t know. But I would wear it for anything that requires you to focus on keeping a tight core. For me, this is around 70 percent. That is not an exact figure that will work for everyone. I am more phenomenal than most.
2. Why doesn’t my gym have belts for public use, like jump ropes? Belts get sweaty and nasty. Belts break in to the individual. Quit being a cheap fuck and just buy your own belt.
3. Will I hit the bar on the belt during cleans or snatch? Maybe. It is important to keep the bar close during your pulls. But if you lift at all with a belt on you will quickly become accustomed to it. I wouldn’t wear a belt for the first time at a competition. The same advice goes for all gear. Train like you will compete.
4. My @fit coach told me my back will get weaker if I wear a belt. Is this true? Your coach is a fucking retard.
5. What lifts do you use a belt for? I use a belt when I clean and jerk, overhead press, LBBS, and HBBS, Deadlift. I don’t like it when I snatch.
In conclusion… it’s a “legal-in-all-federations” item that may help you lift more weight and wont harm you in any way. Use it.
Knee sleeves aren’t functional. Neither are belts. Knee wraps surely aren’t functional. Add chalk, wrist wraps, tape, compression gear, headbands, and all that other crazy shit you use to the list. So let’s just get this over with right now for all you “Purely Functional Fitness” Krawsfettars out there… In my world the only thing that matters is numbers. Numbers put up in accordance with standards. And most organizations allow “Gear” in competitions. Therefore, if you don’t use “Gear” for an advantage, you are either a fucking retard or so good that you don’t require gear to crush huge weights. *I will address gear I consider to be “Silly Bullshit” (Credit for Silly Bullshit goes to Mark Rippetoe) in later posts. Don’t discredit me right away.
Right from the websites of the two organizations I compete in….
“Raw/Unequipped lifting is defined in USAPL competition as using only the following gear and accessories as previously described above:
(a) Non-supportive singlet
(g) Wrist wraps
(h) Single-ply neoprene knee sleeves without attaching and/or tightening mechanisms like Velcro, clips, or straps”
The IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) does not ban knee sleeves or wraps. They make no mention of them in the rules. However, I have seen several people be warned by judges as to the singlet contacting the knee sleeves. Most judges will require a 1″ gap between the sleeves and the singlet.
When asking yourself, “Should I use supportive gear when weightlifting?” the answer should be most of the time. The US Marines have a saying… “Train like you fight.” (Unfortunately they rarely follow their own good advice). If you plan on using sleeves in a competition I would wear them whenever you lift.
Reasons for Knee Sleeves
1. They keep your knees warm. If you are an old man lifter, or very near the Masters division, you probably understand how hard it is to properly warm up. I personally can’t get rid of my knee pain and stiffness until about 20 pulls into a workout. With the sleeves that number is slightly lower. They aren’t magic, but they will make your knees warm almost as soon as you put them on.
2. They offer a LITTLE bit of help out of the bottom. If you have a little trouble standing up with 140 kilos you might notice a slight difference with sleeves. You will not be able to instantly stand up 150 just because you put on some sleeves. I personally feel like I catch a little better bounce out of the bottom with them.
3. They help your Patellar Tendon track properly. I am not a doctor, too smart for that profession. But I would guess that your patella being the correct spot whilst you try to manipulate heavy weight would be a good thing.
Disadvantages of Knee Sleeves
1. The bar might contact them. Keeping the bar close is of vital importance to successful weightlifting and powerlifting. Knee sleeves are 7mm thick. If you are really good at keeping the bar close to your body you may occasionally make contact between the bar and the sleeves. It sucks and sometimes wrecks your pull. But then again, why the hell were you not moving your knees out of the way?
2. They are expensive. Not really. If you shop around you can probably pick up a pair of high end knee sleeves for around 75 dollars American, shipped. 75 dollars is a lot of money if you are already paying 200+ doll hairs per month for your shitty @fit gym.
3. They are not very durable. I know I will get several emails from people claiming their knee sleeves have lasted 10 years. But from my experience they stretch out quickly, develop a smell resembling death in a few weeks, and rip beyond repair at random times.
