"CrossFit is Crazy!?!?"
Little Monsters...

Athletic or Aesthetic? Lame or Legendary?

KB_SnatchWhat's my acid test for any exercise that I personally do or teach my clients?  It's a real simple one - all I do is look at the exercise and determine if the underlying goal of the exercise is Athletic or Aesthetic.  Simple?  Yes.  Effective?  Absolutely!  In case you don't know what I'm talking about, let me explain.  An athletic exercise is going to direct impact on my speed, strength, flexibility, endurance, etc.  An aesthetic exercise is going to give (the layman) the impression that I have speed, strength, flexibility, endurance, etc.

Let me give you an example - how about Biceps Curls for starters?  The goal of the biceps curl is to increase the size and definition of the biceps head in relation to the other muscles in the upper arm.  Increasing the size of the biceps would also require the development of the triceps in order to maintain balance in the upper arm.  What is the athletic purpose of large biceps?  I guess they'll fill out your t-shirt better but will they really improve your performance or just make you look like an athlete?

How about the Kettlebell Snatch?  The goal of the Kettlebell Snatch is increase the athlete's hip speed; enhance anterior and posterior chain integration; increase overhead strength, mobility and flexibility; and develop anaerobic endurance.  The Kettlebell Snatch doesn't overtly emphasize the development of one muscle (group) over another but does promote development of the pelvic girdle and glutes. BTW - not all Kettlebell Snatches are the same. Most are just Swings that end up overhead... a sad and ineffective way to train this great technique.

So which exercise do you think I would do as part of my own workouts as well as recommend to my clients?  Right...

BTW - Someone recently asked me about the Burpee and what I thought of it. If you're asking me about the "Flopee" or the "Slopee" that you seen done in most gyms - absolute waste of time. But, if you're talking about a well executed Burpee (the way that we insist they are performed) - then I think they are a key tool in not only developing strength in the athlete but also assessing their movement and integration. If you don't know what a real Burpee looks like I'll be happy to post a video for you...

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