Last week I wrote about what happens when a protege begins to stretch beyond the need of a mentor. I am not that protege. In fact I am so desperately in need of mentors, the only member of the gym who cannot mentor me is Charlie the Chihuahua.
In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to catch a few sessions at Open Gym on the weekend. I have been trying to increase my proficiency with Power Cleans or Hang Cleans. Geez, any Cleans will do. I have capped my lifts at 120#. Why? Because I am not executing good form; I am simply muscling the bar into position and I can no longer fake it with more weight.
This is the same problem I was having during the CrossFit Open. I was severely rebuked by another self-appointed mentor at that time. (By the way, I do not mind self-appointed mentors. The only criteria is that they know more than me and they chastise/encourage me in a respectful fashion. Thus far, they all have. Thank You very much, one and all.) So here I am a few months later and I’m still pathetic at Cleans. So what to do?
Well I decided to just keep persevering until I get it right. So today I just plodded along at Open Gym and hit my wall, the max weight of 120 pounds at which point I was crashing the bar and thrashing my body. Andrew had been chatting with someone when he observed what I was doing. So he interrupted his conversation to inform me where my form was off.
Then from across the room, Melissa observed another flaw and she kindly offerred her two cents. Then Nate, who was at another place in the room, offered yet a third opinion.
- I am bending my elbows out during the lift
- I am not exploding back into full extension, to force the bar out from my hips
- I had my arms turned the wrong way on the bar
- My feet were too close together
- I am not getting my elbows high enough
- I am not getting under the bar
I think it is fair to say about the only thing I was doing correctly was showing up with an attitude that was receptive to receiving constructive criticism.
The old adage “Practice makes Perfect” is a fallacy. Practicing things badly will never make you better at anything. The truth is that only “Perfect Practice makes Perfect!” So I am starting over. I have hit the reset button. I am “Rebooting” my Power Cleans. My former 120#PR is henceforth declared null and void until I learn to lift 95# with good form.