Thursday – 102110 – Run, Clean, Sit-up…

Up, up, and away!

Warm-up (= or < 7 Minutes):

3 Rounds: (All with stripped BB)
5 Front squat
5 Hang Power-clean
5 Hang Power-clean — ride down into the hole
5 Clean

WOD:

400 M Run
21 Clean
42 Sit-ups
400 M Run
15 Clean
30 Sit-ups
400 M Run
9 Clean
18 Sit-ups

The prescription for the cleans is 95 lbs. for men, and 65 lbs. for women. As per usual, however, scale to an appropriate weight to maintain pace and intensity throughout the entire WOD.

Performance tip for 10/21/10:

Traditionally, we focus more and more on efficiency and mechanics as weights increase. As Olympic lifters, getting stronger and successfully completing bigger and bigger snatches, cleans, and jerks is our number one goal. But we’re CrossFittters, first and foremost, and in this arena, things are a little different. Let me explain.

Today’s WOD contains a fairly high dosage of cleans – of course, as you are all aware, a clean starts on the floor, is received in the hole (at the very bottom of a front squat), and ends back in the standing position. With a large load, it is essential that we are fast and aggressive throughout the entire lift, leaving no potential power underutilized. But that’s when we’re talking about a range anywhere from 90% of our 1RM to a PR attempt. At this point, many of our athletes have the strength, timing and power in their second pull to send a 95 lb./65 lb. barbell flying through the window. So here’s my point, since we always recruit big muscles first – remember, CORE TO EXTREMITY MUSCLE RECRUITMENT PATTERNS – and since we can get the bar high enough with just our hips, do you suppose there’s any real need for us to use our arms… at all?

I remember being 13 years old at a hockey camp in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, when one of my fellow campers asked NHL great and camp special-guest Tony Granato a question about passing. The student was curious about how hard professionals pass the puck, and alluded to thinking that every pass at that level is a rocket. Mr. Granato made a great point that day explaining that the speed of a pass is dependent on the play, if you don’t need a rocket, don’t use a rocket.

Was that a stretch? Did I lose you?

What I’m getting at is that an athlete needs to use only enough energy to complete the lift, and would be wise to save everything else for other parts of the WOD. I’ve seen many of you (Greg Brawley), take a bar that is loaded up to about 50% of your 1RM and hammer on it like it was 150%. The result is often times a sore jaw. In these cases we see timing thrown off because the bar has been launched so high that an athlete is dropping in underneath as the bar continues to progress skyward.

So here’s the tip, after pushing your knees back out of the way in the first pull from the floor up to the lower quad, think about a pop-and-drop approach to the cleans tomorrow. Take your arms (the third pull) almost completely out of the equation. Move the weight with your hips, pull only as hard and as high as needed – for fast lifters, this is about the belly-button, and relish the reserves you have in your upper body as you pump your arms on those 400 M sprints!

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