Saturday, August 4, 2012

12-07-24: Olympic clean and running couplet

Elm City CrossFit WoD For Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
The olympic clean. Performed perfectly.

Natalie Burgener performs a perfect clean and jerk. For today's workout, we were really only concerned with the first 3-4 frames (well, standing up to full extension with the bar on our shoulders, so past frame 4, but not launching the bar and dropping under it as in frame 5)
Again, we're only focusing on the first 5 frames of Sage Burgener demonstrating a great clean and jerk. 

I believe I just need a bit more inspiration to be an awesome runner. Perhaps not this much, though/?

WoD: 10 Rounds, each round begins every 75 seconds
  • 3 Cleans [full squat] @ 75% of one rep max
  • Crack Dash
A new round will begin every 75 seconds. Athletes rest will be remaining time in each round after they complete the work above.

After some good warm-up and oly lifting tips from Coach Greg, dealing especially with my starting position (adjusting to bring my weight further back on my heels, getting my shins more vertical from the starting position) and just trying to get past my tendency to still do the lift in two very separate parts (powering the bar up up vs. dropping under the weight), it was time to do some work.

For most of the rounds, I managed to get all the work done in about 45-50 seconds. I had just ONE goal: mechanics. I wasn't too overly concerned with my actual speed or making it through each round. Mechanics. Consistency. THEN Intensity. This is the bit that so many CrossFitters miss: They try for the intensity LONG before they can safely crank up the effort, performing a series of shitty reps, practicing shitty reps. Hardwiring themselves to always perform shitty reps. The difference between that approach (aka all intensity, all the time) and taking your time and seriously improving the mechanics as much as possible, so that even under pressure, the mechanics stay consistent, is the difference between a simple CrossFit kool-aid drinker and a CrossFit Games-caliber athlete. For a perfect example, the clean ladder from the men's and women's competitions. The only crappy reps were when people were shooting for PRs and at weights far beyond their capabilities...

So, fatigue started setting in, and I started taking longer and longer to complete my reps. Finally, I finished the run for the 8th round, and had just made it back to the bar when the buzzer went to start the 9th round. I took a few seconds to collect my breath and self-control, then did a rep. Again, the pause to gather myself. Another rep. All the other athletes had already headed out for the run. I still had some more work to do. Another pause. Another rep. Finally, it was time to run. I had just barely made the turn back from the endpoint of the run when I heard the timer go off again. I slogged back, the rest of the class running back out of the gym as I stumbled in. I could quit right now... I hadn't completed the 9th round before the 10th began. Ah, screw it. Where's the fun in that?

After spending a little bit of time staring at the bar, willing it to become lighter, I again fought through three reps, trying like hell to keep form and mechanics solid, trying to let the proper muscles actually lift the bar, and not resort to craptastic form instead. In all, despite the fatigue and gasping-for-breath bit, those felt like the best reps, because they HAD to be. Crappy form would have just resulted in failed reps, but all three of them (actually all 30 reps) landed solidly on my delts, I was pretty well under the bar, only riding the elevator down (ie, getting lower after already racking the weight... a waste of energy, but a requirement for practicing squat cleans, rather than accidentally practicing power cleans...).

One more run. Well, run is probably putting it a little strongly. Joggers could go faster than me. A good Manhattan commuter could easily have walked faster than me... but I was going to finish the freaking WoD, no matter how long it took me. And... eventually... I did.

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