The gym I go to is woefully un-CrossFit friendly: they’ve never even heard of a kettlebell, but it is close to work and I can get there and back on my lunch break. I’ve been going there for 4 years now and during that time I’ve seen some stupid, stupid, stupid (is that enough?) stupid stuff done in the name of fitness. For instance:

I’ve seen high school kids doing deadlifts with their lumbar curve completely collapsed. I tried to correct them, but since I’m not the biggest bodybuilder in the gym I don’t know what I’m talking about, but the biggest bodybuilder in the gym doesn’t care about deadlifts because deadlifts don’t work a muscle that you can pull up your sleeve and flex.

I’ve seen guys come through the door, take off their coats, load up the curl bar to their max, do a set, talk for 20 minutes, do another set, talk for 20 minutes, do another set, put their coat on and leave.

I’ve seen guys put gloves on to use the weight machines – weight machines with foam handles.

I’ve seen lots of guys max out on the bench using a thumbless grip – don’t ever do that. Not ever. Don’t. Don’t ever. No. (If you don’t know why, go to and search for bench press accident.)

I’ve seen hundreds of people come in for their free week and never come back – they make one effort to change in their life but don’t get what they need and are again lost to the couch and the fritos and the tv.

I’ve seen guys holding their cell phone to their ear with one hand while they do dumbbell curls with the other hand.

I’ve watched the same guy come in for a year and do the same workout five days a week and he still has the same 100 extra pounds that he did when he started.

I’ve seen guys trying to squat on their tip-toes. I respectfully suggested that they should have most of their weight on their heels but they ignored me so I explained that they didn’t have the intelligence to put the same weight on both sides of the bar much less get under it and try to lift it and that they were probably going to kill themselves or at least ruin their knees. Despite my well-reasoned arguments and solid logic they still didn’t listen and later the fitness monitor asked me to not bother the other members with my friendly advice.

I’ve seen people get on the elliptical machine and open a novel and it’s a good thing they set the timer because at the pace they’re going they could be on there till they finish the whole book.

I’ve seen people use those big swiss exercise balls for everything they can possibly be used for except the one thing they should be used for – volleyball in the pool.

I’ve seen guys who couldn’t squat 185 load 315 on the bar and almost do a half-squat. Guess I shouldn’t complain about that too much, but even when someone tries to do something half-way worth doing they don’t know how and end up doing something that will probably hurt themselves and perpetuate the myth that squats are bad for you.

I’ve seen people put more effort into flexing in front of the mirror than doing their workout.

I’ve seen the gym swell in January with New Years Resolution makers – “Resolutioneers” I call them. I cheer for them to stick with it and make it over the hump but by February it’s back down to me and a few bodybuilders and the old guys who come for the free coffee and doughnuts.

I’ve seen women who have yet to break a sweat worry that their workouts might be making their arms too bulky.

Some things I haven’t seen at my gym:

Critical analysis of results and performance.



I don’t know if it’s coincidence or divine intervention or Lauren’s intervention, but since I hurt my shoulder, there seems to be a lot of CrossFit Journal articles about shoulders and injury rehab and working out while you’re injured. Whatever the cause I am going to take the advice and pick up my training (left arm only) as if I were unhurt.

Don’t worry, I won’t do anything to involve or stress my right arm directly and I’ll wear my sling and tie my arm securely to my torso. I am sure it will accelerate the healing process, and if nothing else it will be interesting to switch dominate/weak sides.

For my inaugural one-arm workout I chose Fran – 21-15-9 repetitions of 95# thrusters and pull-ups, subbed to one-arm 45# dumbbell thrusters and one-arm ring rows.

As much as you like or dislike Fran, you will dislike One-Arm Fran even less. The thrusters were not bad other than the unbalanced thing, but the ring rows were awful. My time was 7:34 and I am sure it will be fun to wake up sore on one side only. For all my healthy friends out there, you might try One-Arm Fran on your weak side, rest three minutes and repeat on your dominate side.

The next day I did One-Arm Hansen – 5 rounds of 30 kettlebell swings, 2 pood, 30 burpees (yeah burpees), and 30 ghd sit-ups. I modified to one-arm kb swings at 20# and one-arm burpees (yeah burpees) with no push-up. The strange thing was that my one-arm Hansen time beat my two-arm Hansen time of a month ago by 3.5 minutes, which convinces me that I have not been getting enough rest or recovery, which probably contributed to my injury. Lesson learned.

It’s frustrating and depressing to deal with an injury but I know I’ll heal, no big deal. I’d like to give a big shout out to all those people who are permanently injured and still workout. Who accept their situation and find ways to get stronger and fitter. You men and women are an inspiration and I raise my uninjured left arm in salute to you.