April 2012 Oly Lift Cycle Finishes Strong.

Submitted by Coach Josh S

Phil with a strong Jerk.

This weekend marked the end of our April Olympic Lifting Strength Cycle, and every athlete who committed to the four week program posted a PR, whether measured by weight increase, technique improvement, or appreciation of the value of the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and Front Squat to functional movement and overall fitness.

Geno mvoing toward a Clean & Jerk PR.

A wide range of EAD / CFAH / CFAX athletes took part in the cycle. Some athletes followed the programming exactly as posted, some could only make it a couple times a week, and some were new to the  lifts and dedicated four weeks to perfecting form and technique. Even if you only glimpsed over or heard weights dropping during one of the Strength & Power classes, it’s likely that the cues “feet in” and “fast elbows” still echo in your head.

Overall, results were impressive. Some athletes increased weights on all lifts when compared to the baseline lifts in early April. Some athletes improved their stability and positioning in the bottom of a squat, or gained comfort catching and locking out heavy weight overhead. Some athletes corrected poor positioning and bad habits picked up before they became part of the EAD / CFAH / CFAX Community. And every athlete gained new respect for the importance of proper lifting technique, and recognized that the past four weeks just scratched the surface … Olympic lifting takes years and years to master.

Gina sets up for a Snatch.

Ultimately, the past four weeks have been part of our continuing journey — as individual athletes and and health & fitness community — to break through barriers, whether real or self-imposed. When the EAD / CFAH / CFAX performance coaches collectively look back on the April Olympic Lifting Cycle, we most remember that we issued a challenge, and each and every person who accepted the challenge stepped up and simply destroyed it.

The investment you made in yourself — the blood, sweat and tears (yes, we saw all three); time; practice; listening; accepting suggestions; working through frustration; pushing past fear; supporting each other; trusting that when we told you what you learned previously was unsafe or simply wrong; and more — contributed to an environment where we saw every athlete committed to get better than the day before. And for that, we couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of you.

John O' on his way to a PR.

We’d like your feedback. When you look back over the past four weeks, what was the biggest surprise? What made you most proud — of yourself or a fellow athlete?  If you didn’t participate in this cycle, are you considering the next cycle? What would you like to share with us about this experience? We’re ready to hear what you have to say…


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