Friday, January 21, 2011
Coaching the lifts to CrossFit Phenom - Annie Thorisdottir
Coach Ivan Rojas and I traveled to Iceland this week, where Ivan gave seminars on Olympic Weightlifting. At CrossFit Bootcamp, we met up with Annie Thorisdottir, the number 2 CrossFitter in the World. With Ivan providing technical adjustments, Annie was already hitting bigger wieghts (litterally, in the first hour of working with Ivan).
First, lets talk a little bit about this extraordinary athlete, Annie Thorisdottir:
Annie is about 5'7" and ripped to shreds. She really looks like some sort of superwoman, with a 6 pack abs and great kinestetic intelligence to match. Strong legs (weightlifters always look for leg strength, its just brainwashed into us)
Annie started CrossFitting shortly before the 2009 sectionals. In just months of starting, she went on to place 11th at the CrossFit Games. She noted that when she encountered a muscle-up for the first time in the competition, she had no idea what it was and managed to learn it in just minutes.
As you might have guessed, with a year of training, she improved her placing at the CrossFit Games to 2nd in 2010.
So, you may be asking how is this story possible? Well, upon further probing, Annie mentioned she was on the Icelandic National Gymnastics Team (ah ha!). Once again, years of hard work translated to success in CrossFit. I am sure she will continue to improve her game by improving her training.
Additionally, when we first met Annie, she had much better weightlifting technique and leg strength than the average high level CrossFitter. She used weightlifting shoes. Her snatch was also above average - 67kg full snatch. But, her clean was only 85Kg, despite her obvious leg strength and a rack jerk of 93kg.
Here is where Coach Ivan rojas comes in:
Immediately, Ivan saw great opportunity to improve this athlete's performance. Ivan spent a few hours working with Annie, and results were immediate. In just an hour of working hang snatches, Annie was hang snatching her PR full snatch. Ivan insightfully had Annie work hang snatches to help emphasize the finish in her pull. Ivan also worked on other minor adjustments in the clean and squat positions.
How can this will up a CrossFitter's game:
Incorrect technique is bad in several ways: 1. it slows down your WOD, it tires you out, it can injure you --either slowly with repetitive stress or in one incident.
In other words, this should shave seconds off Annie's time, while keeping her injury free and her muscles and joints working as efficiently and effectively as possible.
In summary, Annie, obviously, is kinestetically intelligent (Gardner 1983) . Her athletic awesomeness is the product of work and training. Technique is what separates you at the very top - so train smart!!
Gardner, H. (1983) Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Basic Books, New York.
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