Firstly I want to congratulate the 2 and 1/6th teams we had compete at the Allstar Alliance finals this weekend. There were a few snatch PB’s and even a first muscle up (just missing that dip out, but we can build that strength, especially this month). I hope even if you didn’t get a PB you still gained some sort of growth from the experience. I’m sure it will only enhance your training and how you handle success and setbacks. Ultimately these competitions can make us better people, or as you probably saw from a minority of teams, worse people. It all depended on our attitude and approach. I was very proud of your approach gang, well done and again congratulations. Your attitude and approach made us proud.
What do we see in the program this week?
1- Strict gymnastic/upper body strength
This is not just a feature of the program this week but will be a theme for the month of december. The goal of the program is to build as much strength before the open. This will help us progress those movements like muscle ups, pull ups and handstand push ups, so we have the opportunity to do more of the workouts Rx. We will not be eliminating kipping work altogether but it will be used sparingly. The way we will use it is to help us get control of the kipping action by staying tighter and building strength in the muscles that protect us from injury and make us more powerful athletes.
What can you do to help capitalize on this? Approach all gymnastic work this month with the goal of getting better at the process. That means getting your shoulder in a better position rather than getting more reps or doing an option that looks better on the scoreboard but doesn’t get those lagging lat muscles stronger.
2- Olympic lifting/leg strength
We have some pause back squats to help us build that strength at the bottom of the squat. This helps us to get out of the bottom of our heavy cleans, because there’s nothing worse than thinking you just PB’d your clean by getting under the bar but then finding out you can’t make the top because your legs can’t get you out of the bottom.
Also this week we repeat the lessons of last week’s focus on the second pull of the snatch. We will be doing sets of hang power snatch. This eliminates completely the first pull (ground to knee), and minimizes the importance of the third pull (getting under the bar). To succeed here you will have to get into that strong hang position by knowing where to put your hips (back, way back) and whether to balance on your toes or heels (hint it’s both but slightly more toes than heels). You also need to know how to find the power position (bar to hips) and extend (shrug and explode). All this of course before you bend your arms.
What can I do if I have trouble with this? Easy. Do more hang shrug work, that is to say just do the second pull. The hang shrug is the start and finish point of our second pull. If we do more work here learning to perfect the action, it will help to reinforce the movement pattern (muscle memory) when we go back to doing the entirety of the snatch.
This week we’ve backed off a little on the super long workouts of the previous weeks, We have two medium length workouts (15ish mins). One is saturday’s team pool workout and the other a great but typical CrossFit WOD of 400m runs, Sumo deadlift high pulls and burpees. Think of it like a Helen that will take a few mins longer. I love these workouts because they are just so effective at building our work capacity and our ability to push. These are grinders but Wods that pushing the pace later in the workout is important. We also have the all out sprint that is Grace. 30 Clean and jerks for time. Make sure you pick a weight light enough to touch and go with.
Best and most simple thing you can do this week to progress? Make sure when you do your strict gymnastics work this week you pick options that are challenging but you can master the position. Don’t do reps that get you from top to bottom but put you in the incorrect position. Master the position and you will progress.