Technique First – Part III

Monday we talked about going too heavy given the skill, strength, or mobility of an athlete. Tuesday we went into maintaining quality reps and efficiency even when the weight, mobility, and technique isn’t an issue. Both of these problems are typically associated with the guys because we have huge ego problems.

Tonight, I promised to close this discussion with another topic; not going heavy enough. As I eluded to, this is more common with the ladies simply because they are typically not as aggressive. This trait can be greatly beneficial as it usually means our first two errors never become a problem. However, it can also slow progress.

It’s hard to get a good feel for the movements when you use the PVC pipe, training bar, or light kettlebell. The light weight allows athletes to do things they will never be able to do with heavier weight. Over time these little errors become habits very hard to correct. We need to use weight that will force us to move properly. Not weight so heavy that moving becomes dangerous, but heavy enough to provide feedback. If a rep is performed well, it should feel smooth and somewhat easy, if performed improperly it should be immediately noticeable.

This standard really applies to anyone still learning the movements. Feedback from the bar is imperative. A PVC pipe will provide zero feedback, too much weight will provide a lot of feedback but become dangerous and lead to bad habits if a strong technical foundation is not already present. The goal is to find a weight that will help you learn to move properly, make you work for each rep, and keep you safe. It’s not easy to do.

This is also why I find a lot of weightlifting clinics and certifications almost pointless. Teaching the textbook portion of the lifts with a PVC pipe is great, but one will never actually learn what they are doing wrong or right until they put a barbell in there hands.

During our conditioning workouts, always error on the light side. It’s better to finish the workout and know you can go heavier next time, then to learn it was too heavy the hard way. Experiment with heavier weight outside of the metcons when you can focus and take your time between reps. Go heavy see what issues you run into, back off, work on it at a lighter weight, repeat. Don’t however, go heavy and find a problem, then go heavier. We have all been guilty of this.

Saturday Schedule
CLOSED for the CrossFit Wylie Weightlifting Clinic


1) 7 Minutes of Overhead Squat Mobility prior to Dynamic Warmup
This could be shoulder, T-spine, hip, ankle, wrist, etc. 

2) May Benchmark WOD Re-Test
“Nancy” – Compare to 05/01/2013

5 Rounds for time of:
400m Run
15 Overhead Squats 95/65#

Scale weight as needed to maintain full squat depth and the best shoulder position possible.

Competition Training

1) Take 15-20 minutes to build to a heavy Snatch.
no more than 3 misses

2) Take 15-20 minutes to build to a heavy Clean & Jerk
no more than 3 misses

3) Front Squat 3X2 reps – heaviest possible
Rest as needed

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