My GPP can beat up Your GPP

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Today’s workout:

Dynamic Effort Band Goodmornings. The term ‘Hamstring” comes from the slaughterhouse, since it was by the back of the legs that pigs were ‘strung’ up to eventually become your Christmas ham, among other things (and folks wonder why I don’t eat meat). On a human, they’re a mondo important, but easily forgotten, part of the complete strength package. Let’s give them some love today by having a speed day with some goodmornings done a special way. Mostly a single joint movement (the pivot at the hips better be most of what is going on), we’ve found that these can be cranked out at a slightly higher rep scheme than the movements requiring multiple joints. Fatigue dumbs us down and form can quickly crumble, so we’ll keep the reps at 4, and we’ll make them as pretty as possible. 8-10 sets.

Judith Butler. I love the term “post-structuralist.” It’s a fun term that doesn’t so much roll off the tongue as crawls across it with cramp-ons. Since, according to the post-structuralism creed, self-perception plays a critical role in someone’s interpretation of meaning, then I perceive Butler’s concept of Performability as “being able to kick ass at this combo:


My GPP Can Beat Up Your GPP

It benefits the planet when tribes coexist, or so it would seem. Sure, we all wish everyone could be like our tribe, believing what we do, acting how we act and not arguing over the pizza toppings. Because we tend to be insecure creatures, if a tribe disagrees with us – if they like daisies while we like peonies, they ride Trek while we ride Gary Fishers, they believe in a Green Gorilla God while we know it’s a Purple Hippopotamus God – we pout like 6-year olds and point fingers and call names. Unfortunately this insecurity and fear can threaten a tribe enough for a major conflict to occur, and history is peppered with many folks dying from the leaders of these tribes/cultures not willing to work shit out. This isn’t going to change, its who we are as a species and there ain’t a psychologist or lollipop big enough to cure us or placate our child-like behavior.

Tribes have leaders, and the big tribes have things like presidents, kings, shahs, and emperors (at least one country even has a chairman). What stops these leaders from perpetually getting along? They see things differently, or at least they represent tribes that don’t quite sip from the same straw.

Ironically, these leaders often have a lot in common, but these personality synonyms don’t actually lend to good communication. ‘Leader’ often equals obnoxiously-big and possibly-dangerous ego, so putting a handful of leader-egos in a room to open dialogs might lead to a bit of chaos initially. (Always start with small talk… “Did you watch ‘Dance‘ last week? Can you believe Kayla got booted off so early?”) So maybe we could stick them on their own reality show involving life-threatening task solving, where escaping death means working together. I’m sure the Discover channel would run it.


Our good friend Cody Fielding in San Francisco had an idea that I think has more merit now than ever. Get the leaders of various physical culture “Tribes” together and let them talk some shit out. Because when they don’t, the alternative, like this article, is sort of silly. Mine is not the place to offer any comment on the article itself (in fact this is all simply the easiest way I know to get a bunch of hits on my blog… mention anything CrossFit and I’m bound to piss someone off, whether I dish out kudos or critique). But the comments to the article (over 100 last time I checked) are golden. There is a STRONG representation of basic humanity in those comments (although, interestingly enough, they’re almost all predominantly male), which can be summed up as: Those who agree, and those who question. The article was not the healthiest way to open a dialog between the two sides, despite that being one of the arguments, but there’s nothing more about it I can say that hasn’t already.

It is no secret which camp I fall into. For the record, my discerning eye starts at my own practices and ideas, since only through questioning can evolution happen. This creates a natural bias in myself to not fully understand vehement acceptance of an idea without any input from my own filters and experiences. There is probably a very good time and place for the constant skill of obeying and agreeing How successful would a military be with a cadre of free thinkers? In fact, even the process of learning is sometimes hindered by constant questioning. There do seem to be times when we have to shut the hell up and just listen and do.

animals-on-couch-2.jpg(why can’t we all just get along?)

