I like to Lift Heavy Things. Right. – Because That’s What Smart CrossFitters Do

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January 15, 2013 by j1scotty

I feel like you all have had a proper introduction into who Jen and I are, and we have had a blast getting to share with you some of what we are about, our likes and dislikes, what makes our eyes big with excitement and our pet peeves and all other things related to, well….us. We have officially been on the blogosphere for a little over a month and have hit over 2,300 views to our site. For that, Jen and I want to say thank you to all who have and are supporting us. We are both really excited for the future of this blog and can’t wait to share all of the fun stuff with you all.

Thank you from me and Jen!

Thank you from me and Jen!

So now that I am done being a sap, I would like to bring this back to my regular tone, which is a bit more upbeat and sarcastic. As I hope you all know by now, my background is in lifting, and I was just recently introduced to CrossFit about three years ago. My passion for CrossFit has grown substantially, and it has a lot to do with the fact that lifting, and more so, proper lifting technique is encouraged and in fact crucial in becoming competitive in the CrossFit world. So, I feel like for those of you reading this blog who might not be so familiar with CrossFit, I want to explain to you the fundamentals of lifting and why it is so important in our world of fitness and competition.

Before I talk to you about the importance of the awesomeness of lifting fundamentals, I need to give a big shout-out to my other half on this blog for passing her CrossFit certification exam!!! She is now officially a badass and possesses her Level 1 CrossFit Certification. So, with that, a big congratulations and shout-out to her. She was able to do it Pepto-free, which is one of the items on her 2013 bucket list! There is so much more to come for her, and I am beyond proud of her. She showed that test what’s up.

What Jen's face might have looked like when she found out she passed her Level One Crossfit Certification exam

What Jen’s face might have looked like when she found out she passed her Level One Crossfit Certification exam

Now that the proper thank-you’s and congratulations have been mentioned, let’s get to the meat of this post. Proper lifting technique. Why is it important you ask? Well, the first, and most appropriate answer to this question is: So you don’t get hurt or injured dumb dumb. Some CrossFit boxes, in my opinion, do not pay enough attention to proper lifting technique, which in turn endangers their members and subsequently adds a higher probability of them becoming injured. The perception of CrossFit has changed in the past couple of years in the minds of those who have only heard about it but have not actually tried it. Many people think CrossFit is dangerous or irresponsible and athletes have an increased risk for injuries. To give you an idea of the perception CrossFitters are having to fight, I will share from personal experience.

I work for a healthcare organization in Central Florida, where I interact with all different types of physicians and healthcare professionals. I mentioned to a few of our Sports Medicine physicians that I do CrossFit, and their first reactions were: I would never recommend that to anyone. My response was, but why? They informed me that the way we workout is dangerous and the propensity for injury is much higher because proper technique is key in our world, and they have seen many injuries caused from improper form.

This baffles me. Coming from a gym where the owner has a background in Olympic weightlifting, I, as well as every other individual who has walked through our doors, has been taught that you, as an athlete, better not pick up a bar unless you are prepared to lift it properly. It has been drilled in us that you, as an athlete, must understand the fundamentals of lifting before you can understand how to become competitive in the world of CrossFit. So to think that other boxes are not teaching this same method is ludicrous. There are some great gyms, especially in the area where Jen and I workout. We have found ourselves lucky to be surrounded by other boxes that understand how important it is to teach every client/member/athlete that their health and well-being is first and it is their responsibility as the trainer to keep you in the best shape. We are lucky. But not all athletes can say the same. Proper technique is key, and you as an athlete who desires to succeed at CrossFit should always strive to keep your body in the best shape it can be in. This includes proper stretching, proper eating, proper resting and PROPER TECHNIQUE. It’s a fundamental. Get it yet? Are you sure? Good.

Now I leave you with this for the first post about lifting. I plan to have a series on proper technique for each core lift in weightlifting i.e. the lifting fundamentals. But for this introduction, I only want to instill in you the importance of proper technique and to empower you to make sure that it is being taught at whatever CrossFit box you train at. It is the trainers responsibility to teach proper form and your duty to yourself to demand it.

So, for those of you already in the world of CrossFit, evaluate how your trainers are teaching you.

  • Does your lift hurt?
  • Do you constantly find yourself injured after a workout that includes bar movements?
  • Is form not a top priority being taught to other clients in the gym?
  • Are you progressing in your bar lifts or is your PR at a standstill?
David Rodriguez, Altamonte Crossfit member, demonstrating a good squat position during a competition WOD at Crossfit Firebase's 2012 Infidel Throwdown

David Rodriguez, Altamonte Crossfit member, demonstrating a good squat position during a competition WOD at Crossfit Firebase’s 2012 Infidel Throwdown

Evaluate these questions and if you don’t like the answers, then something needs to change. For those of you who have never done CrossFit but find it interesting and something you would like to try, then already be prepared going into your first class.

  • Does the box have a class that teaches you proper lifting?
  • Are they teaching you the movements with just the bar before adding weight?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the bar?
Weightlifting Seminar held at Crossfit Vida and taught by Daniel Camargo, ownder of Altamonte Crossfit & Sports Performance

Weightlifting Seminar held at Crossfit Vida and taught by Daniel Camargo, ower of Altamonte Crossfit & Sports Performance

If you don’t feel comfortable with what you were taught, do not introduce the possibility of injuring yourself just so you can prove a point or want to feel like big stuff. You’re not. Not yet. And you won’t be either if you end up hurting your back and walk like an old man by the age of 30. If you don’t know, then learn. Attend a weightlifting seminar, read about it from experts and research Crossfit gyms that have a background in lifting.

Want to know something? I have 11 years worth of weightlifting experience, and I still haven’t “perfected” my lifts. But I can tell you that I can Clean and Jerk 50 kilos for 10 reps in a row and not feel any pain from doing it. Why? Because I practice form. Because I preach form. Because without form, I  know I could not do that much weight repetitively without feeling sore or like I tweaked something. So do it right. You will thank me later.

This episode of Butts N Gutts has been brought to you by the letter H. H for hurry up and try CrossFit if you have never done it. H for hell yeah. H for Happiness, holidays, hot chicks, handsome men and hooking up. Hey, it all fits. H for humbleness. H for Hook up a friend who’s single, that’ll be your good deed of the day. H for Halleluiah, thankful for a new year and new beginnings. Have fun! Until next time.

P.S. We are now on Facebook! So, if you like to hear from us more than once every four days, or find yourself needing more pictures of Jen and I (which everyone wants, of course) friend us on Facebook! We promise to always entertain and never get annoying. Well, that’s a lot of pressure. I don’t want to make empty promises…we promise to mostly entertain. There, don’t want to over-promise. Now go do it. We like new people.

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