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What is Strength?

An inflated Powerlifter with a hairy Russian name walks up to a barbell with 700 pounds of metal and other hard alloys attached. He yells, breathes, does a sun salutation, takes a robotic bow, and then lifts the weight to a standing position (yelling while he does it). That is a strong man.

Meanwhile in Mulanville, Ling Cho jumps onto a set of rings. In one graceful act he pulls himself from a hanging position slowly to a support position above the rings. He then squints his eyes (for which he is deducted points) and brings his hips and feet over his head before spreading his arms apart from each other in a perfect inverted cross (yelling would be cause for more point reduction, so he avoids it). This is considered a rudimentary position. But to Muggles like us, that is a strong man.

New Jersey, 1994(ish) – Shaquille O’Neal does this in front of 20,000 people.

He yells that he is a strong man with a few additional four-letter adjectives mixed in.

Finally in the bowels of Louisiana, Jay Paul Molinaire jumps out of his father’s boat to wraaastle an alligator in open water. After giving it the old headlock/takedown move I pulled on Ray Pippin, he stuns it long enough for his dad, RJ, to connect with the Shotgun on the quarter-sized kill spot. Because Native American tradition calls for minimal equipment when hunting, Jay Paul drags the dead 12-foot gator in the boat by hand. Considerably strong as well but nothing out of the ordinary for the Kings of the Swamp.

My question is: who is the strongest?

100th episode of Swamp People on tonight at 9 pm!


As I mentioned in The In-Season Training Manifesto, the word “strength” is used so much in the sports and fitness world that the meaning has become diluted and cliché. When in doubt, say the weird-looking thing you are caught in the act of doing “builds strength” and you’ll get by. But how can you know what builds strength? What is the best way to measure strength? What is the first way to measure strength?

What actually is strength?

I think CrossFit’s definition is close. They see strength as the productive application of force. The only thing wrong with that is “force” isn't something that can be applied, to my understanding, considering it’s a reaction (correct phrase would be applying bodyweight or applying movement). But still, they understand that strength is based on real-world application – which is why textbook definitions like “contractile potential of a muscle” or high school football coach Neilson’s “GET BIG AAARRRGGGGHHHHH” don’t hold much weight in real life. What a basketball player considers strength is different than what a gymnast would consider strength – which is also different than a Weightlifter. When you are dealing with all of these specific practices and individual worlds the vocabulary can get confusing.

The overlapping of terms can lead to dead-end arguments like bar position in the squat (high bar vs. low bar) and kipping pull-up vs. strict pull-up. It even translates into sport-specific examples like man-to-man vs zone defense, spread vs. pro style, DH vs. no DH. With the term “strength” we have the same issue. When trying to understand this, it is best to apply Hermione’s Law to this situation and address the one thing all these areas have in common: the human body.

When pinpointing a universal definition of strength, we have to merge on the connecting theme and figure out what exactly makes that thing (the human body) strong… or the strongest. The answer is surprisingly simple: midline stability. In order to maintain midline stability, three things need to happen: 1) your spine experiences no change in shape through movement, 2) In all motions of joint flexion, external rotation is required to create stability, 3) In all motions of joint extension, internal rotation is required to create stability. So in this sense, Strength would be determined by a human’s ability to maintain stable positions. The more things you can maintain stability, the Stronger you are. From here we can branch out with specific kinds of strength.

Gymnastics strength

This is the most fundamental expression of strength. When we think of Gymnastics strength, we think of bodyweight movements. Pull-up, handstands, levers, muscle-ups. These are all Gymnastics movements that require a good amount of Strength to perform. The sad thing is in the world of competitive Gymnastics, these movements don’t even make the difficulty scale. Instead, they do things with names I have no interest in looking up. A gymnast performing an iron cross while letting nothing but his arms move is an example of maintaining stability, and the exact degree of that is judged by a panel.

