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Starting For newcomers to the CrossFit methodology

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Old 07-11-2005, 08:42 PM   #1
Grady McDonald
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After watching some folks at a Club Coach Coarse and then reading the "OHS gone bad" in the injury section, would like to stress to beginners to practice the snatch, Clean &Jerk, and associated movements (snatch balance, OHS, Hang Squat Clean, cleans) w/ PCV pipe/Broomstick. Not only the lifts but bailing out to the front and to the rear. Oly lifts are a no ****ter and it takes extensive practice w/ PVC and an empty bar b4 you start throwing Reds on the end of the bar. Bergener has all his guys/gals warm up w/ pvc before EVERY WORKOUT!
The positions are new to alot of folks and could be catastrophic when a lift goes bad and the lifter doesn't know how to get out of there, even w/ just a bar. It's why doing these lifts at a facility where you can drop the weight from overhead is a safety issue.
You're going to be working on your oly lifts for the rest of your lives. Take a month to develop the sequence, ROM and watch a all the videos you can get your hands before using weight.
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Old 07-11-2005, 09:25 PM   #2
Jason Carey
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Thanks for the reality check. I think a lot of us, myself included, have just jumped into the O-lifts in order to keep up with the WOD. There's definitely a learning curve here, and I'll be the first to admit that ego ("Bodyweight snatch, YEAH!") gets in the way of learning proper technique, *especially* the kind of learning that lets you get the hell out of the way when that bar drops.

If I may add one thing, it's this:
Gym membership is not worth risking injury or death! If your gym doesn't want you to drop the weight, but you need to drop it, SCREW YOUR GYM! I've bailed out of several missed lifts at 24-Hour Fitness, and the rationale is always a no brainer - losing a gym membership beats dropping a couple hundred pounds on my head. Management has been surprisingly tolerant, but if they weren't, at least I'm still around to shop for a new gym...
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:16 PM   #3
Kris Crowley
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I work out at my Homeowner's Association Club. They can kiss my butt if I have to drop a weight.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:02 PM   #4
Rebeca Bornstein
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Its funny Grady that you mentioned a broomstick, because i have only been on this website for about a week now and the other day I used a broomstick for my squats...I will slowly but surely work my way into using some weights
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:13 AM   #5
Scott Kustes
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When I started CF, I jumped right into the Oly lifts without ever having done them. But I'd seen them, so I "knew what I was doing". A couple years later, I've decided that it's time to learn proper form. I've been using broom stick drills from Coach Burgener with Ben Kaminski giving me some pointers and unweighted bars if I need some feedback to learn how to properly "get down". I'm not quite there yet because I've got quite a long time of powercleaning everything (with which I have cleaned 205 might I add) to overcome.

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Old 07-12-2005, 07:15 AM   #6
Chris Melanson
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I am new to Oly lifts - just since coming to X-fit about 9 months ago.

I work-out alone and have no practicle means to access a Oly Coach - so I watch videos, read, visualize and try to scrutinize my form in the mirror. I believe that I can feel when it's right in that everything seems balanced and requires much less effort.

I use the empty bar in my warm-ups, doing squats - back/front/overhead, squat cleans and finally snatches. My form has been improving, I believe, but I'm sure it's no where near where it could be with proper instruction.

I really don't know how to bail properly - front is ok I think... but how does one bail from an OHS/Snatch position to the rear?

It was an attempt to max out during a squat clean about six months ago where I almost landed on my butt under a loaded bar that drove home the point that I should stay light, work my form and very gradually load up.
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:14 AM   #7
Lincoln Brigham
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One of the very first things I teach beginners is how to bail out of a bad lift. Clean, snatch, and jerk. In the snatch (OHS), keep the elbows locked and guide the bar to drop either in front of you or behind you. Keeping the elbows locked keeps the bar away. You should be able to do a shoulder dislocate with your current snatch grip, if not then the grip is too narrow. For bailing out on a bad clean or front squat, push the bar forward and jump the feet back. For the jerk, simple step away from the bar, either forward or backward.

Practice this a couple of times and you'll be good to go. The biggest problem folks have is simply the inhibition of letting the bar hit the floor. You are more valuable than the flooring. Let the bar hit the floor.
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:01 PM   #8
Chris Melanson
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Thanks Lincoln.

By, "do a shoulder dislocate" do you mean to sort of roll one of your arms around and to the rear?

Like in your avatar right there; if you had to bail from that point, you would drop/roll (say) the left arm down and away from your body while keeping the right arm straight to help guide the bar away. Is this correct?

I think I bailed on my missed clean correctly, but it was purely a survival move. The bar just came up too fast and out of control and I had to jump back and push it down or get crushed!

I usually work-out in a very quiet room without bumpers and never dump the weights if I can help it. At home I just got an Oly Set - though not bumpers either. I was planning on using them outside so I could dump them on the grass as hard as I need to. Bumper turf I guess.


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Old 07-12-2005, 12:03 PM   #9
Veronica Carpenter
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Chris M, to bail out of a snatch behind you just jump forward and let go of the bar.

As Lincoln said 'bailing out' if one of the very first things you need to learn in OL.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:04 PM   #10
Steven Stackpole
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I know NOTHING about oly lifting, but like you am trying to learn by watching and listening.

Not very long ago I fell backwards, onto my ***, with about 200lbs on the bar. Fortunately for me, it was held off of me by the plates on either side. Other than a badly bruised ego there was no damage to me. But what a hell of a racket in the gym.

I have a book called "Explosive lifting for sport" by Harvey Newton.
I dont know what the other members here think of it, but it helped me. You might want to check it out
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