July 27, 2012
Nam Viverra Euismod Odio Gravida
July 31, 2012

The Olympics are in full swing, and there have already been a bunch of amazing performances, especially in the weightlifting arena, including a new women’s 53kg world record clean and jerk of 131kg (288.2lbs) by Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo (who turned 19 just last week), and a massive clean and jerk by North Korea’s Om Yun Chol, lifting in the 56kg men’s category, of 168kg (369.6lbs), more than THREE TIMES his own body weight!

So, how did we mark the occasion at CFDC? By doing a little Olympic weightlifting, of course!

Strength Prep #1: 
2 x 2 Hang High-Pulls + 2 Hang Power Cleans (Bar Only!) 

After a short warm-up, class got started on two sets of 2 un-weighted hang high-pulls followed immediately by 2 un-weighted hang power cleans. The purpose is to get athletes to focus on dragging the bar up their thighs to practice keeping it against their legs, and then pop the bar up with the hips, using the high-pull – with elbows high and to the outside – to guide the bar, keeping it in close to the torso as it rises. The two power cleans should be the exact same movement, but instead of letting the bar drop again, whip the elbows around the bar at the top of the high pull to complete a power clean instead.

Strength Prep #2: 
3 x 1 Hang High-Pull + 1 Hang Power Clean + 1 Front Squat (Add Weight) 

Following completion of the High-Pull and Power Clean combo, class moved onto three sets of one hang-high pull, followed by a power clean, followed by a front squat. Weight was added in small increments to all three sets in order to revisit the un-weighted movements from above, as well as prime the body for the working sets to come.

6 x 1 Power Clean + 1 Hang Squat Clean 

After completing the two prep sets, athletes began working through six sets of one power clean followed immediately by one hang squat clean. This requires keeping hold of the bar through out the set, not letting it touch the ground again after the power clean had been initiated.

This is a pretty classic combination, helping to develop consistency along with efficiency in the movement (the same applies to using it with the snatch as well). The effect of combining the power movement with hang-squat movement will work to increase grip strength while focusing a lifter’s attention on keeping the bar close to the body, brushing the thighs, and getting under the weight, whipping the elbows around the bar to receive it on the shoulders.

Oly combos or complexes are superb at helping ingraine technique while changing things up from the traditional lifts. They also help with conditioning, going for a slightly higher volume (more total reps) at reduced weight, owing to the back-to-back repetitions.

Just how useful can reduced weight combined with increased reps be? Why not try out some high-rep back squats to find out.

 Strength Conditioning: 
3 x 10 Back Squats @ 65% 

Building on the success of the CFDC squat cycle, Sunday’s class tackled the first in what will be a short series of high rep back squat workouts. These workouts will add muscular endurance onto the the strength achievements provided by the squat cycle (and evidenced by the increase in 1 rep maxes). Two warm-up sets were programmed prior to the work-sets: 1 x 5 at 35%, and 1 x 5 @ 50%. After that, athletes loaded up the bar at 65% of their new 1RM, and went for 3 sets of 10 reps each. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Speaking of Olympic weightlifting, congratulations to Reggie on a solid performance at the 2012 Keystone games held at York, PA this past Saturday.

Also, a big congratulations to Erica on her CrossFit Endurance certification this past weekend which took place at CF Virtuosity in Brooklyn, NY. Look for lots more Endurance WODs in the near future!

Finally, CrossFit DC Shirts are back in stock! Just to be clear, you can purchase a shirt for $20; you don’t have to “earn” them. Of course, if you did want to earn one, this would definitely be a great approach:

Adam, consider your CrossFit DC shirt earned! 

See you all Tuesday. Until then, enjoy the Olympics.



  1. Sara says:

    Congrats Reggie!

    Nice work by everyone in class and thank you to those of you who stuck around to watch Ethan and I clan and jerking for a main site WOD demo. I did my squats after the clean and jerks and boy were they heavy. I am pretty sore today in the legs.

    Congrats also to Erica on her CFE cert. It sounds like you had a great time.

    See everyone tomorrow.

  2. Julia says:

    Congrats to Reggie and Erica! and to our CFDC video stars! 🙂

    Oly work was great practice, liked the way we worked up to the complex. One of the things I was struggling with was the transition from power clean to hang squat clean – tried to reset bar in hip crease, but all I succeeded in doing was knocking myself off balance and backwards a few steps. Felt like I was starting the hang squat clean gripping the bar for dear life, and the poor setup definitely showed in my misses. So definitely looking forward to doing more drilling and complex work in the near future.

