It's been a long time since my son, Austin, and I have laughed so hard as when I read him my deadlift poem that I had just written. I took me about five minutes to get through it and my gut hurt afterwards. I then read it to my wife, but she just thought we were nuts. Austin wanted me to read this while on camera to you, but I wasn't sure I could do it with the same affect so I didn't...although I am certain it may have drawn a few bewildered laughs. Anyway, all corniness aside, here it is...
I chalk my hands, I stop talking
I'm on deck, I see the lifter lift, but it doesn't register
I care not his weight or name
I'm on deck, I'm on deck
I try to breath deep, but my breathing becomes shallow
Time starts to warp, I see the lifter fail or succeed, it doesn't matter
I don't care
I'm on deck, I'm on deck
I see the lifter walk off the platform, I care about nothing
I'm blank, I'm mean
My breathing is shallow....breath! BREATH!
Stay clear from me!
The weight is set, eyes are on me, so I walk on the platform
Love doesn't matter, life doesn't matter, anger grows..breath!
Will it beat me? Will I kill it?...Breath!
Adrenaline rushes, anger reaches its peak
Very angry at everyone...everything
I Grab the bar like a killer grabs his prey...I mean it
Butt down, back straight, death grip
Body like a coiled spring...tight...explosive
Legs draw tension as though sucking electricity from the air
Bar breaks ground, still tight...nothing is tighter
Feeling tension start moving up to lower back like a determined tank moving across the battle ground
Would rather die than not lock out! Won't quit! Won't quit!
Standing tall, feeling the weight pull at my fingers
Skin feels like it's tearing
Standing tall, crowd clapping, judge says "down"
Anger releasing, coming back to reality
Still tight, lower weight all the way to ground, release grip
Stand tall again
Anger gone, smiling, allowing stars to leave before starting to walk
to see one of my favorite deadlifters, Benedikt Magnusson, in action...
This program is for dedicated athletes who want to become better at their sport. Maybe you're in junior high and want to start setting yourself apart from the other athletes. Maybe you're a college athlete trying to make it to the pros. No matter what your level, we'll make you better.
We are not your typical gym. We don’t have fancy locker rooms or big screen TV’s...we do have barbells and bumper plates. We don't have A/C or a juice bar...we do have kettlebells and a prowler. We don't have chrome or ferns...we are located in a warehouse. This isn't just a speed camp or a powerlifting program. We train for speed, strength, agility, and power for direct carry-over to your sport. We do train to improve stamina, but this isn't endurance training for someone such as a long-distance runner. This is a program that primarily improves explosiveness and quickness.
When training and developing young athletes, it is very important to train them properly. Our coaches are committed to not only pushing the athlete, but making sure your son or daughter is safe. When your child trains with us, not only will they become better athletes, but they will learn safe techniques and training methods.
The head trainer will be Cody Dean. Cody played football and threw the hammer at the University of Puget Sound. He developed a wide range of knowledge for high explosive training centered on football and track sprinters and throwers. Since graduating college in 2008 he has been Olympic weightlifting and strongman training. He is also a competitive powerlifter. Not only will Cody be the head trainer...he will be putting himself through the same training!
Training will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 6:15 - 7:30pm.
The cost is $80/month which includes membership to Old School Strength Club!!
We are looking for motivated athletes with good attitudes. We look forward to teaching you and training along side you! For more information, call Cody at 989-954-0272.
There are lot of possible answers to this question. I originally was going to go with mobility/flexibility but in the end I think mobility will work itself out with proper technique. So my finally answer is technique. How much weight can you physically handle with proper technique. As CrossFitters every WOD we do has some time component to it. We are always watching the clock, measuring ourselves against that clock. The clock provides us with measurable results and increases our intensity. These are very important components to improvement, without intensity you have no progress and without measurable results you have no way to measure that progress.
Now he's the kicker. That clock is very important but so often we focus on that clock too much. We are so focused on finishing the WOD that we allow technique to be compromised for speed. With compromised technique comes injury and slows progress of strength. I can't remember where I heard this from but there's a saying that goes "technique carries strength, strength carries technique. With proper technique comes strength and the ability to become stronger and faster. Those who choose to lift while compromising technique will make strength gains more slowly or not at all and they're more likely to become injured. If during a WOD you can't maintain proper technique at a certain weight then don't lift it.
You have two options during a WOD when technique fails. One option is step back, take a deep breath, refocus, and attempt the exercise again. The second option is to strip the weight or scale the exercise. I don't like to see people striping weight during a WOD. Before the WOD you should have taken a realistic look at yourself and judged your abilities. I understand that sometimes your eyes are bigger then your muscles but don't let your ego get in the way. If you have a question ask a coach and they will give you a realistic assessment. I have no problem with scaling an exercise. This is part of taking a realistic look at yourself and your abilities. If you can't finish the exercise with proper form then scale the movement.
