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Old 02-27-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
James Evans
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Default Diane, loading for Crossfit WODS and a question of strength

This may be long windedÖbut stay with me.

When I first stumbled upon Crossfit back in 2004 I was immediately struck by some of the weights being used for the workouts. There wasnít a lot that I wasnít comfortable lifting for a few reps but not for sets as long as 21 and not with the kind of intensity that was involved. Even the lighter stuff (despite the constant jibes of other sites) is not that light. As Robb said a while back, if 60kg is a big front squat for you then 40kg thrusters in Fran are going to leave you exposed.

Anyway, I thought to myself, stuff the skinny guy pull-ups and gymnastic movements, to thrive at this shit itís going to help to be strong. Now I really donít know shit about anything but it seems I might have been onto something with some of the influences that have come in Crossfit over the last 3 years or so.

Now I am not a regular Crossfit adherent. I do some of the stuff and I have learnt a lot from the site and the community around it. Iím a former rugby player who is really a half arsed endurance athlete with a love of throwing weight around. I have never regularly trained Crossfit as per the WOD but I do follow Rutís stuff pretty closely.

What I want to know is how the fuck do you do Diane in under 3 minutes?

But the question is a little more subtle and multi levelled than it would seem.

Ages ago there was a link to one of the stars (APT?) slamming out the deads and handstand pushups like it was the end of the world. I remember he looked pretty tall and slim. There was a bit of a debate about his technique at the time but by being frontpage he obviously got endorsement from the top and as far as I am concerned (and I said this to Shaf at the time) I didnít really care about the technique, he was moving 100kg+ like it was a training bar.

I weigh 70kg. I can deadlift 150kg Ė nothing special but more than twice my bodyweight. I usually dl heavy once during the middle of the week (warm up, 1 set of 5 at 90% then 1 x 5 back off). At the weekend I aim to do higher reps with more of a conditioning focus so bodyweight paired with push presses for example. Tonight I needed a compromise of the two so it was DLs at 102kg and strict press at 40kg for 15-12-9-6-3 reps. And it was bloody murder.

Here is the crux though Ė where I usually train I donít have bumpers and I canít Ďdropí the weight. In the video he was definitely Ďdroppingí the bar, admittedly under control, at a hell of lick. I put the bar down and it hits nearly harder than lifting the damn thing. Iíve had tuition from an Oly coach who believes you should always dump the bar for safety reasons when deadlifting. This was all hotly contested at the time the video was posted. Now I am not getting into one of these pathetic Ďkipping pull-ups donít countí type slanging matches here. I have total respect for people who absolutely slam the likes of Diane and Fran. And I accept many of them are probably 400lb deadlifters etc. But how much is it brute strength and how much is it technique in these fast times?

By the way, Iím not totally naÔve or stupid, Iím often half joking when I write stuff here but I want to have a serious debate about method and the nature of strength. Should I be able to slam out 20 reps easily? I think it was Eric Cressey in something I read the other day on T Nation who mentioned correlation of rep numbers for really strong guys at decreasing weights. The gist being that you can have a massive 1 rep max but you would have to drop a long way down to be able to manage 10 reps. But at my rather pathetic 150kg I find itís singles downwards for quite a long way too.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:23 PM   #2
Derek Simonds
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James you just covered a hell of a lot of territory.

I work out with Leo from Crossfit Evolution from time to time and he is a big dude. I think he is around 6' 3" and he was 104 KG this morning when I read his workout log. He has a lot of absolute strength and rep strength.

His times just keep getting faster and faster on the the shorter crossfit WOD's. We will have to ask him for his Diane time but I know he is only a little off on some of the front page times that I have seen lately.

He and Gant, who is also turning into an animal, focus on strength and hit the shorter met-cons hard.

Personally I have been following the CA-WOD since inception. I had a problem with my knee and have been off the CA-WOD's for about 3 weeks. I started this week on a program I could do that wouldn't have any knee contact and it had a rep scheme of 10,8,8,6 of FS. Well between being off for a couple of weeks on the legs and doing 10 reps in a row for the first time in forever I have the most significant case of DOMS ever! So I agree with Cressey about the 1 RM and reps at a lighter weight.

