Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just My Thoughts........

So, at this point in my coaching career, which spans a whopping 5 years, I have come to some conclusions. I'm not saying this won't change, but I am going out on a limb here by saying it probably won't.
I coach indoor crossfit classes at Central and Olympic Weightlifting classes at Red Black Gym and some of the lifts obviously come together. For instance, today's WOD at Crossfit Central had hang power cleans in it. Naturally I had the class watch the move performed and had them perform it themselves. While I was watching the athletes perform the move prior to the actual WOD I felt like I was doing a disservice to the move and the athletes themselves. Not because they were performing the lift all wrong, but because there is so much more involved in the lift and I only have so much time to coach them up on it and correct any glaring flaws they may have.

And this is where I shamelessly promote my Olympic Weightlifting instruction separately from a crossfit class. Performing the oly lifts and becoming efficient at them takes practice and performing them repetitively creates muscle memory so that after time the lifts will become effortless. Well, maybe not effortless, but you will be able to concentrate on becoming stronger, faster and more explosive and tweak your lifts when it's called for. There are many drills, skill work and straight heavy lifting that are involved in becoming a good Olympic lifter. Not only will you become a stronger lifter but it will translate into your crossfit class. You will undoubtedly learn how to become more aggressive and also know where to focus that aggression when performing the power clean, hang clean, hang power snatch and on and on and on. I know from my own personal experience that learning the Olympic lifts, and practicing them has made me a better crossfiter. While other people are struggling with a lift like the snatch, I can rip right through it. I saw that first hand this past weekend at the Fittest Games at Crossfit Central.

So, with all of that said, I encourage all of you to consider taking up Olympic Weightlifting separate from your crossfit classes. You will become stronger, more discipline and no doubt more efficient during your workouts. Chances are you will smoke the person next to you because they are struggling and it's just like another day at the park for you.


Brandon said...

Good post. I think the shot I see most regularly lobbed at CF is about form. I know CFers are taught form, but when ripping out reps for time, some of that discipline will undoubtedly be lost. Once a lifter starts getting to a plateau though, and the weight is a real test, form is all that separates failure and injury.

Zachary Thiel said...

Brandon I totally agree. I love crossfit, but think it creates some bad habits. Most of the people I coach at the Red Black Gym for Oly lifting have created some pretty bad habits I'm having to get rid of. I am also having to train myself to get rid of them as well. I think most people would say that I am training sport specific so it really doesn't apply to crossfit. But my experience says other wise for me.