Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chasing the Goats

CrossFitters talk about goats as a way of referring to those movements that are a relative weakness for them.  CrossFit goats are on a scale for me and I assume for many of us.  Toes to bar is an example of a goat I can do, but slowly relative to the best in my age/gender range.   Ditto box jumps, hand stand pushups, chest to bar pullups, muscle ups, and a few more.  There are other movements I just don't have - non-false grip kipping MU, rebounding box jumps, multiple butterfly kipping chest to bar pullups.

I'm chipping away at all of these, but yesterday make the breakthrough - rebounding box jumps to 20 inches. My left knee doesn't love this, but I did two sets of five reps yesterday with no fallout felt.   I doubt I'll ever be able to do this in high volume, but love being able to do it at all. Strangely, I thought of this as an athletic deficiency, but like so many perceived hurdles, it wasn't; it had more to do with understanding body positioning and midline stability. I have learned about those elements of force generation practicing and teaching POSE method and double unders.  As lower force movement improved (lower force meaning from double unders and running, with are rebounding from a lower fall) I gained the skill needed to hit those box jump rebounds with the right position and was therefore able to generate the force needed to bounce back up.

I realized a year or two ago that I needed to keep my glutes and belly tight to improve my DU - a floppy middle doesn't work any better for jumping that it does for squats, deadlifts, cleans or pull-ups - because otherwise, correct position was distorted by impact with the ground.

As Kelly and Carl have pointed out (www.mobilitywod.com, and www.gymnasticswod.com), this is the path to progress in all elements of human performance - it starts with body position. I gained the insight I needed to get over the hump with this movement watching Annie Thorisdottir during the Open WOD of deadlifts and box jumps. I don't know that she's the best at this but as a taller, heavier athlete, she adapts nicely to the demands of the movement.

I made a similar insight watching Jason Khalipa performing butterfly chest to bar pullups - but I have not made the leap to multiples yet.

Thanks Annie and Jason!

By the way, if you have not seen the face off between Khalipa and Fronning, it's a classic, an absolute stunner of work capacity by both men.  Inspired when I re-watched it!  I did OK in this WOD compared to my master's athlete peers, top 27%, with 56 reps in 4 minutes.  Fronning did 90+ in the first 4 minutes, then hit 180 by the 8 minute mark, and his reward was the chance to keep working for another four minutes.  Incredible.

Of note - Khalipa's movement is good, Fronning's movement is so close to perfect it's not worth talking about the defects.  He's putting on a clinic in this WOD, even at near exhaustion.

No comments:

Post a Comment