Shape Shifter

10 min AMRAP:

250 m row
20 hanging Aussies
20 alt. DB biceps curls 15/20 (L+R=1)

Post rounds completed.  Rest 1 min. 

10 min AMRAP:

20 plate squats 25/45
20 lunge switches (L+R=1)
200m run

Post rounds completed.  Rest one min.

10 min AMRAP:

20 incline pushups
20 OH triceps ext. 15/25
20 mountain climbers (L+R=1)

Post rounds completed.  


Workout Notes: 

  • A guy emailed me a pic of himself doing hanging Aussies from a treadmill with his feet on a stability ball once. A group I know of does hanging Aussies by lowering rings almost to the floor. 
  • It's simple, grab a plate 25/45, hug it like you LOVE it & squat. No weighted plates? A kid will do. Or a very large cat. Amy says her cat is, like, 40 lbs. Not joking. 
  • Can't believe I've been uploading exercises to YouTube for over 5 years and even after more than 452 vids uploaded, we still don't have a "mountain climber" posted. I suck. I know I recorded one. Just don't know what I did with it. The video demo I found is close. They just don't know to touch the knee and elbow together at the top of every rep like we do. 

Aren't Situps Bad For My Lower Back?

Nope. They aren't.

Yes, I read that article last June, too. The one published by Daily Mail where the US Army is phasing out the situp due to the fact that they have come to believe they can be hard on your lower back. Even Harvard has gotten in on the situp bashing - AGAIN!

Yes, I said, "again!" I remember reading about the potential for back injury due to performing situps back in 90s when I was going to school at USU. Back then, they were telling us that Jack Lalanne was wrong and that we should all start doing crunches instead of situps to avoid injury. But eventually, even crunches lost favor due to potential for neck injury and UNDERDEVELOPMENT of the other critical elements of the natural movement of sitting up! 

In the health and fitness world, everything changes back and forth on a 20 yr cycle! Some smart guy/gal will reduce an exercise down to it's elements and discover that if performed in a vacuum, it could eventually hurt us. Which is true of ANY movement. In fact, if you let those smarty pants, reductionist types have their way, they'd talk us out of ever moving around at all due to the fact that long bones stacked on top of each other, end to end, as with the human body, is nearly mathematically impossible. And that if done in ANY manner for ANY length of time, injury is inevidible.    

Situps have always been the king of abdominal and core exercises. Exercisers have been doing variations of the situp for ages. Actually, forget about exercisers, humans have been employing elements of the situp for purposes of getting up from the ground and etc. throughout the ages. We have special muscles and movement patterns which are unique to us that make it possible to do a situp! And now the US Army and a bunch of Harvard smarty pants scientist types are saying, "STOP!?"

This is dumb. 

Look, I understand why. It has mainly to do with the PSOAS muscles. These are the muscles that run from the thighs to the lumbar spine in the lower back. With a sit-up, and to a lesser extent crunches, the position and movement of the body works against the natural curvature of the spine, and therefore may lead to low back discomfort, pain, and even injury.

All this looks good on paper, but I ask you ... where are the bodies? 

I just don't see them. In the many, many years I've been training people to become healthy and fit, I can't think of even ONE time that someone suffered a debilitating back injury that they could directly contribute to doing situps. I've heard of people hurting their backs from KB swings, squats, dead lifts, thrusters and etc, but NEVER a situp! EVER!  

To put this into perspective, I've been conducting classes withing the hallowed walls of GPP for nearly 8 years now. Roughly 200 people workout at our place 5-6x per week. I have recommended thousands upon thousands of situps in that time. I'm guessing there have been literally millions of situps performed at GPP and yet ... not ONE injury to a back as the result. 

Yes, those very smart and hyper-educated types might argue that the situps we perform might have contributed to low back pain indirectly. And they might have a point academically. IOW on paper! But I'm not seeing it. Not in real life.  

Go ahead and do your situps. Everyone who they talk out of doing them now, will be someone they'll have to talk back into doing them when whatever they are recommending now falls out of favor - in about 20 yrs from now!


"No pain, no gain!" (Tish)