New Focus: Olympic Lifting and Barbell Cycling

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New Focus: Olympic Lifting and Barbell Cycling

With the CrossFit Open just around the corner, our focus this cycle is to improve technique and strength in the Olympic Lifts. 

For those of you new to Grassroots, the CrossFit Open is an annual competition hosted by CrossFit HQ at the end of February which allows thousands of people from across the world to participate.  We use the CrossFit Open as an “anchor date” so that we can build up your skills in an appropriate manner. This is beneficial even if you don’t decide to participate, as you’re able to work on different elements of strength and fitness throughout the year. We’ll talk more about the CrossFit Open once we’re in full-blown prep mode.

A primary skill for the CrossFit Open is to be able to efficiently cycle the Olympic Lifts (Clean, Jerk, and Snatch) for multiple reps. One or both of the Olympic lifts have been in every single CrossFit Open since its inception in 2011. 

Our approach during this focus will be to work on improving both one rep max strength as well as practice cycling the snatch and clean and jerk efficiently. These are two related, but very different skills. An improved 1RM will give you confidence at lighter loads, as well as the opportunity to be more efficient. However, repping out multiple snatches or cleans safely and quickly is a skill in and of itself that requires some practice. You need to be precise and technical under stress and fatigue, which is difficult. 

We tested a CrossFit Open workout last week: 12.2 (https://games.crossfit.com/workouts/open/2012#workoutsTab2) This workout is a great test of your ability to snatch precisely at progressively heavier weights in a relatively short amount of time. Our skill and strength work will focus on getting stronger in the snatch by improving positions and technique with singles, as well as getting some practice with linking together multiple reps. 

Later in the cycle, we will be testing another CrossFit Open workout: 11.5 (https://games.crossfit.com/workouts/open/2011#workoutsTab3) This workout will test your speed and efficiency for the other Olympic lift, the Clean and Jerk. We have been working over the past few weeks on building strength in the Clean and the Jerk separately. As we progress in the cycle, we will be combining those movements and working on improving your one rep max Clean and Jerk. We will also, of course, work on cycling the C&J for multiple reps. 

Expect to work on other skills during this focus as well, to prepare for the CrossFit Open. However, we will also start to have days where the singular focus will be the conditioning. This will allow us the ability to program longer workouts, as well as offer you the opportunity to really hit the workout hard. 

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