It’s no secret that we’re fans of complexes, but if we had to explain why…well, that could take a while, so if we had to explain why in one sentence, it would be because the sum of a barbell complex is so much more than it’s individual parts. Kinda trite, but definitely true.
Two weeks ago class focused on a clean complex (“HOT AND HEAVY“), and in writing about in our blog-post, we talked about the fact that “[b]arbell complexes, especially Oly complexes, are often employed to help improve a lifter’s execution of the main movement.” Specifically, the complex over-emphasize pieces of the main lift (here, the snatch) by employing multiple movements while using weights that are sub-maximal, or at least sub-max compared to what could be used for any of the individual movements.
This Thursday’s complex was made up of 8 sets of 1 Power Snatch, 1 Hang (squat) Snatch, and 1 Snatch Balance. The power snatch helps to encourage powerful leg drive and hip extension, since we aren’t pulling under the bar, as well as a more aggressive turnover. The hang (squat) snatch incorporates the powerful hip extension, since we don’t have the benefit of pulling the bar from the floor, but also forces us to stay upright in our extension, and to pull into the squat position in conjunction with the aggressive turnover. Finally, to really emphasize driving down under the bar, while landing in a strong squat position (feet not too wide) with the shoulders shrugged and back tight, we finished off with a snatch balance.
This complex is extremely similar to – and a natural progressive step from – a snatch complex we did back in April (“STARTING FROM SNATCH“), which consisted of 1 Power Snatch, 1 Hang (squat) Snatch, and 2 OHS. Also similar was the scaled version programmed for those who are still new to/learning the snatch, which consisted of 6 sets of 1 Snatch Shrug, 1 Snatch Hi-Pull, and 2 Hang Power Snatch. If ever you find yourself struggling during a snatch workout (pulling early, not fully extending the hips, etc.), this is a great succession of movements to remind your body of the proper sequencing. Work through this series once or twice at light weight, and then go back to your lifts, and see if that doesn’t make a big difference.
With most of the class devoted to the snatch complex, we finished things off with a quick met-con which really emphasized shoulder and core stability via 3 rounds of 12 OH Plate Sit-Ups and 12 OH Lunges (6 per leg). For the OH Plate Sit-Up, start by lying on your back with the plate held in straight above your chest with arms fully extended. Engage the abs, keep the arms extended and sit-up while driving the plate into an overhead position:
Follow a few of these with the OH lunges, and you’ll have a good reminder of how important shoulder stability is to keeping weight balance/held overhead (kinda like the snatch, right??).
Please remember to hydrate, and do your best to keep cool this weekend. Sunday’s Elements class will focus on KB swings and Double Unders. More importantly, this Sunday is the penultimate class in the squat cycle, programmed at 3 sets of singles done at 100% of your soon-to-be-old-1RM. Come ready to squat! Until then, feel free to hate on Tom who recently fit in a workout a San Francisco CrossFit with coaches Kelly “KStarr” Starrett and Diane Fu: