Sunday, January 24, 2010

im sorry, ok?!

I know.. I know.. 

I haven't updated my blog in what seems like an eternity (according to my friend Mike Gray).  He practically chewed my head off and then proceeded to force Round Table Pizza and Ben and Jerry's (cinnabun AND mint and chip) down my throat.  MESSED UP.  

Anywayssssss.. I've basically been running around like B Spears with her hair shaved off trying to persuade a million and four people that they should listen to me when I coach them in the oly lifts.  It's working out pretty well for me...until I make people drop and give me burpees.  That's when things really start to get interesting..

I just got back from a roadtrip to BFE (aka Fresno..aka a town built specifically off of U-turns..aka if my driving instincts weren't equivalent to that of a GPS, we would probably be in Tijuana ) where I taught the olympic lifting certification. We went to Crossfit FTF which was a frackin awesome box.  Check that shiza out if you're wanting to take a trip to Cali (I mean.. who wouldn't!?!?! minus the fact that there is SUV size rain drops falling from the sky right now) The group we taught was really talented and showed a lot of progress throughout the weekend.. but the whole point of this post is to talk about some of the common errors I am seeing at certifications.  

#1 Banging the bar off the thighs.  
If you were ever involved with a high school sport, you were most likely taught to make contact with that bar at the hip region by thrusting those hips horizontally.  NEGATIVE GHOSTRIDER!! The bar DOES want to stay in contact with your thighs as you pull the bar off the ground, but there should never be a banging/horizontal hip thrust as you go to jump that bar over your head.  The only contact there should be is a slight brush STRAIGHT up off the hips.  The hips moving vertically=the bar moving vertically. The hips moving horizontal/banging the bar=the bar shooting forward=ugly snatch.  See? simple physics..

#2 The bar pausing at the mid thigh region
Because these lifts are so technical, we teach them broken down into segments.  So, naturally, as you go to do an actual snatch or clean and jerk, you're going to be thinking about hitting each position that we teach. (below knee, mid-thigh, pockets, jump and shrug, elbows high and outside, aggressive turn over, stay tight.. aka CRAP LOAD of information) HOWEVAAHHH.. I need these movements to be fluid off the ground.  You want to make sure that you PASS through each position and never STOP.  If you stop, you're just taking away all the momentum that you've generated during previous positions.  So, if you pause at mid thigh, you're going to have to try to regenerate all the momentum that you've built up on that bar from floor-below the knee.  Only now, you are higher up on your thighs, so you don't have as much time and therefore wont be able to put as much speed on the bar.  Make sense? If it doesn't, keep re-reading it. 

So that's all the information I'm going to put out today.  Don't wanna turn this entry into a flippin Harry Potter novel.  Stay tuned...

keep it sassy

Sunday, January 10, 2010

can you do me a favor, and like.. not talk for a second

First attempt... stupid Nate..

Finally got Nate to pipe down with the unnecessary gruntage while benching.. so here is a video of me demonstrating and BRIEFLY explaining the skill transfer exercises. In the future, I will go more in depth with each one individually, but here's just to get you started.  Warm up your necks because ya'll are gonna have to watch it sideways.  Im not so techno saavy and cant figure out how to rotate it... dont judge..

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

get ready...

Its about to get sentimental all up in this joint...

Gather round and let me tell you all a story..

It was a dark and stormy night at the Invictus gym (not really, it was actually yesterday afternoon in sunny California) and inside the gym, there was me and M (my roomie and one of my favorite people on this earth) getting our pump on..cause thats just what we do when she isnt trying to clean and jerk me

CJ, who is pretty much the meanest/non merciful/greatest coach ever, was putting us through workouts (yes.. there was more than one) that a)made me throw up (literally..) b) made me truly believe with my whole heart that death was the most appealing thing EVER and c) despite how much i love him, made me want to punch CJ in the face until my knuckle bones were exposing themselves. 

