Oct 7, 2010

Daily maxin' and back crackin'

So, I drove south to train with Coach H yesterday morning (as has become my custom on Wednesdays), and to my delight he says we are doing a daily max. Yay!

I mean, really, what good CrossFitter doesn't love to find a 1 rep max? It is part of the cult people. :-p

My current max in Olympic lifting training was 45kg (99# - just multiply the value in kilos by 2.2). That includes practice, and my first competition.

In practice I was a mess, and I don't even think I could stand up with 45. In competition, it was easy and light. Not a struggle at all to stand up with it at all. So I knew my "true" max was higher, but I was sure how much higher.

So, off we go in our practice session. I took the weight off the rack, did one split jerk from behind the neck, then dropped the bar, then did a full squat clean from the floor. (Oly lifting training is full of these "combo moves" as I call them. Like 1 clean and 3 front squats, or 1 clean and 1 power jerk and 1 split jerk. I love it.)

My weights went something like this:

I really thought I was done at 52.5! It was sloooooow standing up. But Coach H had me load my bar with 55, and we were off. I pressed out the 55kg jerk, so that didn't go too well. But my 55kg clean went great! Again, it was slooooow off the floor, but I stood up with it! Woooooooo!

I know 55 kilos is only 112#, so not exactly the most amazing squat clean in the universe, but it was amazing to me. I haven't felt this excited about making progress on a skill in a very long time.

I'm still having that weird pain in my hip, so instead of full snatching, we did a horrible exercise where you start from the hang, and then lower yourself through the proper positions in the lift. So, it's like an eccentric version of the lift. I have to do this because my back is too weak and tight to get into the correct starting position for the snatch. And because I just plain need practice in how to make that transition from floor to knee to above the knee to power position to jump. (More on this later)

Because I can't do the start position correctly, right now I only snatch from mid-thigh, above the knee and just below the knee. Last practice with Coach H I snatched 42 or 43 kilos from above the knee -- which is incredible since my current PR is 45. So once I get my starting position fixed, I should really start making big progress. Wheeee! :-D

Well, yesterday was my very first adjustment at the chiropractor. My husband has been doing chiropractic care *forever*, but since I don't suffer from any chronic back pain, I never really considered it. At least not until I learned from my Oly coaches that my back was incredibly weak and also incredibly tight -- and that the tightness was affecting movement throughout my lower back and hips. Not cool!

So in addition to strengthening my back under their direction, I decided I would also hit up husband's chiropractor and see if she could help loosen things up and improve my flexibility as I got stronger.

After reviewing my xrays with her, turns out I have a curvy spine! How weird is that! hehe So if you look at my back, as my spine leaves my pelvis, it curves over to the left and back in. There's some little "mini" curves just below my shoulder blades. The tightness comes from the body trying to compensate and keep the spine in line -- by tightening the connecting muscles first on the inward side of the curve, and then on the outward side of the curve. It's like a tug-of-war that's locked in a stalemate.

I'll admit, I'm still a bit skeptical of the whole thing. I'll believe it's when I see a second set of xrays after a few weeks of care and less curve. :) Also, less tightness in my low back after some of my lifting exercises would make me a *true* believer. :-D

One more thought on going to the chiropractor. Maybe this is venturing into TMI territory, but after my first adjustment yesterday, I couldn't help but make the connection between how your first adjustment is like your first trip to the gynecologist.

Here's my point. When you go to the gynecologist, you know lots of people who have gone, and you kind of get the general idea of what they're going to do to you. But for some reason, NO ONE warns you about the really surprising parts!

For gynecology, nobody warned me before my first appointment that the doctor was going to do a breast exam. I knew she would be poking around "down there", but geez, someone could've warned me about the stuff that was going to happen up top!

At the chiropractor, I really would've liked some prior warning that she was going to try to twist my head off my fucking neck! Seriously! She kinda felt around my neck, turned my head, everything was fine, and then BAM! What the fuck! So much stuff cracked inside my neck it made my sick to my stomach. I am *not* one of those people who likes things to crack -- except maybe a nice low back stretch, with one or two small pops. That is it.

So yeah, I am not so much looking forward to going back, especially because of the neck thing, but I am committed to trying it because I really want to do everything I can to get my body in optimal shape for Oly lifting. I'm also going to try some therapeutic massage as well, even though my last experience with that kinda sucked. The lady was on my traps for-ev-er and they were sore for a week afterward. Not cool!

Sorry this ended up so long! I know some of you wanted to hear more about my Oly adventures. I will try to keep it shorter and sweeter next time, and stick more to exact details on what we do in the training sessions, and what I'm learning about the lifts. Knowledge is power! :-D


  1. I'm loving reading about your lifting progress. You are gonna have the best form!!

    That's hilarious about the Chiro. The one I used to go to didn't do manual adjustment - he used a tool called an "activator" that actually kind of thumps on the vertebrae - much more gentle than manual adjustment. I quit going because I felt he was abusing my insurance...I didn't need THAT many adjustments. Hope it works for you!!

  2. I'm w/ Angie- your lifting progress is interesting to me too! I love reading about the combo moves for sure- they sound like a great warm-up exercise with low weight.

    Not sure if I get chiropractors either but hopefully it works with your hip pain. Keep us posted!

  3. I get really anxious prior to a chiro appt. I always worry that the Dr. may snap my neck the wrong way and kill me. But that's just me and my overzealous mind... you'll be fine next :D

    Awesome numbers on the O-lifts!

    Have you checked out Kelly Starrett's mobility WOD. I have hip flexibility issues, shoulders strength concerns, etc, etc, and doing the mobility WOD somewhere before or after the WOD has helped with my problem areas. http://mobilitywod.blogspot.com/