Month: November 2014

CrossFit 204-KK Ring Row-Square
In a ring row, work to pull the rings deep into your armpits. From there, a muscle-up is right around the corner.
In a ring row, work to pull the rings deep into your armpits. From there, a muscle-up is right around the corner.

3-minute stations with 1 minute rest between:

Rowing

10 wall-balls + 6 push-ups

6-mat shuttle sprints with 2 burpees every two lengths

5 ring rows + 10 sit-ups

Skills

Gymnasty

16 minutes of:

Odd minutes: Row 10 calories

Even minutes: 10 burpees

Wanda moving with impressive speed and aggression!
Wanda moving with impressive speed and aggression!

As we come to the end of November, it’s worth mentioning why we’ve been focusing on Olympic lifting in the last months.

Obviously, we want you to get better at lifting—but why?

Few people in our gym compete in Olympic weightlifting, though I expect that to change soon. But at present, we aren’t trying to produce top lifters. Instead, we’re using the lifts to improve athletic attributes from flexibility and agility to strength and power.

The snatch and clean and jerk are simply tools we can use to make you more athletic. If you evaluate Olympic lifters, you’ll find they are very flexible, incredibly agile, unbelievably powerful and tremendously strong. They’re also fast and precise. All these attributes combine to produce a high level of athleticism.

Here’s what Bill Starr had to say in the CrossFit Journal article “Improving the Full Snatch”:

“As the athlete becomes more adept in doing full snatches, the skills needed to do the lift correctly and with demanding poundages are instantly converted to every sport under the sun. An often-overlooked reason for including a high-skill exercise into every athlete’s routine is the fact that it requires extreme mental focus and the nervous system is stimulated to a greater extent than when a less-dynamic exercise is done.”

All that is true. Learning to snatch is tough, and when we see an athlete improve, we know very quickly that he or she is coachable and now possesses a host of athletic attributes that will be an asset in sport or life.

Of course, Olympic lifters are not known for their conditioning. They train for very short efforts and place very little emphasis on stamina, as their sport doesn’t demand a lot from the aerobic system. With CrossFit, we combine heavy Olympic lifting with a lot of conditioning to ensure your strength, power and endurance improve.

While some will say it’s foolish to attempt this, we have years of evidence to the contrary. We’ve seen our lifters get stronger and improve cardiovascular endurance at the same time.

On our recent 1RM snatch day, it was inspiring to see a host of PRs, but it was more inspiring to see increased overall athleticism in all of our members. When I watched a line of lifters on Nov. 24, it was clear that they all knew how to move. Some were better than others, of course, but in general we have an impressive and constantly improving baseline level of competence—and that’s a beautiful thing.

The best part is that we could take those competent Olympic lifters and have them run 5 km. Or we could have them row 2 km. Or we could put them in a powerlifting competition. Or a fitness competition. Or we could put them in a back yard and have them dig a hole for a fence post—and then 20 more.

In short, we have a solid collection of athletes, and Olympic lifting is at least partially responsible—as are running, rowing, gymnastics, powerlifting and so on.

Coming up in December, you’ll see another small shift in emphasis, but you’ll still see the snatch and clean and jerk on a regular basis. Keep working on them and your athleticism will continue to improve.

Paige Zaporzan of Live It UP 4 Life speaks to our athletes at her nutrition seminar on Nov. 22.
Paige Zaporzan of Live It UP 4 Life speaks to our athletes at her nutrition seminar on Nov. 22.

Front squat 4-4-4-4-4

Romanian deadlifts or good mornings 12-12-12-12

Skills

Part 1

Amass 50 handstand push-ups while performing 20 double-unders every minute on the minute.

The workout starts with 20 double-unders, and then you have the rest of Minute 0 to work on HSPU.

Part 2

3 rounds of:

2 legless rope climbs (no jump)

Row 250 meters