Do you think Mr. Paleo man wrapped himself up in knee sleeves, a weight belt and a ton of compression before he went out to slay some beasts in the forest?
I think not.
Mr. Paleo man picked himself up off the floor of his cold ass cave, shook his arms and legs out and of he went. And he did just fine.
Now Mr. Paleo man was not a competitive weight lifter or CrossFit athlete but he probably lifted some heavy shit in his day..
Where I am going with this is.. why should we be such a slave to all the gear?? I mean, is it really necessary to belt up when doing box jumps? Or how about knee sleeves on sit up day? You laugh, but I have seen it.
While there are some good physiological reasons why a weight belt should be worn at the highest percentages of our lifting, for the most part our physical training is meant to strengthen the muscles in and around our anatomy so that we can handle the stress of whatever we throw at it.
I bring up weight belts as a prime example of the slave to fashion most people are. There is nothing more masculine that tightening that sucker up before going over to rip a big ass snatch off the ground. It feels good and I know I feel more secure when using it.
But the truth is, on 90% of the days we spend in the gym training, the flare is not really needed. You develop adequate intra-thoracic pressure by just using a proper breathing technique and engaging the abs. You can mitigate knee pain by, guess what??? Squatting correctly and doing a good dynamic warm up.
CrossFit is a platform for accessory companies to go wild in marketing. Seriously, think of how many brands of Pull Up rip preventing accessories have you seen in the gym??!! Do we really need them or should we practice making our grip strength better and developing calluses to prevent ripping? You make the call.
All I know is that being a slave to the fashion and accessories takes away from your bodies ability to stabilize itself at low to moderate loads or exercises. If you can show me a great backsquat with no shoes, no belt, no sleeves and no rounding of the back... I will show you an athlete that is doing it right! So leave you gear bag at the door, come in ready to rock and lets do it like Mr. Paleo guy!!
10 Turkish Get Ups on each side
:10 Ring Support Top
:10 Ring Support Bottom
3 Pull Up Negatives <:05
:15 L Sit
:15 Freestanding Handstand
20 KB Swing 53/35
35 Walking Lunges
200m KB 'BABY' Carry
*Cradle the KB in your arms