Barbell strength*

The barbell is the most effective tool at measuring strength. It is the only method that puts consistent numbers in the equation.  That precision and accuracy also makes it great for developing Strength. There are two popular sub-categories of Barbell strength worth noting: Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting. Powerlifting consists of three movements: Deadlift, Back squat, and Bench Press. Olympic Weightlifting includes two lifts: Clean & jerk and the Snatch. Every single weighted thing in the gym branches down from these movements. But the overlap between them can bring some confusion. For instance, the deadlift is 1/3 of the sport of Powerlifting, but is also involved in the clean and the snatch. This overlap has caused a lot of unnecessary arguments that could be settled if either side understood the purpose of the opposing technique.

What’s interesting is there is no judge of form in lifting competitions as there is in gymnastics competitions. Since the standards are so definite (bring the bar from here to here) athletes will often break form in order to meet the standard. So a lifter who can deadlift 500 pounds with a perfectly flat back has more Strength than someone who has to round like a cat to lift it. Even though their Barbell strength is the same, their capacity to maintain stability is not.

*For the purpose of this term “Barbell strength” refers to weight room numbers. So dumbbells, kettlebells, and even machines would be grouped into this.

Athletic strength

This is where things start to get tricky. In the previous categories, you have very specific actions someone is expected to do with their Strength. Athletics is such a wide umbrella it’s really impossible to isolate Strength when so many outside factors come into play. Not only that, but the expression of Strength is different. It looks like Lebron shooing a fly off his arm while en route to a roof-shattering monkey cram, or Bo Jackson snapping a bat over his head because he is Bo Jackson, or Denard Robinson impersonating a bowling ball running through Ohio State’s secondary. But those are all examples of the athlete maintaining stability.

For what it’s worth, the people of significant Athletic strength have put a lot of stock in Barbell and Gymnastics strength in hopes it translates into what they do in their sports. Because sport-specific skills all very advanced progressions of formal movements like push-ups and box jumps, it is easy to get lost in the transition and therefore hard to match up what part of Strength translates to what. Again, it is impossible to know for sure, but I would guess Bo Jackson can do a decent amount of pull-ups.

Country strength

I could go into detail about this category talking of daily functional movements, lifting odd objects, and having long hair. But in reality nobody knows what the hell goes on down here. That is for Ryan Richard and Brian the Trainer to discuss over a glass of whole milk. I certainly have no business in this category. All I can say is they must have some maintenance of stability because they can do these feats of strength till the cows come home and never break a bone in their life.

There are probably more sub-categories of Strength (Strength endurance, dad strength, HM04), but this is all I can think of at the moment. For the sake of clarification, further use of the word Strength with a capital “S” refers to the universal definition about maintaining stability. Any other example with a lower case “s” will be preceded by a specific example. But more than the definition or disambiguation, the most important thing about Strength is understanding why we want it in the first place. It is then we realize when looking at Strength, we are still not zoomed out all the way because Strength is actually a part of a much bigger whole, and that is your fitness. In fact, it is one of 10 components of fitness:

To take Strength out its context is compromising to both the Strength itself and the fitness structure it is a part of. Take a clean for example. If someone were to solely work on Deadlifts and Front squats for five years they would build a greater base to be able to move the heaviest possible weight to clean. But if they never practiced the coordination to connect the two movements then the strength is useless in its goal to perform a clean – which is known as The Life Story of Alex Faust. The same can be said for practicing the coordination of a clean with a PVC pipe for five years. All the clean technique in the world won’t save you if you can’t lift a 95-lb. bar off the floor.

The 10 general physical skills are interdependent of each other. You could take any one of the other categories and see how a deficiency in that area would negatively affect your expression of Strength. On the converse, you could see how a lack of Strength will negatively affect every other area. If one area is lacking, all the areas will be lacking. And if you need to bias that area in your training, it is important to keep it in the context of its relationship with the other nine pieces. The most common training bias in programs is based on Strength (usually Barbell strength). And rightfully so. It is an area of fitness that needs to be developed just as badly as Coordination, Endurance, or Power. However, figuring out exactly where to prioritize Strength depends on who I am talking to.

