Thursday's "for completion & quality" WOD reminds me of an old post post…  

As we (the coaches) watch most athletes actually do the two exercises for quality and with position, technique, and balance in mind we think to ourselves "yup, that's gonna transfer over eventually to bigger numbers or bigger sets if they just keep on doing that."  By contrast, the few who load up, go through the motions without much intent or mindfulness, and struggle-bus through the exercises will likely spend time re-enforcing existing bad habits (sadly).  

Of course there's a time and place to go fast & hard and to push the limits.  But when we're tying to develop movement patterns and fix or improve technique, that has to be done at sub-maximal loads… and with un-timed sets or progressions.  Through practice.

Number of times AI says the word "practice" in this video... twenty-five.

John Welbourn once told me, "when the bullets start flying EVERYONE drops to their level of training."  

Another way of saying this is "when the clock starts running or the weights get heavy, the body gets tired, and the fight or flight response kicks in, every athlete starts moving the way they always move... in training... in warm-ups... in PRACTICE... in everyday life."  No one ever starts "rising to the occasion" and miraculously looking perfect, as if all they ever needed to move well was simply the pressure of intensity and/or heavier loads.

In tens of thousands of hours of coaching I can tell you that this is one of the truest concepts of training.  We see it all the time, day after day.  The athlete who moves well in warm-ups, and has put the work in on doing just that, generally moves well in workouts, in strength sessions, and in competition (even if that "competition" is simply life).  The lifter who looks sharp and precise with the empty bar usually looks pretty damn good with heavy loads.  Alternatively, the guy or gal who consistently goes through the motions and lazily moves their body until things get heavy or hard usually has a tough time holding position when things become just that... heavy or hard.  Sometimes said athlete thinks, "well the people who look good in warm-ups and with low weights are just lucky... they're born that way and they're just really flexible/mobile/short/tall/etc."  In some cases there can be truth in that statement, but in most I would argue that those people have worked really damn hard to be able to put their bodies in the right positions.  But since fixing movement with little or no load isn't glamorous, and can be crushing to the athlete's ego and patience, most who aren't good at it chalk it up to "I'm just not built that way, and I need some more weight to make it look and feel better."  Not true.  You "need some more weight" to make it look passable... until of course the weight is heavy enough, or the workout hard enough, that passable can no longer complete the task.  Then he/she usually enters one of two territories - Miss-ville (the land of a thousand misses) OR Snap City (sometimes referred to as Sketch City or "holy crap I hope no one was watching that").  Very strong athletes who are also very limited in their mobility can likely identify with that situation (although they're not the only ones in this boat) - it feels hard with little to no weight, then it feels fine with moderate loading, then it just gets frustratingly impossible at heavier loads which are still well under his/her perceived maximum potential. 

If any of your goals includes snatching better/heavier, getting muscle-ups, developing athleticism, increasing balance/strength/coordination/agility/speed/flexibility/power, or just generally heightening your awareness of how your body moves though space and how it can also move external objects… then I would recommend using Thursday’s WOD as a tool for mindful practice. The practice of all of those things.

Because, yeah, we talkin’ ‘bout practice.

WOD For 04-04-19:

For Completion and Quality (NOT For Time):


Power Snatches


Ring Muscle-ups

*Alternate between movements (10/5-8/4-6/3-etc...) but rest as needed between movements and sets

*Climb in load as your technique allows on the Power Snatches (touch-and-go not required)

*Scale mindfully & intelligently for the MU as needed to work on progressing skill level and/or positional strength required for the next step (don't just "go through the motions") -- if MU are "your jam" then do them unbroken and with perfect technique