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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Snatches, Cleans and Jerks

I spent this past weekend at CrossFit Queens with one of my fellow coaches taking the USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Course with Artie Dreschler.  The class is intended to teach people how to train others on the two Olympic lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk.  At CrossFit Metropolis, we're coming to the end of our strength cycle, and next up is an Olympic lifting cycle where we'll spend a lot of time on these lifts, so the timing was perfect.  

The USAW way of thinking about these lifts differs somewhat from the CrossFit way.  The biggest difference that I noticed was that, after the bar passes the knee during the snatch, the hips rock forward while the knees remain bent; this gives you something to spring from on the second pull.  I haven't been able to figure yet out if the difference is simply conceptual, of if what the USAW coaches were advocating would recruit the muscles differently.  I'll need some time to play with this.

The course lacked the polish of the CrossFit certifications I've done, and the written exam was replete with typos (that kind of thing drives me nuts), but one thing that I absolutely loved about it was how much time we got to spend actually coaching.  I had the opportunity to teach each progression of each lift at least once, and was critiqued on my style each time.  For a new coach, this is huge.  You really can only learn so much by watching videos, sitting through lectures and reading articles; at some point, you just need to start trying things out.  It was great to be able to practice in a controlled environment.

When we weren't coaching, we were being coached, so I learned a lot about myself, too.  I never knew that I had a tendency to rock forward ever-so-slightly before I jerk.  We also learned some awesome stretches that CFMers can expect to see soon.

All in all, it was a great weekend, and now I'm looking forward to some home-cooked paleo goodness courtesy of my friend Sara.  Yum.


-Gym Belle-

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