In the front squat, the elbows are held parallel to the ground, and the bar rests on the shoulders taking some of the load off of the arms, sometimes with the hands relaxed. In the press, the elbows are held much lower, tension is on the arms and shoulders and the hands are gripping the bar tightly. Anyone who switched to a front squat before they were done pressing lost the ability to get the bar overhead, and anyone who didn’t transition to a front squat after the presses felt like someone was ripping their shoulders apart with 30 seconds to go on the clock.
WOD: January 18 Test Drives and Tears
Considering that I test drove two new training formats yesterday at least half of the title is true. Whether or not anyone actually cried I’m not sure. I did get something in my eye at one point, but that’s just because everyone has a thing about slathering on chalk. I blame all of you entirely.
After the last few workouts, I’ve noticed that the ability to press overhead is somewhat lacking. However, there are only so many consecutive classes where you can make people do 5 x5 strict press before you come under full scale mutiny.
To address the issue, I test drove a time under tension excersice with Andrew on Friday and liked it so much (read: Oh the Agony.) that I decided to test it on a larger group today.
Tonight’s skill work focused on Overhead Squats, Toes to Bar and Ring Dips.
To answer the question that came up,”This looks like Sunday’s WOD.” Yes. Because they are skills that need work. The lower volume and taking away the time component gave everyone a chance to work on the skill that was giving them the most trouble without compromising their form because of muscle fatigue.
Once everyone was done, we moved on to the mini-wod of the day:
4 Rounds of Strict Press.
1 min to do 15 press. Once the press are done, hold the bar in a front squat position for the rest of the minute.
Alternate with 1 minute of rest.
The point of this mini-wod was to train the athletes in their strict press. I was specifically looking to make sure no one cheated by push pressing the weight, or arched backwards when fatigued to make it easier to press the weight overhead at the cost of their overall structure.
By round 2, no one made the mistake anymore.
The WOD was a slightly modified Chelsea.
15 mins. Every minute on the minute:
5 pull ups
15 air squats
This WOD was structured to balance out the pressing that the athletes did earlier with enough rest to maintain a higher power output then normal. Normally I would have set it as an AMRAP, but with the time constraint and the scheduled rest, everyone managed to maintain very clean reps in both the pull ups and the squats. Athletes who would normally not be able to do 15 rounds of Cindy mananged this very well.
Both the WOD and the mini-wod went very well. I may just have to use these again in the future. I’m sure everyone is excited.
“Lord of the Dance.” To Stephane, for having the best mid mini-wod shuffle of the night.
“Gumby Arms” To April, for her front squat form. Unlike normal people, April apparently has no ligaments and can keep her elbows perfectly parallel during her whole front squat.
“Too Tough” To Cindy, for repeadly using the “tetanus bar”. Because blood poisoning happens to other people.
“Beginner no more.” To all the first timers who showed up. Although there were moments of disbelief at what was being requested of them, they all survived. Well done.