Tag Archives: squat snatch

Getting Shredded on Bar Muscle-ups

Last week we did bar muscle-ups. This week we did squat snatches. Why not combine the two? (We’ll get to the “shredded” part in a while, don’t worry.)

Lucky for me, I was able to go work out with my wife today during an 8:30 class at CrossFit Continuum. We had the always entertaining Coach Bill, plus a normal cast of characters which made it a fun day: Caleb, Melissa, Carrie, Jenny, and another nice gal whose name I didn’t quite catch. I even commented to Caleb today how I thought it was so horrible that we never had a good time when we came to crossfit. HA!

running-failWe started out with a discussion of how nobody showed up to do yesterday’s “Run-Swim-Run” workout except Melissa. And the rest of us looked at one another as if to say “yes, we couldn’t embrace the craziness of running essentially a 5k and achieving calories on the assault bike (in place of the swim).” Then we all congratulated Melissa on finishing the damn thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

From there we got to run… with a medball! Um. Yay? Once back inside we went through a “barbell complex” while using a PVC pipe and then grabbed an empty barbell to warm up our squat snatches. I did not add a ton of weight to the bar today. In fact, I only went a little heavier than I did on Tuesday with squat snatches.

And, like I did last week, I grabbed the little “kiddie” bar and set it up so I could do muscle-up transitions from the floor.

crossfit-games-2017-Individual-events-thursdayWhy were we doing these things? Because we were about to take on Amanda .45, which was one of the workouts done at the 2017 CrossFit Games.

  • 13-11-9-7-5 reps for time of:
    • Muscle-ups
    • Squat snatches
  • Rx: 135/95# barbell
  • Level II: 115/75# barbell
  • Level I: 55/35# barbell, low ring muscle-up transitions and hanging squat snatches

I did a mix of Level II and Level I:

  • Bar muscle-up transitions on the “kiddie” bar until I tore and added ring muscle-up transitions
  • 55# barbell for a mix of squat snatches and a few hanging power snatches

And I finished in 22:36. It definitely was not pretty. But I felt like I should shift to a lower weight and continue the work I started with Coach Darcy on Tuesday with squat snatches — and that paid off. My form felt much better today and even Bill commented on it. When I got the shrug into the mix, everything flowed nicely. When I looked at the floor instead of keeping a neutral gaze, things got wonky and the next rep I corrected and looked up. So he didn’t get on me too much.

snatch5Still fighting with my feet kicking out, but overall I was pretty happy with my squat snatches — there were only a handful I did as power snatches and then squatted beneath them. A few “hitches” in my left hip made things interesting until it warmed up enough that I was able to play through it a bit. Ended up doing sets of 3-5 for the most part.

The bar muscle-ups were a bit more challenging. I really wanted to move the bar up but kept smacking myself in the chest, not pulling the bar to my belly button. So I ended up moving it down a notch for the first set of 13 and then again when I got to the set of 9 because I couldn’t pull again. I’m going to have more than a few bruises from this one. I did manage to get a good number of attempts in, even if some were uglier than others, and ended up on top of the bar more than half the time.

But the best part was that I tore — two places on my left hand and one on the right. So when that happened, I did more on the rings. I still tried to get a few bar muscle-ups in each round, but it certainly didn’t do me any favors after I tore.

That’s not quite the “getting shredded” that I think we were going for. ๐Ÿ™‚

Been a while since I tore– ouch!

So other than the tearing of skin part, I feel like I did ok today.

And Ev finished with jumping pull-ups and 55# squat snatches in about 16 minutes, so she did just fine as well.

Thanks for a fun class this morning Bill — and great work everybody! Hopefully we’ll see folks on Saturday at Team WOD!


Today was Kinda Snatchy

Walking into the 9:30 class today, I wasn’t expecting to get very heavy in my lifts. I like Olympic Snatches but Squat Snatches are not one of my faves. And with a 1RM of 135# or 145# I didn’t think I was going to get very far. I was very correct in that assumption but today was definitely interesting.

