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Working Weaknesses by Mikko Salo and Heather Bergeron - CrossFit Journal

Working Weaknesses

By Mikko Salo and Heather Bergeron

In Athletes, CrossFit, Videos

April 02, 2011

Video Article

On his cross-country tour, Mikko Salo spent time at Reebok World Headquarters in Canton, Mass. Heather Bergeron, a coach at Reebok CrossFit One and CrossFit New England, joined him to talk about their training in preparation for the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Salo said the 2010 CrossFit Games were “an eye-opening experience” that had a great effect on his training. According to Salo, he’s actually glad he didn’t come closer to the podium because it gave him the motivation to focus on his weaknesses and get better. He’s currently concentrating his efforts on improving his gymnastics abilities.

“I have increased my strength levels, and my met-cons are getting better, so I’m doing something right,” Salo says. “Skill training is the thing we have now added to my training.”

While Salo says he follows some met-cons on the main site, he mostly programs his own training. By contrast, Bergeron says she’s trying to follow the main-site programming as much as possible but adds supplemental work to her regimen. Both competitors are trying to improve their gymnastics skills, especially handstand walking.

“It’s just a fun thing to train,” Bergeron says. “So if I’m in the gym and I don’t know what to do and I’m just trying to kill time, I start walking on my hands. It’s just fun.”

6min 01sec

Additional reading: Volume Training for “Goats” by Brian Wilson, published Feb. 14, 2011.

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10 Comments on “Working Weaknesses”


wrote …

Everyone has things they don't wanna see come outta the hopper. Not many people chase those things and beat them into submission the way they should. My money is betting that Heather and Mikko are both beating the living bajeezus out of their goats. They are too smart not to.


wrote …

haha miko has no weaknesses!


wrote …

Can't believe Mikko Just casually mentions he did 27 rounds of cindy with 90 push presses in 20


wrote …

what erik you cant do that? pfft....



replied to comment from Simon Damborg

Simon, I almost just spit water all over my computer!


wrote …

I'd be interested to look at what percentages the gymnastic, mononstructural and weightlifting elements come up in the programming for both the mainsite and the games workouts because even if with constance variance it should equal out to 1/3 for each unless there is a pro-rated factor involved. In the same token though, I think that for most the gymnastics component would be their weakness especially with the increase in complexity in that area from hspu to ring handstand pushups to handstand walk in recent memory (jason khalipa back flip video is that a possible precursor for a new movement, carl paoli free hand stand push ups the new standard?) but yet you don't hear about people doing extra gymnastics programming (comparative to added strength training programming).

Just thoughts to ponder.


Dustin Kreidler wrote …

@Brian, we might see that changing now that the Gymnastics WoD is up and running every day. It definitely allows that body weight, skill-based set of exercises a more prominent role. And for those of us who suck at them (me me ME!), its a breath of fresh air. I just wish I had more of the equipment at hand.


wrote …

got a kick out of the reebok exec being towel boy for mikko

@brian - tucker has been talking about this for some time at his certs, that we as a community have adopted these "strength" bias programming, but not so much focus on gymnastics. Perhaps this is because its "easier". There are programming templates out there that work for adding strength as measured by the barbell (cf, cfsb, westside, ss). But is there an equivalent set of straight forward templates/programs for gymnastics progressions that are as easy to follow/implement across affiliates? Honestly, I can't really name one.


wrote …

I think one of the big things that presents a problem in gymnastics (for me)is overcoming fear. I see little kids that are fearless when it comes to throwing their body around and trying gymnastic movements but I struggle with the basics (i.e. free handstands and bailing out of one) but in the same token I believe the kinisthetic awareness that gynmastics develops is a critical part of training.

If you think about it when you play any sport (besides power and oly lifting) you are not carrying around a bar but you are moving (hurtling, tumbling, jumping, landing in awkward positions, etc...) your body through space yet still strength training takes a precedent in most affiliates despite the fact that most newbies can make impressive strength gains without the addition of heavy weights (increased neuromuscular efficiency being the reason). I think basic gymnastics and/or parkour progressions are essential especially if you talk about a transfer effect over into whatever sport you play.


wrote …

@ Eric - I could see how gymnastic bias programs could be harder to find, I havent really seen much other than Mr Tucker's vids and Carl Paoli.
I am most likely wrong, but maybe someone with more gymnastics experience could help me out. Could the focus on strength also be that their is a more evident crossover to the Crossfit Gymnastics movments than vice versa? Lots of holes on that thesis but let me explain. I focused on my shoulder to overhead b/c I suck at it. It moved over to HSPU, and since you can kip, be on a wall, etc I was able to muscle through it thx to increased shoulder strength. Hollwo body position, correct mechanics would make it easier for sure, but I got shored up one weakness and it secondarily helped another. With pisolts, I just mobilized the hell out of myself which made me better at everything, and made pistols easier. Basically, there were easier things to train that crossed over to the gymnastics side, but not necessarily the other way. Again, lot of holes there - does it sound feasible?

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