For athletes like Matt Fecht and Shannon, Strength is a dire need. Because Track People get confused easily, the Marathon Goblin and Air Canada have been instructed to stay away from barbells and gymnastics. If they gain a pound they must cut off a finger to counterbalance. As a result, 80% of all runners are injured every year. Well done trolls, you kill two of our favorite athletes.

Then take Football athletes for instance. Their need for Strength is just as great as a stereotypical runner – but not the barbell strength they are force-fed at nausea. At no point in any game will they be taking an evenly distributed bar and squatting it five times, but they are training as if this was part of the gameplan. So in this scenario, Strength is being overrated only because nothing else is taught. Due to their previous exposure to a specific aspect of Strength (Barbell strength), teaching and developing things like Coordination and Flexibility would be emphasized – with Strength still playing a role in daily training.

What about for CrossFit? The goal of CrossFit is to provide a broad, general, and inclusive fitness; a skillset that will render itself useful to any and all physical activities. Seeing as we are a CrossFit gym, I believe in this. If not, I would have opened a Powerlifting gym, Gymnastics facility, or running club. The addition of “strength programs” in CrossFit started to get popular after the 2008 CrossFit Games when all of the workouts (except one I think) went short and heavy. This was programmed as a spontaneous solution to get the unexpected surplus of Games participants through every workout in enough time. As a result, lots of CrossFit coaches started to bias the strength portion of fitness because they were behind on the standard of CrossFit expressed by the Games. If the 2015 Games replaced all heavy workouts with moderate weighted met-cons, a shot put event, and a wraastling tournament nobody would program additional barbell strength into daily workouts. It’s a trickle-down effect.

I have a few issues with traditional strength programs. First, they have the word “strength” in them. This is completely a personal thing and has nothing to do with the quality of their program. But in my eyes, the strength they cover is only a portion of the Strength an athlete should develop (even though it does help). It kind of skews the term “strength” to the general training public. This is also why I don’t like the word CrossFit in the CrossFit Games. Again, just a personal thing and not to be taken too seriously.

Secondly, they are limited in their approach by only working with a barbell (or a barbell-type substance). Not only are they taking away from practice at other expressions of Strength, but by extension, taking away from overall fitness (even if fitness is not your goal, improving other factors helps Strength). Here’s another way to look at it: If I were to implement a Barbell strength program at the gym, it would be something by Louie Simmons. As far as I know, nobody in the free world makes heavier barbells move than his guys. However if I were to implement a Strength program for the gym, it would be something a male gymnast team was doing. In my opinion, they are the Strongest athletes on the planet and their movements develop more flexibility, coordination, accuracy, and balance.

Finally, the argument that traditional Barbell strength programs are the only way to get strong annoys me more than anything. It’s like saying playing basketball is the only way to get good at sports. To assume that their specific rep scheme of 3’s and 5’s is some magic formula is dim. In reality, every time you lift something you are getting stronger. 5x5 squat makes you stronger. 21-15-9 cleans and ring dips makes you stronger. Climbing a rope five times makes you stronger. If one day you lift 95 pounds and are sore afterwards and next day you lift 95 pounds the exact same way but are not sore afterwards, you got stronger. It is that limited view of Strength which ultimately leads back to fitness that causes injury and stalls in athletic development.

Our goal is to build as much Strength as possible without taking it out of context of what it is actually needed for – a foundation to move. Since there are nine other areas of Fitness to worry about, we do not do an additional Strength program. (In fact, I would do CrossFit Endurance before something Strength oriented because we need it more and it’s probably the best specialized program out there.) So until then, we patiently progress them all as inclusively as possible. When specializing, something has to give. And in the frame of people who don’t specialize, our “traditional” strength numbers stack up pretty well because of our understanding of upper case Strength. 

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Reader Comments (26)

Binno did a quick check on the force thing about CrossFit's definition. I may make a revision on that part. It doesn't really change the point of the article though

March 30, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

Nice article. Thick, solid, tight.

But seriously it was really a good read. Enjoyed all of it and made this class a lot easier to sit through.

I really liked the different classifications of strength. I actually agree with that.

Just curious, how many strength cycles have you run? I mean you talk about them like my old strength coaches used to talk about crossfit, who had never done crossfit.

