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Workout of the Day Questions & performance regarding CrossFit's WOD

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Old 09-12-2005, 04:18 AM   #1
Tariq Kassum
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I have a buddy of mine working out with me today on "Elizabeth." He's let himself get fairly out of shape, so I need to tone down the wod substantially for him.

He's never done cleans before, so I'm wondering if it would be best to

a) get him to do the cleans but just with a very light weight like a body bar, or

b) have him do something else entirely, like maybe sumo deadlift high pulls with a 45# bar.

I'm leaning towards a) but I would like the opinions of those who have helped novices before.

Thanks.
Tariq
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:24 AM   #2
Jason Billows
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I'm no expert on O-lifts, but would assume that the doing the actual cleans would be best. Simply use low weights to begin and increase as needed once this form is perfect.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:34 AM   #3
Lincoln Brigham
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High pulls are okay too, but make sure he does not pull with bent arms.
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Old 09-12-2005, 09:55 AM   #4
Seth Orell, Jr.
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My vote is for high-reps with a broomstick doing full squat-cleans. As the others are saying: form first.

See http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/OlympicLifts/Clean.html for a good model
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:37 AM   #5
Ross Hunt
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Lincoln, is it true that some accomplished oly lifters bend the arms at some point during the pull?

If it is, what distinguishes this action from the common technique error?
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Old 09-12-2005, 01:06 PM   #6
Keith Wittenstein
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I vote for DB/KB swings if you don't have time. They are easier to learn. If you have the time. Teach him how to do cleans.
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Old 09-12-2005, 06:37 PM   #7
Tariq Kassum
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Thanks for your suggestions, gentlemen. Turns out it was moot as my friend showed up at the wrong gym (Equinox at 43rd and Lex, not 43rd and 5th - which are within 1500m of each other - only in New York). I am looking forward to easing him into the world of Crossfit, hopefully with some help and guidance from you guys.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:45 PM   #8
Lincoln Brigham
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Ross, it's true that some accomplished lifters exhibit an early arm bend. Casey Burgener does from time to time, much to his father's consternation. So do some elite lifters at the international level. But here's the thing: even at the elite level, almost all lifters have some technical flaws. They succeed despite these flaws, not because of them.

The early arm bend is a flaw in which the elbows bend before the hips, knees, and ankles have finished extending. After this triple extension has finished, then the elbows are allowed and required to bend - high and outside. there will be a loss of power into the bar any time the elbows bend prior to this critical juncture. The arms - being weaker than the hips and legs - will absorb valuable energy. At the elite level, the very few lifters who exhibit this problem rarely do more than simply unlock their elbows a tad early. At the pedestrian level, an early arm bend is often seen as a reverse arm curl initiated as the bar cracks off the floor.

"When the arms bend, the power ends."
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:14 PM   #9
Ross Hunt
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Thanks, Lincoln.

I'll have to take a closer look at my clean; I think that I might be bending my elbows just a tad early, especially as fatigue sets in.
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