How not to train: A video compilation

Feeling pretty awful today, but just watching these videos makes me smile. I think you’ll see the humor as well. Thanks goes to Lean Bodies Consulting for bringing these videos to my attention.

Please, don’t train like this:

Or like this:

Or like this:

Rounded back deadlifts. “Muscle-ups” (instead of pull-ups). All-back squats. And all the other nonsense that has become pervasive in gyms across America. The videos are funny, but the results are not.

So please. I beg of you. Don’t do it. Train right.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088


8 thoughts on “How not to train: A video compilation

      • Yeah, I grew up around weight lifters and my dad was a cross-country runner/lifter since HS. My dad studied guys like Frank Zane, Arnold and Lou and I grew up around that old-school lifting mentality. You’d never see those guys lifting anything with such uncontrolled, spastic, erratic movements. Some of the those squats and deadlifts were scary to watch!

        Who trains these people to lift like that?

      • There are a lot of things that bother me about what’s on those videos. I’m assuming the people pictured in gyms are being trained by someone who works there, and how that nonsense goes on without correction astonishes me.

        But on a larger scale, there are just some things about Crossfit I don’t like. I wrote about this, and how the methods of training are confused here. You can’t do weightlifting in a hurried manner and be safe and effective. Now you can do plyo work and cardio at fast/interval speeds, and that’s cool. That’s effective. But you can’t do that with power lifting and Olympic lifting. Olympic style in particular requires excellent form and lots of practice to get it right. And don’t get me started on this infatuation with kip push-ups and pull-ups. That has gone beyond silly.

      • CrossFit, as a fitness movement, has to have had origins in some kind of real training and a philosophy behind it. It seems, to me at least, these videos represent a bastardized, convoluted, misunderstood iteration of what was probably at some point sound fitness. I don’t know enough about it to know if there are trained instructors, what kind of certification they go through, etc. And I don’t know if CrossFit is a trademarked and protected term or a general term for this sort of high-intensity cross-training style workout…

        I know that TRX is very protective of it’s program and it’s trainers, making it mandatory that any trainer/gym that advertises TRX training go through an official TRX training program at their headquarters in San Francisco. Is CrossFit like this, or can any jackelope with a tight t-shirt, spandex and a strong S&M fetish start a class in a parking lot?

        As for speed training, I do know quite a few power lifters that include rapid movement lifting in their training. The idea being to work the fast-twitch muscles and increase explosive power. However, these power movements are still done with strict form and with a fraction of the max weight. Usually it’s done with chains or bands to increase resistance at extension. I used to use speed reps with resistance bands in my training before I backed off. It’s effective if done with proper form.

      • I think a lot of the things with Crossfit come from trying to emulate P90X into something that could be taken into a gym. Several of the exercises have similarities to that. But a lot of these places also use weights, tire flipping and stuff like that, all methods taken from other types of workouts.

        The movement also emphasizes speed and economizing time. The workouts are fast not just for intensity, but also to give people a hard workout in a short amount of time.

        There is also a competitive strain to it. Participants are encouraged to compete against each other, and if they’re good, they can compete in the Crossfit Games. So it feeds that bug.

        Crossfit instructors have to be certified in it to teach it and use the Crossfit name.

        My problem with it is that it mixes methods that don’t have much to do with each other. Weight training is most effective when couple with tension. Tension is created with weight plus a measured tempo (read: slow, for slow-twitch). Plyometrics are done explosively, to train fast-twitch.

        There’s nothing wrong doing Olympic lifts explosively, but pulling uncoached people off the street and having them do cleans FOR TIME in some sort of race against other participants just strikes me as off. And workout methods need to have a goal. When you look at this mishmash, what’s the goal? The system, as it’s constructed, doesn’t have an answer.

        I think Crossfit can give people short-term results, comraderie and so forth. But for the long-term, I think people will plateau fast and risk injury because the system is screwy, the instructors aren’t trained to be Olympic lift coaches, and the hurried pace of the workouts seems fraught with risk.

  1. Anything will give you short-term results. My biggest problem, especially focused on in the videos, is there seems to be NO ONE coaching these people on proper form. Some of the cleans attempted with alternate (deadlift) grip where they are resting the weight on their hips or chests to switch up their grip while the bar teeters on collapse along with their back? Or throwing the bar above their heads without any balance or stable base? Some one should have been there to coach these people…

    …it reminds me of some of the articles I’ve read of people with poor Yoga instructors who are being asked to perform difficult, advanced poses on their first or second class without much instruction beyond “Do what I’m doing…”

    It just invites injury and makes the entire discipline look bad.

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