Sunday, November 25, 2007
Youth (Flexibility) Is Served
This is dedicated to my CrossFit friends who are working so hard to learn the lifts. These schoolage lifters demonstrate the flexibility you need to do the full lifts. If you lack the flexibility for good lifting positions--and someone should help you determine this--you need patience. One lift at a time. Hammer your flexibility deficits with lots of deliberate practice. There's nothing wrong with doing the power versions of the lifts to work on receiving positions. Gentlemen, please master the front squat with high elbows before going gung ho with heavier, full cleans. Stay light and move fast. Meet the bar; receive the bar; don't just fling it and let it crash on you. Use DBs, KBs or power cleans for that crazy Linda and Elizabeth, if your scapulohumeral flexibility is poor.
I realize the CrossFit world finds the weightlifting world a little anal and boorish, with their low reps and snooty technical attitude. But there are good reasons why they look at you with a raised brow when you tell them you want to do cleans for three sets of 21-15-9 reps with 135 lbs. There is a method to their madness, and you (and CrossFit) will win their respect by being good ambassadors of the lifts. (Yeah, I know CrossFit doesn't need the sport of weightlifting, but the sport deserves your respect.) Trust me, if your technique is ugly, it will eventually matter. Your musculoskeletal system will revolt with an overuse injury, or the barbell will bite you in the ass--or the shoulder, elbow, wrist or back. Break long sets down into 3s at the most; keep it lighter and give your nervous system a chance to move well. Or use DBs or KBs if you really want to make these met con workouts.
Yes, the strong survive, but the injured go on the disabled list. I realize aches and pains happen when working hard, but I don't buy the "that which doesn't herniate my disc makes me stronger" bull. As Vern says, think about whether you are using an optimal load, vs a maximal load, for you and your goals. I really, really like my CrossFit peeps and how they roll; but man, sometimes you guys make me nervous.