Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Claims staked and controversies

One of my stated goals was to be able to perform the
'30 muscle ups for time'
WOD at 5 minutes or less
I had never done it before, but really wanted to try after seeing this recently:
July 6, 2009

Monday 090706

Check it out here
technically a rest day, there were two really awesome links;
an interview with Robert Kaplan (Balkan Ghosts, Warrior Politics, the Ends of the Earth)
and a video of '30 Muscle Ups for time'

sort of

It was actually an athlete from (i think) Crossfit Montreal named Mizar, performing the Kip Up or Kip Up to front support. A movement that entails the same range of motion as the muscle up, to ascend from below the rings to above the rings. However the kip up is driven almost entirely by the hips, whereas the muscle up (ideally...) is driven entirely by the shoulder and elbow.
If you've ever trained with me, you know that I am pretty critical of what is typically demonstrated as a Muscle Up in the Crossfit Community;
This would probably be considered pretty good
maybe somewhat better than this
Not that either of these guys aren't strong. It's just that both are kipping pulls from bent arms. With the first guy, with lats like a gorilla, you'd think he'd be able to actually pull himself up. From a straight arm at the bottom to above the rings at the top without kipping. But no.
There were several others which also included kipping presses as well. That is beyond the scope of this post.
The issue is one of terminology really. And Defined standards. Since the muscle up has a very clear definition in one movement discipline that we purport to draw from, I think we should agree to adopt a meaning for the word that is closely allied with what exists in that discipline. I wouldn't call a Turkish Get Up an Overhead Squat simply because the load travels the same distance.
Finally, I don't think there is anything wrong with having a workout that is essentially:
'Go from below the rings (straight arm) to above the rings (straight arm) 30 reps for time'
I know that doesn't seem as succinct as 30 MU for time, but it's more accurate. Let's face it, every time we explain what we really mean when we do Grace it makes us look like we're back-pedaling. Let's not make it worse for ourselves.

OK. So that being said, I did the strictest muscle ups I could for 30 reps for time. I finished that in 8:53. In a few days I am going to try an experiment and do 'from below to above' 30 reps for time, with kipping muscle ups and kip ups, and see how fast I can do that. Since I get to rest my arms a little, I think I can do it significantly faster.

Finally, as regards Mizar himself and what he did in that video; Holy Shit! The kip up is hard. I can barely do it from a regular grip. I usually do it from the false grip to make it easier. The fact that he burned through 30 of those as fast as he did is clear evidence that he is one hell of an athlete. Way to go man!

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