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View Full Version : My Quest for Strength


Troy Archie
07-21-2007, 07:40 PM
About 3 months back, after +2 years, I dropped the CF WOD in order to pursue my one glaring weakness; my lack of strength.

My quest for strength brought me to a local Olympic lifting club, buried in the light commercial district of town, tucked away in a storage bay. You wouldn't know it was ever there unless you drove your car into the bay. It's dark, it's dusty and it has 6 platforms with complete bumper weight sets for each. It's perfect. The guy running the place is an old school lifter and is coaching a wide variety of athletes and weightlifters that have put up some good numbers qualifying for the Canadian Nations.

It's a pretty good environment and a nice change of pace from my usual monkey gym but I'm questioning if I'm going at my goal the right way. I'm realizing that the Oly lifts are more freaky ass technical than I had originally thought and am wondering if I should have taken a different approach to my goals sticking more to the basics. I’ve put on about 2.5kg in this last cycle but have seen little gains, in fact last test day I couldn’t clean my previous best and my squat is flat.

I dunno, I guess I’m feeling down and am probably asking for too much in too little time. Any insight would be helpful though as to if I'm going in the right direction... I tried to attach an excel spreadsheet of my template but can't. Oh well, off to China for a week off.

Troy

Steven Low
07-22-2007, 07:00 PM
Some numbers would be nice (e.g. weight, height, max lifts, etc.). Just saying you had a plateau without knowing your training background and last microcycle is like impossible to diagnose.

Robb Wolf
07-23-2007, 02:51 PM
Good call Steven. Troy, flesh things out for us a little!

Don Stevenson
07-23-2007, 09:02 PM
1. What Steven said

2. Given the technical nature of O lifting sometimes there can be a lag before your technique is good enough to express your strength. I've been there and I see it all the time in the beginners i Coach.

The good news is that if you can make it through the flat bits eventually the gains will come on like a freight train.

For me consistency in training followed by judicious use of specialisation routines has proved to be very effective for increasing strength in an O lifting environement.

For example

Start 2006 - BSQ 125kg FSQ 105kg
April 2006 after 4 months of solid training only about a 5kg gain in each lift.
May 2006 - smolov, jumped to about a 155 BSQ and 120 FSQ
2007 - bugger up back and do a smolov FSQ cycle, FSQ now 140ish!

John Alston
07-26-2007, 08:48 AM
Troy
I am approaching the one year mark on my o-lifting training and have found them to be great strength and power builders.
Yes, they are technical, and this will sometimes limit the direct strength/power gains you get from training the lifts in the beginning as you get the skills.
But there is also a lot of room for serious assistance work along side the o-lifts that can build strength along with your technique. If you're doing some version of squats, presses, and pulls regularly, in addition to the more technique focused lifting practice, you should see some real gains, both in the quick lifts and in the squat/press/etc numbers.
If you're coming from a CF background, you might have to up your eating and sleeping, making sure to get enough proteins and fats to handle heavy power work.
As a huge fan of the sport, I encourage you to stick with it. Nothing really matches the zen of weightlifting, when an all out effort meets crisp technique and you find yourself hoisting a weight over your head in flash, a weight heavier than you have ever lifted before... it's a thing of joy and beauty.

Troy Archie
07-27-2007, 01:18 AM
Thanks for the input guys. That's pretty much what I was looking to hear; a lag in gains due to the technical aspect of the Oly-lifts. I'm really enjoying it though and have learned a lot, it's just some what dissapointing to have my Crossfit fitness go down in hopes for more strength and power but not get that strength and power. All in time and it's nice to know I'm on the right road.


If you're coming from a CF background, you might have to up your eating and sleeping, making sure to get enough proteins and fats to handle heavy power work.

I've gained 2.5kg in 4 weeks :p with not too large of a calorie increase. My diets 100% paleo, low carb, IF on a day on, day off schedual and to top it all off I keep the majority of my carbs to PWO. That all said I'm going to start a food log to see if I'm eating more than I think, which I probably am...