8.6.18 - Monday
On the hang power clean, athletes bend forward at the waist. However, when running we are looking to have a straight line from the ankle to the head. Rather than leaning forward at the waist, this lean will come from the ankle, allowing athletes to execute a “controlled fall”. Being mindful of where this lean is coming from makes the running more effortless and preserves that movement pattern for hang power cleans.
Knowing the work inside requires athletes to hold on to rope handles and a barbell, keeping the arms relaxed on the runs will be beneficial. Athletes can envision themselves holding eggshells that they are attempting not to break
10 Seconds Tight Bunny Hops in Place
20ft. Bunny Hop Forward*
100 Meter Run
*Leaning at ankle with arms relaxed.
Hands & Shoulders
Same thought process on the ropes as the run. Arguably more important on this station. There is a tendency to tense up in the shoulders and death grip the rope to spin it around. Bringing the shoulders down and back and unlocking the wrists takes some tension out of the upper body, allowing the hang power cleans and rope to cycle more smoothly.
15 Seconds Each:
No Rope Single Unders Thigh Taps (Relaxing the Arms)
Easy Single Unders
No Rope Double Under Thigh Taps (Relaxing the Arms)
Double Under Attempts
2x Single Unders
Hang Power Cleans
Weightlifting requires athletes to control and balance an external object. There are many moving pieces that contribute to helping with this balance. A common fault associated with balance issues in the clean is athletes jumping forward or backward. You can imagine that jumping forward is likely a result of the bar swinging away from the body or the weight staying in the toes. Jumping backwards can happen from overextending, having the weight too far back in the heels, or jumping too early. Just like when we jump rope, the most efficient use of energy is to jump straight up and straight down. This balance point for athletes on the clean is the middle of the foot. Today, we will focus on feeling the weight balanced here until the final extension. For athlete with this issue, a tape or chalk line under the arch of the foot is a great tactile cue for them to see where their body is traveling.
10 Second Receiving Position Hold
10 Second High Hang Hold
10 Second Low Hang Hold
3 High Hang Power Cleans
3 Hang Power Cleans
Build to Workout Weight
8.7.18 - Tuesday
In the squat, the knees will track out to create torque. However, in the bike, we actually want the knees to stay in. Because of the structure of the bike, it is beneficial to have the hip, knee, and ankle all in one line, tracking straight down to the pedals. Because the majority of the movement we do tend to involve “knees out”, this may be hard to adjust to at first, but will feel more comfortable over time.
:30 Second Bike
There is no right or wrong knee position in the AbMat Sit-up. If we are looking to get the most out of the abs, placing the heels on the ground with the knees spread wide reduces the use of the hip flexors. This is more of a true AbMat sit-up than placing the feet straight out front with knees slightly bent, although either way is acceptable for today’s workout.
5 AbMat Sit-ups
On the Edge
We want to live life on the edge…of our feet. Rather than cueing “knees out” today, we’ll take a different approach to accomplish the same task. Athletes can create torque, and thus a safe and powerful leg position, by keeping constant pressure on the outside edge of the feet. We can think of always driving weight outward, keeping the load right around where the arch of the foot meets the heel. This doesn’t mean that athletes are lifting the inside edge of their foot of the ground. The whole foot will still remain in contact with the ground as athletes go through their full range of motion.
5 Pausing Air Squats
5 Air Squats
5 Back Squats
8.8.18 - Wednesday
The last position athletes pass through before launching the bar overhead is the pocket position. We can aim for the pockets with straight arms on all our snatches today. Athletes typically do a really nice job of finding the pockets, but that is often accomplished by pulling the bar there with the arms. Rather than bending the arms and losing some power, athletes can think about pressing the bar back against their pockets with the lats. This straight arm jump will come in handy on both the heavy lift and the high-rep, light snatches in “Randy”
Not only are we looking to avoid bending the arms to get the bar to the pockets, but also when supporting the bar overhead. The quicker athletes can get from their jumping position to their landing position, the more likely they are to receive the bar with strong, locked out elbows. Putting this into practice while building up to the heavier weights will help engrain good movement patterns for the light barbell.
From the High Hang:
3 Down and Ups
3 Elbow High and Outsides
3 Muscle Snatches
From the Back Rack:
5 Snatch Lands
Working Top Down:
2 High Hang Power Snatches
2 Hang Power Snatches
2 Power Snatches
In the bottom of the push-up, you will often see the hands either too far forward or too wide, putting extra pressure on the soft tissue structures of the shoulder. Laying flat on the ground, athletes can bring the thumbs near the nipple line and just off the rib cage to find a vertical forearm position. A proper hand position gives athletes better leverage and a safer pressing position.
A surefire way to get better at proper push-ups is to press an appropriate percentage of bodyweight with a straight body. Keeping a straight body means keeping the midline on by squeezing the belly, butt, and quads. When athletes snake their push-ups, they are pressing a lesser percentage of their body weight, which some athletes should do, but here with an overextended back. Pressing to a box or a bench with a straight body is more beneficial than snaking push-ups. Keeping the belly, butt, and squads tight throughout the whole range of motion will help athletes keep a rigid body.
Establish Bottom Position
Establish Top Position
Push-ups to Box or Bench
In the world of water rowing, the oar will naturally move up and down as a part of the stroke. The blade has to go into the water and out of the water. However, when training on an erg, moving the handle up and down only leads to a more inefficient position and can put more strain on the shoulders. A good visual is to keep the hands and the handle somewhere between the two screws located near where the chain inserts. It may help to mark with either tape or chalk a small line in the middle of the screws as a point of reference on where the hand and chain should be when rowing today.
