30 Muscle-ups

I’ve been craving some muscle-ups during quarantine after going over two months without doing any. I loaded a ladder and my rings in the truck this afternoon and headed over to a playground.

My head was smacking the bar when I set the rings up, got on them, and pressed out, so give me a break on some of the lockouts. I didn’t want a concussion so I made the best of the situation. 😉

Date Time for 30 Muscle-ups
Jan 31, 2019 6:55
Dec 19, 2019 5:55
May 16, 2020 4:48

I think my days of knocking a minute off my time are officially over.

Hot Take: Most CrossFitters Should Avoid Butterfly Pull-ups

Hear me out!

After some travel and recovering from a bad back tweak, I had only done strict pull-ups for about 5 weeks. On Tuesday I was able to add the more CrossFitty pull-up back in, doing 75 in an eight minute workout. The workout was a five rounder with 15 pull-ups per round and I was able to split those up in to three sets of five each time. I did every rep with the gymnastics kip instead of the butterfly kip I’d typically use. It got me thinking about pull-ups in CrossFit.

In the early days of CrossFit (before I started) there were strict pull-ups and the kipping pull-up. Then in 2007 came the butterfly.

It was invented as a way for competitors to do pull-ups faster. I’ll say that again. It was invented as a way for competitors to do pull-ups faster.

Sure, it also allows the general CrossFit population to be able to do some pull-up faster as well. In my experience though, it’s a lot more taxing on our breathing and our grip, compared to the gymnastics kipping pull-up. If a workout calls for high rep pull-us and you’re using the butterfly, before you know it, you’re taking a lot longer rests and doing smaller and smaller sets. Competitors don’t run into this problem anywhere close to the degree that us mortals do. They’re able to keep working on very short rests with much larger sets. The butterfly pull-up speed makes a big difference for them. Over the course of most workouts, I’d bet the butterfly pull-up and associated rest between smaller and smaller sets doesn’t give us normal CrossFitters any speed advantage at all; it’s slowing us down in the long run.

The butterfly pull-up also puts more stress on the shoulder because of the violent change in direction at speed. The risk of injury is higher.

Next time you’re doing a workout with a lot of pull-ups, consider sticking to the original kipping pull-up. I know I will. Leave the butterfly for those short workouts where you can maintain sets with little rest.

What do you think?

300 Pound Bench Press

In 2017 I made a run at a 300 pound bench press and hit 290 before getting bored with it. Earlier this year, on June 8th, I set a goal to bench press 300 pounds before my 40th (on December 26th) and announced it on Instagram.

I fucking did it!

Out of everything I’ve been able to do in my 8+ years of CrossFit, I might be the most proud of this achievement. 🙂

Growing up I wasn’t strong and I didn’t have muscles. Soaking wet, I might have weighed 165 pounds in high school. During and after college, I think I got up to a 205 pound bench press. Getting 300 pounds was never a realistic goal for my size and strength.

I gained weight over the years. When I started CrossFit I tipped the scale at about 190 and had never seen 200+. At the time I had a goal never to be 200 pounds. Silly! During that first year of CrossFit, I leaned out and got down to 173. Then I slowly but steadily got stronger and built muscle. It my heaviest, in 2017, I weighed 217. Right now I’ve been stable at 202-203.

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Why does this matter? Generally the bigger you are, the more weight you can lift. Mass moves mass. It also shows how my relationship with weight and my understanding of what is healthy has evolved. So much for never weighing more than 200 pounds! I think I carry my weight pretty good for a guy turning 40. 😉

If you want to call it bragging, humble bragging, or whatever… go shit on someone else’s lawn because I don’t give a fuck. I’m proud of my hard work. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I love me some me.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, but if I can do it, so can you. Set a goal, tell people, pick a timeline, make a plan, do work, and have patience.

What do you want to do for yourself? Start today.

20.5

Finished 20.5 with a time of 18:57.

I’ll probably do 20.3 in a couple of weeks since I had to skip it.

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20.4

It was disappointing not being able to make an attempt at 20.3 last week with my back acting up. I’m in the game this week and this was my jam!

Bear KompleX Black Diamond 3 Hole Grips

These grips are money for pull-ups and toes to bars! I’ve used a bunch of different grips over the years and these are the best by far. I didn’t care for them when doing bar muscle-ups though, because they grip so well and I prefer something that can slide around the bar more. I’m really liking the bigger size XL after using larges in a couple of other Bear KompleX styles.

After a few weeks I still haven’t needed to use chalk on these grips.

Saturday Workouts

I’m dealing with a calf strain as well as babying my back after a couple of tweaks, so I’m exercising in the garage more than normal. I don’t usually put workouts on this site, but what I came up with today was fun, so I thought I’d share.

The first workout was a pyramid of single arm dumbbell shoulder presses. Start at 5# and do 5 reps on each arm. Add 5# each set, continuing to do 5 reps per arm. Repeat all the way up to 50#. Do a second set with the 50# dumbbell for each arm and then decrease by 5# each set back down to 5#. It ends up being 20 sets for 100 total reps on each arm.

The second workout I did was:

20-15-10-5

  • Burpees
  • Dumbbell Box Step Overs (24″, 35# DBs)

Give these a try and let me know what you think.