270134My wife went in this morning for the 6am class with Drea and had a good time getting razzed by a few folks. I think she was happy just to get back to the box. She’s been working a ton and I know she misses working out.

And I had a meeting at 8, so I wasn’t able to get into the 8:30 class, but I figured I could swing the 9:30, so I did. (It’s only Tuesday and I’m already ready for Friday — geez.)

It was Ashley, me, and Coach Darcy at 9:30. Apparently Darcy didn’t have anybody in her 8:30 and it was very quiet so she got her workout in. Classes are a bit weird these days as folks get back to school and settle into routines.

We started with a 4 round partner row. One person would row 250m while the other one did a movement. First was air squats, then planks, then Spider-man lunges, and then broad jumps. And each time we rowed, we were supposed to speed up a bit. The last 250 was a sprint.

snatch5Once we got through all of that we did a barbell complex with the PVC pipe. Everything from slow snatch-grip deadlifts to snatch balances and overhead squats. It was a good series and then we did it again with a light barbell. Ashley used the 15# trainer bar and I had a 35# women’s bar.

We worked a ton on form. Mine sucks. ๐Ÿ™‚ From shoulders too far back in the overhead position to shortchanging the middle of the movement, I had a ton to work on.

I shifted from a 35# bar to a 45# bar and lost track of the number of reps I did. We worked on form and nothing but form, which was great. If I can figure out form for this movement it will help other movements down the line.

Over time I shifted from the 45# bar back to a PVC pipe as we did fun things like look at my overhead grip in the mirror, play with a less wide grip on the bar, and try something new and unusual – a broad jump snatch with a PVC pipe. That was quite interesting because it really did show just how little I extend the hip during the movement.

So I can’t say that I increased my 1RM on the squat snatch at all, but I did a ton of snatches today with a 35# or 45# bar, even a 15# bar at one point, and a PVC pipe. Definitely an interesting class.


One of the benefits of crossfit, beyond the varied approach to every day’s workout, is the variety of coaches and coaching styles we have to help us get better. Today was the first time I’ve been in one of Darcy’s classes and she did great. Ashley and I bantered back and forth as always and Darcy kept us pretty focused on the task at hand, which was perfect. We got a different approach to training and different cues to look for, so I think it was constructive.

And where else would I even attempt a broad jump with a PVC pipe where you jump into a snatch squat? Crazy.

These days I’m getting to be more about form than weight. And today was a perfect example of that. My form was a little better by the end, but I have a long way to go. I wouldn’t have managed to get too far if I had continued to push weight over form.

So thanks Darcy and great work Ashley! Was fun to work out with you!

A Little Burner

We looked at the workout last night and I think we all moaned “not more snatches” pretty much simultaneously at my house. But Mickey, AJ, and I went at noon anyway to take this little burner on.

We weren’t alone at the noon class with Coach Drea… We had Brent (the Beast) and Shannon (the Rower) along for the ride.

rowboatAnd we started with a sprint drill… on the rower (or assault bike if you were AJ).

  • 1 minute of slow and steady
  • Then five rounds of
    • 17 second sprint
    • 43 second recovery

It was as super fast way of getting through 1350 meters in a handful of minutes. I think 5 1/2 minutes.

Once we were done there we did some PVC passthrus, PVC OHS, and some hollow body rocks. And then three rounds of:

  • 12 strict pull-ups (or 3 solid attempts)
  • 12 ring push-ups
  • 12 hip extensions on the GHD

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the GHD, so that was kind of interesting. Not horrible anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterThen a bit of snatch skill work, some push-up skill work, rowing skill work and… yeah, time to get to actual work.

