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

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Old 01-07-2010, 08:59 AM   #1
Mike Kerce
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Strength vs. Power

let me start off by differentiating my view of the two: i relate strength to lifts like the deadlift, squat and press, while relating power to lifts such as the clean, snatch and jerk. of course the two overlap greatly, but here is the point of my post: at this point in my training i have relatively good numbers for what i think of as the "strength" lifts and relatively poor numbers on the "power" lifts. so, i have a few questions:

1. where do you think the majority of power on cleans and snatch is generated? the hips? the core? dynamic movement? what's your opinion?

2. why would you think someone with good strength would struggle to generate power? poor explosion? poor technique? something else, or, most likely, a combination of things?

3. what types of drills or exercises would you recommend to help generate more power?

i know these are pretty general questions, but just kind of fishing for ideas. thanks in advance to any and all who respond.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Strength vs. Power

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Originally Posted by Mike Kerce View Post
let me start off by differentiating my view of the two: i relate strength to lifts like the deadlift, squat and press, while relating power to lifts such as the clean, snatch and jerk. of course the two overlap greatly, but here is the point of my post: at this point in my training i have relatively good numbers for what i think of as the "strength" lifts and relatively poor numbers on the "power" lifts. so, i have a few questions:

1. where do you think the majority of power on cleans and snatch is generated? the hips? the core? dynamic movement? what's your opinion?

2. why would you think someone with good strength would struggle to generate power? poor explosion? poor technique? something else, or, most likely, a combination of things?

3. what types of drills or exercises would you recommend to help generate more power?

i know these are pretty general questions, but just kind of fishing for ideas. thanks in advance to any and all who respond.
Developing dynamic strength from your framework of maximal strength is something learned, it won't be automatic. So just having great maximal strength means very little until you can apply it dynamically to some end.

I would think technique would be a key component, but beginning to work on the pulls (clean pulls, snatch pulls, muscle clean/snatch) would probably be of great benefit for teaching your body to powerfully use that reservoir of strength. Sometimes technique work can be done slow...which isn't what you want...so just saying technique probably isn't correct IMO.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:29 AM   #3
Mike Kerce
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Re: Strength vs. Power

thank you very much for the response, it makes alot of sense to me. i've been told several times that my clean movement is very slow, and i feel that as well, i just seem to concentrate too heavily on the cues instead of just letting the movement happen. i think what i need is a decent dose of practice at lower weights and with maybe the Burgener warmup to really work on speeding up the movement and not mentally counting the cues. does this sound like a good idea?
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #4
Ramon Gomez
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Re: Strength vs. Power

The cues are good for establishing muscle memory. Your body will get used to engaging muscles in a certain order to efficiently do the movement.
HOWEVER...
For those heavy weights, just set in your mind that you need to move the weight from point A to point B, and don't think too much about how it gets there. Muscle memory established from training should take care of the cues automatically. If you're thinking a lot, that's going to keep you from focusing on just delivering a lot of power quickly (which is what you need to do).
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
Alex Europa
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Re: Strength vs. Power

1. The hips. Definitely.
2. Do you mean generate power or generate power in the O-lifts? How much overall power a powerlifter can generate is a function of their training. As an example, the Westside guys have some pretty impressive box jump numbers. How much of that power can be transmitted to the O-lifts is largely a matter of technique.
3. Use accommodating resistance in your training (i.e., squatting with bands, deadlifting with chains, etc...). You can play with Dynamic Method stuff too, but I didn't see any change in my athletes, probably because as CrossFitters we already do a fair amount of fast, high-rep, moderate-weight lifting. Also, as Aushion said, the pulls are a great addition to your training too.

EDIT: I see now that you are looking to improve your O-lifts. I would highly recommend adding in a fair amount of skill work, to include the Burg Warmup. For examples of this skill work, check out the Catalyst Athletics (W/F/S) WOD. You could obviously switch over and do their programming for awhile as well. I did this and saw some pretty great increases in the O-lifts, but my MetCon dropped precipitously and took A LONG time to regain back to normal. Now, I add some o-lifting skill work to my affiliate WOD nearly every day, and my guys all seem to continue to improve and we haven't seen any issues with the volume.

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Last edited by Alex Europa : 01-07-2010 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:15 PM   #6
Mike Kerce
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Re: Strength vs. Power

thank you guys for the responses. i'm working at an affiliate so i can't really switch my programming, and that's ultimately for the best because i'm much worse at metcon than strength in any capacity, but I might start adding in the skill work and Burgener WU whenever possible. good advice on the mental part as well, Ramon...i seem to be able to do this with the lifts i do well in, like DL and BS, but those i suffer in like clean and OHS, i tend to overthink.

thanks again to all!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:26 PM   #7
Keefe Potts
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Re: Strength vs. Power

if you have access to the journal there is an article that you may find beneficial called "More Pop at the Top" from September 5th 09.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:29 PM   #8
Alex Europa
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Re: Strength vs. Power

You could always buy some bands and chains and throw them on when those lifts come up at your affiliate...or talk to your affiliate owner/trainer about possibly doing some research and considering a test with some clients to see if accommodating resistance works.

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Old 01-07-2010, 12:32 PM   #9
Milan Mitrovich
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Re: Strength vs. Power

Consider this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Olympic-Weight...2892742&sr=8-1
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:32 PM   #10
Mike Kerce
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Re: Strength vs. Power

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Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
You could always buy some bands and chains and throw them on when those lifts come up at your affiliate...or talk to your affiliate owner/trainer about possibly doing some research and considering a test with some clients to see if accommodating resistance works.

- Alex
good idea. i used to stay after and work on these types of things on my own, but we have a new affiliate owner and i'm just not sure of his stance on that sort of thing yet. he IS talking about bringing in an OLY lifting coach once a week or bi-weekly, which would be outstanding.
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