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CrossFit Gainesville- School Of Elite Fitness

Olympic Lifting - Pros and Cons

By Miguel Carodine

The Olympic lifting program just started and I am excited to work with this group. So excited I chose to write about the lifts this week. Crossfit is heavily saturated with these lifts and I think it is a must that crossfitters and other athletes interested in performing these particular movements understand the benefits and the hindering issues of doing these lifts. soooooo....

Olympic weightlifting (Clean & Jerk and Snatch) is a lifting approach that can be very controversial in the strength and conditioning field. Many strength and conditioning professionals have implemented these lifts and their derivatives in their training program because of the several performance enhancing factors that the lifts promote. Athletes in sports requiring high force output/power generation, explosive movement speed, and high levels of strength can increase those attributes thus increasing sport performance by performing these particular lifts. However, these lifts are highly technical and require several prerequisites in mobility, stability, and functional strength in order to be safely performed and to achieve the desired adaptations. So, although these lifts possess several benefits (pros) they also can have limiting factors (cons).
-Both Lifts (Clean & Jerk and Snatch) are full body movements- lifting a weight from the floor to an overhead position requires a large amount of musculature, ultimately every muscle in your body. This not only promotes overall body strength but it is a very time effiecient full body workout which limits catabolism.Traditional strength training full body workouts can be very taxing and time consuming.
- Improvement in knee and hip extension power and rate of force development- Sports requiring high levels of strength and power demand for a great amount of time developing these attributes. These specific lifts improve these characteristics due to the explosive nature of the execution. supplementing these lifts (with proper technique of course!) in a training program can help maximize power and strength especially if other modalities have become stale or an athlete has reached a plateau.
- Improvement of an athletes ability to safely and effectively absorb force and decelerate-This is trained to some degree with basic strength work such as squatting, but the nature of recieving the barbell in the olympic lifts is far more ballistic and more similar to the demands on ground based athletes with regard to stopping, changing direction or absorbing the force of colliding opponents.
- Collective improvement in kinesthetic awareness, fundamental athletic motor skills centered around the hips and legs, and the precise and consistent control of body positions and movements ; no other exercises provide training for these things to the same degree, particularly so effeiciently.
- These lifts require a substantial amount of time to properly teach technique-Athletes in sports that dedicate a large role to strength and power development will have significant time for training which allows for progressive technique practice. However, other athletes in sports that require more time dedicated to sport skill and competition may never progress to these lifts because of the lack of time and the other demands needed to be met in training.
- These particular lifts can cause serious injury if an athlete does not meet the proper prerequisites to safely perform them- an adequate amount of mobility/flexibilty, stability, and strength must be obtained prior to progressing to these lifts. Full range of motion at all the joints, flexibility in the recruited and stretched muscles associated with execution, and a level of strength that can be demonstrated in the proper positions in these lifts are all essential to safe performance. Without these prerequisites an athlete is vulnerable to injury when trying to perform these lifts. Therefore, it may be impossible to implement these lifts into a training program if an athlete fails to reach the proper prerequisites so another modality to reach sports specfic demands may be more useful.
- The equipment required to properly and progressively teach these lifts may not be available to the strength and conditioning professional- Without proper progression, technique is taught wrong and can be detrimental to the performance of the lifts which in return is detrimental to the athlete regarding safety and the desired adaptations of performing the lifts.( bad equipment =bad technique =bad injury) if you dont have the proper equipment you might as well not even perform these lifts.

Coach Miguel hittin' some cleans in Performance class

Workout Of the Day

A. Pose Running Technique

Bx4; Back Squat x8; 30x1, rest 90 sec - muscle endurance

C. 15 min AMRAP;
100m run+
3 rounds of
3x Pull Ups
6x Push Ups
9x Squats

A. Back Squat; build to a 2 rep max in 15 in;
work up in weight; start off at 50% of goal weight. Rest about 2 min after each set

B. 10 min; 'Mary';
10x Alt Leg Pistols
15x Pull Ups


Do you have CrossFit ADD? Constantly moving from one skill to the next before mastering the previous or simply working on acquiring thirteen new skills at the same time? If this is you, you may want to rethink your training approach. You may want to focus on virtuosity. Gymnast and co-owner of Dogtown CrossFit, Dusty Hyland defines virtuosity in gymnastics as, "going above and beyond with exceptional movement, performance, and positioning." What does it mean be exceptional in this context?

Years and years ago, I ask my mom for some open fingered boxing gloves. In capoeira, we did a lot of kicking the bag and I wanted to start punching it too. I fancied myself a badass. So I went to town on that bag until one day an instructor tried to correct my form. On the outside I was respectful but inside I was thinking" this form stuff is boring I just want to hit the bag really hard." I often catch myself in this line of thinking in the gym. I am in such a hurry to "get" a movement that I skip over the fundamentals. But let's be real, this is kind of a half-assed and lazy approach.

Ultimately, you are better off having a technically sound and beautifully executed air squat than a 300lb squat looking like new born calf. Fundamentals are your foundation. Movements build on a shaky foundation are likely to lead you down a path to funky form, plateaus, and even injury. So how do you become a movement virtuoso? Progression. Chunk down a skill to it's most basic elements, master those, then move on. Not sure where to start? That is what we are here for! Just ask a coach to point you in the right direction.


Check out Volume 1 in Dusty's Handstand Progressions!


Workout of the Day


A. Running Technique
Bx4; Back Squat x8; 30x1, rest 90 sec
C. 15 min AMRAP;
100m run+
3 rounds of
3x Pull Ups
6x Push Ups
9x Squats


A. Back Squat; build to a 2 rep max in 15 in;
work up in weight; start off at 50% of goal weight. Work up from there;
rest about 2 min after each set

B. 10 min; 'Mary';
10x Alt Leg Pistols
15x Pull Ups

Did you Vote?

Next week is testing week! The 2015 Open is all said and done, we have had a few weeks of rest, recovery, and fun and now it’s time to get back on track!

Testing week is how we measure the accuracy of our programming. That’s right! The programming here at CFG is specifically for CFG members. So just like it’s important to vote, it’s important to participate in testing week so that you can be accounted for in the programming! Try to make it to the classes that you will be participating in for the next few months (Health or Performance) so that you can also get accurate data to track your progress.


During testing week please try to log your results online that way we can get them to our programmer as quickly as possible!

How to do it:

  1. Sign-in for class then scroll over your name to activate the “enter your results” button. Click and enter, it’s that easy!
  2. Log in to your member account on your computer at home/work and enter your results there.
  3. Install our app on your phone by going to this website and saving it to your homescreen: https://crossfitgainesville.zenplanner.com

Sarah and Amanda lookin' good and workin' hard!


Workout Of the Day


Ax3; 1x Press + 3x Push Press, rest 60-90 sec

B. 1 set; 1x Strict Press -heavier than previous sets if possible. Then max reps push press.

no more than 1 second rest in front rack [they can’t just wait there forever]

C. 3 rounds for time; - looking to help scale them to a time of 12 min or less if possible.

400m run

21x Russian KB Swings

12x Burpees


Ax4; Snatch Complex; rest 90 sec after complex is complete - working on positions + mechanics

3x Power Snatch + 3x Behind Neck Push Press + 3x OHS

B. Working up to a 1RM OHS in 8 min [probably 3-4 attempts]

C. 15-12-9, reps for time; [8-10 min cap...help them adjust the weight to get this right!]

Deadlift 225/155 [can be heavier as well...but this is a good general weight]

Toes to Bar

Page 10 of 452

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