The Olympic lifts (Snatch, Clean and Jerk) are highly technical movements that require far more practice than most standard CrossFit exercises. Dedicated O-lifting sessions on Wednesdays (all day) and Saturdays (at Noon) will focus on skill-development, and not on “working out” in the sense of pushing for ever higher intensity or weight.
To oversimplify: the focus of Olympic lifting is training a violent, accurate “vertical jump” or hip extension, which sends the barbell flying straight up in the air.
During our O-lifting sessions, Beginners will focus on:
- Developing the “vertical jump” (second pull) as a skill. The vertical jump must be accurate (sending the bar in nearly perfect vertical path) and precise (sending the bar in nearly the same path every time)
- Developing requisite flexibility and joint mobility. Having launched the bar into the air, the lifter must be able to catch or “receive” the bar in a position that is mechanically efficient and safe.
Intermediate lifters will focus on:
- Developing the timing necessary to execute the full movements – i.e. the skill of accelerating the bar from the ground (first pull), and the skill of “pulling under” (third pull) to receive the bar in a full Olympic squat.
- Developing the confidence necessary to begin lifting substantial weight.
- Because Beginners and Intermediates have slightly different training goals, the exercises prescribed will differ accordingly. Nearly everyone will begin by following the Beginner program. A trainer will let you know when you are ready to move to the Intermediate program.
The following training principles will apply to all Olympic-lifting workouts, no matter the level:
- Workouts will not be timed.
- Unless specified, rest intervals between sets will be as long as necessary.
- The weight for any given exercise will be determined by “feel.” A technically flawless lift will always “feel” comparatively easy and light. For example: Beginners might be prescribed: Hang Power Snatch x 1 x 5 (light), meaning that they will be working up to one set of five reps at a weight that still feels fast and light; the lifter will not be worried about “missing.” If a “light” weight is prescribed and you miss a lift, you need to lower the weight. Intermediates might be prescribed: Power Clean (heavy single) meaning that they will work up to a single Power Clean at a weight that starts to feel heavy/slow and that poses a real possibility of a missed lift.
- Achieving perfect reps takes priority over finishing the prescribed number of reps or sets.
- Achieving perfect reps takes priority over increasing the weight from week to week.
- Achieving perfect reps takes priority over everything.