I do believe that traditional programs are much better suited to build strength. I also know that doing the same movements can prevent athletes from being introduced to weaknesses they have, and that for the most part, those programs will not build a well rounded athlete.

That being said, any good coach will make adjustments to their programming to fit an athletes needs. I think that what we do can be, and should be complemented by a short strength program every few months.

I believe there is a reason several other gyms do this, and I think that providing additional workload in the form of a traditional beginner strength program to the athletes who have the necessary movement patterns down would be a huge addition to the gym.

Now this is nothing new for me to say. I have said this a hundred times to you. Each time it has been shot down before the run-on sentence had time to flow from my kisser.

But, for the sake of wanting to lift heavy things and feel comfortable doing so, I will ask again. Why not?

Why not try something like this out. A 4 week 5/3/1 program, or something similar that is a beginner, linear progression system to test this out.

We had three people record sub 17 minute filthy 50s. Rx'D.

We had

one back squat of 300 pounds or more.

A gym max 3RM deadlift of 335 pounds.

No one has cleaned 250# since Ryan left to kill Squatch's with his bare hands in the forest.

In my opinion we are seriously lacking in the "barbell" portion of strength.

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

In order of your questions:

1) I have done Barbell strength programs on two separate occasions. Once cycle of CrossFit Football (maybe two, I can't remember). And some random shit our coaches at Albion threw together - not really anything I am familiar with. I also started Bigger, Faster, Stronger when I was a freshman in high school but stopped because it was boring. But your point is made, my experience in that is much less than CrossFit.

2) Why not? Because within the confines of an hour session, a Barbell strength portion would take away time from a warmup where we practice skill and Strength. Because the more stuff we do, the less quality there is to the stuff. Because the meat and potatoes of CrossFit is the metcons and lifting heavy may take away from it (or may not, who knows). Because I would do a Louie thing before 5-3-1 if my goal was to lift heavier weights. Because we need endurance more than strength. Because I am stubborn in my ways to pick a program that works and stick with it. Because in my opinion, it is not a need. All of our athletes get stronger - some at a scary rate - without doing a progressive consistent Barbell strength program.

3) Your numbers are off. If I count, I did a 355 lb. 3 rep deadlift after the sessions that day. JZ witnessed. JZ and Collin both squatted 300 lbs at Lifts 4 Gifts. I also guarantee Alex Faust has better numbers in both areas. And a few of our athletes are away at school.

3a) As was my point with the article, the Barbell numbers are misleading. True the Kavanaughs, Banets, Alyssa Jabara, Lil Kim, Katie Bromm, and Maria all cannot boast about having 300 lb. squats. In fact, I doubt they ever will. But they can maintain very stable positions while moving - and squat a lot of weight compared to other girls their age. Max numbers are not the best determinate of a program. It is more based on the natural talent pool you recruited. Cam, Faust, AJ, Shannon, Josh, Shane, Buzz, and DeJour all joined the gym within a 2 month window. Our max lifts and best times immediately went up the second they walked in.

Jacob, my question to you is: lacking compared to what? Teenage girls? Parents in their 50's?

March 30, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

Lacking compared to other crossfitters who have similar experience.

There was recently a poll on /r/crossfit about what most clients look for when looking for a new box.

It went something along the lines of

1. Programming options/ Open gym options
2. Trainers
3. Equipment
4. Availability
5. Cost
6. Community

I believe that you do a great job at 2 and 6.
Above average at 3,4,5

But people want that number 1 man. Obviously what we are doing builds strength.

But it feels like I have some bad ass motorcycle in my garage, but I am only allowed to ride it once a month, and I have to go within the speed limit every time I do.

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

I understand Jacob. And you do. You just need to learn how to ride first.

