The term Thruster first appeared on CrossFit.com February 10, 2001, which was also the date of the first workout to be posted online. Before starting CrossFit in 2009 I had never performed a Thruster.
If you’ve ever performed the Thruster you know how excruciatingly painful this exercise can be. The high neurological demand of the movement has caused some of the strongest men in the world to coward under 95lbs at high intensity.
This demand comes from CrossFit’s mission of implementing functional movements that require “moving large loads, long distance, quickly.” Although arbitrary in of itself when compared to movements like bicep curls and leg extensions we can acknowledge that such isolation exercise is no match to the Thruster.
The Thruster, in my opinion, is the epitome of functional movements.Except for the Snatch, the Thruster exposes more dysfunction in athletic capacity than any other exercise I know. It requires strength, power, speed, flexibility, and stamina.
Using the physics formula for Power (Power= Force X Distance/ Time) I inputted my ability to perform 50 Thrusters in 45 seconds using 95lbs. This is something that I have performed a handful of times to test the above mentioned physical skills. The amount of work my body is able to produce is such a short time cannot be overstated. In less in 1minute, I’m able to perform 1 horsepower!
Think about this…the exact definition of one horsepower is 33,000 lb.ft./minute. Put another way, if you were to lift 33,000 pounds one foot over a period of one minute, you would have been working at the rate of one horsepower. In this case, you’d have expended one horsepower-minute of energy.
So next time your performing Thrusters remind your self of this. Conjure up an image of Secretariat and do amazing work!