January 25, 2011
Today we simplified things in the form of a strength workout. We reviewed the Olympic lift the split jerk and then we set out to see how heavy we could go. At first we tried the movement with just the bar and then we loaded the bar in increments and did one lift at a time followed by a rest until we felt that we could not go any heavier.
For heavy single lifts , the Split Jerk provides a stable and wide platform. “The idea of course is to push the weight as hard and fast as you can, and then drop under it as fast as you can. You can either split your legs to facilitate that drop, or rebend your knees. If you just rebend your knees, you have a narrower, and thus less stable “platform”. Getting your legs back in from a split is not that hard, once you get the weight up.” by Barry Cooper from the Crossfit Discussion Board.
Many athletes find the strength workout to be a refreshing way to reinforce the constantly varied aspect of Crossfit. It allows us to slow down and really concentrate on one movement. For me, I find strength workouts to be very zen. It is important to stay calm and stay focused and to organize one’s thoughts before performing the lift.
Recently our friend Andy Petranek discussed “Being Strong” on his blog for Crossfit LA
What does it take to “be strong”? Is it something you’re just born with? When I first started CrossFitting, I could dead lift 175 lbs three times (I didn’t even know my one rep max). Now, 6 years later, I’m up over 400 pounds. Is that strong? For me… absolutely… And is it important? Well, without it, there is a gaping hole in your fitness, one that can’t be filled any way other than lifting heavy.
Now I’m no strongman, or world record holder, nor do I have any “secrets” that got me where I am, however, when I look my steady improvements, there are a few things I’ve done that have contributed to my steady progress that I’d like to share with you. As you’re reading, start thinking about your strength work and how you got where you are, or plan to improve going forward. Then share with us in comments.
1. Show up. Strength days are NOT days to skip (even though they might not really feel like a workout)!
2. Be consistent. Although I haven’t made it the focus of my training, I don’t think 2 weeks has ever gone by without a strength workout.
3. Don’t be in a hurry. The progression from an immature to mature squat is 3-5 years… Strength does not usually come quickly.
4. Lots of variety. Strength days, CrossFit days, gymnastic days, metcon days. With variety like this, my improvements in strength have been slower than they could have been had I specifically focused on it (in one 13-month period, I did no heavy dead lifting and my PR went from 395 to 405… an increase at least, but not much.) However, variety for me means that it stays fun… and Fun = Variety = Showing Up = Consistency.
That’s my formula… what about you?”