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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-12-2005, 11:50 AM   #11
Graham Hayes
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Israel, I learned the o-lifts by myself, experienced no injuries. My technique may not be perfect but oh well, I'm not gonna excuse myself from the most developmental exercises because of their supposed dangers. Fighting is dangerous too well qualified or not, live a little. And heed the above advice, build slowly use light weights, use a broom stick if uncertain...you can't convince anyone you'll get hurt snatching a broomstick.

ps - your stuff is good, those who've posted can see how it can be better, don't be so defensive:happy:
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Old 06-12-2005, 03:03 PM   #12
Beth Moscov
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Start o-lifting with a piece of pvc pipe. Don't worry about weight at all. This is how Coach Mike Burgener starts us all so, as far as I am concerned, if it is good enough for world level athletes, it is a good way to start for me too. Using your piece of pipe (or a wooden dowel), use the sites that were posted above in Graham's first message to start learning technique. When you think you are ready to add weight - first get someone to do a short digital video and post it on these boards with a heading that will attract the top coaches who hang out here - something like: "check my O-Lift form please?".

Being concerned about the lifts makes sense. Putting off the WOD because of that doesn't, to me, because many WODs don't even have those lifts. Of the seven days on the front page of the web site today, only one WOD mentions an O-lift. Today has muscle ups but there is a substitution if you don't have rings. If you don't have a pull up bar or dip station - use a beam in the house or a tree branch for pull ups and find something the right height for dips. For months I did my dips on a railing that had a corner where I could fit into at the right angle. Not the best but it worked until I could buy rings. You CAN do the WOD right now if you want. When they say old folks do it - they mean it. I have had 3 year olds in my classes doing crossfit. People use it for injury rehab. My guess about Kalen's comment regarding "chest" days and such is that crossfit doesn't think that way. It almost takes a whole paradigm shift for most of us who learned to workout in segmented ways - chest one day, back another, legs another, throw in cardio a certain amount each week, etc. But crossfit looks at "functional" exercises which means they are exercises we do in nature all the time and that they are multi-joint - like sitting on a chair (squats), picking groceries off the floor and putting them up on the top shelf of the cupboard (clean and jerk), etc.

Put it off if you want to and ease yourself in. If you want to do that though, my suggestion would be to take one day of your workout and spread those exercise into other days. Then use the day you have open to do the crossfit WOD as written but with whatever modifications you might need due to equipment issues or lack of experience with a movement. Don't pick and choose - do the one that shows up on that day or, if that day is a rest day, the day before. I suggest this because what you get from crossfit isn't just in the particular exercises but in how they are combined and randomized and doing this at least once a week (better if you can do two) will start your body adapting to this sooner than waiting a few weeks or months longer doing what you already have by itself.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:24 AM   #13
Israel Halperin
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great post beth. i will seriously consider doing as you suggest. thanks alot.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:38 AM   #14
Peter Galloway
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Israel,

One thing you should bear in mind is that your O-lift form does not have to be perfect. As long as you pay attention to the basics, and start light, you'll be fine, even self-taught. Remember, you're not trying to win the Olympics here; CrossFit uses O-lifting as just another (albeit very beneficial) tool for building fitness. In this context, you can get away with less-than-perfect technique.

Of course, if you ARE trying to win the Olympics, maybe you would be better off finding a coach! :wink:
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:39 AM   #15
Beth Moscov
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Isreal - after making the point that not all WODs have these lifts, I thought it was funny that today had snatches. Here is some ideas of what I would do if I needed to do todays WOD but wasn't sure of my snatch:

1. WOD as written
2. do the snatches with a pvc pipe. If I don't feel worked out - add stuff afterwards.
3. Since one important piece is lifting the weight from the floor to overhead and standing, if I couldn't snatch at all, I could try doing a deadlift and then an overhead press or push press (or better still - a push jerk). Do one rep of each before moving onto the next. Use only enough weight on the deadlift that I can hamdle bringing to my chest after the deadlift so I can go right into the overhead part.
4. do thirty deadlifts and then thirty jerks.
5. Overhead squats (with weight or just the pvc pipe).

