May 2, 2009

The Old Bait & Switch

Objective: Technique

Warm-up: Practice the Foundational Movements of CrossFit for 60 minutes

Training: 5 rounds
5 Medicine ball cleans, 20lbs
10 pushups
Time: 1:41

Notes: Remember how I said that I could plan my training because the local affiliate posted the workout the night before. That plan back fired today. The NorCal Regional qualifier workouts (both of them) were posted for today. When I got there the trainers and some members were finishing it up. Weird. Was I an hour late? No. That workout wasn't for the masses.

The masses got to practice the Foundational Movements of CrossFit. It was good experience. I have never received formal instruction on them, and I think it is important to drill the fundamentals. I learned that my hips are too low at start the deadlift. It comes from being self taught, not being able to see my own ass, and Oly lifting (which has a different starting position).

Here is my breakdown of the movements:

1. Air Squat - Great. FUNDAMENTAL. Hammer it all the time.

2. Front Squat - Personally, I like it because of Oly lifting. However, I have never seen a new trainee have the flexibility to do one with enough load to get a response. I would have newbies air/back squat and move to front squat as quickly as possible. CrossFit teaches the movement with a PVC, ridiculous. My front squat is okay, but my elbows don't go the right place with a PVC. The trainer kept having to correct my elbows. Put people under a bar. It will allow them to show proper form or actively stretch them.

Elbows in the right spot with 90K on the bar in a competition.

3. Overhead squat - Good movement (Oly bias). Very difficult to get newbies to do it. I would introduce way later.

4. Shoulder press - Great movement. CrossFit should do it more. Everyone should do it more.

5. Push press - Okay. CrossFit loves their metabolic conditioning, and this works well for it.

6. Push jerk - Not great. No one does this in real life. Most Oly lifters don't do it, they split jerk. It is very hard to get newbies to do it. I would definitely not teach new lifters the movement.

7. Deadlift - Arguably the best movement. Everyone should know how to pick heavy stuff off the ground. I would teach it first.

8. Sumo deadlift high-pull - Silly. CrossFit doesn't teach the sumo deadlift, which might be better for some body types. CrossFit doesn't teach people how to upright row. However, it puts them both together. Through the process teaches people to bend their arms to get things up to their shoulders, possibly interfering with teaching the clean. Should it be on the path to athletic development?

9. Medicine ball clean - Okay. It tricks people into Oly lifting. For some reason, people freak out when you put a barbell in their hand. The med ball clean is very hard for newbies to learn. I would save it for way later. Immediately after they show some competence, put them under a bar.

The workout was made up on the spot, not the most efficient training for anyone. It was the shortest workout I have ever done. It was a punch in the arm when I expected a kick in the nuts. I'm going to have to kick myself in the nuts later.