4. They will rip out your leg hair. Certain models will remove all of your leg hair in the most painful way that you could ever imagine. See more about this later.
Trust me… the Advantages far outweigh the Disadvantages. So now, your only question should be, “What sleeves should I buy?” Here are your options.
Tommy Kono was pretty much the Bad Motherfucker of the 1950s. He put his name on a lot of assistance gear since then. His knee sleeves were the first ones that I bought. I initially hated them and put them to the bottom of my gym bag after wearing them only once. That was back in my @fit days. They were so tight it was impossible to walk correctly in them, let alone run, during a workout. They took me 10 minutes to put on. I revisited them when I was on the path to recovery from my achilles surgery. I was going to do a powerlifting competition and the only thing allowed in the competition (New USAPL Raw Rules) was knee sleeves. I started to squat in them… then I started to train with them in the Olympic lifts. Then I wore them all the time. Until they developed a tiny tear and then proceeded to explode over the course of the next 5 pulls.
Here you can see the blow out that I experienced.
Tommy Konos Rate as follows: (Out of five X’s)
Ease of wear: X
In order to don these I had to turn them inside out, pull them up to my calves, pull them over my knees, deal with all my leg hairs getting ripped off, and then adjust them for the proper height. That would just tear more hair out.
Help in the Bottom: XXXXX
These will literally make you feel like a superman in the bottom. More comfortable than knee wraps and almost as helpful.
About 40 dollars each. 80 per set. Not crazy expensive, not cheap either.
I personally don’t care about running. So this is not that important to me. But if you are an @fitter you won’t like to use these unless you are doing Karen or some other shit that doesn’t require you to run.
Mine lasted for only about 20 lifting sessions. I loved them until they exploded on me. Maybe I got a bad one. Even though I had one explode I would still buy them again.
I ordered my Rehbands within two minutes of my Tommy Konos exploding. They came in the mail less than four days later. I was instantly impressed. It took me less than five seconds to don them both, I removed no leg hairs in the process, and they made my knees feel like Glassman feels after his second bottle of gin. I did not get that huge rubber band feeling in the bottom like I did with the Tommy Konos but there was some noticeable help.
Ease of wear: XXXXX
Slid up my legs easier than compression socks. Not a single hair pulled out in the process.
Help in the Bottom: XXX
Meh… they help and you will notice it. You will miss the Tommoy Kono spring though.
About 40 dollars each. 80 per set. Same as the TKs.
I wouldn’t run a 5k in them. But who the fuck runs a 5k anyway?
They sure look more durable. They feel that way too. But who knows? I haven’t used them all that long. I have heard stories of them lasting for 5 years or more. Although I would think the smell would fucking kill someone.
Where do you buy these??? Google them. I don’t get paid by anyone so I won’t throw out a particular business. I use amazon.com for a lot of shit. Someone sponsor me so I can say that you are the best place to buy shit from. Oh, there are a lot of cheaper options out there too. These are just the two that I know. More on other options later.
On Sunday, April 07 2013, Squatmore Weightlifting club will be hosting a FREE instructional session at Pariah Crossfit in Oceanside CA from 9 am to 12 pm. If you are a Crawsfettar of southern California and have a free Sunday… wait, you are probably all doing 13.5 for the fourth time just in case you get that score that moves you up 500 places. Well, in the rare case that there exists someone who is not sitting at their computer hitting refresh every 10 seconds, watching their rank drop faster than a teenage girl to Justin Bieber’s dick, that person should really make an attempt to come and get some lifting in.
Still not convinced?
1. It’s Free. Normally a single session with Coach Erik is 20 dollars. You can use that 20 dollars you will be saving to
sign up for waste on the @fit open in 2014.
2. Top Shelf Gear. All my top quality shit is at Pariah for Olympic lifting use. It is the best equipment in all of southern Cal. Enough bearing bars for everyone, competition plates, all the shit in Kilos (Who lifts in pounds anymore?). Werksan, Pendlay, Eleiko, DHS
3. There is no Football on the Tele. Unless you are balls deep in some strange you do not have a better place to be.