Tag Archives: squat snatch

Rough Monday, but Surviving!

Some days are tougher than others. The body doesn’t want to move. The brain won’t wake-up. Whatever the reason, Mondays are usually days to kick off the rust and get back into gear. Today was no different.

garfield-mondayMade it in for an 8:30 workout with Coach Drea today and there were a few of us – Jed, Dave, Abigail, and Matt. We tackled an intriguing array of movements for the warm-up, including a weird cross-body set of movements with a dumbbell or kettlebell that involved a lot of twisting and single arm movements.

Something tells me that the difficulties some of us had (*me* cough cough) doing partner Russian twists with a medicine ball on Saturday may have something to do with it. Twisting and turning in different ways was more than a challenge – it turned out to be downright painful going one way (right to left across my front) vs. not as awful the other (left to right), though I was passing the med ball over my right shoulder to Jonathan, rather than around my right side.

Anyway… warm-up aside (we were all groaning pretty good by the end), we then started warming up with some PVC squat cleans and clean & jerks, talking about the workout.

  • 12-minute AMRAP
  • Performance:
    • 115/75-lb. squat snatch, 1 rep
    • 115/75-lb. clean and jerks, 3 reps
    • 30 double-unders
  • Fitness:
    • 75/55-lb. hang snatch, 1 rep
    • 75/55-lb. clean and jerks, 3 reps
    • 50 single-unders

Warming up with 75# felt ok. I tried for 95# and my squat snatch was… um… underwhelming. I think my shoulders are still fried from last week. So I stayed at 75#.

1th9hbAnd, even funnier today, Drea asked me to do 30 seconds of double under practice. Normally I would say sure, but I couldn’t even string more than 10 single-unders together for some reason until about round 4 today. It was weird.

So I stayed with Fitness level, but stuck with squat snatches instead of hanging snatches. I aimed for 5-6 rounds (Drea said to shoot for 8), and managed 6 full rounds plus 4 — I picked up my rope just as time went out.

Squat anything with an overhead bar — like overhead squats or snatches — is always a challenge. That should have been easier than it was, but I’m happy with the results. I kept moving, despite fumbling through single-unders and taking my time on the lifts.

Great work 8:30 class!


Squat, You Must

There are days when you see a movement in the workout and wonder if you should really go or not. And those are the days you should definitely go. Forward movement has helped with so many aspects of my life, I’m just thankful to keep moving.

Someday-2-1024x896Today is my first day back to work since December 15th as well, so I’m dragging a bit and needed the endorphin boost to kick myself into gear. 🙂

Headed in today with Ev for an 8:30 class with Coach Bill and we were joined by Jordan and Logan, so a nice small group to keep things moving. We started with the same medicine ball warm-up we’ve been doing, then moved to the rig for the rest of it.

Then the real fun began. First with PVC pipes, then unloaded barbells… Snatch practice. Breaking things down into the start, the shrug, the high pull, and the pull under… tough for me with a PVC pipe, but this is definitely not one of my stronger movements. We even did some overhead squats.

Once the skill refresher was over, we did a little 7 minute EMOM:

  • 2 snatches, EMOM
  • 65# – 65# – 65# – 75# – 75# – 75# – 75#

Yeah, my 1RM is 135# set back in 2015… I’m not good at this yet, though I feel like I can power snatch more than I can squat snatch. It’s a squat thing. If I could figure out how to get under the dang thing…

squat-you-must-t-shirtFrom there, it was time to start the workout.

  • 7×1, squat snatch

Last week we did some snatches… And most of mine turned out to be power vs. squat. A few squats, but mix and match. Today wasn’t far off from where I was last week.

  • 75# (fail)
  • 75#
  • 95# x1 (ugly)
  • 95# x1 (a little better)
  • 115# x1 (ugly, but ok)
  • 125# fail (power snatched, but couldn’t get under to squat)
  • 125# fail (same)
  • 115# (worked fine, but didn’t want to end on a fail)

So honestly this was about the same as the 5×1 last week. My left leg kept shooting way out when I was trying to get under the bar, largely because my hamstring is still ticked from the air squat/walking lunge/good morning workout last week I think.

That’s ok though. I did what I could, lifted some weights, and ended about where I was last week. I’ll take it.

When I was done, Ev worked on her pull-ups, so I decided I’d try and get a few more chest to bars in. I did a set of 4 and hit 3 of the 4, then brushed the last one on my shirt. I’ll take that too.

Good work 8:30! Thanks Bill!

Weaker Strength Day

Some days are better than others. That’s a fact. And in the gym, I’ve had to do my best to listen to my body more often. Today, it was telling me to go lighter because everything felt heavy and my form wasn’t great. 🙂

0d955d5350d9ac0bb7be7f04b8e20fd4We had the whole Fitzy family in this morning, along with one of Mickey’s friends, Shannon, plus Connie, Bri, Larry, and Melissa. Coach Drea had a full house for the 8:30 class. We all worked our way through the warm-up of the week and then began tackling some Olympic snatch mechanics.

Starting with an empty barbell, we worked through quite a few different elements before we even added any weight to the bar. And that was definitely a good thing. After doing 150 kettlebell swings last night (plus 150 sit-ups), my hamstrings were a little sore and my lower back was also starting to say hello before long.

Eventually we started adding weight to the bar. The workout was 5×1 for snatches and then we did 5×1 for (squat) clean & jerks.

snatch5I warmed up to 95# and then added 20# more pounds for the first round… I was all over the place:

  • 95# (warm-up)
  • 115# (warm-up)
  • 115# (first round)
  • 105# (second round)
  • 105# (third round)
  • 115# (fourth round)
  • 125# (fifth round)

This wasn’t awful, considering my old 1RM is STILL 135# after nearly 2.5 years. Was it pretty? Um, no — especially since only about half of these were actually squat snatches. Most of them were pretty upright power snatches, but it was what my body was allowing today.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiThen we worked on clean & jerks. They were supposed to be squat cleans, but again I ended up with a mix of squat and power cleans.

  • 95# (warm-up)
  • 115# (warm-up)
  • 135#
  • 135#
  • 155#
  • 155#
  • 165#

Even with the mix of squat and power cleans, this was way under what I was shooting for. Was kind of hoping for 185# since I set my old 1RM at 205# back in November. But hey, listening to the body was good and we’ll have an opportunity to work more on this in the coming weeks.

So good work everybody! And I hope the 9:30 class had fun too!

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

Thanks Drea and great work 12pm class!

Snatch the Barbell Thrice

Yes, I was struggling for a title for the post today. 🙂 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!