Don’t be too hard on yourself, but definately get strict!!

We as CrossFitters have all been in a situation and still probably are where we cannot achieve a particular movement (GOAT). I wanted to share my experience of trying relentlessly over the past year to achieve the holy grail of something we know as a muscle up my so called (GOAT).Where to ...

We as CrossFitters have all been in a situation and still probably are where we cannot achieve a particular movement (GOAT). I wanted to share my experience of trying relentlessly over the past year to achieve the holy grail of something we know as a muscle up my so called (GOAT).

Francesca Palama

Where to begin? well let’s start at the beginning. I originally decided the best way for me to get a muscle up was to just try and go for it, try do one straight off, and see how close i got. In doing so i relentlessly failed and when i did manage to come a little close i ended up injuring my supraspinatus, creating a 3mm tear. I then in my wisdom decided to continue upon the road of trying to master a MU and in doing so i continually failed.

This then served to hard wire my Central Nervous System with an idea that there was a relationship between muscle up and my anterior shoulder pain. This hard wiring of the relationship between my pain and that particular movement only proved to limit my ability to get any where near achieving one.

I eventually got so upset about the movement that i refused to even do any skill work at all regarding the exercise and virtually convinced myself that i was either too old or too injured, and that i should just resign myself to the fact that i may never ever achieve a MU. Even looking at the rings made my shoulder ache (in my head anyway).

I eventually read a few articles regarding muscle up’s and read that the athlete should not try to achieve a MU unless they could at first do one using strict form.

I never really thought much about this however shortly after this i managed to squeeze onto a workshop run by the Barbarian’s.

During the workshop they made us practice pull up’s, dip’s, press-ups and hand stand push up’s with strict form never once allowing us to consider the kip.

I remember on the workshop pleading with them to allow me to kip a pull up, however they refused to let me. They insisted this was the most effective and safe way of me achieving the magic movement of the muscle up.

They also coached us on shoulder stability and scapular setting exercise, that made complete sense to me as a sports therapist.

I left the workshop and embarked upon 6-8 weeks of slow controlled strict OTMEM’s coupled with a shoulder stability warm-up including, muscle potentiation, activating of muscles prior to wodding.

To cut a long story short i managed a MU last month for the first time ever, this happened without me really trying.

I just decided after not going near the ring’s for 6 months and working really hard on strict technique to get up there and try to get one. The first attempt failed and then the second was so easy i shocked myself.

It was such an awesome feeling however felt so easy considering the fuss i had made over the skil and the pain i had associated with it.

The experience i have had personally has made me think that if at first you don’t succeed,yes do, try try again, however, do not try doing something over and over again with incorrect form thus hard wiring poor technique and pain into the CNS.

I am a believer of the saying “do what you alway’s do and you will get what you have alway’s got”.

Therfore if it aint broke don’t fix it, but if it is broken do not continue to flog a dead horse, try something else it just may work.

You have to try coming at another angle and eventually you will succeed.

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About The Author

I am a 40 yr old mother first and foremost, however i live and breathe CrossFit and CrossFit Worcestershire. I started training when i was just 13yr's old and lied about my age to take part in an exercise class at a local leisure centre. I left school with absolutely no qualifications as i was not interested in academia in any shape or form. After the usual gym background, teaching ETM and personal training etc etc i started competing in half ...

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