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Old 10-22-2007, 03:05 PM   #1
John Umbach
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Request some advice

I am what you crossfitters call a "fringe athlete"(endurance). I have neglected my strength by building an aerobic engine over the past several years. This past Feb, I began a concerted strength gaining effort w/ traditional weight training. I was fortunate enough to come across a trainer who believes in crossfit principles and got me turned on to CF for the past 3 weeks or so. Although I have only been following the WOD faithfully for about 2 weeks. Oh yes, my question.....I have noticed a trend of having legs strong enough to squat weight that my back cannot support. My low back always seems to be a BIG limiter to the point of not being able to give my legs all they can take. Is there anything I can do to help my back "catch up", or should I just know that w/ patience and time it should equal out?

This website is the bomb! This is the first time in a long time I feel like I'm making weekly gains. What a refreshing surprise. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:22 PM   #2
Dave Matteson
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Re: Request some advice

Coach frequently says, paraphrased, if you can't do something well, do more of it.

So, if you can't easily do heavy squats since it really works your back...
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
Nick Cummings
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Re: Request some advice

John, the truth is you are going to have to gut it out. CrossFit places a heavy emphasis on compound lifts and "core" strength so if you work hard and eat right you should make great gains. Consider yourself lucky in that at least you have your strength come up one the days with long runs. It does get easier as you go along, or perhaps just easier to push yourself. =)
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:42 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Request some advice

lower back = deadlifts and overhead squats
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:26 PM   #5
John Umbach
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Re: Request some advice

ok....guess I'll just grit and bear it. Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:36 AM   #6
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Request some advice

Do lots of overhead stuff to learn how to control your core, providing stability. Putting even just a 45lb barbell over your head and squatting is killer unless you know how to handle it properly.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:08 PM   #7
Andy Petranek
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Re: Request some advice

Hey John,

I was an ultra-endurance athlete prior to starting CrossFit. Raced in 3 Eco Challenges and 1 Raid Gauloises. I've also worked with a bunch of cyclists and runners over the years. All of them, without fail, had the identical issue you describe. Muted hip function. Lack of strength / confidence in the posterior chain - glutes, hamstrings, lats, and back extensors.

The only way to get it... is to do it. A lot of times its hard to convince an endurance athlete that they are missing a HUGE component of strength... EVEN after having them do a workout with deadlifts. Oftentimes they feel as though they are strong, fit, look good, etc... and then they do a deadlift workout (even when the weight is light) and can't walk for 3 days from back pain. So their answer typically is - avoid THAT at all costs.

You're definitely on the right track. Stick with it!
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:35 PM   #8
Aaron Shaffer
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Re: Request some advice

I'm with Andy. Previously a CC runner (16:35) I've been doing the WODs for a year - and I've realized muted hip function is a problem for me too. Before CrossFit I never knew it was a problem - but it's very real.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:49 AM   #9
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Request some advice

Dude, I'm a speedskater, and muted hip function was a problem I had. It's not limited to just partial range of motion folks. Once I fixed that though, my skating improved like nuts.
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