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  • feeling very uncoordinated with crossfit lifts

    Hi all,

    I started crossfit this week and so far have had 3 sessions (2 private, one with 2 other people) to learn the 9 basic movements of CF before starting classes. I have one session left, which will be one on one, and then I'll begin doing WODs with classes. The coaches are very good and are very concerned about proper form, scaling everything so your form stays good, etc. They have explained and demonstrated the moves and even videotaped me on some of the lifts so I could look at my form too.

    I'm fine with squatting, deadlift, can do burpees, sit ups, kettle bells (sumo? something), etc. But the other lifts (can't remember all the names... whatever the other CF Oly lifts are) make me feel SO uncoordinated! I get the concept and can watch the instructor do it, I do the progression for the movement fine, but then when I go to do the whole move together (I am talking with just a bar or very light weight or even a PVC pipe), my brain and body do not synch. It's so frustrating! The one where you have to kind of jump to get under the weight - ugh. I just don't do it all together at the right time... or I just curl up with my arms or whatever.

    I'm 45, have decent general fitness, but have NEVER lifted weights besides dumbbells in Gillian Michaels workout, and wonder if it's normal -- will I get it? I am willing to be patient and do the work, but I don't understand why I feel so uncoordinated. It sure looks and sounds easy -- just hard for me to put it together w/o looking like a spaz. Today I looked up some videos on youtube - will try to practice at home.

    I keep reading and hearing that anyone at any age can do CF but am wondering if some people never "get" the lifts.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
    My journal

  • #2
    I felt just like you describe learning Zumba, line dancing (waaaay back when), and most recently, Body Pump and Cardio Mix classes. I have found that focusing on just one part at a time helps. Like, I'll get the footwork down, then add upper body moves. Good luck! Don't give up!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Angieh View Post
      Hi all,

      I started crossfit this week and so far have had 3 sessions (2 private, one with 2 other people) to learn the 9 basic movements of CF before starting classes. I have one session left, which will be one on one, and then I'll begin doing WODs with classes. The coaches are very good and are very concerned about proper form, scaling everything so your form stays good, etc. They have explained and demonstrated the moves and even videotaped me on some of the lifts so I could look at my form too.

      I'm fine with squatting, deadlift, can do burpees, sit ups, kettle bells (sumo? something), etc. But the other lifts (can't remember all the names... whatever the other CF Oly lifts are) make me feel SO uncoordinated! I get the concept and can watch the instructor do it, I do the progression for the movement fine, but then when I go to do the whole move together (I am talking with just a bar or very light weight or even a PVC pipe), my brain and body do not synch. It's so frustrating! The one where you have to kind of jump to get under the weight - ugh. I just don't do it all together at the right time... or I just curl up with my arms or whatever.

      I'm 45, have decent general fitness, but have NEVER lifted weights besides dumbbells in Gillian Michaels workout, and wonder if it's normal -- will I get it? I am willing to be patient and do the work, but I don't understand why I feel so uncoordinated. It sure looks and sounds easy -- just hard for me to put it together w/o looking like a spaz. Today I looked up some videos on youtube - will try to practice at home.

      I keep reading and hearing that anyone at any age can do CF but am wondering if some people never "get" the lifts.

      Any advice would be much appreciated!
      You are having trouble cleaning a PVC pipe because it's too light. Don't they have women's training bars?
      The Champagne of Beards

      Comment


      • #4
        The coach told me that too and put 12 lb weights on it, which actually did feel kind of heavy to me after lifting about 5x. My movements feel off synch, and I'm wondering how long until it will feel like second nature if ever.

        Jenn, I totally hear you on the Zumba moves!! ha! And, you are right, I just need to be patient and break the moves down. I'm not going to give up. I just hope I will be able to get them eventually.
        My journal

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Angieh View Post
          The coach told me that too and put 12 lb weights on it, which actually did feel kind of heavy to me after lifting about 5x. My movements feel off synch, and I'm wondering how long until it will feel like second nature if ever.

          Jenn, I totally hear you on the Zumba moves!! ha! And, you are right, I just need to be patient and break the moves down. I'm not going to give up. I just hope I will be able to get them eventually.
          I can't do anything resembling a clean with anything less than about 95 lbs, and even then, the bar gets too much air and I stomp way before I rack.