March 30, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

Great article, I was really looking forward to this and I will argue with Jacob to an extent till the cows go home, but Chris brings about some good points which is making this fun. The one thing I have seen is in the strength programs (college) I was associated with or saw had a window into, are starting to integrate functional movements into their workouts, realizing and justifying a lot of Chris's arguments. Strength programs have forgotten they are training football players for examples, not body builders, and that was a MASSIVE downfall for the northwood program, and only recently have we seen migration of different kinds of strength, and partially because of my influence from summer 2013 (sorry everyone, but chris deserves some props for that). I use my clean for example, if I was taught the technique from the beginning I would love to know what my numbers are, and its a perfect example of where the "strength" programs have lacked over the years in teaching. On the flip side Jacob brings a great point, and I see strength programs adapting, so when will we to the strength side. This is why Jacob and I love max effort days compared to most people on those days (shannon lol). A beautiful marriage between functional movements of strength and traditional barbell strength would be perfect for this gym and also for most strength programs, and it is happening and I really think will start to happen at this gym. Kids are starting to push for the RX workouts, putting up great numbers and it has to be coming, and I have high hope that it will this summer.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandro

the dictionary defines strength as:

1. the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
2. mental power, force, or vigor.
3. moral power, firmness, or courage.
4. power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc.
5. number, as of personnel or ships in a force or body:
"a regiment with a strength of 3000."
6. effective force, potency, or cogency, as of inducements or arguments:
"the strength of his plea."
7. power of resisting force, strain, wear, etc.

However, I think that to often we define strength as how much we can lift or how big are biceps are. We put to much emphasis on size and numbers. instead we should put more emphasis on sport specific strength. what good would it do Kyle Korver or tiger Woods to have arms that look like Rich Piana ( the man ) , or Jay Cutler ( not the Bears QB) those guys are pretty strong but it is not functional for those athletes to be that big. For athletes like me gaining size or mass is not a good thing. Think about how bad running already sucks ( yes even I think running sucks ) just imagine carrying an extra 10 or 20 pounds around for a couple of hours for a run. While most runners come from programs that do not encourage Olympic lifting. However most runners do have a lot of time spent with core and body weight exercises such as push up and pull ups. Sports specific strength should be the new definition that is used, or baseball strength, football strength. Track strength, cross country strength, marathoning strength are all different a 400 meter runner and a 10k runner need different forms of strength not just running strength The same as a quarterback and offensive lineman are different strength. I don't think that we can just use the word strength anymore because there are so many different examples of strength.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

also nobody as touched on the mental aspect of strength yet.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Matt, mental strength is still your capacity to maintain stability. Also, I would argue if you had done more Barbell strength with Coach T earlier in your career coupled with your running you may have been a little bit stronger and would not have suffered some of the injuries you have.

Alex, you can do a 275 lb jumping reverse bicep curl. Barbell strength is not lacking for you. Everything else is. But, I do understand for you and Jacob and Morrow that despite all of your arguments, the main reason you insist on doing Barbell strength program is because it is FUN and something you guys enjoy. I also know that if it were up to Shannon and Murley and Ricky (who we will convince to play football if it kills us), they would never do a workout that lasts under 10 minutes. Those long metcons are FUN for them. Fun is not always the best thing to go on.

March 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

Fun is the best thing to go on. For us at least. Matt talked about developing sport specific strength as being the number one most important facet of this whole editorial. Well I agree with that, it is hard not to do so, but we don't have a sport anymore.

There is nothing holding us to working out besides us wanting to do so. There is no voice in the back of my head saying "F**k this workout sucks, but I am going to be a monster next football season." We do this because it is fun for us.

I have said it a million times, the best workout program is one you can stick to. To want to stick to something without a sport specific motive, I need to have fun doing it and feel rewarded by doing it.

Most college aged males have the most fun, and feel the most through a program that has a dedicated barbell strength portion. I believe in this. I also believe this is part of the reason why this demographic has historically been lacking in the Champions Club. And why there is such a high turnover rate for males my age.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

feel the most reward*

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

Nice article. Agree with a lot of this. Especially the piece about midline stability. As I get older, I have come to better appreciate so-called core strength. However. Thinking only about midline leaves out a very important aspect of strength - the prime movers, namely. Yes, you have to keep a neutral spine to most efficiently display strength. But it won't amount to much without the shoulder/hip. The prime movers, baby.

