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deadlifting - CrossFit London

Powerlifting testing day.

TESTING RESULTS AND BLOCK REVIEW

Today was testing day at CFLDN  In Bethnal Green E2. Alex Miller runs a popular powerlifting class to ensure our athletes build strength. Here is his review on todays testing results.

By ALEX MILLER

Obviously there is a lot of people still to test and some numbers to fill in but here is the initial results.

Overall numbers are going up. One or two people had off days today and performed under their potential but they have also been hitting higher numbers in their training so no need to worry there.

REVIEW OF THE COHORT SYSTEM:

As most of you are aware I introduced a cohort system into the Powerlifting training this block. The idea was that if I can provide ya’ll with some more individualised program that specific addresses a key weakness then you should respond with a larger increase in your numbers. To my eyes most people put around 7-10% on their numbers in the 12 weeks with, as you’d expect, some statistical outliers at a way higher %.

A key focus of the cohort system I made was to build the address the structural weakness which may have been an underlying cause of movement breakdown or poor technique. This resulted in a slightly less than traditional feel for a powerlifting class. Feedback was, from those I spoke with, that even though they aren’t leaving each session exhausted they feel that, even under high load, technique is much better.

DOWNSIDES:

I go away and review every block of training I prescribe to find out what I can do to make it better. The cohort system for powerlifting is no different. There is always downsides and if we are to create a resilient system which creates CFLDN athletes who are stronger, injury free, and technically superb then these flaws MUST be embraced and examined.

In this case, one of the biggest flaws I made was not giving enough time for sport practice: Squat, Bench, and Deadlift. The lifters had, at max, only 2 weeks of full lift practice before testing (during the the program they only did variations of the lifts which addressed the specific weaknesses of their cohort).

The second biggest flaw I made was to not give the athletes enough time to really get strong on each weak point variation. To limit the decreased response to specific adaptation demands I applied a 3 week limit to each variation. In hindsight, whilst it achieved that as a goal, it may prove better to run each variation for slightly longer (if you have questions on this ask me about adaptation refractory windows).

CONCLUSION:

Overall I’m very happy with the cohort system thus far and believe the results speak for themselves. As such, we will continue down the cohort path (although I clearly have a HUGE bias here and if anyone feels differently I’d love to hear your thoughts) but obviously, reflection (of which this is a quick overview) is useless without implementation of change; therefore, leading into the next block of training the following changes will be enacted:

– Each main lift variation will run for 5 weeks, rather than 3.
– After the 5 weeks, there will be a single week transition block to allow for re-sensitisation to the strength training stimuli.

This takes us to a 24 week block (4 x 6 weeks)

– At the 6 and 18 week mark, there will be a X3 block run of competition standard lifts. Because the block is X3 (i.e. triple occurrence per micro cycle or a 2 day micro cyle) the rate of adaption is much, much faster. Ergo, each block will only last 2 weeks.

This takes us to a 28 week block ( 4(6) + 2(2) )

At the end of the 28 weeks there will be a X2 competition block structured as a traditional linear taper/peak. This will last 3 weeks.

Taking us to a 31 week block ( 4(6) + 2(2) + 1(3)

And then a testing week totalling a 32 week block.

EXPECTATIONS

I know this seems like an extraordinary amount of time between testing. I’m hoping that the interim competition block attenuate that somewhat. Apart from that I’m happy just to suck it and see.

This long term approach to building the CFLDN athletes 100% rewards adherence but it will, in turn, hugely reward those who make the effort.

You can find out how to get functionally strong by following this link

Clean up your back act. For free!

It’s been a hard back week at CrossFit London. Most of you use your backs well, moderate your loads and maintain a tight core when lifting, meaning deadlifting isn’t an issue.
If deadlifting is an issue, it’s normally traced down to a lack of what Stuart McGill calls ” back hygiene”.  Poor back hygiene means you use your back when lifting, all the time! You also abuse your back every day, by slumping and slouching ( or overextending). I t could also mean you are ok, but you cannot control yourself in a WOD. You’ll pile through in a workout no matter what your body is telling you ( it’s ok, I did this too, but,  it’s tough being an asshole isn’t it!)
I’m an expert in this area because, for years, this is what I did.  Zero back hygiene. My back took everything I  threw at it. Until it broke.
If you have back pain, there are 5 key mistakes you probably make. I made them all
1) Having a slumping place. That’s the place where you mold furniture to the worst position for your back, and you slump there for hours.
for the record, here is my slumping place
2) I went searching for physio’s,  therapists and experts to fix my back. The reality is that they all fixed it.  I just went right on home and screwed it up again
3) I failed to take responsibility: I blamed CrossFit for setting the deadlift, furniture manufacturers for making soft sofa’s, girlfriends for buying soft sofa’s, the door of our flat being wide enough to allow a soft sofa into my life. I also loaded stress, poor diet and worry into the mix, to get top quality pain, I certainly didn’t moderate my exercise: anger drove my deadlift up to levels that would guarantee to destroy it.
4) A refusal to do the “guaranteed to work” boring therapy exercises
5) A refusal to realise that I was a “backaholic”. That I loved slumping and  I liked that sickly sweet pain that comes with 8 hours of hanging in your back. I think I also liked the sympathy I got, but that’s awful to confess (in fact, I’m going to edit that confession out).
The good news is this: unless you have back plague, or a demon has possessed your spine,  you can fix your back. Back plague, demonic possession otherwise known as  Red Flags are here: if you have these symptoms, you do have a medical condition (or a demon)  and you need help fast.
But, unless you are in the tiny minority who has something really wrong with their back , your pain is down to you, and you can fix it if you want or can be bothered to.
If any of our members are remotely interested, we will  go through the skills and drills  you need to fix your back on Sunday 16th July at 10.30am in the back room at 9 Malcolm Place E2, for free. The class “back hygeine” is on the booking schedule. You should be able to book in and the system won’t charge you!
Don’t worry about me!  If no one shows, I’ll drink coffee! After all, I’ve decided to manage my back. I’m so over needing it to hurt