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Improving Your Weaknesses: Eccentric, Static, and Concentric Training

We all have weaknesses! It’s what we do with our weaknesses that determines our fitness level. Are you the type of person who chalks it up to “I can’t do that and will never be able to do it, so why bother?” Or do you attack your weaknesses and practice them until they are your strengths?

Warning: do not practice accuracy through static holds

Imagine all the different movements, exercises, and skills that make up functional movements and sport. This can be anything from double unders and pull ups, to running a marathon or squatting 2x body weight. If you look at CrossFit’s 10 General Physical Skills, there’s thousands of movements and skills that we can draw from and add to our list of strengths.

Your weaknesses are most likely the things that you hate seeing when you come to the gym! If you want to increase your fitness, then you have to improve your weaknesses. Attack your weakness until it becomes your strength, then you’ll have a new weakness. When your new weakness becomes a strength, then your fitness as a whole has increased. Don’t worry about your fitness level stalling out. There will always be something we suck at!

Depending on your weaknesses, you’ll probably need to attack these movements and skills with different game plans. If your goal is to improve your overall strength, then developing a strength program and spending your time on those lifts is most likely the way to conquer this goal. A common goal on our goal board each month is double unders. Double unders is considered a skill and doesn’t require strength gains to master them. A few coaching cues and a whole lot of practice will generally improve this dreaded movement.

A common way to learn a lot of movements and skills in the gym is through the negative. If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ve probably experienced Eccentric strength days; we also drill pull up negatives on a weekly bases. This is the first way to develop strength and body awareness in a multitude of movements. We can drill the eccentric movement patterns for most movements and skills.

Once we gain strength and body awareness from eccentric training, we can continue to improve strength and stability through Static training. We do a lot of core work such as planks and L-sits in static positions. We also did a partner WOD a few week’s ago where the non working partner held a static hold similar to the movement their counterpart was performing. I think it’s safe to say that most of us were surprised by how painful those V-sits and squat holds were It may have been the first time in NoCoast history that people were bagging to be the “working” partner!

Developing strength in the eccentric and static positions, ultimately leads to stronger Concentric movement. Concentric movement is what the majority of our training consists of. Pull up negatives are the eccentric part of the movement. Chin over bar holds is the static part of the pull up, and the actual pull up from the bottom position is the concentric piece of the movement.

If you struggle with any concentric movements or skills that we do at the gym, consider attacking your weaknesses by taking a step back and perfecting the eccentric and static positions. Continue to attack your weaknesses and you’ll continue to increase your fitness!

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