Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sustainable Strength

photo credit: CrossFit HQ's instagram feed.
So I've been thinking about sustainability lately. Sustainable food supply. Sustainable health care. Sustainable financial systems. Sustainable energy.

I realized that what really guided me to the Barbell Strategy system of strength training is that it really is Sustainable Strength. I was answering an email from someone who knew of me from my CrossFit days and wanted to try our our gym. I used the term "CrossFit Refugee" in my reply - we have lots of refugees here.

I don't want to take away from what CrossFit added to the fitness community. They found a great way to game-ify fitness and make it attractive (some may say addictive) enough to get a large portion of the population to participate. That's great. But the problem is that it's not sustainable. If you don't end up getting injured, you'll get burned out on the compete-every-day mentality. It will happen eventually. Or you might even ruin your biochemistry (more on that later).

What we've put together here is a sustainable set of programs that you can fit into your daily life (the kettlebell program, our S&C program, and our strength program). All of our programs are scalable to the intensity you need (or can sustain) with the default plan being to get strong and do some antiglycolitc work for your metabolic conditioning. Once in a while, dial up the intensity to push that alactic pathway.

What I'm the most proud of is the tenure of our athletes. We don't do any fancy marketing that tries to push people through the doors. It's probably (definitely) a bad business decision, but what it does do is ensure that if you walk through the doors, you're ready for something different. And when you find us you stay. People don't quit the gym unless they move away, and that's a sign that we're giving you what you need and keeping you healthy.

As a computational scientist, one thing I always do is run my models to long times and see when things break down. That means I have an unhealthy preoccupation with finding out when things break down. which is why I'm really worried about sustainable food, finances, health, and energy.* I'm happy that we've found a way be sustainable about strength training.

*If anyone can help me short these systems, I'd be grateful. They're going to crash, I'm just not clever enough to profit from it.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


power snatch 5-3x5


5 push-ups between strength sets

Group Workout

6 rounds, switch arms each rep:
3L, 3R kettlebell overhead squat at a challenging weight
*Focus on smooth transitions


in five minutes:
complete as many kettlebell snatches as possible
*Little to no rest. Focus. Work hard.


2 x 30 sec armbar stretch on each side


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