Thursday, March 10, 2011

11-03-09: Hang Power Snatches and "Randy"

CrossFit Garden City WoD for March 4th, 2011
Burgener Warmup
Hang Power Snatch3-3-3-3-3
Bar does not touch the ground until the completion of the third rep each set.
All reps should be fast and clean. NO FAILED REPS.
- 75 Power Snatches for time (75#)
GHD Hip Extensions x 50
Break up reps into as many sets as needed

Upshot to the various "full snatch" variants is that, at least up through this point, they are all identical. How he lands and receives the bar will define whether this is a squat snatch, split snatch, or power snatch. (CrossFit South West Sydney)

Seize the iron. Indeed! (Underground Shack)

Knowing I would need my lungs soon enough, I went into this workout looking for a quick warm-up, so when I opted for jump-rope, I just wanted to do a bit of practice on double-unders. My goal was to get at least 5 in a row. Upon seeing that I was still back at square one or two, I ended up being happy with three in a row.

I went through the Burgener warm-up twice, once with the bar empty (35#), then with 10# put on, to mimic the warm-up with an Olympic bar. After taking the time to correct some freshmen on their 'concentration curl' technique (if you're going to waste your time with an exercise, at least do it correctly, I guess...), I got chalked up and prepped to do some hang power snatches. I quickly discovered a huge flaw in my technique: though I was starting the motion with the violent hip opening to get the bar moving, I wasn't really jumping with the bar all that hard, which definitely keeps it moving up. Instead, I would pop the hip open, and guide the bar up the rest of the way, rather than working to keep it from flying away. Basically, I was missing a lot of the explosive pop that will make it easier to lift heavier weights.

Hang Power Clean (for 3 reps): 85# / 105# / 115# / 125# / 135#

While the first few sets were pretty easy, by the last two, I could see that my speed was uneven from side to side. With each snatch at 125#, I could see that rather than firing the bar up from my hips, I was actually pressing it out to full extension, but only on my left side. For the final set, I focused much more on the hip drive and the jump with the bar to propel it, and while that made the overall move that much faster, I still had the same problem with the left hand being forced to drive the bar the rest of the way up, which is a press, NOT a snatch.

After unloading the bar for "Randy," I tried to focus on resetting myself completely, and not hopping back into the workout with resting substantially enough. Easier said than done, since the gym was crawling in students, all too unmotivated to bother really working out. In his book, Starting Strength, Coach Rippetoe takes such student "athletes" to task (as well as everyone else who does this):
No one should ever arrive to train not knowing exactly what to do. Wandering around the gym, deciding what looks like fun, doing it until the fun stops, and then doing something else is NOT training.
So, with kids milling around, some actually doing stuff, and my precious floor space under attack, I grabbed the bar and started carving out my zone of death. Despite the relatively light weight, I still ended up having to break the 75 power snatches into smaller sub-sets, as follows: 20 - 10 - 15 - 10 - 10 - 10. Between each subset, i tried to rest as little as possible, but each time, I could easily watch the timer continuing to count...

The upshot was that the final 20 reps or so, I started feeling the jump become a part of the overall power snatch technique. As all the bits that had been allowing me to complete each rep with less than ideal form became fatigued, the PROPER muscles had to take over. I definitely started to feel what the movement should feel like as the bar actually seemed to become lighter, always a nice trick 45-50 reps into a benchmark! Finally finished up at about 7:45.

"Randy" - Total Time: 7:45

Finished up with the prescribed 50 GHD hip extensions, done in sets of 10, followed by a few minutes cool-down on the exercise bike.

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