We’ve had many CFers through here on many occasions, like our buddies in Portland, SF, Brooklyn, Oakland, Austin, Vancouver, Seattle, Boston, Florida and the Greater Sacramento region, and this blog is often linked to CrossFit sites in Canada, Ireland, Australia and all over the US (including our buddies in New York). There does seem to be one thing in common with all the CrossFitters that have played or chatted with us though (and keep in mind, many of them are affiliate owners). They’re ‘questioners’ as well, and that says a lot for an organization that has a reputation amongst outsiders as being cult-ish. Let’s face it. An open education system like CrossFit, whether you agree with their protocol or not, will find adherents from both sides, the questioners and the yes-men. The more militant among them can follow the word to the letter and accept whatever is posted on the main site as gospel, while the creative among them are free to interpret the system individually, morphing the original tenets into something bigger. An argument can be made on either side whether the individual interpretations dilute the system or evolves it (like religion),and that argument was fought all over my comments section about a year ago, so let’s save that for Cody’s hypothetical tribal leader meeting.


Point being, we can’t argue that it is an inclusive tribe, since it allows both vigorous conformity and palpable dissent, all under the same banner. Unfortunately, an article like the one we’re talking about shows an insecurity in conformity that doesn’t highlight the community that CrossFit is capable of.

Gym Jones and Bodytribe also have a common denominator, that being our good friend Josh Vert, who has been under Mark Twight’s tutelage at GJ for a while now. I’ve been aware of Gym Jones almost since it first popped up on the internet radar. Mark and I have dropped a couple of emails to each other over the years, with kudos and warm wishes, but my personal knowledge of Mark is limited. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if his response to the article would be “thank God, maybe that will keep them from coming around here now.” I’ve read that he wants to call his next book Unfuck Your Head. Perhaps there is a reason for this.

So, everyone and anyone (including Russel Berger), come on out to 2009 Strength Camp and feel free to open a dialog with us, or openly attack our system via another website. Spy away, but healthy dialog would benefit everyone much better.




Tommy Kono Open, 2009

Yikes, a much more competitive meet than last year. But Tom, Sara and I all hit at least one PR, and Sara took home first in her division.

And, again, Mr. Kono himself visited us here at Bodytribe, along with Bodytriber Ed Pierrini’s father, both of whom have a trove of stories about the lifting culture of the 40’s and 50’s. Ed’s father had wonderful stories of Charles Atlas and Sigmund Klein’s old gym, while Mr. Kono talked of being a Japanese American within a decade of WWII, bringing glory to a nation that, just years before, had him in an internment camp.


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Showing 11 comments
  • Jack

    Hey Chip – u read Time magazine’s article on excercise this week? Ridiculous stuff!

  • chip

    Yup. I’m writing a blog about it right now. Indeed ridiculous stuff. Infuriating.

  • Craig in Seattle

    All I know is that Mark has been completely cool to me. Good guy.

    And, damn, will you stop being so rational? Where’s the fun in THAT?!

    See you in ten days…

  • chip

    Don’t worry, Craig. For Strength Camp, I’ll be as irrational as possible. Probably high as well. I’m thinking of bringing mescaline back, make it cool again. Who’s with me?

  • Craig in Seattle

    I think I will demo my astounding (read: nonexistant) shot put juggling skills during the mesaline segment. If I may.

  • chip

    Light ’em on fire and you’ve got a deal!

  • Zac

    Okay, what’s the Time article? I’m not finding anything too crazy yet…

  • Zac

    Oh, “The Myth About Exercise?” Reading shall commence…

  • Zac


    I’ve always kinda regarded Time as an embarassing publication anyway…

  • Chris in Arcata

    I’ve got cactus with mescaline in them. It never left by the way. When you have a cactus big enough to use you chop it up, and then boil it. You want one to grow in the gym ? It will grow good in the Sacramento heat…….Are we supposed to be talking about drugs ? I bet you could do one hell of a GPP with some good cactus.

  • Veronica

    LOL, how did I know Crossfit would be in this blog somewhere. :-p

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