I Broke Up With CrossFit

Okay I haven’t really.

But I am taking a break from CrossFit.

A month, at least. Maybe longer.  Over the last few months I have been less and less enthused about heading to the gym for a metcon.  I’m always happy to go throw some weights around but the workouts themselves just haven’t appealed to me.  And while before I would whine and complain about a workout but would do it anyway (suck it up, right?), this time I would just not go. Which isn’t like me.

Combine that with some uncomfortable interpersonal relationships that I still don’t understand and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Or at least a good reason to take a break. I realize I should just get over myself when it comes to this failed friendship but the awkwardness gets me every time.

I know I’ve said it somewhere before but my love has been and always will be LIFTING.  Whether power lifting (deadlifts, squats, bench press) or my one true lifting love, Olympic lifting (clean & jerks, snatches), I’m happiest with a heavy barbell in my hands.  If I don’t return to CrossFit my focus will be a cycle of Starting Strength, followed by the Boring But Big version of Wendler’s 5/3/1 program.  After I’m thoroughly sick of powerlifting (but hopefully stronger!) I would like to follow Catalyst Athletic’s programming and workouts and focus on my Olympic lifts.

CrossFit has given me the knowledge and confidence to march into the weight room at any gym and not only be able to handle myself, but to do it correctly.  It has introduced me to a world where strong women are encouraged and celebrated.

I’m hoping this break from CF won’t be permanent. I think I’d miss it too much. 

Leigh 1

That Time I Decided to Become An Olympic Lifter

 

Yeah, random title right?

So my “secret” not so secret news is that I’ve decided to train for an Olympic lifting competition that is in August.  One of our coaches just completed his first comp this weekend and did very well for only 5 weeks training.  We have a lifting coach that was coming in on Wednesday nights for group training, and he was privately training Kyle as well.  Now he wants to find more “talent” and bring them to the competitions.  We have some extremely strong guys in the gym, and I think they would excel.

So why am I doing this, you might ask yourself? I’m not extremely strong, and apparently according to my training session yesterday, I’ve been doing the lifts wrong for the last year. Not horrifically wrong, mind you, but my body position needs a lot of work. My hip flexors don’t bend as they should, and I’m all tilty, and I always have this feeling that I’m going to fall backwards. Or I do fall backwards. I’m just so graceful.

But I am a perfectionist when it comes to some things (cleaning is not one of them – sorry Mom, I know you tried) and I really want to perfect these lifts. I am not going to compete to win, or place, but I’m using it as a goal to work on my form and hopefully improve my strength gains in each lift.

Now what exactly is Olympic lifting? Olympic lifting consists of 2 lifts – the clean & jerk, and the snatch (yes, laugh, we all do), while powerlifting is the more commonly thought of deadlift, back squat, and bench press.

 

Snatch

 

Clean and Jerk

 

Truthfully, the Olympic lifts are more technical than the powerlifting ones (at least they seem that way to me).  The term “powerlifting” is also a bit misleading – the Oly lifts are about power, and hip drive, while the powerlifts are more about strength.  Form is extremely important in both, but I have a harder time wrapping my brain around the subtleties of the Oly lifts than the powerlifts. 

Last night we worked on snatch progression (cue snickering), and really all I worked on was set up and first pull (bringing the bar to my knees).  Before yesterday I didn’t really realize just how much leg strength is involved in this lift, probably because I was doing it wrong and using my back before.  But holy, trying to do the WOD afterwards was excruciating.  Our workout (after the hour + of Oly lifting!) was:

50 kettlebell swings (16kg)
40 box jumps (20’)
30 push ups
20 air squats
10 pull ups
400 m run

My legs felt like lead after the KB swings, and I was slow getting started on the box jumps.  But I finished in 12:37, not the slowest on the day, so that’s a good thing!

Time to get off my chair and head over to the gym for tabata tire flips and a 1.5 mile run. Sorry body – the things I do to you!

Enjoy your Tuesday!