February 3, 2012
February 7, 2012

Congrats again to all the athletes who competed in the Smackdown on Saturday, and a big thanks to all the CFDCers who came out to cheer on their fellow athletes. The turnout, and resulting energy, was awesome, and while all the teams performed admirably, it was really inspiring to see some of our first time competitors push themselves. The event was a true success, and will hopefully lead to more such events in the future. We’ll post a few pics, as well as a link to even more pics, later today.

In the meantime, a quick recap of Sunday’s class, which could’ve been run as a competition itself with nearly 30 people showing up to workout!

8 x 2 Power Snatch

Sunday’s class really lucked out, and had both Sara and Jenn Sergeant helping out with form and technique. It’s been a while since we reviewed the points of performance for the snatch, and this seems like as good a time as any to re-post our Points of Review for the Snatch, as I heard both Sara and Jenn pass along a number of these pointers more than a few times Sunday morning:


(1) Start with shoulders slightly in front of the bar, body weight over your ankles, butt low(er than a deadlift), and chest up. Your gaze will be neutral to slightly downward. Hands are wide with, preferably, a hook grip employed;

(2) Pull off the floor and imagine pushing your feet down through it. This keeps your shoulders in front of the bar for a longer period of time but keeps the hips from rising faster than the shoulders. Quads and hamstrings will engage at approximately equal force;
(3) As the bar passes your knees, explode upwards with STRAIGHT arms, and imagine driving your shoulders through the ceiling. Be sure to get full extension. The rise of the bar and a straight bar path comes from the smooth transfer of force from the legs through the shoulders. 
(4) Pull yourself under the bar at a faster rate than the bar is falling. Snap the bar into position with shoulders driven up towards the ears (active shoulders) to support the weight. Be sure to engage the glutes and abs so prevent over-arching and keep the chest up. This will help put, and keep, the bar over your body’s center of gravity. 
(5) Pulling early with the arms. The most common fault with a lot of lifters, where-in they will begin pulling the weight upwards with their arms before they’ve hit full extension. This negates the power generated by the hips, and will severely limit the amount of weight that can be lifted;
(6) Donkey kicking or stomping your feet. This kills the upward-driving power in your first and second pulls. The sound your feet make should come from the speed from which they transition to the squat position, not the force from which you pick them up and slam them down; 
(7) Watch for the hip hitch. This bumps the weight out causing you to over-compensate to get under the bar. Instead, focus on an upward shoulder drive with full extension;
 – – Note that No. 5, as well as No.’s 6 and 7 to some degree, can be corrected by really focusing on No. 2 above: getting a full extension through the second pull. – –
(8) Lastly, take YouTube videos of top level athletes for what they are: amazing and entertaining feats by strong athletes. It’s not always a good idea copy or mimic your favorite lifter’s specialized lifting techniques. Like a Major Leaguer’s baseball swing, no two are alike. Similarly, an elite level weightlifter’s mechanics may have been honed over years and tailor-made for his or her body. Examples include extreme laybacks and bumping the weight with your hips. There are a host of reasons why it works for an elite athlete but not for the novice. It’s best to stick to the fundamentals with an emphasis on a straight bar path and making the lift as simple as possible. 
Tabata Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, Squats, & Mtn Climbers

With such a big class, and such limited space in the studio, things moved down the basketball court for a short tabata-themed met-con. For this version, everyone rotated through the exercises one after the other – so, instead of finishing all rounds of an exercise before moving on to the next, athletes performed 20sec of work of one exercise, and then rotated to the next exercise during their 10sec break. This kept up until everyone had completed five rounds of each exercise.

Not a bad way to start off Superbowl Sunday. Please be sure to check back later today and tomorrow for some information laden posts, including pictures and a quick run-down from Saturday, and information regarding the 2012 CrossFit Games Open Qualifiers!



  1. Katie says:

    I had a great time watching everyone on Saturday — as Tom said, very inspirational! Though I get inspiration every class from watching everyone push themselves, this took it to another level entirely. I was impressed (but not surprised) that everyone showed up on Sunday, too. Congrats!!

    I thought I was decent at snatches, but I kept pulling early, just like I do with cleans. Argh! I’m going to try drilling just the hip explosion/shrug part before or after every class. Thanks to Jenn for some great pointers! I managed to work up to a couple decent reps at 30#, and two 35# reps badly. (up from 15# in November and 20# pressing snatch balance in mid-January.)

    Great metcon…I love the picture of everyone out there, it’s like an assembly line of fitness. I had to pause a little on mountain climbers, but at least I can DO them now.

    See everyone on Tuesday!

  2. Steph says:

    Dian looks so badass in that picture!

    I worked with Amelia, MC and Erica on the snatches. We stayed light and focused on form. It had been awhile since I had done snatches, so I started from the hang and then moved on to power snatches in the later rounds. They felt pretty good except for the last one where I bumped the bar forward and caught it with a huge arch. I think I was tired by that point.

