Sunday, May 1, 2016

Enough of the Fitness Divide !

Why does there have to be so much hate ? Hate in the fitness community is REAL. It's a shame that this is occurring because so much knowledge can be passed to each other if you take the time to listen to the methodology behind each training style. Are you a bodybuilding who cringes at CrossFit? Or maybe you are a CrossFit athlete who thinks bodybuilders are "fake" muscle. Maybe you think powerlifting is for "fat" people who just want to lug around heavy weights and don't look like they workout. Opinions are ok, hate is not.

Not understanding everything about the mindset or methodology of a sport is no reason to dismiss the benefits it has to offer. I’m going to guess it’s because you have been told that training separate body parts is incorrect, that isolation exercises are an ineffective use of time, and that bodybuilding nutritional practices are irrelevant to you as a CrossFit athlete. Or your on the other end of the spectrum and you feel that CrossFit is all about "cheating" reps and momentum that doesn't shape the body into equal proportions. If your a powerlifter/strongman, you are smashed between the two, not really fitting into any category. It's a sad place to be and it takes a tough skin to defend what you practice.

Enough is enough with the madness. I think we should look at the benefits of training throughout many fitness domains and why they can increase your performance across ANY fitness category you enjoy partaking in.

Nutrition is a valuable asset that you can learn from bodybuilders. There is a science to how many bodybuilders become leaner for a show. It's not magic and it's mostly diet. Learning how to eat for performance during your training season but also how to lean out for competitions, might give you a competitive edge over your opponent. Nutrition is the building block of success in fitness. You can't out train a bad diet.

Become disciplined. There is no denying that bodybuilding has a lot of discipline. Countless days of counting macros. Eating chicken for breakfast and even eating fish cold from a baggie on show day. Of course this is the most extreme but you can learn to hold your nutrition to a higher standard. If you are not willing to put in the work, don't start to make noise about those that do.

How much ya bench? There is an ongoing joke that Monday's are international chest day. Isolation movements for your chest are part of a training split that bodybuilders and powerlifters train consistently. Why would you need this in CrossFit? Did you ever think that the bench press is a functional movement? If your training is geared towards being better at life, and being able to deal with emergency situations, then being trapped under something, or someone, is one of those situations. Benching is a functional movement that has benefits beyond building a gorilla chest.

Finally, enough with the bicep curl jokes. Isolation movements are not evil and can help with prehab and rehab. Making sure you are filling in the gaps in your training can prevent injury.
Isolation work can also be relevant when bringing up a weak link in the body, and can be used to help rehab and fix post-injury muscle imbalances .Bicep curls strengthen the tendons and provide elbow protection. The bicep curl is not just recommended, but is necessary to be as fit as possible for the task at hand, and to stay away from injury.

Alongside the knowledge you gain on nutrition, discipline, isolation movements, and body part splits as discussed above, the deeper you dig, the deeper you will realize our bodybuilding brothers have yet more to offer us. This includes insights on time under tension, work ethic, cutting weight for competition, and how you can incorporate it into your functional fitness culture. Let's stop the divide and join forces !

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