  • Total Time
  • 3 rounds for time of:
    • Row 250 meters
    • 65/45-lb. squat snatches, 12 reps
    • 21 push-ups

The row, though a sprint, was the easier part of this workout. 250m is quick – about 54 seconds, 59 seconds, and 1:03 respectively. So not bad there. But the squat snatches are always a challenge. I stayed with the empty bar, trying to work on form as much as possible.

So here’s the thing with my squat snatches. My feet are way wider than normal. It’s almost like a Sumo squat snatch with the distance between them. But if I go shorter, I end up hopping out like a cheerleader doing a cheer. It ain’t pretty. So Drea had me just stay wide so that my feet wouldn’t get any wider.

It worked ok. I think I actually did the first 12 reps unbroken. And after that I broke it up 6 and 6.


Between the squat snatches and the push-ups, that was where I got slowed down. Push-ups were sets of 10, 5, 7, 3, 2, and 1… Whatever I could do.

In the end, I was just trying to beat Mickey, silly enough. Down to my last handful of push-ups the race was on. But I prevailed by a few seconds:

Here are our times:

  • AJ – 13:30
  • Me – 13:54
  • Mickey – 14:03

It was a close thing — those last few push-ups. ๐Ÿ™‚

thumbs-up-right-800pxBrent was done super fast. He ran 200m instead of rowing 250m and just kept flying through all the rest of it. And Shannon was done before AJ I think. So everybody was really flying.

Great work!

When we were all said and done, it was time for some banded shoulder mobility. And now it’s time for some ice on my left knee. But we still survived. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks Drea and great work 12pm class!

Snatch the Barbell Thrice

Yes, I was struggling for a title for the post today. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s going to be an insane day, but I won’t bore you with the details.

Made it in for an 8:30 workout with Coach Jimmy and a great class of folks – Jonathan, Brent, Larry, Shauna, Jenny, Nic & Nichole.

We started with a three round warm-up:

  • Row 250m
  • 10 strong kips on the rig
  • 10 med ball cleans (20/14#)

And once we were done with that, it was the Burgener warm-up all the way. First with a PVC pipe and then an unloaded barbell.

From there it was a few rounds of warm-up and then five sets of three squat snatches, working up the weight from 80% of our 1RM for snatches. Between the warm-up and the snatch sequence, my forearms and grip were already pretty fired up by the time we got to the workout itself.

20170501_093202I’m actually ok with snatches in general, but squat snatches (and squat cleans) — anything where there’s a combination of moving upward with the bar and then spinning under it — is where I start having issues. Whether it’s a lack of trust that my body will catch or I’ll get under it with enough speed, I don’t know. But we’re working on it.

So here’s how it went:

  • 75# x3 (warm-up)
  • 95# x3 (warm-up)
  • 95# x3 (stayed there for a second warm-up round)
  • 95# x3 (5×3, round 1)
  • 95# x3 (5×3, round 2)
  • 105# x3 (5×3, round 3)
  • 105# x3 (5×3, round 4)
  • 115# x3 (5×3, round 5)

You’ll notice that I stayed at 95# for a long time. I had a few reps where it was pretty much a muscle snatch and I forgot to drop underneath it entirely. And I fought my feet the whole time.


Jimmy was very patient. We worked on foot placement and narrowing the starting position of my feet so they didn’t quite go out so wide. (You can see the two little horseshoes where my feet were supposed to start.) My left foot remains within a few inches of the left horseshoe, but my right is turned out and pointing at the rig more than 6 inches from the right horseshoe.

It was frustrating. Jimmy suggests that I work on doing more snatch balance work just to get comfortable with the foot placement. It’ll be a work in progress.

181snatchConsidering that my 1RM for a snatch is something like 145#, I don’t feel bad only getting to 115# today. Focusing on form will help me out far more than gritting out some bad reps at heavier weights.

