November 30, 2009
December 5, 2009

Steve in a deep squat, elbows up. The fingertip grip would make the transition to jerking tough though.

Chris missed this one. The bar has been pulled high enough, but he isn’t getting down quite fast enough and has pulled the bar to sternum, but not continued the elbows around.

In this pic, Sara is pulling herself under the bar. Torso upright, bar in close to body- I like it a lot! The thing is, look how high she has 124 lbs. A little faster getting under it, and she could add 20-30 lbs to her PR in a heartbeat.

Maiko gets down into her squat quickly! Another one who could go heavier. The technical fault here is the bar is getting out too far away from her body. Keeping it closer will fix the issue she thinks is caused by lack of flexibility in the rack position. Also, whats the deal with the closed eyes?

Hang Squat Clean 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2
After we got warmed up and drilled our foot positioning, we walked through an abbreviated Burgener warmup with the PVC, then two sets of 5 Tall Cleans. The Tall Clean teaches aggressively pulling yourself under the bar. Its frustrating, but serves its purpose well (although we still saw a lot of power cleaning to front squat).

I’ll upload some photos to pic apart tonight and see what we can learn from them. Overall I was very pleased with the effort put out, and the technical improvements that were made in session. Also, the limitations we found were all technical, everyones strength looked excellent.

Here are a few thoughts:

Reggie: Still getting comfortable in the deeper squat, so more of a PC/FS, but did the extra work. Actually closer to a Muscle Clean, so that lets you know the strength is not an issue. I think he worked at 155?

Brendan: Great setup, back position is very good, but early arm pull still happens when the weight gets up there. Made good improvement on strengthening bottom position of the Clean, next we’ll work on getting the bar a little higher in the rack.

Ed: Missed a few out in front- finishing the pull and really extending will help this. Corrected the position well in the session.

Alex: back from Union College for a few weeks. Great acceleration, but sequence was off (hips, shrug arms pull under, not arms,shrug jump!). Lots of reps with a little lighter weight to ingrain this will help.

Tom: Hit 198 I believe, and wanted more (one PR at a time is OK). Also pulling more than enough to get the bar to chest height, but cutting the extension a little short- jumping the gun to get down. More Tall Cleans and HSCs are in order.

Kyle: Said he felt slow, but 225 was still reletively light (He is Strong Ohio Style after all). Just getting back in the groove, so practice is the key.

Zach: Jumping out a little wide, and misses were very similar to how I miss: bar pulled high to sternum, chest a little to far foreward. Needs to extend a little more and get comfortable getting under it (like me). Accelerated the bar well and moved some good weight!

Steph: Hit 104 well. I made her suffer a little by pausing in the bottom of the squat to solidify position. I think she can adjust the bar to a more wrist friendly rack, and get a lot more weight.

I have some good pics of Chris and Steve O who got 117.5 kg (258.5 lbs.), and Maiko H. and Sara lifting 124 to analyze tonight.

Mami-Ami and Becca worked on Deadlifts and DB Presses.

Finished with 5 rounds of 30 seconds of pushups/ 30 seconds of situps.



  1. Ash says:

    258 pounds?! You two are truly freaks of nature and make me feel like less of a man. Very impressive.

    I have a question about Sunday’s workout- back in high school I learned that box squats are the most dangerous exercise ever conceived, because of the risk of dropping onto the box too quickly and doing bad things to your spine. Of course, this isn’t the first time that Crossfit preaches the opposite of “conventional wisdom,” but are box squats still to be used cautiously? Can you achieve the same results by resting the bar on the rack at the bottom, ie. force full depth and make the drive up harder?

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Alex says:

    Thanks Tom. You are the man.

  3. Sara says:

    Tom – I like the individual breakdowns.

    I enjoyed this class. I like working on the hang Cleans (power and Squat). I never use to be able to clean (power or squat) a bar from the hang position if there was more than 65lbs on the bar. Yesterday 124 felt pretty good.

    Nice work to everyone in class.

  4. Sara says:

    P.S. To those going to Charlottesville for the superfit games, have you made any hotel arrangements yet? If yes, where are you staying?

  5. Tom Brose says:

    Ash, thats 258 AND A HALF pounds! It was impressive work all around.

    As for Box Squats: yes, the risk is there, and they should be used cautiously. Plopping onto the box is a very bad idea! We made sure that everyone was using a weight they could control, around 65 % 1RM. The version you are suggesting would be a bit of a different effect, as you would not be forced to keep the same level of tension under the load. I do like staring in a deep squat with the bar resting on the pins, and driving it up from there. Wait, I don’t like that at all…just find it a valuable tool.

    Also, I have some ideas using the power rack to drive your press through its plateau.

    Alex- thanks, good to have you back!

    Sara, your hard work shows! Good job working with your cousin as well.

  6. TomandMamiAmi says:

    Finally I did not miss a class where we did cleans – I had missed the last two and its a lift I want to improve. I too liked th ecritiques and photos with these fast lifts nothing like photos to illustrate the good bad an dugly. Awesom work from Steve and Chris. Now we have to work on the jerk part. Any thoghts on doing a dedicated strength day in addition to the 3x a week cf?

  7. Alex says:

    Is there the beginner class this Sunday? I have to miss today so I’m looking to destroy my body this weekend if possible with a double sesh.

  8. SaltyHat says:

    Thanks for the pointers and critiquing Tom. With those thoughts in mind, I tried out today’s main site WOD. Went a little slower on the cleans to try and make sure I was stable and well set-up, and think I was successful at performing better shrug & pulls – or at least that’s what my traps are telling me.
    Some times during the O-lifts, I feel I need to turn my brain off and let my body work. Too much thinking makes Salty a scatterbrained wreck.

  9. Jade says:

    Can someone send me the info for the benefit workout on Saturday? I’m not on the email list. Thanks!

  10. edgy reggie says:

    I, too, enjoyed the individual breakdowns from Coach as well.

    Yes, I ended up doing a lot of sets with 155# because I tried — and failed — at 185#. So — with my ego safely checked at the door — I did 155#.

    I realize that I do a “two-parter” with cleans because it takes a while for me to get in a groove where I can clean and front squat without stopping. Part of that is getting comfortable with a front squat (which also takes a while for me to get into a groove).

    So…I think I need to do more tall cleans (I haven’t done a lot of them in a while).

    But everyone did great work.

    CFDC’s own ODB is…jazzed about the Lumberjack 20 workout.