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Old 05-31-2009, 11:21 AM   #1
Matthew Sutterfield
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Grace Challenge

The affiliate I joined (Crossfit 360) is hosting a "Grace Challenge". $ goes into a pot, participants perform Grace on May 26, then again on July 18. Prizes go to most improved time, and fastest Grace performed on July 18. Here's my Grace on 5/26:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j7nVvX1zL4 (WFS)

1st time doing Grace, and a beginner to Oly lifts in general. Obviously I'm looking to improve as much as possible... definitely think I can go sub 4, maybe even 3 min if I really improve my form and power. Here are my thoughts on the vid:

- Major technique flaw (pointed out by trainers in the video) is that I am starting with back parallel to ground and don't have my butt low enough (therefore using too much back, not enough legs). Funny thing is I've never done that with heavier cleans (I love it when a heavier bar inspires better form by necessity without even thinking about it)

- I think I waste a lot of time by dropping the weight... need to get more comfortable with controlling the bar throughout the movement

- Next time I'll be sure to use better clamps

Please comment on anything you see... help me earn some cash!
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:10 PM   #2
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: Grace Challenge

KEEP DROPPING THE BAR! Controlling the bar through the movement isn't going to help you until you get down into the sub 2:30 area. Take it from a guy with a sub 2 Grace PR. Controlling the bar saves only a second or two per rep and taxes a lot of energy.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:44 AM   #3
Matthew Sutterfield
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Re: Grace Challenge

thank you sir, and I suppose that makes sense. My initial reaction is that it just seemed so sloppy, and I've seen others do Grace with a much more fluid look (which seems to be much faster, since you're nto spending time getting the bar back into place). However, I probably need to develop more strength/power before I can control that bar for the entire movement for 30 reps. For now I think I'll work on a slightly more controlled drop so recovery is faster.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
Graeme Howland
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Re: Grace Challenge

If you want to be really fast just catch it on the first bounce and pull it from there . Just joking. Just a few minor comments:

1) The bar is too far away from your body during the clean, keep it closer, like contact with your thighs at the jumping position, this will be more efficient.

2) You are not extending on all the reps (pulling with arms and hips are not fully open), again you are trying to go fast but this will save a lot of energy getting it to the rack and save your arms for the overhead.

3) Don't jerk it off the floor with your arms, pull it slower to your knees using your quads (again I know you are trying to fast since it's Grace, but the jerking at the start puts you in a bad jumping position).
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
Patrick Haskell
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Re: Grace Challenge

Graeme has it right. Your arms are bent by the time the bar is at your knees. Let them just hang there and concentrate on cleaning the weight using your legs. The only thing your arms should be doing on the clean (given your strength) is racking the weight.

In terms of keeping the bar closer, a more upright start position will help - probably enough to solve this issue.

Practice power cleans from the mid-hang position, where you jump from a straight-arm position. Get accustomed to lifting that weight using an explosive drive of your legs. Then, just whip your elbows around. Don't even worry about the rest of the third pull for now. Get that 2nd pull cleaned-up, and you can concentrate on the third pull when you're doing heavier squat cleans. When you do have that 2nd pull good, move back to the floor, keeping that first pull nice and slow, so you don't sacrifice your form on the 2nd pull. When that's working, you can gradually increase the pace. You need good form to become automatic, so that when you're gassed, you resort to more efficient movement, rather than inefficient muscling of the weight.

(There, you now have my advice to myself, developed after getting crushed by 155# power cleans at the Qualifiers, when the rep count got into the 40s, and my form went to ****.)
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:53 AM   #6
Matthew Sutterfield
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Re: Grace Challenge

Thanks for the pointers... I'll try to get some slower form work in this week. I've done very little mid-hang power cleans before, so that sounds like a great place to start.

Patrick, the funny thing is, looking at video of my performance during the 1st workout of the SoCal qualifiers, I think my cleans looked better (due to necessity) when I was gassed doing 155 lbs. Though, of course, I'd like to ingrain solid form into my body regardless of the circumstances.
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