October 10, 2010
October 14, 2010
3 Extremes

This was no Japanese Horror-fest, but it was an excellent tutorial on how combining 3 total-body movements require equal parts strength, endurance, and stability/balance. Of course, even with all three, you had to make sure you could maintain them through-out all 63 reps of last nights workout:

7 individual rounds, each round made up of 3 power cleans, 3 front squats, & 3 push-press/push-jerks. The workout was not for time, but the bar was not allowed to rest on the ground at any time during a round (small adjustments to grip were allowed during the cleans, however).

It was great to watch the class as a whole – different people clearly preferred different movements. However, as people neared the last rounds, the push-press/push-jerk became the obvious struggle, the 6 reps of cleans and front squats having drained the majority of people’s core strength, thus weakening their overall stability. This, of course, was the point to the whole workout.

Having demonstrated the need for core strength in dynamic weight lifting, the class was then put-to-task working those core muscles for a simple, but effective, finisher: in a 90 sec time frame, complete 10 burpees, and then immediately drop into a plank hold for the remaining time; repeat with 8 burpees, then 6, 4, and 2. Mercifully, there was no plank hold after the 2 burpees.

Great work by all. Rest up and get ready for Thursday.



  1. SBV says:

    Rough workout. After completing the power cleans and front squats, I found it difficult to drive the bar overhead. I was breathing pretty heavy, and it’s no fun driving the bar overhead when you’re out of breath. I probably should have kept the weight a little lighter, but you know how it goes . . .

  2. edgy reggie says:

    Between Saturday’s clean-and-jerk session with Mike Choi, Sunday’s snatch balances and overhead squats, and last night’s clean-and-jerk breakdown/progression, I got a lot of Olympic lifting (and Olympic lifting-style movements) done the past few days. But I’m not complaining at all.

    Power clean/front squat/jerk: I worked up to 152# last night on the last two sets. I ended up dropping the bar on reps two and three of the last two sets of (split) jerks. This, of course, forced me to do a (power) clean-and-jerk; at that point, I didn’t care. 🙂

    It’s amazing what one can do when one is tired: My final jerks were actually some of the best I ever performed, and Coach noticed it as well. And to think that I struggled with 70kg jerks last week… 🙂

    Small adjustments (e.g., wider hand placement on the bar) can turn into significant gains.

    Met-con: Burpees and plank holds are a killer combination. My shoulders were on fire after the first plank hold.

    Nevertheless, I enjoyed the sessions. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s (14 October) class.

    Yoga: If anyone is interested, here is some information on Winnie’s Iyengar yoga class:

    The class starts at 8:00 p.m. (and generally ends at 9:30 p.m.) on Sundays and Thursdays. It is located at the fitness center [top floor (PH level)] of the Metropolitan apartment building [7620 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda…two blocks away from the Bethesda Metro station (Red Line)]. Cost: $15/class.

    “Not too bad for an old man.” -CFDC’s own ODB

  3. SaltyHat says:

    I’m with you Sebastian – any one of those movements at those weights would have been ok, but in combination, the result was pretty devastating – I really had to slow down and concentrate on each jerk, and even then, they were pretty ugly and half-assed. And to top it off, the burpee-plank combo pretty much finished off any sort of core I had left. All in all – I liked it.

    Of course, I’m able to say that now after a 90 minute Thai massage at the hands of an absolute master. And speaking of which, only 4 days left in DC’s Spa Week – 90min for $75 at Chaan Thai (60min for $50), and it’s damn well worth it.

  4. Tom Brose says:

    This workout was in part inspired by a conversation I had at York Barbell. fred and I went to train with mike, the store manager, who in turn had learned lifting from Dick Smith. Smith was the legendary Coach of the York Barbell Team, and trained many of the best lifters in the country. Mike told us that “Smitty” would have them do 3 cleans and 2 jerks leading up to a competition (probably a bit far out from it I’d guess). After 3 cleans, the jerks were a struggle, the last one being ungodly bad-remember, 5 reps for these guys was Murph like cardio. the concept was that if the lifter could focus and deliver under these conditions, the competition would be a piece of cake.