Getting more Bang for your Buck

Good bar path, hips forward, elbows up, elbows back, knees out, knees back, stay tight, big breath, finish the pull, keep the bar close, beat the bar down, hook grip, stripper butt, “LIGHTWEIGHT RONNIE”, and don’t forget… prison butt.

These are a few of the queues you may have heard while training at the gym. What does it all mean? For me, it means safety. It means efficiency. It means leaving the gym with a smile on your face instead of an ice pack on your back. Our responsibilities as coaches/trainers are to ensure you are performing movements properly and efficiently to avoid injury. We are always learning from other coaches and athletes with more experience than us who may have different ways of teaching a lift or a movement. It will never end and we will always have room for improvement. It’s what we must do to give you the services that you pay for in your monthly dues. Our job is much more than starting the timer and yelling at you to go faster in a MetCon. We’ll leave the Tony Little stuff for the Shopping Channel.

Check out the difference between Chris Spealler’s snatches, which must be as close to perfect as possible due to his size and weight, and Jason Khalipa’s snatches, which he struggles with a lot, most likely due to being used to just muscling though them – start the video at the 10 minute mark.

It’s not rocket surgery to figure out that proper lifting techniques can and often breakdown during metabolic conditioning. That being said, it is always a good idea to take some time before picking up a barbell to ensure your form is proper or to have the confidence to make it to the top of the 24” box. Your back and shins will thank you for it! If you’ve ever watched Jubba work out, you know what I’m talking about. Even though he doesn’t really ever seem to get tired, his form is dialed in no matter what the movements are. He takes pride in performing movements efficiently and safely. He never sacrifices technique for speed.  Please keep this in mind during this year’s CrossFit Open. Many of you will surprise yourselves in terms of how well you will score with a gym full of people cheering you on, but remember that intensity should not equal recklessness. I remember how wrecked my back was after 13.2 with arched push presses, rounded deadlifts and lazy box jumps. The extra handful of reps was definitely not worth the epic rise up the leader board to 15000th in the world. Whether you’re training for the Open or you’ve just recently joined the gym, remember the poster displaying the gym’s “rules”. One of the most important rules listed is: “Leave your ego at the door”. Don’t be afraid, ashamed or feel inferior for scaling a workout. This is especially important when there is an Olympic lift in the WOD. Remember that weightlifting is a sport of its own and going “Light and Right” in a workout is encouraged, especially when many repetitions of the lifts are prescribed in the workout. An ugly lift will not improve by adding weight to the bar.

I apologize if this sounds like a rant, but I just feel terrible and blame myself when a member gets injured on my watch. This is supposed to be healthy and it’s our responsibility to ensure everyone’s moving properly and safely. The goal at CrossFit Sudbury is simple, to have fun and help you get fit so you can kick ass while doing the things you love in everyday life. I do CrossFit to help me do my job properly, to paddle a canoe and portage my camping gear for a weekend. It allows me to back check at hockey if ever… well… the day comes that I actually feel like back checking at hockey. It helps me get more bang for my buck when I go to the ski hill and can snowboard all day without feeling completely wrecked the following day. It just helps make life easier. Whatever your hobbies may be, we as coaches do our best to have this in mind when you come in for your workout. To those with children, nieces and nephews, we want you to be the role model for these kids when it comes time for them to make decisions that will affect their health and fitness levels. We also want you to be able to kick their asses in whatever sport or activity you play with them for as long as Father Time will allow!


With that being said, there is 4 weeks remaining before the 14.1 announcement and the beginning of the Open, let’s remember the movement standards and work out as if every rep were being judged. Not only will this help when the actual judging begins, but full range of motion has its obvious benefits for our overall health and performance.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys in the gym!


1 reply
  1. Chris Ball says:

    Great post Eric. It’s so important to be mindful while working out. The best athletes in the world are able to remain focused on executing perfect movements.

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