Good thoughts. I think it comes back to the stronger you are relative to BW the better you can do at most of the WOD's.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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Lots of good stuff to think about here, personally Diane is one of my fav workouts. I remember a while ago my dead went up by about 10kg and i droped a minute off my time. I dont have bumpers either and have never had a problem lowering the weight after deads, assuming you've had a decent exposure to weightlifting i wouldn't see it as a problem.

Sub 3 min diane is BIG, but not out of reach. Id like to think i will have it in the next six months.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:27 PM   #4
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Ok, yeah the deadlifts suck. But what about the HSPU? They're a beast unto themselves...
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:07 AM   #5
James Evans
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Well, I guess I had my answer while I was writing the post. Shut up and muscle up. We all need to aim to be stronger (particularly me!).

I didn't even dare touch on the issue of the HSPUs.

In terms of setting the bar down though I still think there are variables here. I have no problem putting the bar back down to earth when I lift. This is part of the exercise. I'm not keen on doing near maximal work where I can't safely dump the bar. But the setting down phase adds to the demands of the exercise, obviously. If you do pull-ups and someone supports your weight at the top and then back down then the exercise is easy. If you do slow negatives, you get sore.

Take this complex which I created from a video posted here ages ago:

Dynamic Row (a fast deadlift to bent row) 1
Hang Power Clean 1
Push Press 1
Clean Grip Power Snatch 1

I would normally do this 5x5 at 40kg. When I have done this with bumpers and can drop the bar quickly I find it a relative breeze. In my training environment at home where everything is controlled then it sucks.

Look at this vid from my Neider Press post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQggVKcFh_U

The guy is doing heavy swings but he is only doing the upward portion of the movement. There is no ballistic loading on the posterior chain as he brings the db back down. In this case though I concede that his technique actually drops the intensity of the movement and the speed with which he can perform the reps.

If you are doing 30 snatches for time and you dump the bar (under control) every rep you are obviously going to move faster and use less gas. You are reducing the work done. This is in fact more efficient. Mark Twight mentioned a while ago that he had some guys doing Turkish get up and from standing they were dropping the weight and then lying back down for the next rep. They argued that this was the most efficient (and perhaps functional) way to perform the exercise. I seem to remember that Twight sort of conceded this but pointed out that this wasn't the point of the Turkish get up. If you run around the perimeter of a football pitch then it is quicker to cut the corners isn't it?

Now I sound like I'm badmouthing technique again which isn't the aim and I have no idea how I can apply these ideas to thrusters or HSPUs where there really is nowhere to hide.

If I lift something heavy in life ideally I want to be able to put it down again afterwards. If I miss a clean in the gym then stuff it but dropping a piano or a drunk girlfriend has a bit more seriousness attached to it.

Anyway, enough crap from me. The main answer as I said at the beginning is just get stronger.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:29 AM   #6
Derek Simonds
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That was a point I meant to get to in my reply. As my strength has increased my times have decreased whenever I have done a benchmark WOD.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:02 AM   #7
Allen Yeh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Evans View Post

Ages ago there was a link to one of the stars (APT?) slamming out the deads and handstand pushups like it was the end of the world. I remember he looked pretty tall and slim. There was a bit of a debate about his technique at the time but by being frontpage he obviously got endorsement from the top and as far as I am concerned (and I said this to Shaf at the time) I didnít really care about the technique, he was moving 100kg+ like it was a training bar.
Ages as in years ago? I know Greg (back in his slim days...heh) had a vid up at one time with him doing Diane, where he got some criticisms about his deadlifts and such but he had a really crazy time.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:46 AM   #8
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It was at least a year ago. I haven't been in touch with Shaf for a long time. And it wasn't Greg.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:48 AM   #9
James Evans
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Got it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YARXjYqC8mU
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Evans View Post
Wow, 1:49.....holy

I'm still thinking about what you've posed up above. It's a good question.
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