CrossFit is defined as functional movements, done at high intensity, across broad time and modal domains. As an owner of a CrossFit affiliate, I believe in this definition of fitness to my core. I love CrossFit, the sport of fitness, the community, and people that surround me daily because of this fitness movement. As with every belief system, whether it is nutrition, religion, or fitness, there are differing points of view and very passionate people that will endlessly debate their viewpoints.
In 2010, we opened CrossFit PB, and we were those preachers. I guess I still am to a very large degree. I mean, I am still doing the CrossFit Team Series that nobody even knows is happening. I am a CrossFit dork to the highest degree. I whole-heartedly believe in the methodology and genuinely love doing the gym programming alongside you all every day. But, when you work with people, day in and day out, you view the world through other people’s experiences. You connect with people and see that, yes, CrossFit is the perfect solution for me, and for you, but the degree to which we approach CrossFit and our fitness goals, has to be different. Bryan and I had ten years of prior strength training experience before we had even heard of CrossFit, and much of that training was geared towards aesthetics. Many people introduced to fitness do not have this experience. They lack the base levels of strength and body awareness to fully grasp the physiological effects of a proper loading sequence, movement mechanics, and isolation exercises. Often times, these exercises fix the poor movement patterns athletes have been dealing with, unknowingly, their entire lives. Yes, we can make fun of body builders in thongs, self-tanner, and steroids all day long, but a shirtless Rich Froning Jr doing 50 clean and jerks in front of thousands is not much different if you step outside your bubble.
The truth lies in purpose and it is found somewhere around 80% of the highest extremes. Is your purpose fitness? If yes, then you should do CrossFit. Is your purpose is fitness and also being aesthetically toned, lean, and developed? Well, maybe CrossFit with some additional aesthetic training and bodybuilding is the mix you need in your life. You see, CrossFit is perfect, sort of. We do all the major movements, it is no frills, and you get an incredibly good education on all things fitness. But when you come to CrossFit PB, we want you walking away with a doctorate in fitness. We want to take the best parts of everything we have ever done, and create a program that is not only well rounded, but is also rehabilitative, focused on performance, aesthetics, and informative on movement mechanics, and so what – WE ARE GOING TO DO BICEP CURLS because we want awesome arms and John Cena does them. Our goal is to structure fitness so you reach your goals. Stop with the hate, embrace the good parts of everything, throw out the bad parts, and create a class that helps everyone reach their individual goals.
Body Part Splits
Back and Bi’s, Chest and Tri’s, Legs (?) and shoulders. You know the jingle and you also have probably said these body parts splits in jest a time or two. Well, somewhere in there, there is a little known area called the truth where there is some real magic. CrossFit has made the term “core to extremity” very popular. You actually cannot argue with the statement. Building a bigger chest develops very large pushing muscles. But, what happens when your arms break 90 degrees in a bench press? That is right; you have to use your triceps to lock out the weight. Yes, the system works as a unit, but there is a ton of added benefit to developing the tricep by isolating the muscle and doing exercises such as pull downs, skull crushers, and close grip bench press.
The lat, shoulder, and bicep function as a unit and in the same manner. If you are doing a pull up, the big movers are the lats that initiate the movement, the shoulder to stabilize, and then when you get inside 90 degrees, the bicep is the finisher that propels your body over the bar. Is there a need for bicep curls? Yes. And there is a need for them athletically, as well as aesthetically. Stop kidding yourself, it matters to you. Everyone wants to do bicep curls; they just do not want to get made fun of for doing them. Don’t you worry, I will lead this charge and we will not only do them, but we will make it fun and probably have a group-double bicep-flex off-selfie taken at the end of class.
The thought of isolating a muscle or a joint is very counterintuitive to CrossFit methodology. We squat, deadlift, Bench, Press, and do Olympic lifts and we do it very well. So why do we need to isolate small muscles? Unfortunately, we only get to see you for an hour a day. The remaining 23 hours you are out of sight and probably doing things like sitting a desk or in your car with terrible form. It is a borderline miracle that the human body allows you to sit at your desk all day and front squat at night. Your thoracic spine is hunched over all day and then you load the bar up and expect it to just magically stay upright in the bottom of a squat. Yeah right. The theory behind adding bodybuilding to our CrossFit program is that we can isolate specific muscles, build them, and structurally improve your posture and movement patterns. A stronger posture throughout the day will lead to less flexibility and mobility issues and better performance in the gym.
Additionally, those small nicks and dings that happen while training can be fixed. There are a ton of tiny muscles that can be found in the shoulder (any joint for that matter). By focusing most of our time on big muscles, we forget the little ones, the ones in charge of stability. The stabilizers are often the source of those nicks and dings. So how do we fix the little muscles? Yes, by developing them through isolation exercises. We will focus a ton of time developing muscles in the shoulder to improve stability and strength.
Our Fitness program is based off of a progressive overload model. This model is actually right from Bryan’s bodybuilding playbook that works incredibly well on all athletes. If you squat 100 pounds this week, you should do 105 next week. This method has been proven effective since Arnold invented short shorts in Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach. But, due to class structure, timing, and the generalized nature of fitness classes, we miss the boat on so many beautiful programming schemes. Super sets, drop sets, giant sets, and push/ pull sets, have been around for generations and are wildly effective. In our bodybuilding class, we will add these rep schemes and theories to the programming to maximize variation and results.
We are very excited to begin this class on Saturday, October 11th at 9:30 AM at the North PB gym. We have been trying to implement these ideas and methodologies into our programming for quite some time but did not have a full grasp of what the class would look like. Since, we will be meeting four times a month, we will break each month into four body part splits, Back and Bi’s, Chest and Tri’s, Shoulders, and Legs and Abs. Each week will end with an ab finisher, but the week we are focusing on abs will have more depth and focus in the programming. The programming will also be based off of our normal Fitness programming. You do not need to worry about doing push press on a Friday and then coming into a shoulder routine on Saturday morning. To end each class, we will get together and make the most ridiculous posing picture that has ever hit the internet. I am very excited about this class and look forward to getting my pump on with all of you.