T Nation

A weak Crossfitter


#1

Alex Vigneault hit a PR clean this morning, 2 weeks before the Crossfit Games. Now time to deload the heavy work and peak his capacity.

370lbs clean at 205lbs... not too bad!


#2

Those Vigneault pieces always make my day!
He makes me think of Digimon (kids series) in some way: you don’t get to now so much about him (not enough!), but if you do find out something about him, it’s raining superlatives!


#3

[quote]Panopticum wrote:
Those Vigneault pieces always make my day!
He makes me think of Digimon (kids series) in some way: you don’t get to now so much about him (not enough!), but if you do find out something about him, it’s raining superlatives![/quote]

My prediction is that after this year’s Crossfit Games you’ll hear a lot more about him


#4

Crossfit smack talk;) me gusta


#5

Based on his age, performance at regionals, coaching I would expect to see more of him as well. He’s obviously gifted and an incredibly hard worker. Do you see a ceiling for him?

Seeing how much his snatch improved in a year’s time has led me to seek out an o-lift coach in hopes of big gains (would be happy with half of his improvement)… Didn’t realize such gains were possible in such a short time frame.


#6

[quote]OUBobcatLifter wrote:
Based on his age, performance at regionals, coaching I would expect to see more of him as well. He’s obviously gifted and an incredibly hard worker. Do you see a ceiling for him?

Seeing how much his snatch improved in a year’s time has led me to seek out an o-lift coach in hopes of big gains (would be happy with half of his improvement)… Didn’t realize such gains were possible in such a short time frame. [/quote]

Well to be honest he had ample strength to snatch 280, clean 370 and jerk 350 (which he is doing at the moment). He has good body control and is very detail-oriented. He just needed to be stirred in the right direction technique-wise. And honestly the technique changes we made were minor but made a huge difference.

His jerk went from 315 x 1 to 350 x 1 in one week, just from correcting 2 details (he had been stuck at 315 for a year). His clean went from 350 to 370 without even training the clean heavy for 12 weeks, mostly from working on his front squat form.

He was always a strong puller, could deadlift in the high 500s before he started doing crossfit.

He now needs to get his squatting strength up for next year as it is his limiting factor. He cleans 370 with a 375 front squat and a 455 back squat. The goal for next January will be a 500lbs back squat and 425lbs front squat with perfect, smooth form. That should give him a 400-405lbs clean, which is the goal. Jerk I would be happy with 375-380 by February and hopefully 400 by may/june.

He had nagging patellar tendonitis that prevented him from squatting heavy, so we changed his form. He now squats with zero pain so we will be able to push his squat up next season.

He is a true training mind and would make an amazing coach if he were not such a great athlete!!!

He his a hard worker but also has good genetics… his brother is 17 and can snatch 225 and clean & jerk 285 with hardly a muscle on his body!!!

But his strongest asset is his mind. The guy is Cool Hands Luke… never saw him stressed out or get emotional. He is a robot. He doesn’t fear or feel pain. The only small worry I have about the Games is getting him used to performing in the heat.


#7

As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks.


#8

[quote]ride85 wrote:
As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks. [/quote]

  1. Widen his stance a bit

  2. Focus on pushing the knees out when going down (and back up)

  3. Sitting back more

The last two elements reduces the forward movement of the knee which puts less stress on the patellar tendon.

Then we worked on getting out of the hole better. He tended to use a (slight) bounce and when he did the knees traveled forward to stretch the quads and use the stretch reflex of the quads to bounce up. We focused on paused squats, and initiating the movement up without the knees going forward. When that was established we started normal squatting (no pause but no bounce either) still focusing on keeping the knees out and avoiding forward movement.


#9

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ride85 wrote:
As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks. [/quote]

  1. Widen his stance a bit

  2. Focus on pushing the knees out when going down (and back up)

  3. Sitting back more

The last two elements reduces the forward movement of the knee which puts less stress on the patellar tendon.

Then we worked on getting out of the hole better. He tended to use a (slight) bounce and when he did the knees traveled forward to stretch the quads and use the stretch reflex of the quads to bounce up. We focused on paused squats, and initiating the movement up without the knees going forward. When that was established we started normal squatting (no pause but no bounce either) still focusing on keeping the knees out and avoiding forward movement.[/quote]
dont forget the patellar straps


#10

[quote]domcib wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ride85 wrote:
As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks. [/quote]

  1. Widen his stance a bit

  2. Focus on pushing the knees out when going down (and back up)

  3. Sitting back more

The last two elements reduces the forward movement of the knee which puts less stress on the patellar tendon.

