Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10-12-13: Post certification Keeping Loose and Coaching

I wasn't going to workout. I was tired, I was sore, it was officially a CrossFit rest day. So why would I workout?  I had brought in my gym clothes, but I went down to the gym expecting to read, to merely moderate, and let it go at that.

CrossFit Level 1 certification, December 11th and 12th, CrossFit Virtuosity

Turns out watching a bunch of guys using absolutely terrible technique is kind of inspiring.  Inspiring to go do something else (I realize I just did training for being a coach, but as the moderator, I'm just a warm body in case of emergency. Most of those kids are uninterested in anything that wasn't just featured in Muscle & Fiction, and I've stopped banging my head against that particular wall...mostly.).  So, I got changed, put on my kick ass CrossFit t-shirt, grabbed my jump-rope, and put in some fairly serious skill work, at least compared to what I've been doing lately.

Ever since working jump-rope back into my routine (after the Patellar Tendonopathy Affair), I've gone fairly light with it.  Enough to work up a quick sweat, but not a ton of skill work, and certainly not for any extended periods of time.  I opted to go for a good 8-10 minutes, first trying to get a really fast turn-over on the single bounce, jumping as little off the floor as I could, before moving on to as fast a run step as I could manage. I did a little work with cross-overs, but found that skill both rusty and a bit painful from the soreness in my pecs and shoulders from the weekend.  I did some left-right and forward-back single bouncing, and then finished up with 20 double-unders.  Most all of which were either singles or chained together with 2-3 single bounces in between.  Which is to say they definitely still need a bit of work... sigh.

After that, I decided to try out the rowing machine.  Watching two of the trainers, Keith Wittenstein (CrossFit Viruosity) and Karianne Dickson (CrossFit Morristown), go head-to-head on a pair of rowers in a 5K race, I was struck by how slow their cycle time was, and by how *strong* their pulls were.  Even if they were averaging 7-8 fewer strokes per minute than I usually do, they were both going MUCH faster than I usually do, so I have to imagine it was in the efficiency of their strokes.  I set up the rower to just go, and practiced slow, powerful strokes, and for awhile definitely had an improved 500m split time.  However, I wasn't able to maintain that kind of output for more than about 260-275m, so my overall time was a bit slower than usual.  Still, I think *this* is the key to going fast... and strong, controlled burn.  Must to increase my cardio...

After that, I decided not to push my luck with anything else. I was nice and warm, my shoulders and chest had unlocked a bit, I could leave some in the gas tank for tomorrow.  At that point, I was presented with the opportunity to coach a few kids in the squat and deadlift. It turns out that trying to coach kids with absolutely ZERO proprioceptive feedback (ie, they don't know where their bodies are, or what their bodies are doing) is a lot more difficult than working with a whole bunch of people who've been CrossFitting for any length of time. 

Many of the guys, we were able to get going with basic air squats fairly rapidly.  There are a fair number of points to watch out for, especially for the uninitiated (weight in the heels, arched back, big chest, knees track over toes, hip crease below top of knee), as well as a fair number of cues and coaching points, and most of the guys picked it up pretty quick. Sure, they need more work with their depth, or pressing their knees out, but they understood what they were supposed to be doing.  However, the problem was trying to work with one guy who either didn't get it, didn't care, or frankly has NO body control whatsoever.

I don't mind if someone doesn't understand a cue.  If I say "arch your back hard" and you press your back out like a cat doing the Halloween stretch, that's fine, that's just a miscommunication.  If I say it again, pressing my chest out and really arching my back into a nice S curve, and point out the chest and showing how it should go, and the guy hunches over even harder.... what do you even say?  We tried several cues, with a hand on his lower back trying to help him see which muscles to clench to attain the arch, to trying to get him to squeeze his shoulder blades together, to trying to get him to just do a muscle-man "chesticles" pose.  Nothing. Nada.  Zilch.  Niente.

I've been racking my brains since then trying to figure out what else can work to get the idea across.  So far, I don't have much.  We'll try it again tomorrow, I guess.

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