Modern Tribe

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Yesterday we squatted.

Box squats with bands (medium and small). max out.

1 leg squats. 1 leg up on bench. Holding a pair of KB’s in rack position.

Good mornings/sled blast. Heavy GM’s, heavy sled. 6-8 reps/100 feet.


Today we’re pressing.
1 hand strict overhead press. Any tool of choice. Work up to heavy singles.

Bench press. 80% of max, for reps. 4 sets.

Crocodile pushups/ninja club chops. This combo is featured at the end of this video.


Congrats to Bodytribe member Stephen Boland, who cranked out some personal bests at his most recent track meet this weekend.  His blog tells the story.

Tribal Humbling

There’s nothing as humbling as questioning the value of your mission. Our little revolution against the commercial fitness industry is a very first-world luxury. With food in my belly (barely) and a roof over my head (for now) I can safely charge into the fray of mainstream consumerism and hubris with sword (or dumbbell) in hand, ready to slay the corporate dragons.

So?  Can I justify that Westernized society needs saving as much as societies that suffer from lack of basic needs? I’m trying to raise the level of my silly little profession from a service industry to philosophical physiology, the quest for realization through physical empowerment. It’s hard not to question if this is a pretty weak brand of activism.

We can find cases of societies throughout history that embraced the importance of promoting physical wellbeing as a basic tenet of life.  For every culture that is struggling for basic needs there is another squandering theirs, diving headlong into an oblivion reserved for classic squanderers like Nero and Vitellius. So perhaps my little role within our tribe is to offer important alternatives to taking our physical beings for granted, and promoting the concept that, sans the politics of primping, an increased physical awareness can lead to higher forms of thought and creativity.


So yes, there is a need to be concerned for our own society, our own tribe, and a realization that our lessons might be different from other tribes, but not less important.  Granted, this may simply be me justifying my own tiny quest here, but a boy can dream, right?

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Showing 4 comments
  • Zac

    Question: What’s the rationale behind the rep method benching at the bench’s re-introduction into the pressing training? Is it that there’s already been a ME movement in the training (the overhead) for that given day?

  • chip

    You got it. Multiple ME work during a workout could very well over tax the CNS. I’m not completely opposed to the idea (sometimes ya gotta try stuff), but the rep work also borrows a little from the bodybuilding world (gasp), helping increase a little hypertrophy which, in turn, could lend some more usable muscle to future max sessions.

  • jane when i order coffee

    Can I justify that Westernized society needs saving as much as societies that suffer from lack of basic needs?
    um, yes. i know we’ve got cheesy poofs and beanbag chairs, but it doesn’t mean that team consumerism is in the clear.
    (and somewhat tangentally but not entirely, check out the work of Jule Guthman and Rachel Slocum , and I might have messed up making those links.)

    our culture wields so much power, influence, and impact, it’s essential we be reflexive and critical of it. being a global power (even if our days as such are numbered) requires a certain responsibility to get our shit together; and i also think there’s a skew embedded in mainstream concern for ‘the third world.’ it was harry truman who first called other countries ‘underdeveloped,’ naming and privileging a certain way of life over another; and we went and got some folks in a bad way by imposing our brand of ‘development’ on them.

    i’m not sure i can articulate the connections between physical prowace and critical theory, but i think about humans and lift the heavy things, so somewhere here i’m with you on this. next up: world domination manifesto (and overhead press)?

  • chip

    “i also think there’s a skew embedded in mainstream concern for ‘the third world.”

    This point was perhaps what I needed to understand.

    This post was part two of a chapter I’ve written for my upcoming book about the role of fitness within the ‘tribe,’ or community. I was impressed by the efforts of the TED conference, but all the speakers seemed bent on saving the third-world, thus empowering the rest of the planet. Noble, to be sure, but my question was, if I were to give a speech at TED, what the hell would I talk about? Hence the ramble above.

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