    The metcon was short and sweet and not super intense, which was just what I needed after the Smackdown.

    It’s too bad that we didn’t have our usual Super Bowl Sunday Suffering cuz of the Smackdown the previous day. Looking forward to a more intense workout on Tuesday!

    I’ll save my Smackdown comments for the Smackdown post that’s coming later.

  3. Erica says:

    So much pain yesterday so everything felt rough. Except the moutain climbers. They felt good. I appreciate the girls for keeping me focused during the snatches because I was really struggling to get anything done. For someone who is always up for a good Superbowl Suffering, I am unbelievably grateful that it didn’t happen this year…but a V-day vomit fest (sorry, what else goes with V??)…I should be okay by then.

    Unrelatedly, Steph and I registered for the Open today! Who else is with us!!!!!

  4. Dian says:

    Congratulations to everyone that participated in the Smackdown. It was great to see everyone push through their exhaustion and keep every rep legit. It was amazing to watch. Like Katie said, I was not surprised to see everyone in class yesterday!

    @Erica – I was too chicken to sign-up for the Smackdown now I think I’m too chicken to sign up for the open.

    I had a truly miserable week last week that caused me to miss class. It was good to be back in the gym yesterday. We worked on snatches in the skill review about 2 weeks ago or so with Sara. It was great to revisit the snatch with Jenn yesterday to see if I’m actually getting it. I worked up to 45lbs. I did use the hookgrip. It didn’t feel comfortable at first but it got better in the later sets.

    The metcon was good. I’m continuously amazed at how well you guys manage so many people. Thanks Chris for advising me to substitute the squat hold for the mountain climbers due to my foot. Seriously, I would rather have done the mountain climbers (ouch).

    Okay, so I’m guilty of watching weightlifting videos on YouTube. I don’t try to emulate what I see since I don’t have the athletic ability to even try to do so. I really do watch them to admire the better lifters. In fact, there have been a few times I swear I can hear Tom B’s voice. There is one Polish female lifter whose knees are always collapsing. I can hear Tom B. bellowing “knees out” every time I watch her. What can I say my work is pretty boring so I take breaks and cruise YouTube in search of relief. I’ve been watching performances from Sonisphere today. The guys in IT are going to bust me one of these days.

    Hope to see everyone tomorrow.

  5. Dian says:

    @Steph-You looked badass on Saturday with those push presses.

    I think you would appreciate the fact that my pretty white shirt is now soaking since I tucked into some ribs right after class only to drop one down my shirt. Don’t know what I was thinking…remove white shirt BEFORE inhaling ribs.

  6. Steph says:

    Hahaha, thanks Dian 🙂

    I hope you still ate the rib and didn’t throw it away like you tried to at the CFDC holiday party!

  7. TomandAmi says:

    Nice photo! Told you she was a bad ass. And sign up for the Open.

  8. Ben says:

    Enjoyed class on Sunday. It was good to revisit snatches because I hadn’t done them in a while. Felt like I started to get the hang of the movement again after the first couple of sets – but still a lot to work on.

    Awesome time on Saturday at the Smackdown! Really enjoyed my first competition, and even though we didn’t place first, I had the best team.

  9. Andraea says:

    Congrats to everyone who participated in the smackdown on Saturday! I wish I could’ve been there but I was out of town. Hopefully I will be here for the next one.

    Loved the photo Dian! Dian if you sign up for the Open I will too!! Lets do it!

    Looking forward to being back in class tonight!

  10. Sara says:

    Dian – sign up for the open it will be fun.

    That really is a great picture of Dian. I sat out for the snatch session of class and jumped in for the metcon. Since I was a little cold I worked it like a warm up rather than going all out in traditional tabata style. I got my heart rate up regardless.

  11. SBV says:

    My body was useless on Sunday. My posterior chain was extremely tight and it negatively impacted my starting position on power snatch. I couldn’t get my shoulder blades “back-and-down.” Without a solid starting position, the rest of the lift is doomed. Actually, thinking back to Sunday morning, the session kind of seems like a blur. I guess Saturday’s “Smackdown” took more of a toll on my body and mind than I thought.

    I spent Monday night foam rolling, stretching, and getting a good night’s sleep. Let’s have some fun tonight on the double-under/plate push workout! You 6 o’clockers better not leave the floor soggy for the 7 o’clock class!

  12. Ben says:

    Good point SBV! I second that. Leave a little dust for the 7:00 class to sweep up please.

  13. Katie says:

    You guys are going to get in trouble with Steph….or maybe she only cared knowing about the workout when it was mummy crawls? :o)

    I may bring a can of lemon pledge and give the floor a nice coating before class…so tempting!