Anyway, it was great working out with Jimmy as a coach again. It’s been quite a while since I’ve made it into any of his classes. And between Drea, Jimmy, Bill, Isaac, Larry, Stacy, and Clare (I haven’t had an opportunity to be in one of Alex’s classes yet), there’s an interesting mix of emphasis between each member of the coaching staff. I may hear a cue from Isaac that I don’t hear from Drea or something from Bill I don’t hear from Larry… etc.

There is a lot of overlap of course, but each one of them brings something different to the table. It’s probably something I need to look into over the summer — trying to hop around to some of the other trainers’ classes to get different coaching methods.

Anyway… Great work today everybody! And thanks Jimmy!

Have a great day!

One Flu Over 17.3’s Nest

This has not been the best week. What I thought was a cold on Monday developed into some kind of flu bug that knocked me on my ass Tuesday and Wednesday. I felt closer to human again on Thursday and then suddenly it was Friday, time for the next Open workout. How was I going to do? Could I hang in long enough to do whatever I could?

Thursday night I watched the Open announcement like everyone else and probably swore openly at Dave Castro’s smiling face a few times as he gleefully listed off the parts of the workout. Squat snatches and chest to bar pull ups.


Well crap. Neither of those is one of my strongest movements. I managed two C2B in practice and then couldn’t hit a single one during the WOD a couple of weeks ago. That was a minor victory. I’ve done lighter squat snatches before. Maybe I could pull off the lightest parts of the prescribed workout… But it all depended on getting through those C2B’s.

Thursday night I was thinking maybe I’d try Rx. By Friday morning I was questioning that decision and folks were chiming in on my Facebook feed telling me that it would be fine, just go for it. Do those C2B’s one at a time. You’ll do great!

There was more than a little apprehension as I headed into Friday Night Lights at CrossFit Continuum with my wife. And the place was hopping, as per usual.


When it came time to do my ย heat with my wife, I was as warmed up as I was going to be. I had found a spot on the rig. I had attempted, and hit, a C2B.

Then I moved to the barbell on the floor. 95#. I attempted it three or four times. One of them I ended up on my ass on the ground, dropping the bar. Yup. Gravity still works. None of them were good attempts. Oh well, I’d just deal with it when the time came.

I laughed later because Coach Clare made a point of stopping and saying that I was going to do great. I was a little out of it. Maybe a bit dazed from being sick all week. Maybe a bit in my head after falling on my ass. Who knows? But I appreciated the vote of confidence!

Ev was going scaled. Jumping pull-ups are in her wheelhouse and chest-to-bars aren’t yet. And she was off like a bat out of hell. By the time she was done, she had made it into the second chunk of time and by 12 minutes she had completed 101 reps.

Meanwhile, I was working at the rig with Coach Isaac, who was nice enough to judge me during my run at the workout. I started out stronger than I expected. Stepped up to the rig, did one chest to bar. Boom. Stepped back. Did it again. Boom.

Hillary Douglas got a video showing me actually doing C2B’s – this is a shot from that

I did that 5 times in a row. Step, pull, boom, drop, step back. Repeat.

I think that only took me a minute or two and then I spent the rest of the 8 minutes trying to get rep #6. I never did, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I did everything I could think of. I listened to Isaac. And I got close 2 out of 3 tries. But though Isaac thought I touched a few times, I didn’t. I would have known.

The whole time, he and I were chatting. I was laughing and smiling. No stress. No worry. Just step away, figure out another approach, and try again. Over and over again.

When my 8 minutes ended, I had a score of 5. And I am utterly thrilled by that. C2B is one of those things I’ve been flirting with for years now. Pull-ups, sure. But C2B is a different kind of beast. To get 5 of them in one workout is a major milestone.

So my score for 17.3 is 5 reps. Rx. It sounds so small when other folks are getting into the 40s, 70s, or 100s and beyond. But I really don’t care. And that’s amusing to me.

The Strange Dichotomy

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with Dr. Strange, though that title would not be out of place in a Dr. Strange comic. But here’s the thing.

