Get Out Of Your Way (Thu 5/6/10)

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When it comes to mechanics and efficiency, your body has an innate ability to find an easier way to accomplish a task than the way you may be attempting to do it. This seems to be especially true for movements you may not have ever really (consciously) attempted before, like Olympic Lifts, for example. I will tell you to deadlift the bar to *here*, then jump with your arms straight, and then land in *this* position and everything will be fine. But your brain goes into overdrive analyzing the 9,523 things that you think should happen to get from point A to point B and somewhere along the way you add things that don’t have anything to do with deadlift-jump-land like *this*, and your lift ends up looking and feeling like you’re having a seizure. This is the physical manifestation of “analysis paralysis”, and it will destroy good movement every single time.

The best way to learn proper mechanics is to take your head out of it and relax. The full movement may appear daunting and complicated (and at some level it certainly is), but that’s why we have progressions. Progressions are broken down simple steps that, when strung together, will result in the entire movement. The key is to trust the progressions you’re being taught, and to avoid adding your own ideas of what must need to happen in order to complete the movement.

In the Olympic Lift example above, there is not a person at the gym who cannot do each of those three things. Deadlift. Jump. Land like *this*. That’s all. It really is that simple – I promise. But make sure that you’re executing each step with 100% focus on that step. When you’re supposed to do a deadlift, do a real deadlift. No ripping the bar off the floor, no rounded back, no pushing with your toes – just a deadlift. (If you’re having problems executing the deadlift, then we need to practice your deadlift and not an Olympic Lift). When it’s time to jump, just jump. Leaning back really fast isn’t a jump, nor is making your feet leave the ground momentarily while your body is still bent over. Just jump. And when it’s time to land like *this*, then land like *this* – not kind of like (or even close to) *this*, EXACTLY like *this*.

Also remember that in every progression we teach, each step must be performed without trepidation or hesitation, and that the success of each step is dependent on the full execution and completion of the preceding step. In other words, don’t start your jump until you’re done with the deadlift, and don’t start to land before you jump. Do the steps in order, and do ALL of one before you begin the next. Deadlift. Jump. Land like *this*. No problem, coach.

When your head gets in the way for whatever reason and you add stuff that wasn’t in the progression, you run into trouble. Relax and trust that the progression will teach you the movement, and you’ll be able to move a larger load a longer distance faster and easier than ever before.


Deadlift 5-5-3-3
(since we didn’t get a chance to do deadlifts yesterday…)

As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:

3 Muscle-Ups
7 Burpees
10 Walking Lunges


10 Turkish Get-Ups (5 each side)
10 Windmills (5 each side)

  • Mark.B

    Like so many things, I just got to get my head out of the way. Although my wife tells me I have to get my head out of my a**.