Tough Mudder this Weekend


Tough Mudder this Weekend

Several of our members and friends are heading up to compete in Tough Mudder this weekend. The official CFCV team is scheduled for Saturday. Our team’s official start time is 11:40. Unfortunately I am unable to attend again this year as I have a wedding to attend in Oregon, but I will be with you all in spirit!

The USAW coaching cert last weekend was most excellent. We got tons of information and a chance to do a bunch of lifting. The head coach/Instructor also does strongman workshops and will be back to do one at CFCV if we can commit to 10 interested people. The cost will be $350, two days and 6 strongman implements learned. More information will be posted soon.

I ran across this on the Invictus site and want to pass it along. More learning to do with the Burgener warmup:

Olympic Lifts – Skill Transfer Exercises
Olympic Lifts – Skill Transfer Exercises
Written by Cody Burgener

The Burgener Warm-Up is never complete without the skill transfer exercises. These five exercises are just as important as the five in the Burgener Warm-Up, so I suppose I should probably give them a similar explanation.

The skill transfer exercises primarily focus on strengthening the receiving position of the snatch (the bottom of an overhead squat), overhead strength, and give the feeling of driving/pressing the body under the bar.

Just like I mentioned in the Burgener warm-up article, you need to know the reason why we do all five exercises. You can’t go through the motions and not know the purpose behind each exercise and expect you are going to become a better Olympic lifter. My dad would always repeat to us one of his favorite quotes, “Practice does not make perfect; Perfect practice makes permanent.” In other words, know what you are trying to accomplish when working on these fundamentals, it will carry over into your performance in the lifts.

The five skill transfer exercises are: snatch push press, overhead squat, pressing snatch balance, heaving snatch balance, and snatch balance.

When performing all five of these lifts, the bar will be placed on top of the athlete’s traps. The same spot where athletes perform high bar back squats. Second, when we have a barbell overhead in a snatch grip, the athlete’s armpits need to be pointed forward not down (a good externally rotated, stable position). If you want to hold heavy wait overhead, this is the only way to successfully do that. Think about how a waiter holds a tray overhead, that’s how the bar should be held overhead.

Snatch Push Press: The snatch push press is very similar to the push press athletes commonly see in their CrossFit workouts. The only difference is that the bar is placed on the back with a snatch grip width. How you perform the movement is the exact same as a push press; make sure your dip and drive off the heels, have explosive hips that are moving vertically, not horizontally (just like the down and up in the Burgener Warm Up), and create speed on the bar with the legs, so the arms can be used as little as possible. When driving the bar up to the overhead position, make sure the path of the bar is a straight line, and it stays right behind your ears. Do not drive the bar backwards.



Overhead Squats: Overhead squats are a common exercise in the CrossFit community. The first movement you perform when performing the overhead squat is snatch push press, so make sure you use the technique stated above. Once you have the weight overhead, make sure your armpits are pointed forward. The bones need to be stacked to achieve the maximum amount of weight overhead. Performing the squat with weight overhead, we need to make sure we keep the torso as vertical as possible. To achieve this position, we need to make sure we have a tight core, drive our knees out to the sides – not allowing them to cave in, and the knees need to go out in front of the toes. If you perform a squat with vertical shins(knees and ankles stacked), your chest will drop forward causing the shoulders to roll forward, and you will lose the ideal position and stability of the shoulders. Overhead squat is a great exercise for core stability. Add a two second pause at the bottom if you struggle with this movement.

Pressing Snatch Balance: The pressing snatch balance is designed to give you the feeling of driving/pressing your body underneath the bar. Start with the bar on your back with your feet in the landing/squatting position. The bar never gets higher than where its on your shoulders. Slowly start pressing your body under the bar until you reach the bottom of the overhead squat. Make sure you don’t initiate the drive under by pressing the bar up or squatting then pressing the bar up over your head.



Heaving Snatch Balance: Heaving snatch balance has the same concepts as the pressing snatch balance, but now we are adding speed to the movement. Heaving snatch balance is all about arm speed. Getting the feeling of driving the body under the bar as aggressive and fast as possible. When performing a heaving snatch balance, a small dip and drive (down and up) must occur to get the weight off the back. From there you quickly (arm speed) drive the body down under the bar into a full overhead squat position. Notice I said the word quickly, fast, or aggressive. That is what this exercise is all about. If you are not fast and don’t have the aggressive instinct, lifting heavy weights in the snatch or clean and jerk are going to be a hassle for you.

Snatch Balance: This is the fastest exercise of them all. The snatch balance is all about arm speed, footwork, and foot speed. This exercise is often performed with weights over your one rep max snatch, so speed and power are essential. Since we are working on footwork in the exercise, the feet need to start in the starting/jumping position. Just like in the heaving snatch balance, the snatch balance needs to be initiated by an aggressive dip and drive. After the dip and drive, you drive yourself under the bar with so much speed its unbelievable. As you are pressing the body under the bar, the feet are moving from the starting position to the landing position. If you aggressively drive your body under the bar while your feet are moving from starting to landing, the speed under the bar will increase dramatically. The snatch balance is an excellent exercise to understand what it feels like to receive weight in the receiving position of the snatch – the bottom of the overhead squat.

Next time you’re in the gym, I want to see you perform these skill transfer exercises with purpose.  Don’t just go through the motions; imagine that you have your goal 1-RM on the barbell and you are going to have to be precise to make the lift.  If you do that consistently, these skill transfer exercises will be a game changer in your lifting performance.