Now, how do you remedy this problem of lack of technique. Easy, become laser focused and unrelenting about technique during our strength sessions, skill sessions and WOD's. Push yourself to the limits of your technique. During the strength work and WODs simply do as much weight as you can handle with good technique. The strength training sessions is where the real strength progress is made. Making those strength gains will positively affect how much weight you can use during WOD's. With better technique comes more strength with increased strength comes more speed with more speed comes greater intensity. Which we can quantify for you as more work done (lifted more weight) in the same or less time. If that is true then you have improved which is the goal we all strive for. As crossfitters we need to spend more time training and less time competing against that clock.
Not being able to tense; therefore use, your lower body's posterior chain of muscles.
If you are doing an air squat you should be able to do the following…
- Your hips should be able to go all the way down until anatomically
they can’t go any further…without falling backwards!
- At the bottom you should be able to keep your chest up high while
keeping your face looking forward. A common thing I see is when
someone gets their hips down to about parallel, they stop moving
their hips and start pushing their chest forward and down. They feel
as though their hips are still going down, but obviously they aren’t.
Tension in your butt and hamstrings is what prevents you from
falling backwards when your hips are below parallel.
- Your weight should be maintained over the middle of your foot. If
you can’t keep all your weight in the middle of your foot or on your
heels throughout the entire squat, it means you are having a hard
time tensing those posterior muscles. At no time should your
weight shift predominately to the balls of the feet, especially at the
- Your knees should only go forward a little throughout the squat.
When your knees shoot way forward, especially at the bottom, the
muscle tension shifted primarily into your quads.
- Your feet shouldn’t move at any time. Often at the bottom I will see
people having difficulty keeping their feet planted without moving
them. This is usually caused by the knees shooting forward (hips
dropping straight down instead of continuing back and down).
- You should be able to comfortably hang-out in the bottom position
while doing everything mentioned above. If it is stressful, it
usually means you aren’t using your whole hip girdle. Instead,
certain muscles are doing a disproportionate amount of the work -
which almost always means the quads. When you are standing up
straight does it ever feel like your quads can’t quite relax?
The most common issue I see with CrossFitters is their lack of appreciation of the importance of getting their lower posterior muscles firing. This prevents them from improving in sooo many exercises. Not only can they not air squat efficiently, but this means they also cannot back squat, front squat, overhead squat, clean, snatch, etc! Don’t you see???????? You have to be able to tense those posterior muscles (primarily your butt and hamstrings) whenever you need them to! When you can, all forms of squats will be much easier.
To get muscles to tense, that you are unable to tense right now, you have to practice tensing them…simple stuff. Like learning to walk again, this may be more draining, both physically and mentally, than one would expect. Think of this as more neurological “practice” than strength training. You are trying to get those sleepy nerves in those dormant muscles to wake up. To do this you have to practice sending signals to those nerves. At first you may be unable to do this. You may try to tense your butt or hamstrings and simply be unable to. Keep at it! Soon you will! It may be a little at first, you may not even be sure that they are actually tensing. With more practice you may feel those muscles starting to come alive. You have to keep practicing (specific exercises we can show you at the gym) until you can keep your butt and hamstrings tensed, at will, throughout the whole air squat. When you reach this level you can really start training!
I have told this stuff to most of our members at one time or another, but still see many of the same members struggling to get past their dormant backsides. This is frustrating to me because I feel it is my job as a coach to get them past this, but if they don’t listen what can be done???? Maybe bashing my head through a wall…
If I had my way and didn’t have to keep people happy this is what I would do. I would have anyone who first joins the gym and who have their butt and hamstrings not working well, resolve this problem immediately. This problem would be fixed before doing any form of squats because if squats are done before the posterior chain is woke up, the quad dominance problem is just reinforced. If things were done my way…I would no longer see members struggling with doing squats, of any kind, months after joining the gym. They would be doing perfect/effortless air squats, back squats, front squats, and nailing beautiful cleans and snatches…
A side benefit to getting that butt and those hammies to wake up is throughout the day your quads will become more relaxed. They won’t have to do all the work all day. Your posture and general well-being will improve. You will also be more injury proof.
What a fun weekend! Salem, Ohio is in the middle of nowhere, but there was still a good turnout of people. This competition was through the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation. There was loud music roaring, people yelling, and plenty of laughing. It was a fun time.