Get Off My Back

The internet is a fascinating place. I sometimes feel like I’m at a zoo when I scroll down a comments section and read what people have to say. I “OOO” at the people who rhinoceros charge themselves into a conversation, and I “AAAAHH” when I see a pack of cheetah yip, yap, and attack someone. If I ate popcorn I’d make a bag and watch the show. But I don’t, so I jump into the conversations sometimes. I feel like a lion tamer as I crack my whip at one comment and use a chair to fend off the attack of another. I don’t always do this, because most of the time it’s pointless.

But sometimes I say something.

For example, I was recently on FakeBook when I saw this video:

Granted, these people look like fools as they try and lift the weight. Fools who are making easy things look hard. But what they’re doing is not wrong. It’s called an Axel Clean and Press. Unfortunately the video was posted with the comment ohhh dear god. Is this real life?! Someone put a bullet in this crossfit instructors face

I like the guy who posted the video. I used to work at the gym that he frequented daily. So when I saw his comment I decided a quick correction was in order.

“This is a strong man workout. That’s how strongmen load barbells and press them. Although the 20 lb girls shouldn’t be doing this, it’s not wrong.”

What I thought was an easy comment quickly garnered some retaliation.

“This is so wrong it’s not even funny” 

“No I’m being serious. I remember when this first started trending. Strongmen comps have weightclasses like powerlifting or wrestling. It’s pretty popular in crossfit gyms. Look at how thick the bar is that they’re lifting. It’s an axel bar.” 

“You cannot tell me that that’s good/right form.” 

“It’s ugly form but what they’re doing is the correct way for that equipment (some of them at least.)”

Thus far the whole conversation is spent convincing my friend that, although they look horrible at it, they are doing an actual workout. But then a new commenter arrives.

“You probably shouldn’t believe everything you see on the internet.” 

“Probably not, but I’ve also coached strongmen competitions and my uncle is the official chiropractor for the stromgman competitions.” 

“If you’re a coach and you uncle is a chiropractor you must be a reliable source for workout information. Maybe these gentlemen are doing “correct” form to some peoples standards, but I don’t think their backs are very thankful.”

End Conversation

I’m no foreigner to taking the “counter-cultural” view point of things. Likewise, I’ve un-popularly stood up for crossfit box’s. This time I did both at the same time. But a final statement has been left uncovered. Crossfit and strongmen both have the bad rep of hurting people; specifically hurting their backs.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans have back pain at any given time, and back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Not shockingly, most of those people are not strongmen competitors.

You’re probably not afraid of leaning over and tying your shoes even though more people throw out their backs doing that than heavy lifting. Instead of hording fear towards lifting awkward heavy weights overhead, it should be shared with things like walking, bending over, and twisting – you should be shaking in your untied shoes.

I’m not saying that the original video had good lifters with good technique, but I am saying that lifting like a strong man won’t automatically force your back to break.

Like this guy.

And this guy.

Neither broke their back while lifting, but they both moved some heavy weight. Everything in life has consequences, especially if you do it wrong. I don’t care how far from normal it looks, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Kind of like this guy doing a full power-clean and dropping butt to floor. 

The way he bends and moves looks abnormal, but he’s doing it as right as he can.

Ignorance is the gasoline that feeds the fire of fear. All I wanted to do was use the water of knowledge to douse the annoying inferno. Seriously, can we stop using the internet as a catalyst to burn forest fires on truth?

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.