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Roundtable in Tahoe: Lipson on the Spot by Various - CrossFit Journal

In Athletes, Videos

October 28, 2010

Video Article

With some of CrossFit’s top athletes in Lake Tahoe, Calif., for the Rogue Vs. Again Faster Throwdown, it was a great opportunity to throw the athletes into a room and get them talking with the cameras rolling.

In the first installment, Rob Orlando puts his buddy Dave Lipson on the spot and asks the brutally strong athlete when he’s going to start training his weaknesses.

Lipson, who’s know for a deadlift well over 600 lb., explains how it’s challenging to go outside of the comfort zone and potentially fail. To get him over that hump, Lipson has hooked up with people who will keep him accountable and push him to address his weaknesses.

Lipson’s plan for the upcoming competition season: “This year, I’m not going to train like a douchebag.”

6min 29sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 139, aired Sept. 29, 2010.

Free Download


23 Comments on “Roundtable in Tahoe: Lipson on the Spot”


wrote …

That answer, and some of the unguarded moments within it, was Lipson's greatest display of strength to date.


wrote …

I think you have a good plan, Dave. You also have a great coach in Ben. Good luck in your training for the Games.


wrote …

While I have nothing but respect for Dave's freakish displays of strength, I've never understood why he's so frequently featured on the main page or here on the Journal. He seems like a standup dude, but his crossfit achievements are mediocre at best. I'm sure there are numerous other athletes in the community that would love some of Dave's spotlight.

That being said, his training goals sound legit and I wish him the best.


Justin Riley wrote …

Dave, thanks for rockin' the CF East Sac shirt. That is one of our old ones and it looks brand new.

By the way, I think its pretty bad ass that you are back squatting every day. That is like my worst nightmare. And speaking of working on my weaknesses, I am inspired. Not going to try the 365 program just yet, but maybe more than once a month would do me some good.


wrote …

For me, featuring Dave on the website every day wouldn't be an issue. It is fun to watch him throw around weight. Would love to see more Rob Orlando actually, being that he is a more well rounded athlete. But Dave seems like a funny guy, and I have actually reached out to him via email, and he responded with exactly the kind of help I was hoping for.

This is such a great resource with such a great community behind it, not only do I wish for more Dave, I wish for more journal videos in general!


replied to comment from Kyle McAlarney

Totally agree. More Orlando would be great. Most all the athletes featured on the main page are cool dudes but Rob is the man. Watching the xfit games finals video you can't not like the guy. Rob Orlando abides...


wrote …

Are the Amanda Miller t-shirt still on the horizon?


wrote …

Yes the Amanda Miller tee shirts are in and we are setting up a link to purchase them. It will be posted on the page. All of the proceeds will be donated to the American Melanoma Foundation in Amanda's name.
Please stay posted and keep checking the site.


replied to comment from Thomas Nunan

I totally agree Thomas. I think it was great for Dave to respond with such an honest answer in front of the people that were in the room… some of the fittest people in the world. Thanks for sharing Dave.


wrote …

Dave, that was a fantastic interview and I think everyone will appreciate your candour. It isn't easy talking about your shortcomings among a group of your peers much less several thousand strangers who think they know you because they've seen videos of you working out on the main site. I look forward to seeing you at the Games next year. And congratulations on being one of the few CrossFitters at Tahoe who managed a decent display of facial hair. You and Sherwood should have a grow-full-beard-for-time throwdown some day.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

Good question from Rob and respect to Dave for being honest to himself and others.

I'm in the SAME boat.... A LOOONG time ago Coach Glassman said to do the stuff we suck at.

I remember Rob when he weighed 230 and was a competitive strongman only, it's awesome to see his transformation through the years

BIG thanks to both for the motivation and inspiration!



wrote …

Paul Anderson squatted 3 times per day, every day, with what was a claimed 1,200 lbs for a Vegas act he did. It was a barbell which had boxes on each end loaded with silver dollars. I think the deal was that if someone other than Paul could squat it they got all the money (it was quite a bit). No one else ever took the money :).

Squatting every day is not going to help him reach his goal. He should be using a once per week ME rotation of squat type movements to build and or maintain his strengths while he works on his weaknesses.

He is a lot like a Brock Lesnar in that sense. Brock has no stand-up game yet he doesn't seem to have done ANYTHING about it. What is your REAL goal? That is the question...

Work your weaknesses...


wrote …

Dave, miss you buddy. It's always great to see you on the main site. I'm proud of the moves you have made and the attitude you have towards your weaknesses. Keep up the good work.


wrote … the stuff you suck at...unless you can be elite at something. Chasing the thing that makes you special isn't a bad way to go either. You'll never win the Games, but so what? Neither will Lebron. I'd be more curious to see if Dave could be a competitive powerlifter, the thing he seems wired for, than watch him run.


replied to comment from Chris Mason

Chris, you have a lot of knowledge to contribute -- but perhaps not a lot of tact.

Did you pay attention to Dave's comments? Did you look up the link provided?