The list can go on and you can get pretty far from the actual WOD in your modifications and still have some of the main elements. If this kind of thing helps you, I bet a lot of folks could suggest ways to modify for you so you can get started as soon as your ready!

Hey - where in Isreal do you live? I have friends in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Used to have friends in the north but they moved to the US a few years ago.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:50 AM   #16
Beth Moscov
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Another thought - Coach Bergener talks about the lifts as being "jumping and landing" while taking the bar "through a range of motion". Maybe you could feel confident simply working on jumping and landing. Start with feet shoulder width and jump. Your feet should naturally move out a bit when you land. Those positions should be your start and end positions for the snatch and clean. Now, when you feel confident with that, land in a deep squat and then stand - and work again on jumping and landing. When you feel pretty sure of yourself here - there is a great warm up Coach B does that also teaches the components of the snatch. You can find it on Dan John's site in one of his journals. It is in an article written by Lincoln. All three of these guys hang out on this site too so ask questions - put it in the exercises topic area and put the heading with something about "o lift question" and you will get your an answer from one of the top folks within a week - usually Mike B answers in one day.
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:46 AM   #17
Israel Halperin
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fantastic ideas, never thought about those options. i really liked the 30 DD and then 30 overhead press idea. i think ill try that tomorrow.

as for where i live in israel, right now i live in jersualem,but in the next month i will be moving to tel aviv. do you friends in israel crossfit ? i will be happy to find some training partners.


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Old 06-13-2005, 11:26 AM   #18
Troy Archie
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Israel, I too suck at snatches. I have been so dissalutioned with them lately that I just haven't done them. I've tried to find an Oly coach and actualy just got denied again today. Does that prevent me from doing the WOD? No. My first exposure with any oly lifts (C&J, snatches, overhead squats, cleans...) was with CrossFit.

I was planning on doing a different WOD than today's with snatches but after reading this post I realize that all I'm doing is hindering myself by not doing it. Sure I'll probably end up using 45lbs, maybe I'll even go heavy and use 65lbs, but the fact that I'm doing them and getting in practise with them is better than going to an online message board and talking about it and planning on eventualy doing them.

I'm also going to get a 6' length of PVC pipe and start doing them ever morning, slowing adding sand into the pipe. No more excuses and I think you need to give up your's Israel. I hope these posts don't sound like we're flaming you, but I think you need some tough love. Trust me, before I started doing the WOD I too was putting it off saying to myself, "I want to get a bit stronger before I start." I realize now that I was just wasting my time and I view my last 4 years of "fitness" as a joke. I've gained more strength doing CrossFit in 4 months than with a year of doing a "strength program" and stuffing myself with food with thoughts of being strong.

Troy
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Old 06-13-2005, 11:37 AM   #19
John Walsh
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Yeah… what Beth said.

Israel one thing you cannot expect here is validation of not doing the WOD. Work around or alter things as necessary but just about everyone here will encourage you to participate in the WOD because it is so effective.

As for learning the O lifts, it’s best to have some coaching like any sport but not necessary. One of the biggest excuses I hear for not O lifting is the bit about it being too dangerous without proper instruction. Go easy and pick up instruction from this site or affiliates. If you can find a coach, great. I started and still use dumbbells for my O lifts. Technically it’s much easier and safer. If you still find it too daunting sub swings and thrusters. No big deal. This stuff is really scalable to ability, needs and equipment. Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:39 PM   #20
Beth Moscov
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Isreal - none of my friends in Isreal crossfit. They are really friends of my parents. It would be great if they did crossfit but I doubt I could encourage them from all the way in California. There may be other crossfitters there though - post a thread on community asking if there are. If not, you will find some friends after a while. They will see the results your getting and wonder what your doing. The serious ones will want to try it and join you. It happens to us all after a while.
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