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Old 02-22-2006, 06:07 AM   #1
Brendan Fournier
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First off, just want to say hi to everybody on this great site. I can't believe how much information is available here, and I definitely feel privileged to be part of the community.

Two questions:

1. For squats, do you guys vary the width of your stance very much? Coming from more of a PL background, I tend to go with my feet pretty wide, trying to keep my shins almost perpendicular to the floor, especially on heavy squats. But on bodyweight squats, like the ones for Angie the other day, should I try for a narrower stance? And if you break 100 up into sets, does anybody change their stance from set to set?

2. Also, for WODs like Angie, how much do you guys try to pace yourselves? Meaning, for instance, I have to break up my situps into sets...is it better to max out that first set & just try to survive at the end, or leave some in the tank after each set & try to cut down my rest times?

Not sure if that makes sense, but any help would be cool. Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:29 PM   #2
Chris Jordan
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1. I'm the wrong guy to answer question 1. I feel like my stance is the same no matter how much weight I'm under but without a mirror or partner who knows.

2. I try to pace myself. Cearly I can't do 100 consecutive pull-ups (yet). I think most people stop before failure on each set. I set a goal in my mind before each set begins, get there and adjust the goal before the next set begins. For Angie I started out with 15 for the first two sets, dropped to 10 and finally two sets of 5 miserable, agonizing pull-ups. Even trying to pace myself I'm just trying to survive at the end. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats...same drill.

Based on my experience with the girls, with more exposure to the Angie you'll get a better feel for how to manage your work/rest cycles. Work hard, track your progress and keep asking questions.
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:24 PM   #3
Allen Yeh
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1. There is a difference between and olympic style squat and a power lifting style squat, I would recommend to do some searching around the board and read up on the advantages/disadvantages. I personally use a shoulder width stance for squatting, my knees come over my toes but still keeping the weight mainly on my heels as opposed to leaning forward. You may have seen a medicineball being used in some videos with squats that is to assure a certain depth of your squat. Some people may need it, some don't it's up to you.

2. That is a large can of worms, some people will say pace, some people will say go all out and keep pushing it. Really it will come down to your goals and what you want to get out of doing these workouts. I try to stop before failure because once I reach that point I must rest considerably more to keep on going. You might also try going at a pace in which you would stay below the lactate threshold, this seems to work with squats, I haven't been able to get that method to work with pullups.

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Old 02-22-2006, 07:38 PM   #4
Lisa Ray
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Hey Brendan! Welcome to CrossFit!

Squats: The best info on that can be read from the December 2002 CrossFit Journal #4. It's $5, incredibly cheap for some very valuable info. A good squat is going to be the most important thing you can learn, because it's going to be your foundation for CrossFit workouts. Slightly wider than hip width, toes pointed out a bit, butt way back with a nice lumbar curve, weight definitely in your heels, toes should be capable of being lifted at the bottom of your squat, chest up and abs VERY tight. It's not an easy postition and everything should be working to get there. The large Dynamax medicine balls are used to squat to because they are generally just low enough to get most people past parallel and it is a good reference of how far to go. Don't use it to bounce off of, it's just a reference point. Power lifting teaches a much different, much wider squat than is accepted by CrossFit. It may take some time to get there with a narrower stance, but keep working it and stretching yourself to get there. Again, the CrossFit Journal #4 will go into the description of a good squat in much finer, more articulate detail.

To Pace or To Burn to Failure: From my own experience and from observing many others, my vote will be to pace. If you burn yourself out to failure right off, your rest times will get longer and longer and you will fail much much faster. I feel it is far more efficient to do as many as you can initially without completely burning yourself, and then working in smaller groups of numbers with smaller rests in between. I would bet if you were to time yourself on one day doing a big pullup workout to failure and then trying to finish it, and compare it to another day of doing them in small groups of reps, you'll find your time on the small groups will come out ahead. You'll still be tired and burned on the end, but my guess is you'll get through all of them more efficiently.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Good luck!

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