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.
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.
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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!
This, x1000. These are incredibly complex moves. Come back after a year of practice and then we'll talk.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.
I got the clean down pretty early on and it's definitely my best lift by far--and as such, I've made great progress with how heavy I can go. But my split jerk is still pretty lame (I get the weight locked out overhead, but my lunge is terrible), and my snatch? Forget it. I can power snatch 100lb, but if you asked me to do a full snatch with an empty women's bar (35lb), I'd fall on my ass, illustrating that strength is rarely the limiting factor in Oly lifts. They're ridiculously complicated moves and if your form isn't 100% you're not gonna land it. I liken the Oly lifts to tumbling runs in gymnastics. There's so much you have to remember and so much that has to go exactly right for you to successfully pull it off.
Give it time and practice, practice, practice. One day a certain part of the move will just click into place, and then another, and then another. But you have to practice A LOT.
Take a look at this... sheer poetry in motion. Plus, it's a great study guide!
CrossFit - Chad Vaughn, 285 pound Snatch - YouTube
Look Coach Burgener up on youtube, especially the Burgener warmup.
Actually, I have trouble just getting into the proper starting position. It's such an uncomfortable position to be in that I get tired just being in that position.
Wow! Thanks SO much for all the amazing replies. Lots of you said things my coach told me, but I suppose I needed reassurance that he wasn't try to make me feel better. Ha. I'm 45 and know my age (general creakiness and lack of fitness - I'm semi-fit) and total inexperience with all these moves makes the whole CF thing daunting, but I'm pretty determined to give it my best shot.
One thing several of you explained that makes me feel much better is that the Oly lifts are very complex -- I didn't get that at all and just thought I was pure clutz. My coach demo'ing them and showing me the progressions just made it look so easy, and I got frustrated when I couldn't put it together. Today I finished by last intro class (2 of which were 1x1 and very helpful) and tomorrow start the WODs. I know I am going to have to scale a LOT and on certain things I just suck. I'm going to look at that optimistically -- lots of room for improvement!
Thanks for sharing experiences, clarifying, and awesome advice. And, that video... DAMN! My coach showed me the same one too... unreal!
Last edited by Angieh; 07-15-2013 at 08:18 PM.