Trusting in the Process: Our Great Adventure
1. No Crossfit class workouts for duration of our training (2 months). If you have withdrawal or a panic attack, text me and I'll talk you down and give you something appropriate.
2. The following exercises are off limits: deadlifts, kipping pull ups, KTE, CF-style KB swings, ring dips, muscle ups, Prowler pushing, thrusters, push presses.
3. The following exercises are ok: double-unders, rowing, sprints, bodyweight squats, lunges, front squats (strict form), snatches, cleans, power and split jerks, incline DB presses, HSPU.
Just 8 weeks. I know you can do it. Let your bodies recover from your training for and participation in the Crossfit Games. Trust me.
At first it was pretty hard for them, but they are starting to get it. They are seeing progress in their technique and feeling changes in posture and mobility. They are able to sense movement errors and make corrections themselves. They are learning the sweet sensation of the legs moving the bar. They are learning patience--that improvement comes in spurts and some days we learn the most from failed attempts.
In my mind, it has been essential for them to develop a completely different mindset--to break away from the constant nervous system overload and physical exhaustion of individual daily workouts. The weightlifting mind, or any technically demanding individual sport for that matter, has to be calm and able to focus intensely on the task at hand. It's not overhead anyhow; it is lift the weight with precise, efficient technique. Maximal effort, executed with precise control. Some parts of the body must stay relaxed, while others work all out. The nervous system cannot go haywire or function under a state of alarm.
It has also been essential to eliminate movement patterns and postural adaptations that are counter-productive to weightlifting. It is my experience and observation that an excessive amount of kipping pullups, high-rep, sloppy push presses and hard style KB swings contribute to chronic tightness in the shoulder rotators and scapulohumeral musculature, along with an athletic-induced thoracic kyphosis. This combination of this type of inflexibility in the upper quarter makes keeping the bar close and developing a smooth turnover very challenging. It makes an optimal receiving position in the clean and snatch almost impossible.
The kyphotic upper body posture is then reinforced and combined with lower-body movement patterns if the athlete is allowed to do thrusters with a barbell, sloppy heavy front squats or deadlifts. Combine this with a little tightness in the hammies and you will struggle to have an effective lift off position or bottom position in either lifts.
From an efficiency and movement pattern standpoint, we have focused on:
- Learning to use the hip, knee and ankle to push the weight off the ground, vs use a high-hip, back-dominant deadlift type start.
- Keeping the feet on the ground as long as possible in order to connect the leg drive to the barbell. No donkey kicking.
- Keeping the bar close and getting the hips back into bar.
- Meeting the barbell, not just diving into the bottom position.
- Greasy-fast, efficient turnover of the shoulder / elbow / wrist. No extra torso, arm or torso gesticulations.