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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Workout of the Day:
In teams of two, move 500 lbs. 400 meters for time.

Each team gets four 45 lb. rubber bumper plates, four 25 lb. rubber bumper plates, and four 10 lb. rubber bumper plates. The team must move a total of 500 lbs., in any combination of their choosing, around our 400 meter course. (E.g., Partner A runs 10 laps with a 25 lb. plate, Partner B runs 5 laps with a 45 lb. plate and 1 lap with a 25 lb. plate.) Your plates need to be swapped out every time around the block – so drop the 45 lb. plate you were carrying and pick up the 45 lb. plate that you left behind.
Sage Under Lights at CrossFit Invictus in San Diego

Why Olympic Lifting is Good for CrossFit
Written by Sage Burgener 

I recently decided to take a little break from the competition aspect of Olympic weightlifting and focus more on becoming a better all-around athlete. In order to do so, I took on Crossfit. Olympic lifting definitely set me back in fitness when it came to doing anything more than one snatch or one clean and jerk. Doing anything as simple as walking to the refrigerator to eat a spoonful (or three) of delicious cashew butter had me in severe oxygen debt. So, I decided something needed to change. That’s when CrossFit really came into my life.

The point of this post is not to bash the fabulous sport of Olympic weightlifting, but rather to brag about it. Now that my focus has shifted more to becoming a better CrossFit athlete, I have started to realize the benefits of having experience with Olympic weightlifting. I have started to realize how much the movements of the snatch and clean and jerk transfer over to almost every other movement in my CrossFit workouts. 

Because Olympic lifting is such a technical sport, I have been able to understand the concept of using my whole body as opposed to muscling my way through the CrossFit exercises. This enables me to save energy, and saving energy will, in the future, help me improve my times and scores. Olympic lifting has also helped me to gain a sense of body awareness. This comes in handy for movements that require rhythm and coordination such as kipping pull-ups and box jumps. 

Most importantly, Olympic lifting has helped in my journey to becoming the best all-around athlete that I can be by instilling in me mental strength. I am not saying that I am mentally strong by any means, but I have been able to feel what it is like to completely fear something, and yet still complete the task. I have felt the rush of butterflies right before a hideous workout, and I have experienced the constant struggle of telling myself not to quit when I thought I could not go on any longer. These are all things that CrossFitters experience EVERY workout. The mental strength that is required for CrossFit workouts does not necessarily exceed that of Olympic lifting, but it is definitely on a different level. I look up to and admire each and every CrossFitter for pushing themselves everyday to their absolute limit and for putting their bodies through constant pain with the goal of becoming a better athlete. So, having those experiences of overcoming the barrier of mental toughness in Olympic lifting has helped immensely in my pursuit of becoming as mentally tough as my fellow CrossFit friends. 

In conclusion, don’t shy away from the scary technical aspect of Olympic weightlifting – because you sure wouldn’t shy away from a scary CrossFit WOD. Learn to love the sport and learn how to master it, and watch it help you in your CrossFit endeavors.

  • M

    Rad post Coachie Poo! I am getting scared…

  • Pat

    M, congratulations on qualifying! CA is the epicenter of the CF world and So Cal is the capital. Qualifying from this region is HUGE!

    BC, congraulations to you on starting a new phase of your life at the CHP academy! Please take care out there. LE is a dangerous place and the CHP have the added dangers of enforcing on freeways full of traffic. Best to you and yours!

    Pat (almost heading back to SD from Bagram)

  • Wayne

    I don’t know about anyone else, but my back is actually sore after that virtual shoveling… weird…

    Sage, great article… just not as great as the shirts you make ;)

  • http://bensullins.com Ben S

    @Wayne: My back is sore too, I might have pulled something. That shoveling stuff kicked my ass.

    For tonights workout it just says ‘move’ 500lbs 4 times. Does that mean I can just load it in my car and drive around the block?
    :-P

  • POS

    Today’s WOD advice…. Bumper plates roll really well, so use the downhill effectively!

  • Wayne

    Yeah POS, but they don’t stop really well ;)

  • POS

    CJ used to play ball, I am sure in the warm up he can lead you in ground ball scoop drills to pick up the plate on the fly.

  • Cynthia

    aim for pedestrians—that will stop the bumper plates.

    I was staring out my office window just now, daydreaming…and happened to see the 9:30 class start the WOD! Ain’t nobody rolling nothing…those studs are carrying those plates!