Will comment another time about bias in programming... Hot topic I see.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Mel, I actually had four sentences about prime movers in the paragraph about midline stability I cut out when I was making my revisions. It was getting a little bit too long as it was. Here's what I had.

"The concept of Loading Order [or Prime Movers as you mentioned Mel] means whatever bends first carries the most load through the movement. This is a very strict concept that must be maintained through the formal movement we see in the weight room. But during sports, an athlete may be spontaneously required to break that rule in order to accomplish something specific for that sport. So having the Laws of Torque ingrained into your nervous system helps buffer against that"

Basically the point is breaking the Loading Order also compromises your ability to maintain torque. So I just kind of grouped it in with torque so as not to sound redundant.

March 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

Good post Chris, I enjoyed reading it. Definitely agree about the definition of strength for whatever specific movement or sport someone is performing.

On the topic of barbell strength, I propose an idea for you. Take it or just throw it back at me, but at least take the time to mull over the benefits it may produce. I would like to propose the idea of a power hour, which is what we currently have over at Greater Lansing CrossFit. The idea is that the power hour is a complement for the metcons. If you do not do the metcon WOD either the day before or the day of the power hour, you cannot participate in the power hour. In order to participate in the power hour, one must show you that they are proficient in all of the movements. For the day, you (as in Chris) will program whatever movements we will be doing, whether it be 5×5 squats, 100 feet farmers walks, or snatches every minute on the minute. While we are working on the movements, there is no coach to watch us (Unless you feel like it). At this point, we should be able to recognize our own or our partner’s faults. It is our responsibly to lift with good position, just as we would if we were by ourselves at a globo gym.

I see this producing many different benefits:
1. It allows you to try your own programming. I understand that you currently do not like to focus much on the programming for the workouts, but doing this may change your mind. It is simpler than programming for a metcon considering power hour would consist of only one or two lifts. This will only help you grow as a coach. Who knows you may even enjoy it and start programming your own metcons.
2. It will keep a group of certain handsome gentlemen very happy. We enjoy doing barbell strength stuff, and it can be very frustrating at times when there are metcons for two straight weeks. Plus, we enjoy seeing the numbers on our Olympic lifts and Power lifts go up. (Yes I know if we do the workouts we already do we will see an increase in Barbell strength, but I think there can be an even greater increase with a barbell strength dedicated program)
3. We can be your guinea pigs to see if there is a significant increase in performance in our WOD’s. I truly believe that a barbell strength program can increase our performance in the metcons.
4. If this were to work and stick around, I believe that it would be an even greater draw for potential clients.
5. Brian the Trainer would come back and get swole with us.
(There's probably more benefits I forgot, but I'm about to leave to workout right now)

If this is implemented I would be willing to pay an extra fee, and I’m sure Jacob and Faust would too. We would stay focused on our lifts and not screw around, as we would understand it’s a privilege. It will not be distracting to whatever class happens to be going on at the time as we will be in our own corner and willing to stop when instruction is being given. Plus it will be a rather small group using one or two barbells.

If we get stronger (in the sense of barbell strength) and increase our metcon performance, then good the power hour worked and everyone is happy. If it ends up being a failure, you get rid of it at the end of the summer and move on. Just take some time to think about it and the benefits before you immediately shoot the idea down.

~~We're all gonna make it~~

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMorrow

The next article I would like to see would define the other aspects of fitness. In my mind, some of them kinda overlap, and I'd really like to see suggestions on how to improve on the other aspects. If they're all equally important in fitness, I demand an equally-long article for each aspect.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNerdette

everybody getting all esoteric about strength when they need to be getting isotonic! #getit

defining Strength is like defining Fitness, the definition varies according to the situation. Soccer fitness is different than football fitness is different than firefighter fitness, just as soccer strength is different from football strength is different from firefighter strength.

Hell the best strength IMO is MOM strength, that is something you don't want to mess with.

