Wednesday 130904

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
400m run
10 Deadlifts (135#/95#)

Post results to comments and BTWB.

A line of lifters is a beautiful sight.


Risk vs. Reward ~ Luke Palmisano

Have you seen Man Of Steel, the new superman movie yet? First off, if not, why not? SUPERMAN IS THE BOMB. But you know what always impresses me about Superman? The fact that saving the human race is what keeps him going. Not having a family, or even getting that yearly vacation to the Fortress of Solitude. It’s saving the human race from either themselves, or the alien threat more powerful than anyone can imagine. It’s saving the human race that propels him to take such. Huge. Risks. To both mind and body. Of course, when he receives his reward (that of saving the human race, yet again), the ending credits come on, and we never see Superman have to go through the after-effects of the choices he made. Meaning, did fighting General Zod and getting flung through multiple skyscrapers result in multiple concussions? And how long did Superman have to see a chiropractor after that fight? Or massage therapy??

I digress.

Let’s turn this conversation to us. Risk vs. reward. When it comes to human movement, what will you risk in body positioning to get what you want? Let’s take a rounded spine while deadlifting as a example. Maybe Matt Chan is trying to win the CrossFit Games, and he realizes on his last workout of 405# deadlifts that if he allows his back to round because he is fatigued, he will finish first and win his heat, and possibly the Games. He risks damage to various tissues and bones, but… It may be worth it to him. Maybe a baseball pitcher knows that with a tweak of his technique, he can get his 93 m.p.h. fastball up to a 97 m.p.h fastball. In doing so, he secures himself a multi-million dollar contract, even though he knows he’s probably going to need Tommy John Surgery in the next 5-10 years. The risk may be worth it to him. Now lets say YOU are doing a workout with deadlifts. Will you choose the weight you can manage, or the weight you want to use? What’s your risk vs. reward? The risk is you herniate a disk, pull a muscle in your back, or even scrape your shin!! The reward is… you finish a workout. Is the risk worth it to you? Now I realize we are competitive as a group. We take our lives and what we achieve seriously. Remember, though, that it’s just workout. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. The poor positioning that you practice in one movement will transfer over to another.
  2. Sacrificing good form will eat away at potential benefits of the exercise you are performing.
  3. Your bad form is a ticking time bomb. You may get away with it unscathed today. Eventually though, it will manifest itself by way of pain.This is the tricky one. If we don’t feel the consequences immediately, the risk we’re taking may not seem like a risk at all.

 These are the choices we must make. Every choice we make, in fact, has a risk vs. reward equation to it. So what are you willing to gamble to get the result you want? 

Information for this post was referenced from the book Becoming A Supple Leopard, by Kelly Starrett. 


  1. Danni :

    Great post Luke! I think we all could use this reminder from time to time.

  2. slaughter :

    positioning is king. Luke is duke.

  3. john waite :

    Thanks to all in the Competitors class last night…really motivational and pushed me to successfully string 6 pull-ups together, hadn’t done more than 3 prior…so thank you!

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