Dumbbells, Dummy

“If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain, do you also believe that television shows are made inside your television set?” Warren Ellis

A strange and fragile thing, the mind of a CrossFitter.  While we may think that building a “broad, general, and inclusive” fitness is simply a function of what we or our coaches program, we shouldn’t neglect the influence of outside factors.  The climate we live in (how often do you run in Saskatchewan?), what we like, the equipment we have- all of these factors influence our programming.

There may be no bigger influence to what we do in the gym than the rise and popularity of The CrossFit Games and The Open.  As the visibility and accessibility of the Games and Open have grown, individuals and gyms naturally mimic the training and tests of the top athletes.  For example, in 2015 athletes were surprised with a pegboard climb, a test that humbled many athletes, including most of the top female competitors (not named Kari Pearce.)  At the 2016 Games it was pretty obvious that people had been lobbying their gyms to buy pegboards and spending lots of time practicing- in a year the difference in skill and strength was palpable.  


CrossFit does a great job of pushing people outside their comfort zone, always looking to find a dimension of fitness that has been recently overlooked.  The smiling, mischievous face of this endeavour is Dave Castro, the Games’ Director.  This year, in between his normal posts of motorycles and palling around with top Games athletes, Castro posted this picture to his Instagram.

The post heard ’round the world.

Quite predictably, the CrossFit world exploded.  Conspiracy theories abounded and comments sections swelled as people sought to divine what Castro meant with his picture of dumbbells and what looks like the Nirvana logo (?!?!)  An official announcement soon thereafter put gyms on notice- go buy some 35s and 50s, ‘cause they’re showing up in the Open.

BTWB users have been breaking out the dumbbells to prepare.  Compared to the week before Castro’s post, there was a 73% increase in dumbbell workouts logged from the week prior.  People were dreaming up any likely scenario that a relatively heavy dumbbell would be used (it was announced that 50# is the Men’s Rx weight, 35# the Ladies Rx.)

BTWB users are definitely betting that some form of DB Snatch will be the chosen movement, with over 2,500 snatch movements recorded in the week after the announcement.  DB Thrusters were close behind, with 1,700 recorded.  After that Push Presses, Overhead Walking Lunges, and Bench Press fill out the top 5 movements recorded.

Also, 136 Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curl sessions were recorded, so there seems to be a small contingent that is banking on Castro announcing a 7 Min AMRAP Clothes-Off Pose-Off.  I’m in.

For all the haterz out there saying your gyms don’t have enough DBs or that you don’t like them, or whatever, you’ve been warned.  Here’s Coach in a video from roughly one year ago.  It is called “More Dumbbells,” and starts with “Dumbbells, nobody is doing enough with dumbbells…”  Like Dave said, you’ve been warned.

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1 Comment

  1. Vince
    February 23, 2017 / 4:37 am

    I got a fever! And the only prescription – is MORE DUMBELLS!!!

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