Questions, questions, questions

I asked our members to come up with some content for this weeks blog and they duly obliged with some good ones.

We had several questions about learning skills and tips for improving various movements

James mentioned about goal setting for Pull ups and Double unders, whilst Russell talked about overhead squats, snatches plus wanting to build towards Ring muscle ups and also double unders.

I’ll start with pull ups – I talked about this in my last video and I’ll just quickly go over this again. Before I do so I want to make a general rule with regards to setting goals and making plans to improve.

  Pull Ups  –  Find out where you are right now. Which band are you on? Are you able to do a strict banded pull up. Can you do a strict horizontal ring row? How much can you strict bent over row? How much do you weigh?

Once you know this you have a start point. If you feel you are overweight then losing weight and increasing strength will hit the problem from both sides. If you can bent over row your bodyweight then you are pretty close to pull ups. If you are 20kg under BW then you either have to gain 20kg worth of strength or lose 20kg!

Now I love to put out tips for both golf and fitness but I should add a disclaimer each time I do these. That should say “These tips only apply to those people they apply to!” What I’m trying to say by that is that we are all individuals and therefore could require completely different plans and strategies to achieve the same end goal. My favourite way to work with people to improve skills is 1:1, the reason for this is that I need to have the opportunity to more thoroughly analyse an athlete to be able to create a programme that is most time efficient and effective for them to achieve their goal.

As a CrossFit box owner I realise the value of group training in that it allows me to work with a greater number of people, the atmosphere in a group setting allows people to work at a higher intensity and achieve stronger results due to a greater stimulus. But having the ability to spend an hour with someone one to one means I can identify the specific areas where an athlete needs to improve. I can video them and work on the same movement several times. We can try various drills to see which ones give the best results and use that trial and error to make each session more and more efficient for the athletes progress. This mixture of group and 1:1 training has always proved to be the most effective method. It showed up first in my golf clients when they worked in group lessons combined with individual coaching. We could use the group lessons to reinforce the specific areas we worked on in our individual lessons. In a one to one lesson I identify some key areas to focus on and then in group sessions the athletes/golfers would work on these whilst a coach supervises.

An example in CrossFit would be in a 1:1 session we work on an athletes clean technique, getting them on video and comparing to an elite athlete. We then identify that the key component we want to work on is ensuring the athletes goes into the second pull and makes contact with the barbell whilst driving into triple extension. So we prescribe some drills to correct their positioning and timing. Clean pulls would be a good example. Then when they come to a WOD which includes cleans we advise them to do a couple of pulls whilst warming up for the cleans to help reinforce better technique.

What I’m getting at here is that for all of the aforementioned skills it is most important to establish a start point. To work out where you are at right now and how you are going to improve. For the skills mentioned by our members I suggest the following:·