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August 28, 2013


August 28, 2013


My final post on weightlifting will be a catch-all sort of topic, from form to rules at CFVB.

1. Master the set-up. Point blank: there is no excuse for a bad set-up. The bar isn’t yet moving and you have time to think about your placement. Know your grip width, make contact with the bar, know where your feet are to be placed, set your back, envision the perfect lift.

2. Use a hook grip. Again, there is no excuse for not using it. Yes, it’s awkward/uncomfortable at first, but it’s the correct way to grip the bar for the clean and the snatch. Get used to it. It will allow you to lift more.
hook grip

3. Warm up with bar. Every elilte lifter begins his or her warm up with an empty bar and you should, too. It gets your central nervous system going, warms up your muscles and allows you to practice the correct bar path at a light weight so that it becomes second nature.

4. Warm up from the top down. That means: when warming up for the snatch and clean, start with the bar at your hip, then go to a hang, then to mid-shin (as if plates were on the bar). Practice perfect bar path.

5. Learn what “below parallel” feels like. Get your hip crease below your knee when squatting and performing full cleans and snatches. This is a basic concept that also transfers over to exercises like wall balls. Again, there is no excuse not to know what a full squat feels like.

6. The clean & jerk is two movements. During the technique portion of our workouts, clean the bar, then reset for the jerk. Don’t just rush/thruster into it.

7. The jerk requires a shallow dip and a powerful drive. If you dip so deeply that you are essentially doing a ¼ squat, you have all that distance to travel back up to full extension with heavy weight. You lose speed and power. So, slightly bend your knees, keep your chest up and drive that bar into the ceiling before pressing your body under the bar to catch it!

Slow motion C&J at 200kg (440 lbs)

8. If your lift is ugly, don’t go up in weight. In fact, go down and work your way back up. If your jerk looks a mess at 135#, it’s going to look worse at 155#. It takes thousands of GOOD reps to build a pattern. So, practicing at a weight that’s challenging, but still allows you to maintain good technique will benefit you. Conversely, working at weights where your form sucks will just continue to ingrain that bad movement pattern and you won’t progress.

9. If your lifts look darn-near flawless, challenge yourself by adding weight. It’s OK to fail a lift.

10. Stick to the percentages that are programmed. You shouldn’t be PRing when we are asking you to work at 70-80%. Every day isn’t a max lift day and working within these percentages will get you moving well at sub-maximal weight (i.e. forming good habits).

– Show up on time
– Write your name on board
– Ask questions
– Record your lifts in a notebook, folder or on our virtual whiteboard – track your progress!
– Use your smart phone to video your lifts. Seeing yourself can be very beneficial and your coaches can review and give feedback, too.

I know this was a lot of information over the past few days, so please don’t hesitate to ask us questions! Again, thanks for reading and taking all of our advice to heart.


Workout of the Day
5×1 hang power Snatch+ 1 power snatch

Clock will run for 6:30…
AMRAP in 2.5 minutes: SNATCH 165/105
30-second rest/weight change
AMRAP in 1.5 minutes: SNATCH 185/115
30-second rest/get to rower
1.5 minutes: row as many meters as possible
– score total pounds lifted + meters rowed

Midline – 3 sets of:
10 ball slams -OR- 10 GHD sit-ups BALL SLAM DEMO
10 tempo back/hip extensions (3-count)

NOTE OUR LABOR DAY SCHEDULE: Monday, September 2 we will hold classes at 8 and 9 AM and NOON ONLY!

1 Response

  1. joePT

    Thanks for all this great info, Wendy. I’ve been doing crossfit with CFVB since February, 2010 and I still need to remind myself of these cues and techniques that are important, effective and safe. Our sport has so many elements and has a very steep learning curve, but consistency in effort coupled with a great attitude is what makes a top level CrossFitter and we have box full of you guys. We are forging elite fitness after all. As your coaches all we ask is that you learn the lingo, adapt the etiquette and leave your ego at home.

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