CrossFit Los Gatos ace trainer Greg L is currently in Florida visiting his father and training at a local globo gym. Greg is a CrossFit beast–2:22 Fran, 515 deadlift– but this is his first experience at a globo gym (he was a D1 soccer player at Irvine and a longtime CF Marina stalwart before making the move to LG), and he has written a tongue in cheek account of his adventures there. Enjoy.
Chronicles of a Traveling Lifter
We’ve all been there at some point in our CrossFit lives. We’ve been making a lot of progress on our lifts, shavings seconds off our times, and feeling more confident then ever. Then, the inevitable happens—we travel. The fortunate can find the time to hit a local box wherever they’re staying. But if that’s not an option, what then? Recently, I’ve found myself in this position—either I go to a commercial gym, or use my Dad’s “Shake Weight”. I chose the former. These are the chronicles of a traveling lifter. As a disclaimer, my intention is not to knock commercial gyms. Rather, I hope my experiences can offer valuable lessons to the traveling CrossFitter and Olympic lifter.
Lesson #1: Weightlifting shoes are not stylish
When I strolled out of the locker room fitted with neoprene knee sleeves and laced up in my snazzy Do-Wins, I attracted the attention of many in the “free weight area.” It dawned on me that no one else wore lifting shoes. And I venture to guess that few had ever even seen them before. That probably didn’t matter much because no one in the gym was doing a movement that required stabilization from a standing position, the chairs and benches offered enough support. Or maybe they just thought I was special because I needed Velcro shoes.
Lesson #2: No one knows how to squat
There were two squat racks. Each was equipped with a foam pad on the bar. The only other guy squatting was a kid using a Smith machine. I can’t describe his technique in words. The only consolation was knowing the bar was on a track and therefore would not crush him. Another kid was trying to overhead squat, on his toes, using a French curl bar. I was both amused and self-conscious when people started staring at me while I did back squats ( I tried not to watch them but the giant mirrors made it difficult).
After my lifts, I taught my Dad to squat once he finished his four mile elliptical excursion. My dad is in his low sixties and is pretty de-conditioned. He was convinced he can’t squat because his orthopedist said he has arthritis and shouldn’t put “any undue pressure on his knees.” Uh, like standing up from a chair? Anyhow, I taught my dad to squat in about 3 minutes. He broke parallel with his weight in his heels, a flat back, and knees tracking out over the toes. While holding the bottom position, I asked him how his knees felt. “Fine,” he said with surprise. Amazing, huh? At no other point did I see a person squat correctly or anyone teaching how to squat correctly. You may have to fight the urge to correct someone’s movement who doesn’t want correction.
Lesson #3: Rowing is not important
Amid the myriad of “cardio equipment”, which took up nearly half of the gym’s usable space, there was not a single rower to be found. Plenty of ellipticals, plenty of treadmills, even a few stairmasters. No rowers. I was rather amiss as to why the only functional piece of “cardio equipment” is absent from the gym. If you plan on lifting at a commercial gym, be prepared if you find no rowers. I guess they’re not that useful anyway.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming up.
Ever had to lift in a globo gym after doing CrossFit? Got some stories? Please post to Comments.
Snatch Grip Deadlift
Work up to a 1RM
Do 3 broad jumps for speed and distance between each single.
AMRAP in 3 minutes
5 Cleans @75% BW
Repeat 3 times with 1 minute rest between each round