Well…….I SHOW UP?
Last I left you on my CrossFit experiment topic, I was talking about the recent snatch and c&j progress that my wife, Jodi, was able to obtain THROUGH CrossFit( http://www.crossfitcentex.com/2012/06/do-you-crossfit-4/). What I want to clarify about this is that it was ONLY possible because Jodi had already been through MANY, MANY years of technique work and position strengthening exercises that were drilled into her muscle memory. I feel like this is a KEY step that many CrossFitters are overlooking or trying to skip. It’s so awesome to watch the yearly, overall technical improvements from the CrossFit Games competitors. 2o11 was better than 2010 and 2012 better than 2011; the difference from 2010 to 2012 was SIGNIFICANT! So, this development takes TIME/YEARS, especially when you are potentially undoing a good amount of your skill work on the lifts when you go back to your old ways inside of a WOD.
For Jodi, she had even actually lost a very slight amount of technique, but because of the base she has in this area, that will mostly never go away, nothing she couldn’t regain with 1 cue or a few reps. So, what this means for her is that she can continue filling gaps, pushing strength and capacity, and MAINTAINING technique. With her at the maintenance level on Oly technique, she can spend most of her time, energy, and recovery in the other areas; which is huge enough to say she is a BIG step ahead of most overall.
For CrossFit as a competitive sport, I believe this is where the competitors must take the time to get to within ALL skills; MAINTENANCE; at which point their efforts can shift to pulling out all the tricks to find any extra capacity and strength they can. Again, in other words, I feel many hopeful CrossFit competitors are all in, in all areas(lots of WODs working capacity with improper movement,) at least somewhat working against themselves and delaying their overall, long term progress?
In regards to myself and the Oly lifts, I haven’t done a whole lot other than what has popped up in my WODs. I had gone up to a heavy c&j once/week for 3 weeks prior to the CrossFit Games, knowing I would likely do a demo at some point while hanging with the Barbells For Boobs crew. I was able to range from 315-330lbs and that was right at all in for those days(for my Oly language speaking friends, 143-150kg; which is less than 80% of my best of all time.) Some of this was of course from being a little tired from METCONs and other strength work, and some, I would say most, from just working my strength back up from the injury? I find that currently, if I do my strength work post WOD, I’m at about 80% of my best and if I do it prior, or more fresh, I’m setting at about 90%, strength number wise.
With all that said, I did surprise myself at the demo. I was able to do a pretty comfortable 355lb c&j(just over 160kg) and a clean, though a little tough, with 375lbs(just over 170kg.) It just happened that this took place right after the male competitors got done with the clean ladder, where the best clean was 365lbs, with a few others around 345-355lbs. So, I was glad that I, the weightlifter, could pull off at least a little more? BUT, these guys accomplished these numbers with only 30 seconds rest between each lift and AFTER all the other stuff their legs had endured through the 3 days prior! These guys, AND girls, have gotten good, better than I think many in the Oly community believed possible, and are getting better!
The 375lb clean was right at about 90% of my American Record, which is a pretty high percentage especially considering all factors. For one, I’m doing 3 days a week of straight up, hard core CrossFit and two, I started CrossFit with a pretty big strength deficit since I was unable to lift heavy for a couple of months. Another interesting detail, well for me anyway, is that my body weight is down about 10lbs from where it naturally stays while I’m hard and at it in an Oly program, which is where I’ve always felt my strongest. Some of this is because I’m busy with other things and probably not eating as much as usual, and some is because, guess what, you burn a CRAP load of calories doing CrossFit. Also, my quality of eating since I’ve started CrossFit has been probably worse than it’s been in a while, though still way better than the average person(not CrossFitter) I’m sure. Yet, I’m as lean as I’ve ever been? Diet is of course HUGE and KEY to continued progress and getting anywhere near your potential, but I would say that there is A LOT to be said for JUST showing up for your CrossFit WODs! Anyway, within all of this, my strength has been steadily climbing back up and these circumstances are giving me more and more hope that I just may actually be able to inch up to AT LEAST the strength level and lifts I was before, all while doing CrossFit. In addition, maybe, just maybe, by continuing to strengthen any unseen weaknesses, however small, and by stimulating my body in these different ways, I might create a new level of potential? I would say that this is all still at least a year away and a big TBD, BUT, what say you weightlifters? Are you open enough to REALLY do WHATEVER you can to put more weight over your head?