James Newberry has long objected to the use of muscle-ups in CrossFit workouts, identifying them as a “trick” that only works for athletes that weigh less than he does.
The 205-pound athlete is no stranger to the weight room. Having played collegiate football only a few years earlier, he remains comfortable with the power-clean, squat, and bench press.
“Basically, my body is designed for movements where my feet don’t leave the ground,” Newberry explained. “Muscle-ups would be easy for me If I weighed less, since they don’t require any real strength or athleticism.”
In fact, Newberry likes to believe that he actually can do muscle ups, if only in theory.
“When people ask me if I can do muscle-ups, I say ‘yes’. I don’t see that as dishonest because I bench 315, so I’m obviously strong enough. If I was like one of these little guys, I would have no problem swinging around on the rings, so even though I don’t actually have muscle-ups on the outside, I believe I have them on the inside.”
Newberry’s coach, Justin Gonzalez, had a different perspective.
“He can’t do muscle-ups because he’s not strong enough.
Gonzalez went on to explain that Newberry’s ego was part of the problem.
“He won’t show up for any workout that involves significant bodyweight training, so don’t expect him to improve his skills on the rings anytime soon.”