Back at it with two and a half observations from the 2013 Games…
(Yes, I’m really dragging this out.)
6) Rich Froning is the most dominant athlete on earth. Usain Bolt trains for one event. Actually he trains for two, but they both involve basically the same mechanics, a ten to twenty second time frame, and include putting one foot in front of the other. Michael Phelps trains for a few events within the same discipline. They are all under two minutes, and they all involve shaving your body (although Froning and Phelps may share this in common).
I’m sure there are multiple athletes—who I have never heard of—who dominate their given sport in much the same way Rich does. I’m sure someone will read this and inform me that there’s a kayaker, ultra-marathoner, or competitive eater who is way more dominant than Rich, and they’ll probably have some pretty good data to back it up.
I don’t care. (Team sports comparisons won’t work here, but LeBron would be a good argument.)
No one does more stuff than Rich does. No one has to be more well-rounded than him. No one has to be more athletic, stronger, efficient, resilient, or have anywhere near the combination of endurance and power that he does. Despite the fact that Khalipa dominated the row/row combination and picked up the full 200 points for the event(s), and the fact that Rich utterly sucked on “The Pool” (apparently the body shaving only works if you can actually swim), the Games were still never really in doubt.
I probably got fifteen texts after the Wednesday workouts were completed, that basically said the same thing: “Dude, this is the year that Rich gets beat”. Then he did what he always does—takes nothing but top tens, and dominates the final day. In 2011 he came in 26th on the opening workout. In 2012 he came in 18th on the opening workout (and won by the largest margin ever). In 2013 he came in 30th on the opening workout, and simply went 1 – 1 – 1 on the final three events. Khalipa was EASILY the best challenger Rich has faced in the last three years, and no one would have faulted him if he’d lost a hard fought battle with a legit contender. But he didn’t. He swept the final day and left no doubt how hard it would be to take his title.
The most impressive thing about this win IMO, is what happened to Rich’s challengers from the previous year. The second and third place finishers from 2012 finished twenty-first and twentieth respectively. Either the sport changed drastically from one year to the next, or this is a glaring example of how difficult it is to be good at so many things (likely a combination of both). Chalk it up to volume, perfect genetic makeup, milk and fried chicken, or the fact that Jesus likes Rich a lot, but he’s won three years in a row, by an average of 92 points. With an average final score of 969 total points, that’s a blowout… Every year.
What’s he the best at? Nothing. His Weightlifting is possibly his biggest strength, but he can’t hold Jared Fleming’s jock strap, and Jared is only the best American 94. He’s above average at barbells, below average as a swimmer, and decent at rudimentary gymnastics, running and almost anything else you could throw at him. However, when you combine all of those things, and throw in a metric s**t-ton of volume, he is the best our young sport has ever seen. Who knows, we may be watching the Babe Ruth of competitive exercise… Better get your nanos signed now just in case.
6.5) Can we get a mother-effing squat test? I think we’re all set on the upper-body strength/strength-endurance tests, and have pretty much exhausted every variant of lower-body pulling. The most simple test of lower body strength has got to have a place in the testing for the fittest on earth. Six of the top-ten women got pinned by loads south of 210# on the Clean & Jerk ladder.
An NO, this is not a commentary on the programming. HQ is programming for THEIR Games, and to participate in the sport we have to be literally ready for any test they deem appropriate. I just really want to see what would happen, and personally believe that both the back and front squat are unparalleled tests. Also, whether it’s ever tested or not, it doesn’t change the fact that the squat is the greatest developmental tool for full body strength.
7) An elite American Weightlifter is the second fittest woman on earth. That fact is very, very cool.
1) 15 minutes to find a 3RM Hang Snatch (top of knee) – these should be UB, do not drop the BB between reps.
2) 3×3 @ 95% of Max from above – rest 90 plus seconds.
3a) 4X3 Snatch High Pulls @ 110% of Max Snatch – rest 60 sec.
3b) 4X 45 sec. Bench Row Holds (use KB or DB in each hand, hold at finish of concentric contraction with chest on bench) – heaviest possible, rest 60 sec.
5 rounds for total time (of runs) and reps:
Run 400m (all out)
ME UB Muscle-Ups
Rest 2:00 between rounds.
*Notes: There should be zero rest at the finish of each run. Each run effort should be all out, and at the finish of each run there should be no wait or rest before beginning each ME set of Muscle-Ups. Chalk your hands BEFORE you begin the 400m run.