Wednesday, January 11, 2012

12-01-11: Squat cleans and pull-ups

Elm City CrossFit WoD for Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Squat clean. If the weight is heavy enough (like it clearly is HERE), proper form is the only way to get it up to your shoulders. And more importantly is the action of getting your shoulders DOWN to the bar, hence the squat portion of the movement!

Pull-ups. Deadhang, so no kipping. Strict deadhang pull-ups. Upper body strength. Exactly what CrossFit haters all claim we don't do. So sorry to disappoint. Hate all you want, we'll make more. (CrossFit)

WoD: 20 min Ladder Up (1-1-2-2-3-3…)
Let's get straight to today's moral: DON'T JERK THE BAR STRAIGHT OFF THE FLOOR WHEN DOING A SQUAT CLEAN. The first part of the movement is a deadlift. A slow movement. A controlled movement. The entire point of the movement is to get the bar up to the power position and THEN jerk the shit out of it. NOT BEFOREHAND. BECAUSE DOING IT BEFORE HAND MAKES IT F***KING *HARDER*!!! Trust me... it makes the movement harder.

OK, sorry about that. After working out the kinks from the heavy deadlifts on Monday with some extensive SMR and the warm-up, we went over proper technique for the squat clean. Starting from the hang power clean, then transitioning into the hang clean, then to the full squat clean. After setting up our pull-up stations, we began warming up to our working weights for the squat cleans. After a couple of reps at 95#, I went up to 115#. My initial plan was to go up to 135#, but realizing how many reps I had ahead of me, and still working on my form, I decided to keep it where I was. That would be an awesome decision around set 5.

The first several sets were pretty simple, though my lungs were starting to burn by the end of the round of 4 each. What I realized as I struggled through the round of five was this: I was jerking the bar directly off the floor, and it was making each rep extremely difficult. Rather than having any control in the movement, trying to yank the bar that hard off the floor meant that I was shooting my hips up (without moving the bar, mind you... wasted energy and loss of efficiency), then cranking my hips open with the bar in tow, and trying to fire the bar up onto my shoulders from there. Seriously, just writing this is making me feel stupid. I can't imagine how stupid I looked! I did figure it out on the fifth rep, and man it was EASY doing it with proper form.

At this point, the only thing holding me back is my in-progress cardio. I could barely breathe each time I addressed the bar, so trying to make sure each rep was quality took longer and longer. But as I've said before, and as others have complained, you can not (or at least, SHOULD NOT) compromise form just to race the clock. While I wish I had more rounds done, I'm proud that I took the time I needed to do the best I could on each individual lift.

I did all of the pull-ups in the blue band, but in hind-sight, I should have done at least the first few rounds un-banded. I can do 3-4 pull-ups un-banded, so should have taken the opportunity in the early rounds. Still, could have been worse all told. The only other issue (at least in the early rounds) was the time it took to get in and out of the band. While it didn't matter as much in the later rounds (when the few seconds rest was most welcome), it was an awful waste of time for just two or three reps.

Total rounds: 7 rounds + 4 pull-ups (36 squat cleans + 32 pull-ups)

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