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The Need to Lift Heavy

There’s something about lifting heavy that is a need; it does something for the soul.

It gives you a sense of accomplishment, like you’ve done something for the day.

It’s hard. Frequently, you don’t want to do it. But you do it anyways.

That, to me, is powerful.

Lifting heavy has been one of the few things I like doing.

Why Are We Maxing on Fridays?

the_snatch_5Last Friday, the program was to max/PR (personal record) back squat.

Today, the programming is to max Snatch and/or Clean and Jerk.

I don’t know about you all, but by Friday I’m wiped.  Completely and totally.  Today I’m really sore in my lats and arms.  Last week it was my legs.  I hiked an insane hike on Sunday and I don’t think I’m recovered from that one either.

So who decides to max on Fridays?  I didn’t even try last week with the back squat and it probably won’t happen this week.  It’s just a bad idea.  Maxing should be on Mondays.  When my body and my mind is fresh since a lot of the times maxing is in the brain.  Thoughts?

The Coach is the Thing…

I’m disappointed in myself.


I’m still working my way through Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe (see review HERE), and I’m learning things I was never taught by my coaches at my box.  Things I never knew that has revolutionized how I’m going to approach lifts in the future.

I’m a perpetual learner and researcher.  When I first began CrossFit, I’d look up every move on the Internet and study it.  I’d practice the moves at home before I went to the box.  I’d read articles.

But I’ve never read a book on strength training and I don’t know why.  In fact, it was my husband who ordered this book and it’s been lying around my house for 6 months until I ran out of books to read and not wanting to spend any money on any more books I picked this one up.

For the past 10 months, I’ve been in my box’s coaches development program (which I have since completed).  It entailed shadowing classes for 60 hours and watching the coaches coach and the athletes train.  I’ve learned a lot from doing this.  I’ve watched others do toes-to-bar, and I learned how to do them.  I’ve learned that in the middle of a WOD most everyone’s form sucks because of the hurry to finish the reps.  I can now spot faults and tell you why you’re doing them.  However, this all pales to what I’m learning from this book.

Maybe my mind wasn’t ready for it.  Taking my L1 CrossFit certification when I was brand new to CrossFit probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.  I would have gained a lot more waiting.  This is my logic for this book right now.  It all makes sense to me probably because I do have the background of having done these moves.  However, that doesn’t erase the fact I wish I would have read this sooner in order to improve my personal lifts.

Most coaches at boxes do the best they can.  Some are good.  Some are terrible.  Some care.  Some don’t and are just there for a paycheck or free membership.  Most learn through a weekend course where you don’t really learn anything and through shadowing, watching, and giving cues themselves.  This in no way substitutes for professional coaches who have been trained how to properly coach Olympic moves. Most haven’t.  It takes years of learning and practice to become proficient at spotting nuances in others’ moves and giving the right cues that will click with each individual. You need one on one attention to get better.  And in a class of 20 people that’s never going to happen.

So take the initiative and do it on your own.  Search out the quality, professional coaches and learn from them.  Perpetually learn and read and study and put into practice what you learn. With CrossFit, you’re never an expert.  There’s always a weakness to work on. It’s what attracts so many people to the sport.  Never boring.  Always different.  Always challenging.

Once I get past the disappointment, I’m excited.  Excited to improve my form, my lifts, and my PR’s.  Excited to do it right the first time and every time thereafter.  I’ll have to take a step back in order to move forward but that’s ok.  That’s what learning is all about:  doing something better when you know better.

I’m Stronger Than I Think…

Today I maxed my power clean 10 pounds from 2 weeks ago.  I probably could have done more but didn’t have the time.

Yesterday we did 5 x 5 back squats at 80%.  I was dreading this, thinking it would be tough and unsure I would be able to do the whole set.  I ended up ADDING weight because I felt it too light!

I maxed my power snatch earlier this week as well.

Every time we do percentages on the olympic lifts, I always go higher because I rarely max and so am unsure what my true max weight is.

I know this is a mental game for me.  I always think “it’s too heavy.”  Or “I can’t do this.”  And overcoming that is a challenge for me.

I have to tell myself to “trust the process” and “I can do this” every time I approach my max weight in a WOD.

Still, knowing all of this doesn’t make any of it any easier.  So little by little, I increase my maxes so when something does show up I think, “I can do this because I’ve done it once before.”

I’m stronger than I think.  That’s my mantra.