You Wouldn’t Do Brain Surgery with an Ice Cream Scoop (Would You?)

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but the barbell is regarded as the single most important strength tool year after year for one reason and one reason only. That’s right, the barbell has gone undefeated in the What’s-the-Best-Strength-Tool Contest for decades because of its unique ability for incremental loading. Period. 

That’s right, folks. The list of reasons that the barbell isn’t the most important strength tool includes but is not limited to the following:

  • It’s inclusion in strength sports like powerlifting, weightlifting, and CrossFit.
  • Its shape.
  • Some secret contract that forces those doing squat, pressing, and hinging patterns to use it.
  • Its length. 
  • Its ability to spin.
  • Its height off the ground. 

The single greatest value in the barbell over every other tool is its feature that allows you to add just one pound to a lift. This begs the question, why is that the most important question?

Progressive overload is king for strength development. 

Getting strong requires small, intentional increases of loads during training over time. If all of strength training is about exposing a body to a proper dose of stress to drive change, the barbell is a surgical tool to do so. If getting strong is brain surgery, the barbell is a scalpel and dumbbells, sandbags, kettlebells, and Turkish bags are ice cream scoops.

1/23/23 WOD


Build to a 1RM 2″ Deficit Deadlift..

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:

8 Rack Pulls
12-15 Elbow Body Saws

Then, complete the following for time: 

Wall Balls (20/12)


Make 4 attempts at the following complex for load:

1 Hang Clean
2 Front Squats

With a running clock, complete the following with a partner for calories:

Minutes 0-6
Partner A:
8/6 Cal Bike
8 Toes-to-Bar
Partner B: -Rest-

Minutes 6-12
Partner A:
8/6 Cal Bike
16 American KB Swings (53/35)
Partner B: -Rest-