At our house, Fast Eddie (aka The Naysayer) and I have a rule: Can’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. This goes for our 5-year-old son and new foods as well as adventures and new experiences, from running a marathon to zydeco dance lessons. In that vein, he agreed to come to Iron Tribe with me on Bring-a-Friend Day.
When we arrived, I introduced him to my friend Ruth, from my Iron Tribe 101 class. She went on to place second in the 40-Day Transformation Challenge, performance-gain division. She can lift really heavy things.
“Ah, The Naysayer,” she said, giving him a knowing nod.
“Uh oh,” Fast Eddie said. “I feel like Im walking into enemy territory.”
“Thats OK,” Ruth said “The cult is pretty welcoming.”
I then introduced him to Antonio, my pal from the YMCA, where he previously worked as a personal trainer. We’d chat in the weight room after my 5:30 am Spinning class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Antonio became an ITF coach not long ago and is one of my favorites, always ready with a well-delivered technique tip or a joke or a shot of encouragement — whichever I seem to need most at that moment.
“Once you drink the Kool-Aid you’ll be coming back!” Antonio told Fast Eddie.
“Two minutes!” Eddie said. “It only took them TWO MINUTES to push the Kool-Aid!”
“Yeah,” Antonio said. “It’s in the water fountains. We put it in the food…”
I handed my camera to Damaris, the Office Manager of the downtown branch, who is proof that strength and beauty are not mutually exclusive. (Her name rhymes with “glamorous.”) I looked at the WOD and picked up the 45-pound “male” bar. (The “women’s” bar is 35 pounds.) I wanted to make sure The Naysayer didn’t get cheated out of the full experience.
As many reps as possible of the following circuit:
* Run 200m
* 35 presses, 45-pound bar (men) or 35-pound bar (women)
* 25 wall ball shots, 14-pound ball (men) or 10-pound ball (women)
* 15 burpees
Note: 1 round = 75 reps.
Post total reps. Both partners run. One partner works on the triplet while the other rests. Partition any way you like.
Three. Two. One. Go!
A 45-pound bar doesn’t look like much–just an empty bar with no weights. But lift that puppy over your head a few hundred times and you’ll want to cry Uncle. That is, until you meet wall balls.
Wall balls are a particularly insidious invention, particularly for those of us who avoided ball sports at all costs. Requiring a weighted medicine ball (usually 20 pounds for men, 14 pounds for women), a wall ball is basically a full squat followed by an upward explosion and a thrust of the medicine ball toward a target on the wall (8 feet for women, 10 feet for men). You must then catch the heavy-ass falling ball, which feels like catching large watermelon hucked at your face by a lumberjack. If you have the hand-eye coordination that I do, sometimes it hits you in the face.
By the third round, The Naysayer’s arms were quivering like noodles and he was exhibiting a textbook WODface. My arms were quivering, too, but I was smiling through the WODface. It was well worth the pain to be, for once, “right.”
We fell well behind the power couple we had been chasing. (The ones using the — ahem — 35-pound bar.) Ah, humility.
Fast Eddie was a good sport, I have to admit, willing to walk into Enemy Territory and try the Kool-Aid and all. We got our butts kicked, but there’s nothing more motivating to Eddie than a dose of humiliation. Still, he refused to say the phrase that would save marriages, friendships, and maybe the world, if spouses would only learn it: “I was wrong. Dead wrong. And I see that now.”
“It was about what I expected,” he said. “My point was never that it isn’t hard or that it wouldn’t make you stronger. I just don’t think it’s more effective than traditional endurance training for the things we do.”
Fair enough. And we’ll see.
Damaris elbowed me later and whispered, “You used the 45 LB bar!”
“Yep.” I said. “I wanted to make sure he suffered. Even if that meant I had to suffer a little more.”
Later, our friend Martin (The Believer) texted The Naysayer to see how it went. Their conversation went something like this:
Believer: So, how did you like Bring-a-Friend Day?
Naysayer: If that’s what you do to your friends, I don’t even want to think about what you do to your enemies!