          The clean is a pretty technical lift and most people don't get all aspects of the lift down within the first few minutes of trying. Keep working on it, make sure you're not arm pulling, make sure you're slamming your deltoids into the bar and stomping at the same time, and add some weight.
          The Champagne of Beards

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          • #6
            Technical lifts require reps. Reps reps reps and practice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Give this article a read:

              CrossFit | High Intensity Training by Drew Baye

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              • #8
                I'm going to tell you what one of my crossfit coaches told me: Olympic lifts are incredibly complex and athletes who actually compete in the Olympics can spend a whole year perfecting a lift. So, yeah, you're not going to get it in 3 sessions. Be patient. It does get less awkward with practice. And, yeah, it actually helps if the weight is heavier. Harder to "cheat" (such as curling with your arms) with heavier weights (b/c you won't be able to just lift it with your arms).

                My journal

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                • #9
                  Yeah- I'm a mess with thrusters, split jerks and push presses. It takes some balls to actually do them because it seems like a general "not good idea" to shoot a loaded bar over your head. We were doing split jerks and one of the gals was amazing and she just goes without fear into it. Meanwhile, I'm awkwardly whacking myself in the chin. I know with the light weights, I press my shoulders but with the heavy, I just flat don't have the guts to do the movement. Plus I have one really weak arm and shoulder which makes for fun.

                  I think it just takes time. I have most correct attempts using my 1 rep max for presses. Any less, and I press the weight up, any more and I get to nervous to make the big push.

                  No help from me, but you are not alone, LOL. It's a good challenge though!

                  http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                  • #10
                    I have come to learn that the 2 main oly lifts, the clean and snatch, are nearly works of art when actually perfected. I think anyone that goes in with "learn to power snatch in 3 hours" is kidding themselves.

                    It will take a lot of work, a lot of good coaching, and a lot of body awareness to perfect them. I have been doing them for 2+ years and I still prob catch with my back too much. It is NOT easy, so give yourself a break.

                    Also, little word of advice....to hell with any WOD that does oly lifts for time. That is pure retarded if I have ever heard it. These are highly technical lifts that will just lead to blowing up your lower back if you rep them out. The guy I get programming from is a competitive CF coach (The Outlaw Way), and says the same thing any chance he gets.
                    "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

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                    • #11
                      I've been doing crossfit for almost 6 months and also taking an Olympic lifting class for the past month and I'm just now feeling comfortable with all my lifts. It' just going to take time and practice.
                      F 45 5'5"
                      SW 177
                      CW 141

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
                        Also, little word of advice....to hell with any WOD that does oly lifts for time. That is pure retarded
                        One of the most common (and most valid) criticisms of CrossFit.
                        The Champagne of Beards

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                        • #13
                          I'm right there with you on the Oly lifts- I've been in Crossfit for a year, and still struggling with the form on certain lifts, especially the snatch. And forget catching anything in a full squat, still haven't figured the mechanics out. So I work on these moves when it is part of the strength programming, but I haven't really increased the weight much from when I first started, because I refuse to go heavier before I have really got it down. I have seen gains in my squats (front and back), my deadlift, and my push press, so I'm happy that I am increasing my strength overall.

                          I third the advice about oly lifts for time- I avoid days with that in the programming generally. Not worth the risk of injury.

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                          • #14
                            The olympic lifts and their variations can be tricky to learn. I think Mark Rippetoe once said something like "The snatch is gymnastics with a barbell." So take an activity that requires a lot of strength, coordination, and spatial awareness, and then throw in a heavy weight to make it even harder . Just keep practicing and working on form. You'll get the hang of it.

                            And I fourth the advice about avoiding olympic lifts for time. There's high risk of injury for little reward.
                            In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

                            This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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                            • #15
                              Ahh I'm still not great at cleans and get told I'm still muscling them up rather than cleaning properly! The coaches are all convinced I should be able to clean 40kg and I'm like no way! I also suck at things like snatch squats and overhead squats, although I've improved a bit.

                              Anyway don't stress! I've been doing CF since September and I'm still learning and getting gradually better. I don't have too many problems with things like push presses and push jerks because they're a little simpler. I still loathe snatches but in part that's because the original coaches we had were telling me to put my hands too far apart on the bar (I'm very short so surely my hands shouldn't be as far apart as a taller person's) but the new coaches seem okay because they described a different method to figure out where the hands should be).

                              I think every time you go you learn more and eventually it all comes together!

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