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Old 08-14-2013, 04:28 PM   #11
Cody Lichtenwalner
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

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Originally Posted by Chris Greenwald View Post
Thanks for the tips on pull-ups, Ill give it a try.

I'm aware of all you say on cleans. But if I'm not able to perform/align properly, I'm not getting those benefits. It's really all pulling with my arms at this point. I know that's wrong and I can speak what it is I should do. I just can't actually do it yet.

hows your deadlift? do you feel your back arching? do your feet stay in one place when you attempt the clean?


sorry for the barrage of questions but i just dont want ya to give up because of something a little technique trick might cure. I know your frustrated, and my constant questions probably are just as frustrating. I just do all this on my own and have hit my own walls, but that one little tip or trick that suddenly cures the hurdle makes you feel so good and i want you to have that feeling.
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Last edited by Cody Lichtenwalner : 08-14-2013 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:01 PM   #12
Chris Greenwald
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

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Originally Posted by Cody Lichtenwalner View Post
hows your deadlift? do you feel your back arching? do your feet stay in one place when you attempt the clean?


sorry for the barrage of questions but i just dont want ya to give up because of something a little technique trick might cure. I know your frustrated, and my constant questions probably are just as frustrating. I just do all this on my own and have hit my own walls, but that one little tip or trick that suddenly cures the hurdle makes you feel so good and i want you to have that feeling.
Nah thanks for the help. I will say that if I'm relegated to message board discussions, watching youtube and posting videos on youtube to get feedback, I can do all that for free. No need to spend $200 a month.

Deadlift is not as bad. Regular deads are harder than sumos. Anything where "getting my shoulders back is important is very difficult for me. My PR at the moment is 155. Not getting aligned properly and distributing weight properly is likely to blame. I do feel it in my lower back some.

With the sumo DLs, having my hands in close together and legs spread, it's much easier to get the shoulders back and thus distribute the weight properly. Sumo dead lifts just came up the last two Fridays and I'm able to do those pretty much exactly correctly.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:34 PM   #13
Cody Lichtenwalner
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

first i wanna say dont give up on crossfit, maybe your box, but not the system because i feel like we finally cracked your issue. If you ultimately decide to spend that money on a garage gym setup, you can always spend $20-$50 every so often for a private session to brush up on technique, but you def arent getting the personal focus you need. even with 20+ people in a class, your coach should have the mindset that the whole group is only as good as the person who needs the most attention. He should be bringing you up. Thats just my opinion of course.

Ok just based on what your saying about pullups and not being able to engage your lats and about how a standard deadlift is much harder than a sumo im going to say you have shoulder and delt mobility issues that are holding you back. Even if you choose to go a standard strength training regime you wont be fully able to progress safely without increasing your flexibility. I also think you should take some of the more involved movements in pieces. for The clean for example work on your deadlift, making sure the bar stays close. Also work on your front squat from a rack which of course removes the clean from the equation. Also practice the KB clean since it teaches timing. here are a couple of video links for shoulder and delt flexibility from mobilitywod, which many will agree is a lifesaver for those with tightness in area from shoulders to ankles.

http://www.mobilitywod.com/2012/09/b...ench-and-dips/
http://www.mobilitywod.com/2012/09/s...houlder-fixes/


also try the downward dog yoga pose and concentrate on rally stretching those shoulders.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:34 PM   #14
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

5 months in and your 1RM deadlift is 155lbs, your 1RM clean is 95lbs, and you haven't made any progress on pullups?

Unless you're actively resisting everything your coaches tell you, I'm going to go with mediocre coaching as the main reason for your lack of progress.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:39 PM   #15
Adam Carlson
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

Reading your posts gives me the impression that you are wanting to 'feel' everything engage before you even start the movement. While learning how things 'feel' is a good thing and something that everyone should know, if you wait for everything to happen, you're going to miss out on actually doing the movement. Pull ups - grab the bar and pull it as hard as you can. Don't overcomplicate things with worrying about shoulder position and lats engaging. Do the movement. As you do it, you'll start realizing what works and doesn't work.

Work on getting stronger by squatting and deadlifting. Simplify the movements: set your back before you grab the bar for the DL by squeezing your butt muscles and tightening your abs. Keep that set the whole time, pick the bar up, and put it down. Squats - heels on the ground. Set your back just like you did for the DL with tight abs and butt muscles. Put the bar on your back, sit back, stand up.

Don't get lost in the minutiae. As you do it, you'll start understanding the movement better and will find ways to cue yourself when you start 'feeling' things that aren't right.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:52 PM   #16
Steven Wingo
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

Everyone responds to different types of coaching. Even the absolute best coaches will have some folks they just can't seem to get to progress with the movements, push the right buttons, give the right cues that that particular athlete understands. Maybe it is time to try a different box. That doesn't say anything bad about the coaches at your current box. They may even agree. Give someone else a shot if it is not working for you there.