    Looking good 9:30!!!

  • Coryna (apparently, aka Little Cheddies McBean)

    Wait a minute, you don’t actually have to carry the plates???!!! The last sentence of the posted WOD indicates having to actaully carry the plate… are 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. cheating again like yesterday? HA HA!

  • Chris F

    Great article! Some sage advice from Sage. :)

    Yeah fellas’, I third the back soreness. There was no kind of proper form going on yesterday. I kind of expected it.

    Rest day today, but I decided to run 3 miles. Posted a 21:39 and was 10:10 at the 1.5 mile marker. My last Navy PT test is 12 May and I’d like to get a 9:45 on the 1.5 mile run. Even though we rarely sprint more than 800 meters at a clip, CrossFit has helped my 1-5 mile run pace so much it’s ridiculous. :)

    Have a fine day everyone!

    ~BC

  • POS

    BC, Great work brother! That is soem good running there.

  • Lizzle

    Sage you are awesome- and have helped me so much with my snatch! I used to hate snatching because I sucked at it. I ain’t scrrrrdddd! Lower back soreness due to virtual shoveling. Check.

  • Wayne

    BC! You rock bro!

  • http://liftingiron.com/ Lizzle

    Sage you are awesome- and have helped me so much with my snatch! I used to hate snatching because I sucked at it. I ain’t scrrrrdddd! Lower back soreness due to virtual shoveling. Check.
    Should mention great post. Can’t wait to reading the next post!

  • courtland

    As Cornya points out, apparently the morning crews yesterday had special “counting” indulgences that deprived them of their full shoveling virtuosity. For shame!

    I for one had excellent shoveling form (probably from shoveling so much bullshit as a lawyer) and I know this to be true because my back is not sore but my hamstrings feel like they are full of angry lobsters.

    I have no interest in running around the block today with plates…it’s a law school tort exam hypothetical fraught with multiple layers of liability. Besides, it’s my rest day.

  • courtland

    “Coryna” … apologies

  • Cynthia

    Courtland!

    I didn’t know that you are an attorney. I checked out your profile on your firm’s website—you went to DLI!! So did I, from 85-86! Czech linguist (USAF). No honor grad here, I was a big fat drunk then. Damn that place was fun!

    Small world, huh? AND–I work for the Attorney General’s office as a paralegal. It’s like we’re living parallel lives…the same, only different. Yeah….a lot of my brain cells were killed by alcohol….

  • Coryna (apparently, aka Little Cheddies McBean)

    Cynthia, you are a freaking hoot and a half. I always hope on the blog multiple times a day just to see what your two cents are for the day. Your comments always make me laugh!

  • Coryna (apparently, aka Little Cheddies McBean)

    hope=hop

  • Cynthia

    Hmph, Coryna/Cornya/Cornea:

    You dare call us CHEATERS earlier because our coach yesterday told us to count each touch as a rep (Mark, there will be a little something extra in your paycheck this week for that little gift!)

    I DEMAND reparations for my hurt feelings. Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting will do nicely. Cupcakes. Plural.

  • M

    Just to clarify–the 9:30 class DID NOT ROLL the weights! In fact, due to my hearing and/or addition problems, some people did a little extra!!

  • courtland

    Cynthia, We were probably at DLI at the same time, as I finished up in May 87 and spent the next four years in Augsburg, which was a fantastic place to live and work. Czechoslovakia never really seemed to present much of a threat, and when I went there for a visit with buddies, the folks were really nice and we drank most of the beer in the country, though I understand they have refilled the kegs since then.

    Yeah, now I shovel for a living…still a lot of fun.

    Cheeers,

  • Cynthia

    Courtland,

    We are officially Twinners. I was also stationed in Augsburg!! From 86-91. Good old Gablingen….the Elephant Cage.

    If you tell me that you were in the Air Force, I will KNOW that I was really drunk the whole time I was in Augsburg, because I thought I knew/drank with/threw up on all the zoomies.

    I feel like I’ve met up with a long lost relative that I never knew.

  • courtland

    Cynthia,
    You know, when I first saw you at CFI you seemed vaguely familiar. I was a transcriber for most of the time and worked a good mix of days, swings and mids so I must have seen you around. The community there was pretty small, and the folks who worked at Gab were an even smaller group. Good to see we both made it to sunnier climes, though it was a great place.

    Cheers twin,
    Courtland

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