It’s an amazing thing to feel stronger from week to week.
When I first started training, my belief was that strength was physiological, the more I train the more I believe it is in the mind.
The ability to accept that you are not the same person, and that the fears of yesterday are often today’s achievements.
“He didn’t do this right, he didn’t do that right… fuck that, he did something!”
While I find CT Fletchers videos more entertaining then I do informative, he does have a point. I often find myself coaching individuals who spend more time frustrated with movement then actually practising the movement itself.
I subscribe to Pavel Tsouline theory that strength is a skill, and skills need to be practiced. As a coach my cues are a meant to bring my athletes closer to an ideal way of movement, I can even give them pre and post excercisers that will help make prepare them for their next training session, be it stretches, mobs, etc. What I can’t do is practice for them, or continually coddle them through their frustrations – Do it, or don’t do it, just quit whinging and making faces. The magic happens within an athletes body when their mind begins to understand the sequencing of muscle, the nuance of timings between contractions, and the start and end positions that just feel right. This feel doesn’t come from standing looking frustrated at a bar. And how many should you do before you start this starts to make sense?
“Don’t ever ask me how many, you do that mutherfucker until you can’t do no more, that’s how many!” - CT Fletcher
Just a short post. In order to move a joint, a muscle can either contract or relax. We spend a lot of time in CrossFit focusing on the contract part of the equation, so much so, that sometimes we’re working against our selves and natural laws of physics.
Think of the top of a pull up, you’ve done all the hard work – why spend all that time lowering your self to the bottom, when you could relax and let gravity take its course? Of course I’m not suggesting that at the top of a pull up, you go into a blissful zen state of trance, and come crashing to the floor, rather relax your arms and focus on tensioning your body at the right time to catch yourself. Another example would be the kettlebell swing, as the movement is a hip driven movement, all the hard work is finished within the first .5 secs of the movement, your arms are merely a guide, jump on the momentum train and enjoy the ride. A cheeky squeeze at the top of the swing should be enough to change its direction, then once again enjoy the ride back down to the bottom of the movement.
Practice mindful breathing, its a good way to teach your body to apply tension at the correct time.
- Inhale for Tension
- Exhale for Relation
I’m assuming anyone who reads this blog is a CrossFitter, hence the purpose that of sit ups IS TO develop mid line stability/strength. To be honest though, I cant remember the last time or any time for that matter when I’ve asked my client to flex their spine and contract their abs in any movement apart from the sit up (obviously not using the cue ‘flex your spine). For the most part, I’m usually yelling something inappropriate, like get your nipples up, stay tight, protect your f#cking back! BRACE!
This isn’t to say that the movement doesn’t stimulate the mid line (like constipation), but my concern is that it reinforces bad movement patterns. Suffice to say, that when training the midline, shouldn’t we train in movements that better reflect how we use the core - braced and pressurized during load? (weighted planks perhaps, partials squats)
If you do a search on Stu McGill and pig backs, you’ll find an experiment where McGill places a pig spine on an abdominal machine, with enough repetition the pig bags eventually gave out/explodes. Obviously I’m not saying that half way through Annie, your spinal discs are going to fly out your back, but the experiment could explain why back pain may be so common in fitness (given the staple that sit ups make in our culture of fitness).
I”m just ranting, I’m sure I need to more research on this but based on pig backs, bad movement patterns, and my belief that constipation stimulates the midline more then sit ups….BRING ON THE PLANKS!