This argument reminds of the 1st month after a guy and a girl start dating, both sides want to define the relationship but usually they aren't the same definition.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian t

Nerdette, funny you mentioned that. As soon as I finished I realized I might have to do some follow-ups on the other areas. In fact, I already started one for Stamina - hopefully it doesn't turn out as long. Unfortunately I am not nearly as familiar with that area as I am with strength. I better get competent fast before I feed it to the rabid dogs! But either way, it's behind a few more that will come out first.

Morrow, this is real talk. That was a good argument. I want you to understand that (lately) assuming I am awake for 16 hours each day, I am probably doing something coaching-related 14 of those hours on average. I absolutely obsess over this stuff. If I am not coaching, I am probably thinking about coaching. I can promise you I have thought about it. I have considered it before the Champions Club was born. Before we moved to the Fieldhouse. When we moved into the building. And during CrossFit Open season of 2013. All five of your points are legit (especially the Brian one haha). I can promise you I will think about it.

March 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

Ay man that's a good answer, glad to hear you'll think about it again. We can always chat about it once I get back in the gym, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

~~We're all gonna make it~~

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMorrow

Yeah being open to suggestions is a sign of "Matur-ity" on your part. Very nice to see nothing is set in stone, Morrow, thank you for elegantly stating what I have been trying to put into words over this comment chain.

I think what is important for us to do, is continue improving our movement patterns and form while showing good judgement when the reigns are pulled off during workouts. If we can continue to show growth in that aspect, I think our suggestions become more feasible.

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

Morrow, I think I just got an idea. I cannot confirm until we get closer to Summer because I don't know what the schedule is gonna be like. I will share in about a month and a half. Until then, the programming suggestions are dead.

March 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

Others, nobody answered the question at the top about who was the strongest of the four examples. I'd be interested to hear about it.

March 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterChris Sinagoga

I'm excited to hear what you have cooked up.

I'll respond about the four examples tomorrow, gotta get some homework done.

~~We're all gonna make it~~

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMorrow

This is what we need

April 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandro

Just a thought, but I think Jacob, Alex and morrow have a couple good points that simultaneously could benefit the coaching of the gym.

First, you have a group of handsome gentleman that want to lift heavy weights

Second, you have a group that seems willing to be a guinea pig for blending a strength bias with Crossfit.

So why not use that group to work on your own programming abilities. You could program 1 Olympic day (push press, snatch, clean, etc..) 1 metcon, 1 powerlifting day (deadlift, bench or squat) and 1 metcon for the week.

Any thoughts?

April 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian t

I like how this is put, and it would allow you to grow your coaching and overall gym, which you see is happening before your eyes chris and its a credit to what CC has become.

April 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandro

This was written inhaste so be prepared for grammetical/punctuation/spelling/conceptual/thought process/ordering errors...

I agree with the idea of using the handsome gentlemen as a guinea pig for adding a strength bias? You already have a group that wants to lift heavy stuff. Why not throw in heavy lifting and see where it goes?

Who's the strongest, you ask?.. I had to give this a lot of thought.

I decided to base my pick for the strongest person on who was the strongest in most of the 4 categories.
If I had to pick, it'd be Mariusz Pudzianowski(the greatest strongman IMO).

Why? I believe he is the strongest in 3 of the 4 categories of strength. He dominates in country and barbell strength. He's not too bad at athletic strength. But.. gymnastics strength, he lacks somewhat.

However, when I came to this conclusion I realized one thing. It seems that anyone who dominates inn gymnastic strength doesn't even compare to others in the other categories. Ling Cho(Who is this?) may be a BAMF on the rings but he can't touch Mariusz when it comes to barbell or country strength. My guess is Cho would have Mariusz beat by a little on athletic strength, but not enough to compensate for how much our Strongman has dominated in the other categories.

So if I had to pick the strongest athlete, I'd look no further than the most consecutive winner of the World's Strongest Man competition. They got something right.

The winner of this competition is damn good at 3 of the 4 categories but a bada$$ gymnast is severly lacking at the others(excluding athletic strength because of the obnoxiously wide umbrella where the gymnast and strongman may very well be even depending on the sport and such and stuff and etc blah blah blah asd;lf ajpnqp e qfeBiinnoBinoafasedfa)

April 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeans

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