Something changed over the last year in me. I’m not sure how or when, but I’ve relaxed a ton. Maybe the stick up my butt finally fell out. I don’t know.

games-logo-2017This is my third CrossFit Open in my four years of doing CrossFit. The first one was insanely stressful for me. Every workout I felt like I was letting someone down. My coaches. My family. Myself. I don’t know who. By the time I got to the last workout and walked out in the middle of it, I was fried. No, I wasn’t going to do this again. And I took the next year off, but cheered everybody on.

Last year I tried again and had more fun. It was still stressful, but I looked at each workout as a challenge and less as an insurmountable mountain. By giving it a best effort, I wasn’t letting anybody down. I was showing up. That’s more than half the battle. But scaling still felt like it was the enemy. I’d been doing crossfit long enough I should not have to scale, damnit! Silly me.

Over the last 12 months, that attitude towards scaling has shifted.

It’s not a necessary evil. It’s just part of the game. Listen to the body. Prepare the best you can and adjust accordingly. Each workout is not a permanent scar written in the history books. It’s just a workout. Enjoy it. Get through it as well as you can, recover, learn, and prepare for the next one.

Why it’s taken me this long to figure that out is beyond me, because damn it makes so many other things in life so much easier. Today is just today. Do the best you can and move on because it’s not going to last anyway.

So this CrossFit Open has been a much different affair for me. I scaled the first two workouts because my body told me I needed to. Fine. No biggie.


Last night is the first workout for this Open that I thought I had a chance of doing at the prescribed weight. Could I have continued doing the workout had I hit that 95# bar for squat snatches? Heck if I know. Would I have given it my best shot? Hell yes.

But here’s the biggest factor for me: giving myself permission to scale. It’s such a stupid thing. Between that and simply relaxing and having fun with the whole experience, it’s such a different beast I can’t even explain it.

So if I have any words of wisdom to share, it’s just to have fun. Listen to your body. Don’t stress yourself out. Cheer everybody else on and enjoy the ride when it’s your turn.

I just wish it hadn’t taken me 4 years to figure that out. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Note that I will still probably swear at Dave Castro’s smiling face next Thursday night!)

Great work Continuum family! You all KILLED IT last night. I watched folks do amazing feats of strength and perseverance all night.

Now let’s do it again next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Moving that bar

I’m not fast. I’m slow but deliberate. When I go fast, usually I screw something up – and that’s definitely the case with crossfit and Olympic lifting. I watch my setup and try to duplicate the same steps over and over. When I’m patient, it works. When I rush…ย Well, usually something goes wrong.


Practicing the art of not beating myself up for every failure (after yesterday’s DNF), I went back to CrossFit Continuum for the Tuesday 8:30a class. I went in with a hopeful attitude hoping not to DNF two days in a row.

Coach Drea had me,ย Sarah, Dan, Jenny, Adrienne (and Jayda of course), Andrea, and Jake today. We started with a 400m run and then did a plank hold into some push-ups, a handstand hold on the wall, and some overhead plate presses with a 25# plate.

The first part of the WOD today was more handstand skill work. I worked with Dan and the two of us would work on kicking up to the wall and trying to hold our feet off the wall. One of us would stand behind (or beside) the other and try to just give a little nudge above the knee to keep us from falling over. It was supposed to be five attempts at a 20 second handstand hold – I think we got through three or four each in the time we had.

Barbell_Bench_PressAnd then we did a lot of movement prep with a PVC pipe and then an unloaded bar. Today was all about the squat snatch and the bench press. Bench wasn’t bad refresher-wise, but we went through a ton of reps to get form on the squat snatch down.

The workout itself was 12-9-6 reps for time of:

  • 165/115# squat snatches (Rx)
  • 225/145# bench presses (Rx)

I looked at those numbers last night and laughed. 225# bench? 12 times! My one rep max about 4-6 months ago was 230#. One. Rep. Max. HAHAHA.ย Dan and I both figured we were going to have to scale the heck out of it.