As for making changes, Dave already noted that he had been trying things he wasn't good at, and that he had asked another coach to program workouts for him to address his weaknesses. Calling him out for not doing this shows you weren't paying attention before interjecting with a comment that seems aimed at showing your superior judgement.

As for his squatting every day, Dave clearly has a very particular, and a very emotional, motivation for it. You could at least show some respect for that before dumping on him. If you wanted to help, you might actually read his training log and then contribute some constructive criticism regarding his weights, that would allow him to remain true to his commitment while providing the right stimulus for his larger training goals.

Chris, you're probably right, in general. However, there was a better way to say what you said -- and even reason enough not to say it all.


replied to comment from Sam Ser


Geez... I figure the guy is a man and probably has a pretty good idea I don't have it out for him. In addition, I DID watch the video very closely and I THINK he is still not in the right mindset. He is still too worried about getting weaker and doesn't yet know how to train in such a fashion as to maintain his strength as best as possible and get better in the areas he needs to. TO ME his answers were not those of a totally committed individual, but rather those of someone who has switched gears mentally just yet (or who may never).

Finally, with all of the ass-kissers and 'friends' sometimes it is best to be direct with someone when telling them what they need to hear to achieve their stated goals.

Now, if he really doesn't care about winning the games and just wants to be known as the strongest CrossFitter then he should do nothing different, but HE SAID he has big CF goals...

I don't know him personally at all. He seems like a good guy in the video. I wish him the best of luck, but darn it, if he wants to reach a goal he needs to do what he needs to do.



wrote …

By the way, in the following sentence above the has should be a hasn't... Lol, I should read posts before publishing them..

"TO ME his answers were not those of a totally committed individual, but rather those of someone who has switched gears mentally just yet (or who may never)."


replied to comment from Chris Mason

Wow, Chris... You admit that you don't know Dave Lipson "at all" -- yet you presume to know his mindset. Impressive! Even more impressively, though, you presume to know that all those people in that room are just "ass-kissers and 'friends'" who don't have the balls to tell ol' Dave "what he needs to hear."

I don't know how you can take a video about a guy admitting his mistakes and pledging to change, and turn it into an opportunity to impugn his manhood. Frankly, YOU should be man enough to admit that you had spoken out of turn.

...For what it's worth, I enjoyed the anecdote that you shared about Paul Anderson. You should have stopped typing there, though.


replied to comment from Sam Ser

Ok, now you are being totally foolish.

I said nothing about those in the room and wasn't referring to them. In fact, Rob actually asked him the hard question so that means he was doing what I think is the right thing. The reference to ass kissers is PEOPLE LIKE YOU and others who will only tell him how great and strong he is, or how wonderful it is that he has made a wishy-washy commitment to change, and not what he needs to hear. I am sure he has quite a few of those.

I also said my impression based upon listening to what he said (and how he said it) in the video made me think that he is not yet fully committed to his stated goal. He did NOT speak like someone who has turned that corner (in my mind).

As to the video and his pledge to change, the guy is still squatting once per day which TELLS YOU that he has not yet made the mental changes he needs to, or simply doesn't know what he needs to do. By the way, he didn't 'pledge' to do anything, in fact, he kept using the word IF when talking about overcoming his ego issue about brute strength.

By the way, don't get me wrong, I think most CrossFitters are lacking in brute strength and should work on it, he isn't. He has the opposite problem from most CFers.

Oh, and I NEVER impugned his manhood. My statement about him being a man is I assume he isn't some overly sensitive wuss who would not understand what I am saying. I base that upon the fact he seemed to take Rob's question the right way and tried to answer it.

In fact, I said he seems like a nice guy and wished him the best. Your reaction to my statements has been ridiculous bordering on blind hero worship. Take a pill, I am sure the guy doesn't need you crying at me for his sake.


wrote …

By the way, moan all the more you like. I am done speaking to you about it. I will speak to him in person when I meet him :).



replied to comment from Chris Mason

Oh, Chris. So now I'm crying and moaning because I'm a sycophantic Dave Lipson fan? Nice. I expected better from a contributor to the Journal.

Well, the fact is that I don't know Dave Lipson, either, and I have neither reason nor care to try to cheer him on or knock him down. But that's not what this is about, so stop trying to deflect the spotlight away from you.

I called you out for being presumptuous and condescending. Period. My comments had nothing to do with Dave and whether or not you were right about his practice of squatting every day -- actually, I agreed with you -- and everything to do with the way you made your point.

Let me repeat that: This is not about Dave Lipson. It's about you.

I said it before, and I'll say it again: You have a lot to offer, but you could do a better job of making your point in a classy way. It would be a shame if you couldn't summon the integrity to admit that it's at least *possible* that's true.


wrote …

Best of luck Dave in achieving your new training goals. With Ben B. as your coach/programmer you def have one very important piece of the puzzle taken care of.


replied to comment from Chris Mason

He is squatting everyday as a benefit and to help raise money for a foundation. Not to achieve some specific crossfit goals. Lookup 365 days of squatting...

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