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-   -   Help! I'm unclean! (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=155)

Jamila Bey 11-03-2006 10:31 PM

Help! I'm unclean!
(I'm a creative type- what can I say?)

So I go away for the last two weeks of October and play in the woods and visit relatives. (Never mind the pizza and Dairy Queen and soda I enjoyed.) And I get back in the gym and I have totally lost my clean with more than 95 pounds!

WTF? I know there may be some strength loss with a layoff of a few weeks, but I am able to deadlift and push press (at least) 135#, so why am I dumping at the bottom of my squat? I just feel like my whole rhythym is off and now I'm ticked and I'm tense and I'm thinking way too much and I REALLY can't get one off.

1. How do you deal with the clumsies after getting back in the gym? I thought the layoff was supposed to be a good thing.
2. Anyone else an over-thinker? How do you shut your mind up? (I can't stay awake during meditation.)


Robb Wolf 11-04-2006 12:49 PM

You Kill me sista!

Now regarding a layoff...I think things can go either way. Sometimes you will come back to the gym and set a PR straight out. Other times you need to REALLY back things down and build things back from scratch. Mental toughness and 'Tude are great but sometimes our physiology dictates how frisky we get to be. It sounds like you are low in both Frisky Factor (FF) and Ass-Kicking-Potential (AKP). Not the end of the world, just have to acknowledge, and plan the next campaign.

If you are over thinking things it may be time to really shift gears, lighten the weight, shoot some video of your technique and scrutinize that. Shift to DB work or one handed work for a while. Gutting through something can be great but there are SOOO many ways to tackle things...just keep it fun.

Now specific to the over thinking ive seen Coach Burgner get an Over Thinker into a good position and then bellow "MOVE!!!" again, and again and again...cuing good form but just trying to get the person to FEEL the movement and not intellectualize it.

And if all this half-baked philosophy does nothing to help at least you are un-clean…but among friends.

Greg Everett 11-04-2006 05:25 PM

Word up. Jamila, if you want, post some video of yourself here and we'll fix your little wagon right up.

Scotty Hagnas 11-04-2006 05:31 PM

I think I'm going to start putting my daily rating of AKP and FF in my training journal!

Scotty Hagnas
CrossFit Portland

Yael Grauer 11-04-2006 08:10 PM


Originally Posted by Jamila Bey (Post 771)
2. Anyone else an over-thinker? How do you shut your mind up? (I can't stay awake during meditation.

You mean those voices that say "You'll never get your max rep again and you'll never get any better either and you suck and should just give up now, and maybe you should just go to Bally's, who are you kidding, anyway, oh and that shirt makes you look fat, too"? I know those voices. I just get some holy water and say, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" Just kidding. But I do find that being forceful is more effective with intrusive thoughts. One of the guys I train with has a shirt that says "Shut up and squat." It is a good one. I also try to say the opposite, even when I don't believe it. (e.g. "Actually, you are so on your way to hitting a PR and you are getting really really strong, and your form is awesome, oh and you look sexy as hell with that barbell, so just keep at it and you'll get there soon.") Repeat as necessary, that usually shuts it up.

I also check to make sure that in general I'm sleeping, eating well, getting enough fat and B vitamins, not indulging in alcohol/sugar/etc. and not hanging out with mean people who suck or say anything close to resembling the above thoughts. Then, I try to give those thoughts an outlet--if they're really bad I'll just write them out first thing in the morning and then stuff the pages in a dated folder or big envelope so I won't reread them for several months. Somehow just writing whatever helps me process it and not obsess over it.

Lastly, as a fellow meditation-hater, I know that the whole theory behind it is to get into a relaxed state which will eventually spill over to other parts of your life... and luckily, there are ways to do this that don't involve sitting in lotus. Anything that will trigger a relaxation response works, I like writing, hanging out in my garden, going on hikes or I'll even just unplug my phone, turn off the computer, light some candles, put on Spanish guitar CDs and try to breathe.

If all else fails, I have a couple people I call who will say things like, "Yeah, that's just your ego again. Get over it. No, really get over it, don't just talk about getting over it." or "Uh, I don't see what the problem is. Let it go." or "Shut up and train."

Good luck!! You'll get clean in no time, I can feel it.

Aimee Anaya Everett 11-06-2006 08:11 AM

I was an over-thinker. I sometimes still am. I try not to be. Over thinking causes me to have freak outs. and believe me, there are certain people in my life (including myself) who do not enjoy said freakouts. over thinking is too many steps above mental readiness. Mental readiness is GOOD. over thinking is NOT. with over thinking the mind weakens and allows doubt, negativity, and an interference of confidence to leak in. once over thinking has turned your mind into a whirlwind of such, the unwavering belief you once had starts to crumble. When negativity, doubt, and fear start to interfere with your confidence of making a lift, your performance wavers. This interferes with your focus and being "in the zone", and you are then not in the place, mentally, of pure confidence- you start to lose your focus. you limit your possibilities. you rarely touch your full potential. That being said, find a way to get the most out of your performances and yourself daily. prepare yourself mentally. find your confidence. Create positive images. control distraction. be ready. then you won't have to over think anymore (and if your anything like me, this also results in no more freak outs)

Ken Urakawa 11-06-2006 10:46 AM

Paralysis by analysis.

To avoid pulling a Dr. Phil (catchphrase without anything productive), I'll attempt to be helpful.

Touching on Aimee's comments, there's no doubt that self talk can influence performance. Always speak to yourself positively, focusing on things that you want to happen. I.e., don't say "don't bend your arms", say "elbows straight"; or instead of "I'm not sure I can get this", say "I've done this weight before". Etc.

A consistent pre-lift routine will help bring your mental focus. Sports like tennis, golf, shooting, and weightlifting are all very conducive to developing a pre-performance routine. This might be as simple as checking your shoelaces, taking a tight grip, 2 deep breaths, and dropping the hips into the starting position. Or you could talk to yourself while spinning a basketball like Karl Malone used to before shooting a free throw. Whatever works. The key is to be consistant. Take the same time between elements every time, same breathing, same mental cues, etc.

Visual imagery would be an appropriate part of the routine: picture yourself-in real time-going through the lift (successfully). Try to be as detailed as possible in your imagery, feel as if you are actually performing it.

Lastly, the use of cues is very useful. Pick one or two very simple words or phrases that focus on important aspects of the lift. Like "1...2...3...Jump!" or even simply "explode!". Don't try to talk your way through the entire thing, just focus on those one or two cues.

If all else fails, what usually works for me is "Oh my God! Just pick the @#&ing thing up!"

Jamila Bey 11-08-2006 08:05 PM

I'm back!!!

I went into the gym this evening to do a "hit it and quit it" type thing. Namely 30" box jumps and puss presses- two of my faves.

And it occurs to me that I've had to clean the 105 push press weight a bunch of times!

So, getting back into it without being all caught up in my head about it- 105 was no problem at all, when a week ago 95 was killing me. My workout tomorrow will be all snatches, so I'm excited.

(Teasing) And this Saturday I get to train with Dan John, so I better be in top form for that. Come out to Virginia if you wanna play with the big kids!

Yael Grauer 11-09-2006 03:19 PM

You go girl!

Robb Wolf 11-10-2006 12:02 PM

Right on Jamila!
Take some pics and put them up here!

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