Wednesdy 141105

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Strength

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The Clean

Today we’ll going to work on positioning and drills. There will be instruction. For some it will be review, for others it will be new. It will benefit all of you. Pay attention and use it during the WOD. Here’s what we’ll cover using some drills:

The first pull and back angle

The second pull and generating power

Pulling under the bar and the receiving position

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WOD

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Complete as many rounds as possible in 12:00 of:

3 Squat Clean Thrusters, 50% of Clean 1RM

6 Chest-to-bar pull-ups

9 Hand-release push-ups

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This is the secret to how our big strong guys make gains!!

The snatch, and really the clean and jerk, are the hardest things we do with barbells. In the beginning it has nothing to do with strength. It has to do with learning the complex movements well enough to show some glimmer of coordination in order to get the bar to do what we want. This is easier said than done. For many new folks, the olympic lifts can be an epic source of frustration. For you newer folks who have experienced this, I will share a secret with you….the oly lifts can be an epic source of frustration for our most experienced folks as well!

So why do we do them? There’s lots of reasons. If we can get you proficient at these complex lifts, and you understand how to sequence the movement of your body in order to generate the forces needed to place the barbell where you need to, then other movements become simpler. The kettlebell swing doesn’t feel as technically demanding because you understand how to generate power using your hips to help propel the KB overhead. Some of you have heard of the core-to-extremity movement pattern. This is it. Think about the speed of the snatch. It’s really fast. Consider the coordination and timing needed to make that happen. Even if you feel awkward and slow performing the snatch, you’re still gaining benefit from the practice of this complex movement. Great things are happening with your body: your central nervous system is firing, your muscular system is working, your skeletal system is being loaded, thus making it stronger. Plus, when you nail a lift and it feels near-perfect, it’s a great feeling. Haven’t had that happen yet? Don’t worry, it will come. With practice, of course!

So, we could avoid doing these lifts but we make the conscious choice not to. I heard a quote recently by Joe De Sena, the founder of Spartan Race, the other day. To paraphrase, he said given two choices, always go with the hard choice because it’s usually the right choice. I liked that. So today, even if the oly lifts are difficult for you, understand there’s a reason we do them and make the choice to come in and work to get better!

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