I've been catching a lot of flack lately for not posting very often. Apparently there's people out there who want to know what I'm up to (who me?). But getting butt ass strong can be a pretty monotonous process. It takes a certain mind set and level of discipline to keep on a program designed exclusively for strength and mastery of a specific set of skills. Namely, the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Otherwise known as Olympic lifting.
It's quite different than the randomly varied programming associated with general physical preparedness (although in some circles training for GPP is impressively evolving beyond randomness- but that's a whole topic in itself). It is quite structured, mathematically calculated, redundant (by comparison). It requires precision, and repeated execution of fine tuned motor pattern; hundreds and thousands of repetitions actually. It requires intense focus, and patience for both progression and time. It takes a deep appreciation for movement and body awareness and calls for a high level of intelligence and athleticism (symbiotic in nature- another good topic for a later post).
Strength training for the Olympic lifter is quite the opposite of a common method of training for GPP in which movements, loads, and time domains in both strength and metabolic energy systems are randomly varied. Training for GPP tends to be exciting for people. After all, it is always different, it is very social, and you always leave feeling like you "got a good workout in." And although it does not yield incredible strength gains or mastery of technique in a single discipline, it does get you generally fit (by definition).
This is precisely why most GPP folks who decide they want to try "specializing" by switching over to Olifting don't actually stick with it. They quickly realize that it will require everything I've listed above. They get bored. They lose patience and focus, then decide to go run in circles and do a bunch of burpees and wall balls:) -don't hate, I'm just poking fun and I've almost been there already in my new training. Well, not with the wall balls.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love CrossFit and the benefits it yields to the average person in terms of fitness, overall health, confidence, and empowerment. I have seen hundreds of people better their lives through CrossFit in every way- from the physical health improvements like increased bone density, complete remission of rheumatoid arthritis, people going off of prescription drugs for things like high cholesterol and blood pressure; to the empowerment brought on by doing pull ups for the first time, learning a muscle up, reaching strength PR's; not to mention seeing people improve their self confidence and social lives, improving their relationships and having their new healthy lifestyles rub off on those they love. I've seen these great results in others and in myslef as an athlete. I coach it, I live it, I breath it.
CrossFit will always be there for me as long as I live. Heck, some of the best CrossFitters in my gym are in their 60's. But at this point in my athletic career, I'm ready for one last challenge. And let's face it, time's a tickin. As an athlete I'm going to give Olympic lifting all of my focus for the next little while and see where it takes me. I've heard that female lifters peak in their 30's (I don't have any scientific validity to back this up, it's just something I've heard) and I'm exactly 30. I've taken on the softball world and won championships. I've taken on the CrossFit world and won a regional championship. And now I'm ready to take on Olympic lifting. I'm part of Catalyst Athletic's weightlifting team and in week 5 of training. After just 5 weeks of specialized training I've already gained a ton of strength (I just snatched 80kg and C&J 93kg- thats 175lbs and 205lbs respectively). I'm excited to put my love of precision and a good challenge to use and I am having a blast. This isn't a goodbye to CrossFit, but only an intermission in an attempt to master one last sport while I have the chance.
Anyhoo, I'll be posting my workouts here from now on so feel free to check on in. Train hard ya'll!
then 3x12 Kipping Pull Ups- I just wanted to see if I could still do them. I'll probably get busted for that;)