Level II for the workout was 135/95# squat snatches and 185/115# bench press. And level III was 95/65# squat snatches and 135/75# bench press.


Dan chose 115# for his squat snatches and we started at 155# for the bench press.

He finished in about 13 minutes at this weights. I had some issues with the bench press towards the end of my set of 9 and dropped to 115# for the set of 6, but stuck with 95# for my squat snatches. Except for a couple of squat snatches and one bench press rep I think I did pretty well and finished in 13:46.

Definitely under the 15 minutes that Drea said earlier classes were finishing under, so I was happy. Remember earlier when I said that if I rush things, bad things happened? Well those two squat snatches I botched were like that. I didn’t set up properly and dropped the bar forward on one. And on the other I got it all the way up and forgot to squat it.

Oh well. Perfect is like fast. Neither word really works for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

That said – everybody was moving right along for this one. Every time I looked up, folksย were throwing bars everywhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great work everybody! Much better for me today. ๐Ÿ™‚

A little Mary for Monday

So I skipped Friday’s workout but did an hour of yoga with my family over at Crossfit 719 with yogi Ridds on Saturday. Had another rest day yesterday and knew it was time to head back to the box today!

14ozcrToday we were going for a new 1RM squat snatch and then doing Mary XXX, which I will describe shortly. The whole Fitzpatrick clan made it in today to work with Coaches Larry & Drea: myself, Ev, Mickey, and AJ. We were joined by a large crew – Deana, Jenny, Debbie, Monica, Daniel, Dee, Connie, Melissa, and Lisa. And we saw the 8:30 crew finishing up when we came in.

Larry had us start with a 400m run and then we did some shoulder mobility – PVC pass thrus of a couple of types, some Sotz press, and then some overhead squats before starting to work on our squat snatches.

We had 12 minutes to work to a new 1RM for the squat snatch. We’ve been working on it for a while, but I’m still fairly uncomfortable with any of the squat movements (squat clean, squat snatch, etc.). I started with 95# on the bar, bumped it to 115# and fell on my butt before getting it up once. Bumped it to 125# and failed the first time before getting it the second time pretty smoothly. And then I attempted 135# a few times to no avail.

snatch5So my new 1RM max squat snatch is 125#. My 1RM max hanging power snatch is 145#. Eventually the two may meet. ๐Ÿ™‚

Once that was done, we set up for Mary XXX. It’s a 20 minute AMRAP set up like this:

  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 20 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 30 pull-ups
  • 15 handstand push-ups
  • 30 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 45 pull-ups
  • 20 handstand push-ups
  • 40 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 60 pull-ups
  • 25 handstand push-ups
  • 50 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 75 pull-ups
  • 30 handstand push-ups
  • 60 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 90 pull-ups

That’s the Rx version. I did level II, which was:

  • 5 handstand push-ups
  • 10 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 handstand push-ups
  • 20 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 25 pull-ups
  • 15 handstand push-ups
  • 30 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 40 pull-ups
  • 20 handstand push-ups
  • 40 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 55 pull-ups
  • 25 handstand push-ups
  • 50 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 70 pull-ups

But I revised the single-leg squats (which I can’t do unless I’m on the rig or going to a box) to what replaced it in the level I version –ย 10 walking lunges, alternating.

pablo (4)Here’s what I managed:

  • 5 HSPU
  • 10 alternating walking lunges
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 HSPU
  • 20 alternating walking lunges
  • 25 pull-ups
  • 15 HSPU
  • 30 alternating walking lunges
  • and 20 of the 40 pull-ups
  • Total = 145 reps

I’m definitely not fast. But I felt pretty good through everything but the pull-ups after that first round. I even managed strict HSPUs on a 15# plate with an ab mat without killing myself. Those pull-ups though… After a while, doing 5 in a row was a challenge.

That said, I kept on moving. One rep at a time.

Great work everybody!