Why This? Why That?

*The Route 56 Challenge: Day 37*

I don’t often hear the questions in the title’s namesake with regards to our training, even though sometimes I wish our students were that inquisitive. Until then, I’ll be careful what I ask for. What I’m referring to in this article is what the reasoning is behind what we do each day in class. Simply, why do we choose to do the things that we do?

Some of you may have assumed that these types of workouts are just our “style.” Danny and I like doing Clean and Jerks, squats, push ups, and can’t wait to do some running. Furthermore, we love to exercise in a bunch of different time structures and we shake it up because it keeps things exciting, and most importantly it makes us different.

Oh, sunny day!

Woah, Stop! Rewind.

If you think I like the bare essence of running sprint intervals, for example, you’re crazy. Human beings can like puppies, they don’t like sprint intervals. People can like cake, people don’t like Tabata push ups. People may do sprint intervals and Tabata push ups because they yield a favorable result, but if folks were looking for enjoyment, they’d look elsewhere. So, I think that it is important to understand that FFOTB doesn’t look the way it does because this is only what we know how to do and this is our style. It’s bigger than that. Luckily for the students, it’s much more responsible that that, too.

Our training must comply to two criteria:

1. Safety

2. Positive adaptation 

Sounds too simple right? Wrong. Take lawn bowling. Not just leisure lawn bowling, but fitness style lawn bowling (3×15 reps of lawn bowling). Is it safe? Yup, 8 days a week! How’s the positive adaptation? 6 billion reps of lawn bowls probably won’t get you better at anything other than …you guessed it, lawn bowling.

What about dodging ninja stars for training agility? The positive adaptation is huge! What better way to get someone moving quickly– changing direction, multi-angle athletic movement, etc. Plus, it adds huge incentive for getting good at it, which is also a perfect segway into the obvious safety issue. It’s the definition of dangerous.

What about a more mild case… the Bally Total Fitness leg raise machine? Is it safe? The thing has a padded chair and nearly comes with a seatbelt– you bet it’s safe! Positive adaptation? Seems like a lot of time and energy to grow one muscle, at the price of teaching it to not communicate with all the other body parts around it. Well say, “Not so much.”

Let’s put the Snatch to the test. Safe? Pretty dang safe. It’s natural, it’s safe at super maximal loads, it recruits a host of capable muscle to do the job, etc. Can one hurt themselves? Maybe, but it’s not risky any more than crossing the street or driving to the gym. How about the positive adaptation? It’s massive. We’re talking about a pipeline to strength, power, speed, balance, flexibility.. it starts to sound like an infomercial, huh?

Do you see where I am going with this? We choose to do the things we do in class because it just so happens to be both the safest and effective tools to get what we want; increased fitness. I give you my word… if Zumba did it, we’d be doing Zumba on the Bluff.

Logan Gelbrich


Monday’s Workout:

5 rounds:

5 rounds:

(1 minute of work/1 minute rest)

15 Med Ball Cleans

Max 30m Sand Bag Shuttles


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