I will also say that you should closely self-evaluate. Are you really working out with real intensity and making positive changes to your diet? Are you giving the coaches your undivided attention and really trying to follow their cues?

Even folks who really struggle with the movements, and come in way out of shape, will typically see very noticeable gains in their first few months of Crossfit so long as they work at it. I don't know either way, you may be working very hard, but some self-evaluation is appropriate to understand whether your own actions or inaction are playing a role in the lack of progress.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:55 PM   #17
Chris Greenwald
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

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Originally Posted by Adam Carlson View Post
Reading your posts gives me the impression that you are wanting to 'feel' everything engage before you even start the movement. While learning how things 'feel' is a good thing and something that everyone should know, if you wait for everything to happen, you're going to miss out on actually doing the movement. Pull ups - grab the bar and pull it as hard as you can. Don't overcomplicate things with worrying about shoulder position and lats engaging. Do the movement. As you do it, you'll start realizing what works and doesn't work.

Work on getting stronger by squatting and deadlifting. Simplify the movements: set your back before you grab the bar for the DL by squeezing your butt muscles and tightening your abs. Keep that set the whole time, pick the bar up, and put it down. Squats - heels on the ground. Set your back just like you did for the DL with tight abs and butt muscles. Put the bar on your back, sit back, stand up.

Don't get lost in the minutiae. As you do it, you'll start understanding the movement better and will find ways to cue yourself when you start 'feeling' things that aren't right.
I've definitely tried to go about it that way. And, with many things, that works just fine. But, with pull-ups, my forearm tendons just end up feeling like they will explode as I can't get close to doing one pull-up. With cleans, just going at it seems to lead to one increasing injury risk.

Without having any video footage of myself to watch, I sorta have to be able to know what the correct positioning feels like. I've got to to be able to do a single rep correctly and have someone immediately say "that's exactly right" at which point I can make a mental note of what it felt like to be in the correct position. If I never get my body in the correct (or I suppose 95% correct) positioning, I'm never going to have a frame of reference of what it feels like for me. For instance, squatting correctly was previously very hard for me. I kept watching and experimenting until it felt right and I had someone observing and say I was right on point. That just isn't happening with cleans and pull-ups.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:57 PM   #18
Andrew G Parker
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

My coach has convinced me that technique is the foundation to progress. We have to learn and master the technique first, which usually equates to less weight for some time, but equates to much more in the long run. That translates beyond lifting and into everything we do at the box. Scale to ensure good form. Better knee push ups with good form than non scaled push ups with off form. Better pull ups with the assistance of a band or more, than poor form and injuring yourself or not being able to do any reps. Better a 6 or 8 lb wallball with a lower target and full motions than a 16 or 20 lb ball with poor and incomplete movement. Just my opinion. Coaches need to be helping you determine what you need for every WOD.

Have you had the conversation with the coaches that your initial post lead to with us? Two coaches to twenty seems a bit high (if everyone isn't fairly advanced) to me, but you should be getting some personal attention during your workouts. The attention might just be encouragement and cheer leading, but often should include (for us newbies) plenty of correction and instruction as well.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:58 PM   #19
Chris Greenwald
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

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Originally Posted by Steven Wingo View Post
Everyone responds to different types of coaching. Even the absolute best coaches will have some folks they just can't seem to get to progress with the movements, push the right buttons, give the right cues that that particular athlete understands. Maybe it is time to try a different box. That doesn't say anything bad about the coaches at your current box. They may even agree. Give someone else a shot if it is not working for you there.

I will also say that you should closely self-evaluate. Are you really working out with real intensity and making positive changes to your diet? Are you giving the coaches your undivided attention and really trying to follow their cues?

Even folks who really struggle with the movements, and come in way out of shape, will typically see very noticeable gains in their first few months of Crossfit so long as they work at it. I don't know either way, you may be working very hard, but some self-evaluation is appropriate to understand whether your own actions or inaction are playing a role in the lack of progress.
My conditioning has improved and my bf has declined. But my strength and performance in some key areas of crossfit (most notably cleans and pull-ups) has not improved. I certainly do not resist what the coaches say. I think Cody is correct. I have serious mobility/flexibility issues in my shoulder region.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:01 PM   #20
Chris Greenwald
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Re: Reasonable amount of progress 4.5 months in?

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
5 months in and your 1RM deadlift is 155lbs, your 1RM clean is 95lbs, and you haven't made any progress on pullups?

Unless you're actively resisting everything your coaches tell you, I'm going to go with mediocre coaching as the main reason for your lack of progress.
IMO, I don't really have any numbers in deadlifts, cleans or pull-ups. Or, you could say it is 0 for all of them. I have not learned how to get my body in the correct position in order to do them properly. A clean or deadlift where the arms are the primary movers of the barbell really aren't cleans or deadlifts in the first place. And a pull-up where the overwhelming majority of weight is going to tendons in the forearms is not really a pull-up. Could Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his absolute, roided-up prime, pull his body/chest up on a pull-up bar using only some tendons in his forearms?
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