So anyways, we were doing these workouts from hell and I found myself slowly start to slip into my normal "I'm really doing bad. I'm getting a horrible time. I'm feeling sorry for myself" mode. I could feel myself falling farther and farther into that negative mindset and before I knew it, the workout was over and I didn't have time to snap out of it and "man-up" and switch back into thinking positive.  So, the workout was over and I was stretching (which i never do.. BUT ya'll betta! ) and I was feeling disappointed not so much in my performance, but in myself for letting all that doubt and negativity consume me.  I ended up leaving the gym, a place where you go to workout and release endorphins, shake off stress, and have fun with the people you love (all while feeling better about yourself), more upset than when I arrived. 

I knew I needed to do some major self evaluation, so I went home and tried to think about what separates me from all of those amazing crossfit athletes that KILL workouts day after day.  The first person that came to mind was my roomate and best friend, Michele, who competed in the Games and is officially the 23rd most fit person on the planet.  I thought about how she came into the gym after weeks of not training and was still smoking the workouts left and right. And throughout her smokage (yes thats a word) a glimmer of self doubt never crossed her face. Thats when I realized that Michele looks at a gym and working out for what it truly is: a place where you go to workout and release endorphins, shake off stress, and have fun with the people you love, all while feeling better about yourself. She doesn't make working out her life and she DEFINITELY does not let her performance in a workout dictate how she looks at herself as a person (something I, myself, am extremely guilty of).  

I guess my whole point of going on this rant is to encourage you all to not be so hard on yourselves. It's ok if you don't finish first in a workout.  Don't beat yourself up if you dont get a PR on a day when you're maxing out. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to be the best ALL the time. Look around you and realize that you are with amazing people and you're just sharing one moment in time with them via working out.  You can't enjoy the product, if you don't truly enjoy the process.  

WELL! now that I have THAT out of my system.. I will answer one of the questions I got when I asked what to post about on this sucka..

"Why do I jump forward on the snatch balance? Oh, and how do I quit that crap?"

- When you find yourself jumping forward on ANY movement, it typically means that you are kicking your hips horizontally rather than getting them vertical.  Us human beings generally think that, for whatever reasons, speed is generated through a stupid hip thrust forward.  This is NOT the case!! You generate speed by jumping and shrugging and letting your hips pop straight up aggressively.  
So, lets just say that you are jumping forward on a snatch.  What that means is that your hips are going horizontal which makes the bar kick out in front of you and then you have to jump forward so that you are able to get under the weight. Bad Bad stuff.  
SOLUTION!!!!!!! (too many exclamation points?)  Get some chalk and draw a line on the ground (nothing more than a line because then you'll just piss your gym owner off and then you'll end up saying "Sage told me to" and then I'LL be the one getting in trouble. And if that happens, I'll be pissed) Line your toes up with that perfectly straight line and then do your snatch (or whatever movement you're doing) and focus on not jumping over the line.  Usually that will get you moving in a vertical fashion rather than a horizontal one.  

WHEW !! That was long!! THE END!

keep it sassy

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy new year everyone! I hope all of your new year resolutions consist of something to do with bettering your technique in the olympic lifts.  

For New Year's Eve, my family did a talent show.  Above, you will see a video of my brother Cody during HIS talent show. He is expressing himself as an individual by singing Bspear's "Hit Me Baby One More Time".  We are all just so proud of him and hope that all of you will vote for him on a future season of American Idol.  

Tip of the day:
If you are having trouble feeling strong in your starting position, or you are letting your hips shoot up too soon off the ground, try practicing regular AND snatch-grip deadlifts (or pulls) while standing on a plate or blocks.  This puts the bar a little lower than normal and  makes the movement feel WAY harder because your muscles arent used to being in that low of a position.  I used to do these a lot because my starting position just always felt weak.  No matter how many deadlifts I did, I just couldnt seem to feel confident pulling the weight off the ground.  After I started deadlifting off of a plate, when I switched back to regular deadlifts, I felt way more solid.  It just works all the muscles in a different way.  While doing this movement, it is really easy to let those hips shoot up right away, really focus on keeping those hips down and keeping the back angle the same. Remember to feel a lot of tension in your legs as you are pulling that bar off the ground.   

Here is a video of what Im trying to explain to ya'll!