Karyn Marshall, in 1987 she became the first woman to break the 300# barrier
Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend, now back to work! Obviously we missed our Monday class with the holiday and have a short week of lifting, but no worries, programming has been adjusted accordingly. Following the programming for this week there’s some information both for new people interested in getting started with the Oly classes as well as a programming breakdown for those of you interested in seeing how the sausage gets made.
Note: Starting this week each lift in the programming below will be a link to a technique and video description at the excellent Catalyst Athletics site. I highly encourage you to click and watch when you have some free time, especially with lifts you’re unfamiliar with.
Day 1 (Wednesday)
1. Snatch, 5×2 @8RPE
3. Front Squat, up to x4 @9RPE, 5% Load Drop
4a. Jefferson Curl 3×8
4b. GHD Sit-Up 3×15
Day 2 (Optional, on your own)
1. Push Press, 3×5 @9RPE
2. Snatch Pulls off blocks (BTK), 4×3 @9RPE
3. Back Squat, up to x4 @9RPE, 5% Load Drop
4a. Wtd. Pull-Ups, 5×2
4b. Wtd. Ring Dips, 5×2
5. 8 min Abs
Basic Crunch=Tuck-Ups, Curl=V-Ups, Reverse Crunch=Bent-Knee Dragon Flag, Alternating Curl=Bicycle
General Oly Class Overview
Currently our oly class set-up consists of three sessions a week- one class on Mondays at 7:30pm, one class at Wednesdays at 7:30pm, and one session to be completed on your own whenever convenient. The Mon/Wed sessions are ~75 minutes long, the third optional day may take closer to 90 minutes. This adds up to a full oly-focused strength program, if you are interested in both improving in the olympic lifts (snatch and clean + jerk) while improving your all-around strength and flexibility, this is a good program for you.
The general class structure- think of this as a 201-level class, oly class attendees are expected to come in early and warm-up whatever they need to do to warm-up and address necessary mobility issues on their own. I’ll post a suggested warm-up sequence along with next week’s post. Once class begins we’ll briefly break down what we’re doing that day, most days you’ll be completing three lifts followed by some accessory work (usually abs and joint-bulletproofing stuff), then you’ll proceed through the programming at your own pace. I’ll be around to give feedback and technique advice but lifters are highly encouraged to give feedback to each other as well.
The oly class does count as a regular class here, so if you’re on a 2x or 3x a week membership keep that in mind.
Making the most of it
For optimal results if your goal is to improve in the olympic lifts I would recommend following this three day schedule while optionally adding in a CrossFit class on a 4th day to maintain conditioning and increase work capacity. For best results have a rest day between the days you lift and don’t do the fourth CF day the day before a lifting session (e.g., Mon-Oly, Weds-Oly, Fri-Oly, Sat-CF) .
For the vast majority of you though I realize the goal isn’t so much to max out your potential in the olympic lifts but instead to get better at CrossFit/improve your overall fitness. If that is the case of course adjust to your schedule as necessary, you’re more than welcome to come in to just one oly class a week to work on your technique and get some feedback on your lifts, and if you’re a crazy person feel free to do the regular class immediately before the oly class then stick around- but understand your results of course won’t be as good as if you came in fully rested.
Future of the CFCC Oly Program
In August Eric Siegel, who many of you have met already, will be joining our Oly program as a coach and we’ll begin a training cycle leading up to the Ginny Robinson Memorial Weightlifting Meet October 8-9th. Attendance at this is of course optional but highly encouraged if you’re interested in olympic lifting in any way, shape, or form. As Eric joins our program we might be slightly altering our class schedule and structure, possibly adding in a third oly class on Saturdays, more details to come.
The RPE System
In our programming we’re currently using a RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) system, as opposed to a percentage based or goal weight based system. The benefits of this system are that it lets us modulate volume and intensity based on how you’re feeling on any given day. As I’m sure you’ve experienced some days you’ll come in at the start of the week after eating right and getting a full night of sleep and a 100# snatch will feel buttery smooth and effortless, and on another day you’ll come in after a week of country-song level misery (you lose your job, your partner runs off with your best friend, your dog runs away, and your pick-up truck breaks down) and a 100# snatch feels like the hardest thing in the world. This system lets you adjust and go heavier on a day you feel like a million bucks, and stay a little lighter on days you feel like death warmed over.
In short, a breakdown of the levels looks something like:
Two things I like about this system other than the ability to modulate intensity/volume:
First, it forces you to get to know yourself as a lifter. As you move out of the realm of being a novice-level lifter and start to become an intermediate you should be able to fairly accurately evaluate the level of difficulty a lift is for you, missing a lift should no longer be random and you should start to have a very good idea of what your capabilities are.
Second, for those of you that are driven to go heavier it makes you want to “make a lift easier” so that instead of a set being a 9RPE it instead feels like an 8RPE. This usually means pushing to be faster and have better technique, both things you want in spades. This is a great system for the intrinsically motivated.
If you want a bit of a peak behind how our current weeks are breaking down check out the framework below, hopefully this will give you a better idea of what you should be trying to achieve in each session as well. Week to week we’re changing some different things on each of the lifts, increasing volume/time under tension on some while reducing volume and increasing intensity on others. Feel free to take a glance at it or just ignore it and do what’s written on the board.
1. Heavy Snatch
2. Light Clean
3. Front Squat
4a. Jefferson Curl (Hip/Back work)
4b. Heavy Abs Saggital Plane
1. Light Snatch
3. Heavy Clean
4a. Cuban Rotation (Shoulder Work)
4b. Abs Frontal/Transverse Plane
1. Clean + Jerk
2. Snatch Accessory
3. Back Squat
5. Abs Volume
Anyway, wordy post for you, I’m excited to continue to build and develop this oly program with you all. Get at me if you have any questions/comments.