I have been following CFFB for 15 months and can’t begin to describe the rapid success I’ve had with your program. My power clean has increased more than 100 lbs, my squat has gone up 70 lbs, my bench is up 25 lbs, and my deadlift is up about 120 lbs since I first started. I began this program because for the first time in my life at the age of 25 I had a rare opportunity to play organized football and I figured this would be a good place to start. Last year was a little uncomfortable as you can well imagine. (I think I felt like my arm fell off the first time I hit someone, because I had poor form.) This year, when I returned for my first practice, everyone remarked to me that I was noticeably bigger, but just as fast, if not faster. I simply said, “CrossFit Football…all year.” I earned the starting job at safety, and when given the chance, I was unafraid to take down the biggest guys on the other side of the ball. I can only thank you for that.
I especially appreciated the TTMJ article on neck development and injury prevention. I have thrown in neck work and face pulls at the end of the week to strengthen those muscles as the article suggested. But even before I did that, I noticed that the biggest improvements in my body size came in the areas of the upper back, traps, and neck.
My question is: Is this the particular targeted development that the program strives for, or is this what any program worth its salt would do to a human body? Either way, my actual physical appearance looks 10x better and I’ve noticed my body’s ability to withstand shock is far superior than it was before. After our first game I was barely sore in my upper back and traps. Once again, thanks to you.
Also, are there any good resources I should consult, or any exercises or drills I can do to improve my hitting form? I’ve never had any formal coaching in this area and I’m sure you would be able to give good advice on this subject.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get any action shots from this week’s game, and I had to give up my spot on the team to go back to school, but once the semester is out, I plan on returning. As soon as I do, I’ll be sure to get some pictures to you.
Benjamin M. aka “bjmilhouse”
The program is designed to increase strength and lean body mass. We just so happen to do a ton of pulling and a lot of movements with the bar on our backs. This tends to lead to increased muscular development in the shoulders, upper back and traps. The shock absorbers for the neck are the traps and shoulders and without a strong base of support for your neck you will never be able to hit with your head. And as you figured out, that 8 lbs hard plastic shell is a pretty lethal weapon…and all this time you just thought it was a cool place to attach your mouthpiece.
If you are interested in learning to hit from the safety position you need to search out one man.
I played with #45, Timmy Hauck, in Philadelphia from 1999-2001. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, he was the guy who ended Michael Irvin’s career with a spinal cord injury (see picture above).
My first mini camp in 1999, I am lined up at left tackle and during 11 on 11 pass drill, this missile of white light blitzes the B gap. I see it coming and step down to knock him out and am met with the hardest hit of my football career. Timmy played the game the way it should be played, he hit like a 180 lbs sledgehammer. And for those of that train at my gym you know what a 20 pounder feels like.
He has now moved up in the world and is the assistant secondary coach for Tennessee Titans. Try to contact him and get some coaching, as I know he doesn’t have much to do with this being a lockout year. Tell him you’re a friend of Welbourn’s and he still owes me a drink at Downey’s.