Human Movement Doesn’t Choose Sides

Movement is movement. It doesn’t root for a particular training program. Human movement isn’t more of a fan of CrossFit than it is dance. It surely doesn’t favor strongman just because I happen to like strongman, either. In that way, we chuckle when folks miss the forrest for the trees about fitness.

This concept was charged in my mind when student, Brian Deming, emailed me a photo of Byron Jones mid-flight on his way to taking the NFL Combine record in the broad jump. The broad jump, as we know, is an incredible display of hip extension and power (amongst other things).

I’m going to go out on a limb to say Byron Jones probably hasn’t spent much time on a pair of gymnastics rings. He probably isn’t incredibly proficient in the muscle up, either, and maybe for good reason. Apparently, he’s become quite good at football instead. He’s plenty explosive and makes a good living without having had to master such things, but that, my friends, is the point!

At 12'3" this was the best broad jump at the NFL Combine.

At 12’3″ this was the best broad jump at the NFL Combine.

Look at the photo above. In this moment, Byron was being tested for his explosive power on the world’s stage. He doesn’t owe anything to CrossFit, gymnastics, Carl Paoli, or any other formal expression of his above position, yet you could literally photoshop a pair of gymnastics rings into the photo and this gentleman is in picture perfect position to execute a ring muscle up (which just so happens to demand explosive power).

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Carl Paoli finds a similar position of explosive extension at DEUCE Gym.


The beautiful thing to recognize here is that Byron found this position because he needed to be explosive to win a job for a football team and Carl found the same position because he needed to be explosive to clear the gymnastics rings in a much different application.

What is the take away here? For me this does two things. This view nullifies limited perspectives that say things like lifting weights, or gymnastics, or dance, or CrossFit doesn’t agree with their body. As much as our bodies repulse poor movement, we thrive freely in great movement. The second thing this does is it obliterates walls that we build up in our minds that segment movement practices like calisthenics, CrossFit, powerlifting, yoga, sprinting, olympic weightlifting, and tumbling.

Think about it.


Logan Gelbrich


2/27/15 WOD

Complete 3 rounds for reps:

1 Min Max Toes to Bar
1 Min Max Double KB Cleans (53/35)
1 Min Max Sandbag Shoulder to Over Head (95/60)
1 Min Max Jump Squats
1 Min Max Pushups
-Rest 1 min-