Not the kind that face down hungry trolls in fairy tales…
… but rather, the kind that trip (trap) us up, give us grief, and generally annoy the heck out of us in the gym.
As Coach Chris S. wrote in a previous blog post:
Simply put, your goat is an exercise or movement you suck at, hate, or both. There are certain movements, skills, strengths or whatever that we simply are not good at…
… [as to] why we refer to them as “goats,” I have no idea – my best guess would be that it comes from the idiom about something that “get’s my goat,” meaning something really annoys you. As in: “double unders really get my goat.” Yea, that statement would be pretty accurate.
Yep – it’s true: even our CFDC coaches have had to grapple with goats of their own. Read on below to find out more about the movements that our coaches have struggled with most – and what advice they’d offer to someone in the same boat.
I get the feeling members think I’m joking when I say it took me a good 3 years to get DUs, but it did (mostly because I did everything I could to avoid them, not to mention the rope-destroying temper-tantrums I would have when I did do them). Finally, I spent a solid hour listening to another coach calling out everything I was doing wrong as I worked on them (elbows in, hands forward, chest up, hop-don’t-tuck, etc). Who knew listening to a coach could be so useful?!
Take away: practice, practice, practice – they’re the easiest movement to work on outside of class, and it takes a brief 10min of work before/after class up to 3x a week to get better at them. Better yet, grab a friend and practice them together, one person watching while the other works!
Oh this is an easy one: Olympic lifts.
I think my clean and snatch are finally coming around (come on ankle mobility!) but my Jerk is still awful. As soon as I drive out of the dip, my core falls apart. I can probably push press more than I can jerk, haha!
The advice I tell myself, and what I would give to others, is to reset at each rep – both physically and mentally. As with anything that’s highly technical, the more you actively focus and prepare, the better you’ll perform.
Handstand walking. My Kryponite…. and Triple-unders.
It’s not uncommon to see many relatively new CrossFit athletes stuck in single-under to double-under purgatory. That’s how I’ve been with double-under to triple-under for awhile now. I can occasionally link multiple together, but more often than not it’s one at a time or a ‘trip-up fest’.
1) Don’t get discouraged. Many of the ‘skills’ in CrossFit are very foreign and difficult that most people have not attempted prior to starting CrossFit, and it takes time to develop these complex movement patterns.
2) Practice Perfect. It’s better to develop proper movement patterns initially, rather than have to break bad habits down the road.
3) Reach out to CFDC coaches for additional help. Often, different coaches have different perspectives which may provide you with other corrective cues, drills, or insight into your issues.
I still get the rope tangled in my feet. I’m not the most coordinated person so timing the rope with my jump is quite difficult for me.
Advice: keep the shoulders relaxed and focus on the rope movement coming from the wrists, not the arms and jumping higher rather than trying to spin the rope faster.
The one CrossFit movement I struggled the most with was teaching another coach how to do double-unders.
It took 3 years, including bawling after watching him finishing a competition workout of three rounds of 30 double-unders doing them one at a time, telling him he did the right thing after he gave up his spot in the finals of another competition because double-unders were called, countless times of watching ropes being thrown across the room, and finally forced to spend an hour one day to have to stand in front of him yelling when the slightest was off in his body position, rhythm, gaze, breathing until things started to click. And after that day and another couple of months of good double-under days followed by really bad double-under days, our coach finally mastered the movement. By far the hardest movement, ever.