Olympic weightlifting in CrossFit VS Olympic weightlifting itself
First off: To be clear, this is not going to be a read on whether Olympic weightlifting itself is better than Olympic weightlifting in CrossFit. Both are great and both have their time and place. My goal with this blog is to provide you with some context to why there are a differences and similarities between the two, and how and when to perform them. Majority of what I am going to talk about is about higher rep “touch-n-go” snatches and cleans.
In Olympic weightlifting training (the stuff the lifters do on the platforms), the ultimate goal is snatch and clean and jerk as much as you can over time. It is a test of their training. You might notice, the lifters training is a little different from what we do in our CrossFit classes. The two biggest goals in weightlifting training are to get stronger and develop consistent technique. Not that these are not the goals of our CrossFitter too; the lifters just have a more specific goal due to the nature of the sport. In their training, they have more time to focus on the technique, which is necessary in order to lift heavier weights. That “style” of lifting looks different than what you might see in a conditioning workout.
In a conditioning workout with snatches and cleans, the pace is much faster (most likely in a touch-and-go manner). Athletes need to move quickly in order to complete workouts faster, which can be a factor in determining improvements in CrossFit. If I finished Grace last year in 7 minutes and I got 6 minutes this year, I got fitter.
Since I am moving faster during a conditioning workout, I do not have enough time to focus on all the things I do when doing cleans in a strength piece. This doesn’t mean that you sacrifice certain qualities in the snatch or clean, the movements will just look a little different. The biggest difference is that the touch-and-go snatch/clean will look more like a hinge motion compared to a more squat motion when lifting heavier. The reason for this is because the hinge motion allows athletes to cycle through multiple reps faster. Now, what should remain the same is using your legs, keeping the bar close, and maintaining control of the whole movement as best as you can.
The only time you should be doing touch-and-go reps should be when you have 10+ reps and/or lightweights in conditioning workout, where the weights are light to moderate. If going heavier (even in a conditioning workout, you should take a few seconds to focus and perform the lift well. Here are some examples:
Yesterday’s workout 10-8-6-4-2, Dips and Power cleans (135/95#). That is a perfect workout to do touch-and-go reps.
Every 3 minutes for 21 minutes, perform: 17 Air squats, 3 Clean + jerks (ascending weights). In a workout like this, you want to go to do quality single reps to prepare your body when it gets heavier.
To summarize: 1) Not one style is better. It just depends. 2) Know the differences. 3) No matter what, use your legs, keep it close, and have control.
Strength - Deadlift from below the knee - build to controlled 8RM @ RPE 7 + 2 x 6 @ working weight
Athletes will have 20 minutes to first build to a controlled 8 rep “max” of the deadlift (~14-15 minutes). Then they will use that same weight to complete 2 sets of 6 (~5-6 minutes). The deadlifts in this block will come off of plates or blocks that place the bar slightly below the knee.
Metcon - EMOM 12:
MIN 1 - 8-10 box jump overs
MIN 2 - 6-8 pull-ups*
*Athletes should perform the most difficult variation of the pull-up that allows them to complete the required reps in 2-3 sets even under fatigue.