WOD: 4-2-13

Skill:  Hang Power Snatch (Max weight:  115/65)

WOD L1: For time:

500M Row
20 Thrusters (75/55)
20 Over the Bar Burpees
15 Thrusters (75/55)
15 Over the Bar Burpees
10 Thrusters (75/55)
10 Over the Bar Burpees
5 Thrusters (75/55)
5 Over the Bar Burpees

WOD L2: For time:

500M Row
20 Thrusters (95/65)
20 Over the Bar Burpees
15 Thrusters (95/65)
15 Over the Bar Burpees
10 Thrusters (95/65)
10 Over the Bar Burpees
5 Thrusters (95/65)
5 Over the Bar Burpees


Tired of snatching already huh…

Practicing the form in the Snatch is the quickest way from hating the lift to complaining that we don’t do it enough.  Once you have covered the form again and again and you have committed to memory the demands of the move, you will gain great amounts explosive strength and coordination and quite possibly everything else you want in your life.  With that said, each skill session will have a weight cap.  This max load is intended to build you slowly through the lift so that you can find exactly the load where technique breaks down.  If this week you can perform the Hang Power Snatch without difficulty at 115/65, you get a figurative high five (not heavy enough for a literal one yet).  Stay at those loads all week and get really, REALLY bored good with that weight.  If you could only go up to 75/55 without technique being sacrificed, stay there for as long as it takes for you to go up in weight without losing form (despite of the cap increasing week by week).

Enjoy Part 2…very important read!!!!,



Strength Programming Discussion: Part 2 of 4


The next part of our discussion will focus on the difference between raw or “brute” strength and speed strength, or the ability to utilize our strength quickly and forcefully. There is a definite difference between the two, and I will argue that one is far more important than the other for CrossFit as a fitness program and as a sport. Since most of you who are asking questions about the lack of strength in regular programming are competitors, this discussion is particularly important for you.

What is Raw Strength?

Raw strength is the ability to exert force on a particular object, typically a barbell in our case. Lifts which are classified as involving raw strength are typically “slow lifts” such as low bar back squats, deadlifts, presses, etc. These lifts typically involve no explosive character and thus use different types of muscle fibers than the “fast” lifts which I will describe shortly. Athletes competing in powerlifting are concerned solely with raw strength and slow lifts, and strongman competitors likewise focus on slow lifts involving this type of strength.

What is Speed Strength?

Speed strength is directly correlated with power, or the ability to exert force through a set distance as quickly as possible. The Olympic lifts are the pinnacle of speed strength, with the Snatch being the fastest movement in the weightlifting world. Athletes with speed strength may not be able to out-squat a powerlifter, and they certainly will not be able to bench or press more than one (typically), however, they are highly explosive and can exert a tremendous amount of force in a short time.

What is the difference, and why does it matter for CrossFit?

By now, you can probably assume what I am going to say next — speed strength is far more important to a CrossFit athlete than raw strength. So many movements in the sport of CrossFit involve maximizing power output, and the Olympic lifts themselves comprise a significant chunk of movements within our sport. For this reason, it is imperative that we build speed strength and train the related movements regularly. This is the reason that the Olympic lifts form the foundation of Wright Performance, and is also the reason that you have been seeing more Olympic lifts in the daily programming at Back Bay. We will also be shifting to a month of strength work strictly dedicated to the Olympic lifts at Back Bay for the month of April.

An added benefit of training speed strength is that these types of movements take less time to recover from. Doing nothing but bench presses, slow squats, and deadlifts would wreak havoc on an athlete’s body and nervous system, particularly if they trained all three movements regularly each day. For this reason, one of the most effective powerlifting programs, created by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell, utilizes something called “dynamic effort” and the “conjugate method” to alter the stimulus that its athlete’s experience each training day. For those of you who want to do 5×5’s of bench, deadlift, and low bar squats each day of the week, I encourage you to try this and get back to me in 2-3 weeks so you can let me know how your recovery, sleep, and mental clarity are going. Here’s a hint: the answer is not good. Bulgarian weightlifters train the snatch and clean and jerk multiple times a day, up to 6 times a week. If they were performing this same training volume with slow deadlifts, etc, their careers would be over in no time.

In short, we are making you stronger by programming heavy Olympic work into the WODs and making you perform these movements in EMOTM-style workouts. Even movements like thrusters build speed strength when performed at an appropriate weight. So, once again, we have been making you all stronger at Back Bay without you realizing it. There is indeed a method to our madness. Tomorrow we discuss percentages, progressive loading, and Prilepin’s chart.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email


Recent Blog

Scroll to Top