When rowing, it is common to see athletes round their backs to get the handle close to the flywheel in the catch. Despite the extra length, this position makes it more difficult to breathe and does not demonstrate a position that would be used in any other movement. Sitting tall on the rower throughout the stroke with the belly squeezed and head reaching up creates more power and helps athletes breathe better.
:15 Second Holding Catch Position (abs on, handle straight)
:30 Seconds Rowing
8.9.10 - Thursday
The longer your shin is, the lower you feet should be. The shorter your shin is, the higher it should be. A general guideline is that knees should be relatively close to the armpits in the catch position. In this catch position, we are also looking for the heels to be grounded with the shin vertical. If your feet are too high, you will limit your front-end length, or how close the handle can get to the flywheel. On the other side, if you feet are too low, front-end length will be good, but at the expense of an optimal leg drive and possibly a loss of good back position. For athletes with mobility issues, dropping the foot lower (up towards 5-6) will better allow them to a more advantageous stroke length.
The rower is oddly enough a very opportune time to practice locking out the elbows for when the overhead squats come along. At the finish of the stroke, we want the arms shooting straight to be the first action when beginning the recovery. The arms will shoot straight to lock the elbows, the chest will slightly lean forward, and then and only then do the knees bend. Arms straight with handle past the knees before they bend.
Establish Foot Position
:15 Seconds Active Catch Position Hold
:30 Seconds of Rowing
Knee to Elbow
When coming out of the bottom of the burpee, you sometimes see athletes jump with a straighter leg. Straighter legs makes for a longer distance to travel. Whether athletes go for a two legged jump or a step-up, aiming the knees to the elbows will help athletes catch in a lower position with an upright chest, making the jump all that easier.
3 Frog Hops
Just like the foot position on the rower differs based on the athlete, the hand width on the overhead squat will be athlete specific as well. We have to take into account both arm length and mobility. The longer the arms, the wider the hands will likely have to be. However, mobility will likely be the biggest determining factor. A great place to start is snatch width grip, with the hands wide enough that the barbell sits near the waist band. From this position, most athletes should be able to balance the barbell over the middle of their foot while overhead. For more mobile athletes, bringing the hands in will better stack the wrist, elbow, and shoulder, making for a more stable support. Going narrow is only better if athletes are able to maintain an upright chest with heels down during the squat. We’ll play around with hand position first and foremost today.
No matter the hand position athletes take, keeping the arms straight is a constant. Imagine trying to hold a barbell in the back rack in a quarter squat for as long as you can. Now imagine trying to hold the same weight barbell, but standing tall with legs straight. Holding the barbell with straight legs will undoubtedly be easier due to the fact that joints stacked on top of each other can support more weight for a longer duration than muscles alone. If athletes can lock the elbows through the whole way up and down on the overhead squat, they’ll be able to hold on longer and move more weight. The hands are always pressing up like the roof is caving in.
Establish Hand Position
:15 Second Overhead Position Hold
5 Pausing Overhead Squats
Build to all four workout weights
8.10.18 - Friday
In the kipping pull-up, athletes generate full body power by alternating between the hollow body and arch positions. In the strict pull-up, all the power comes from the lats and the arms, so athletes will only be in the hollow body position throughout the movement. Being able to feel out the hollow body on the floor will allow athletes to find the position better when hanging from the pull-up bar. On the floor, athletes will begin lying on their back. From there, we are looking for the following:
Pull belly button to spine
Push low back into floor
Feet & legs squeezed together
Legs 6 inches off floor
Shoulder blades off floor
Elbows by ears (hands by side if low back comes off ground)
Once we feel this position out on the floor, we will look to recreate it while hanging from the pull-up bar. The only things that change is that the feet will be slightly in front of the bar as opposed to off the floor.
After establishing the hollow body position on the bar, athletes can set their shoulders into a strong pulling position. It is common to see athletes rely on their biceps to pull their chin over the bar. The biceps are nice looking, but the lats are the bigger and stronger pulling muscles. Both are involved in the movement, but the lats are doing most of the work.
This strong pulling position begins with a scap pull-up or scap retraction. Athletes can begin in a dead hang from the bar. Then, from the hollow position with straight arms, they will pull the shoulders down, away from the ears. Doing so will help them feel the lat engagement that helps dramatically in big pulling movements. Being able to feel and use the lats throughout the full movement helps athletes get stronger in the right places and accumulate more reps today.
Demo & Establish Hollow Position on Floor
:20 Second Hollow Hold
Demo & Establish Hollow Position on Bar
:20 Second Hollow Hold
10 Scap Pull-ups
1-3 Strict Pull-ups
Although the lats are the main movers of the pull-up, the biceps do play a role, as they help flex the elbow. When running, the biceps naturally flex to keep the arms close to the body, providing balance and a little momentum. Knowing that the pull-ups will take a toll on them, relaxing the biceps and arms here will be beneficial for recovery. Consciously loosening the arms a bit may make the run a little less efficient, but can payoff with bigger sets of pull-ups upon returning inside. Keeping the abs slightly engaged and the shoulders square helps minimize some of the side to side motion that can result from loosening up the arms.
50 Meter Normal Run
50 Meter Relaxed Arm Run
25/18 Calorie Assault Bike
40/28 Calorie Schwinn
500/400 Meter Row