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Old 12-07-2013, 07:54 PM   #11
Greg Togtema
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Enge View Post

To me, this would be like somebody saying breaststroke doesn't belong solely to the sport of swimming, then going and thrashing out a 500m "breaststroke" with scissors kick and saying it's just a different but equally valid technique as somebody sprinting a crisp 50m.
On this note, think of what true olympic lifters must think of the average CF'er. They probably don't care if you want to do 20 reps. They probably could accept that the CF'er has worse form, too. But it's probably laughable that the CF'er does 20 reps, only to make the bad form look even worse.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #12
Jeff Enge
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

I don't mean that to say that MetCon weightlifting movements are totally unacceptable, because with a minimum level of consistency, you can certainly do some.

And it has to be intelligently programmed, which is the biggest problem! Just from my experience though, I did a CF competition a little over a month ago, one of the workouts was ~12 minutes and ended with 15 135# snatches. I have pretty decent snatch technique, and I felt like crap through that portion because I had no legs left and couldn't get through the first pull right. That's the kinds of things that lead to bad form and the consequences thereof.

Again, I'm not going to come out and blanket say "you can't do that!" unless it's something that's just straight-up bad for you. There's always more or less of an element of "it depends..."
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:03 PM   #13
Jeff Enge
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

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Originally Posted by Greg Togtema View Post
On this note, think of what true olympic lifters must think of the average CF'er. They probably don't care if you want to do 20 reps. They probably could accept that the CF'er has worse form, too. But it's probably laughable that the CF'er does 20 reps, only to make the bad form look even worse.
Exactly. And as a coach, "worse form" comes in a couple different types. There's worse form as in just less efficient (in the realm of Olympic lifting whether the sport of or CF, something like an early arm bend or bar looping off the hips), and there's worse as in potentially injurious (butt shoots up off ground = lifting with the back and not the legs, splayed foot catch = way less stable landing). The latter is the thing that needs to get fixed immediately and discouraged at all times, the former should be fixed but isn't worth whining about.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:00 AM   #14
Brendan McNamar
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

This all comes down to coaching and gym culture.

A good coach is familiar with Perlepin's Chart and understands how to scale based on a members current strength level. This requires good written records, if your gym doesn't keep training logs that is a bad sign. Self reported electronic don't count. A good gym will force every member to keep good records. My members have to show myself and my coaches their training logs on a regular basis so we can make good scaling decisions for them. It only take a couple of time standing in front of me without your info to get the message we are real serious about this.

A good coach will emphasis technique before load or intensity.

For example all snatch work I program whether heavy strength or light in a met-con it is a requirement that you use a weight where you can get under the bar with locked elbows, no pressing out. I also program specifically whether we are doing power snatches or squat snatches. If we are doing squat snatches then we lighten the bar until the person is receiving it low enough. Yes on these days you will see lots of empty bars being used in my gym.


There are basically two kinds of gyms:
1) Pushing towards Rx weights (or PR's) at any cost.

2) Those that down play Rx weights, PR's and focus on good form and technique. These gyms will actually generate more people doing Rx'd weight and setting PR's because technique is what will generate these things.

3) No matter what the gym culture is if the member to coach Ratio gets about 10 to 1 there is no way the members are getting good individualized instructions on technical movements.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #15
Steven Wingo
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
3) No matter what the gym culture is if the member to coach Ratio gets about 10 to 1 there is no way the members are getting good individualized instructions on technical movements.
I completely agree with you on the ratios there.

In terms of the olympic movements during a metcon, I find it tremendously difficult to coach folks at all if their form is too far off. If they can't hit a darn good clean in a non-metcon session, they probably ought to be scaling the movement down in a metcon not just the weight (for example--"deadlift today in the metcon don't clean" for an athlete whose clean still needs LOTS of work). Don't set an athlete up for injury or failure by asking them to do in a metcon what they can't already do well when not fatigued.
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:37 PM   #16
Michael Cook
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

"After about the 5th rep, form starts breaking down quickly."

I don't agree with this statement.

I see some crossfitters who have poor technique from the first rep. Rounded back, no hook grip, reverse curl power cleans ending with elbows straight down. Light weight, medium weight, heavy weight, 1st rep, 20th rep, the reps all look that way.

I also see other crossfitters whose technique is exactly the same from rep 1 to the end of the workout.

I think the breakdown of technique with fatigue is more of an individual thing, than something that can be genaralized with a statement that your technique suddenly changes after rep #5.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:10 PM   #17
Kiel Stuart
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

O-lifting is to crossing the road what crossing the road is to chewing your food. A little bit more complex and dangerous but well within Human ability.

Trying to catch a car dropped from several stories above on the other hand is just dangerous.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:29 PM   #18
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

dangerous for whom? in what context? compared to what?

can high rep oly lifting with bad form cause injury? certainly. so can kipping pullups. so can jogging. so can skateboarding. so can football practice.

do i think most people need to do high-rep weightlifting to get the results they want? no. does that make them "too dangerous"? no.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:47 PM   #19
Chris Mason
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

So many points, but here are the most pertinent in my opinion:

1) Form and technique are something that a good coach should absolutely control for. If they breakdown then the coach should make the lifter cease the movement. CrossFit doesn't advocate poor form, but some coaches do allow it. Blame the coach, not the exercise program.

2) Olympic lifters, some of the very best in the world have used high rep O-lifting style movements. Complexes were something the Russian greats of yesteryear used to do (for example).
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:30 AM   #20
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: O-lifting: Too dangerous?

Yes, complexes are used.

But no complexes are like 15/30 Sn/CJ for time or sets of 10 with other crap for 3-5 rounds or AMRAP.
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