    P.S. Is anyone looking to buy a jump rope? I ordered one from Rogue (same one Sara has), but it’s too long for me – anyone else might want to give it a try?

  3. Julia says:

    Also, Olympic lifting in the Olympics is pretty cool and all, but this may just be my favorite news update from London:

    “Felipe Kitadai of Brazil took his idea of carrying his bronze medal everywhere a little too far. After winning bronze in the 60-kilogram judo division on Saturday, Kitadai decided taking it everywhere included the shower. He told Brazil’s GloboEsporte.com that the piece that holds the medal’s ribbon broke, so he can no longer wear it around his neck. It’s also dented.

    Brazil’s Olympic committee says it will request a new medal from the International Olympic Committee.”


  4. Katie says:

    Ditto on the congrats to everyone! It was fun watching Ethan and Sara for a while, they both looked great. I can’t wait to see the finished video.

    I was glad to work on cleans, but they still aren’t feeling very good. I was low on energy so stayed light and worked up to 55# for the set of 6 power clean/”hang squat” cleans (which was mostly just me riding the bar down into a squat). I’m hesitant to do actual squat cleans because I feel like I’m not strong enough so the bar is going to squish me and my knees are going to collapse. Weird, I know.

    The sets of 10 squats were tougher than doing the 1 RM a few weeks ago, and my legs are feeling it today. Did those at 60#, which felt heavy.

    Unfortunately, I have to miss class on Tuesday for a wedding, so I’ll see everyone Thursday. Although my fiance knows not to schedule anything on Tuesday or Thursday evenings, I’m still working on the future in-laws. Hopefully they’ll catch on soon.

  5. Sara says:

    Julia – it is funny you should say you feel like you are death gripping the bar after readjusting your grip in the hip crease. I was telling chris I have the same trouble which then makes the next lift difficult because my arms get so tense. We will have to work on that together. One cue Chris gave me was to make sure I stood all the way up after the adjustment, shake/wiggle my arms and the get set for the next movement wether it be from the hang or a touch and go from the floor.

    I also forgot a big thank you to Chris, Mike and Tom for the coaching during the taping.

  6. SBV says:

    Hey, squat cycle! Welcome back to class. I missed you. You were gone for only two weeks, but how I missed you so! My legs were finally starting to fit back into my pants and my refrigerator was filled with things like fish and vegetables. Now, we can return to super tight pants and ice cream. Ice cream!

  7. Erica says:

    Just popped on to see what I missed this weekend and glad I did! Sounds like I missed great stuff. Cannot wait to see the main sight WOD!!

    How on earth did you get that picture Chris? I haven’t even seen it!!

    Very interesting weekend. Will share more with those who are interested. And cannot wait to get back into the swing of things 🙂 Bummed I mised cleans.

    Julia, my rope is adjustable so let me know if you want to see it!

  8. edgy reggie says:

    Thanks everyone! I had a lot of fun at the Keystone State Games, and I felt well-prepared. My achievement would have not been possible, in part, without the able assistance (and guidance) from the following people: Tom Brose, Chris Sheppard, Mike Choi, Sara Katz, Fred Fialco, Paul Riordan, Winnie Au, and Robyn Kravit. Thank you all for “coaching me up.” 🙂

    Again, thanks to everyone at CrossFit DC, CrossFit Dupont, Capital Barbell Club, Balance Gym(s), and DC Weightlifting Club for the support and encouragement.

    With that said…

    …congratulations to Erica in obtaining her CrossFit Endurance certification.

    I liked the workout on Sunday; even though, I just performed cleans a few hours prior. 🙂 I worked with Dave (and enjoyed it). Coach gave me some good advice on performing tall cleans instead of the hang power clean.

    Squat work is always fun…even with the new one-rep max.

    I managed to catch the women’s 53 kg-class Olympic lifting on television. All I could say is “Wow!” It was quite an impressive showing.

    I did yoga with Winnie later that evening. It was another great class.

    Time for “Big Swoll Tuesday.” See you there.

  9. Stohlman says:

    Miss y’all. That’s all.