Then we worked on getting out of the hole better. He tended to use a (slight) bounce and when he did the knees traveled forward to stretch the quads and use the stretch reflex of the quads to bounce up. We focused on paused squats, and initiating the movement up without the knees going forward. When that was established we started normal squatting (no pause but no bounce either) still focusing on keeping the knees out and avoiding forward movement.[/quote]
dont forget the patellar straps[/quote]

Actually he didn’t even have to use them


#11

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ride85 wrote:
As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks. [/quote]

  1. Widen his stance a bit

  2. Focus on pushing the knees out when going down (and back up)

  3. Sitting back more

The last two elements reduces the forward movement of the knee which puts less stress on the patellar tendon.

Then we worked on getting out of the hole better. He tended to use a (slight) bounce and when he did the knees traveled forward to stretch the quads and use the stretch reflex of the quads to bounce up. We focused on paused squats, and initiating the movement up without the knees going forward. When that was established we started normal squatting (no pause but no bounce either) still focusing on keeping the knees out and avoiding forward movement.[/quote]
This is exactly what I did to fix my knee issue. What especially helped is some videos by Aleksey Torokhtiy, where he always says push pelvis back, knees out. Not only on the squat but he also mentions this on the snatch and clean from the hang: pelvis back, knees out.


#12

[quote]domcib wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ride85 wrote:
As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks. [/quote]

  1. Widen his stance a bit

  2. Focus on pushing the knees out when going down (and back up)

  3. Sitting back more

The last two elements reduces the forward movement of the knee which puts less stress on the patellar tendon.

Then we worked on getting out of the hole better. He tended to use a (slight) bounce and when he did the knees traveled forward to stretch the quads and use the stretch reflex of the quads to bounce up. We focused on paused squats, and initiating the movement up without the knees going forward. When that was established we started normal squatting (no pause but no bounce either) still focusing on keeping the knees out and avoiding forward movement.[/quote]
dont forget the patellar straps[/quote]
those never did anything for me.


#13

[quote]PB Andy wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ride85 wrote:
As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks. [/quote]

  1. Widen his stance a bit

  2. Focus on pushing the knees out when going down (and back up)

  3. Sitting back more

The last two elements reduces the forward movement of the knee which puts less stress on the patellar tendon.

Then we worked on getting out of the hole better. He tended to use a (slight) bounce and when he did the knees traveled forward to stretch the quads and use the stretch reflex of the quads to bounce up. We focused on paused squats, and initiating the movement up without the knees going forward. When that was established we started normal squatting (no pause but no bounce either) still focusing on keeping the knees out and avoiding forward movement.[/quote]
This is exactly what I did to fix my knee issue. What especially helped is some videos by Aleksey Torokhtiy, where he always says push pelvis back, knees out. Not only on the squat but he also mentions this on the snatch and clean from the hang: pelvis back, knees out.

I think that out of all the “weightlifting competitors now doing videos and seminars” Torokhty is by far the best teacher. Sad he doesn’t get as much visibility as Klokov.


#14

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]PB Andy wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ride85 wrote:
As someone who also deals with patellar tendonitis may I ask what form changes seemed to help your client squat pain free? Sounds like he’s really making some good strength gains with the form tweaks. [/quote]

  1. Widen his stance a bit

  2. Focus on pushing the knees out when going down (and back up)

  3. Sitting back more

The last two elements reduces the forward movement of the knee which puts less stress on the patellar tendon.

Then we worked on getting out of the hole better. He tended to use a (slight) bounce and when he did the knees traveled forward to stretch the quads and use the stretch reflex of the quads to bounce up. We focused on paused squats, and initiating the movement up without the knees going forward. When that was established we started normal squatting (no pause but no bounce either) still focusing on keeping the knees out and avoiding forward movement.[/quote]
This is exactly what I did to fix my knee issue. What especially helped is some videos by Aleksey Torokhtiy, where he always says push pelvis back, knees out. Not only on the squat but he also mentions this on the snatch and clean from the hang: pelvis back, knees out.

I think that out of all the “weightlifting competitors now doing videos and seminars” Torokhty is by far the best teacher. Sad he doesn’t get as much visibility as Klokov.
[/quote]

For sure but I know he is gaining steam. He is doing a seminar with Cal Strength soon.


#15

Do the crossfit games athletes have periods where they work on max strength and then periods where they build conditioning/skills or are they attempting both concurrently?


#16

[quote]casperthegst wrote:
Do the crossfit games athletes have periods where they work on max strength and then periods where they build conditioning/skills or are they attempting both concurrently?[/quote]

It depends on the athlete.

For with Alex we develop strength, skill and capacity concurrently. He has already a very high level of both and an amazing recovery capacity.

Ben Hebert and Jessica Cote-Beaudoin (two regional level athlete I work with) have periods where they do “mostly” strength/power work. Ben even does some bodybuilding since he needs to get bigger (he is a former cross-country skier).

After the Games, Carol-Ann Reason will be doing a period where she only does explosive and heavy work, mostly explosive work since she has an amazing motor but needs to gain power.

But as a rule of thumb they do not stop doing metabolic conditioning or WODs during the year. But they can reduce the amount to better develop strength.