March 15, 2011- The Ides of March
SKILL: MUSCLE UPS
5 Muscle Ups
15 Ring Dips
150 Single Unders
For some reason, I find this workout fitting for the Ides of March. The following is an excerpt from The Crossfit Journal, November 2002 written by Greg Glassman. If you subscribe to
the Journal(and you should, it is a a kick ass deal at $25.00 a
year. www.crossfitjournal.com), you should read this whole article.
“mess you up”
The muscle-up is astonishingly difficult to perform, unrivaled in building upper body strength, a critical survival skill, and most amazingly of all, virtually unknown.
This movement gets you from under things to on them. Let your imagination run.
Though containing a pull-up and a dip, its potency is due to neither. The heart of the muscle-up is the transition from pull-up to dip – the agonizing moment when you don’t know if you’re above or below.
That moment – the transition – can last from fractions to dozens of seconds. At low, deliberate speeds, the muscle-up takes a toll physically and psychologically that can only be justified by the benefit. No other movement can deliver the same upper body strength. Period.
This Frankenstein’s monster combination of pull-up and dip gives the exercise advantages that render it supreme among exercises as fundamental as the pull-up, rope climb, dips, push-ups, and even the almighty bench press.
We do our muscle-ups from rings chiefly because that’s the hardest place possible.
Here’s how to do a muscle-up on the rings:
1. Hang from a false grip
2. Pull the rings to your chest or “pull-up”
3. Roll your chest over the bottom of the rings
4. Press to support or “dip”
It’s that simple. Steps 1 and 3 are where you’ll have trouble if you do….
The muscle-up gets noticeably harder with every quarter inch the ring moves away from the body. Keep the rings in as close to your body as you can. Only a buddy can tell you if they’re wandering or not. Typically the struggler has no sense of where he is.
As weird as it sounds, not trying hard enough is common among even the most accomplished athletes. Don’t give up on each attempt until you’ve struggled for ten seconds with the rings at the chest. This part is very hard.
How hard? Not very, really. Gymnastics moves are graded “A” through “E,” “A” being easiest and “E” hardest. The muscle-up is an “A” move. That’s right, easiest. So it’s easy for gymnasts and nearly impossible for most everyone else.
But, once you get it, anything you can get a finger hold on, you can surmount. You’ll be able to jump for something, catch it with only two fingers, pull in two more, choke up to the false grip and, “boom!” – you’re on top. Military, police, and firefighter applications are too obvious to mention.
Less obvious are the martial applications where alternately pulling and pushing from awkward angles is routine. Our Jiu- jitsu guys recognize at once the utility of strength along these bodylines, as well as the strength and advantage of the false grip.