CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Workout of the Day
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Workout of the Day Questions & performance regarding CrossFit's WOD

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-18-2004, 06:22 PM   #1
Patrick Johnston
Member Patrick Johnston is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Modesto  Ca
Posts: 361
I feel pretty comfortable doing full squat cleans. Although nobody on the Olympic weightlifting team is in danger of losing their spot to me in this lifetime, when I do heavier weights, I am definitely catching in the squat position.

Having said that, I find that when I do "Gwen" or the higher rep C&J workouts, I am doing more of a power clean than a squat clean. In fact, I am certain that I would not be able to do as much weight with Gwen if I did the reps with a full squat clean technique. I would just be too fatigued. Can someone comment on this? I guess that I could drop significantly in weight and do all reps with a full squat clean technique, but is this what I should do? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I'm particularly interested in Dan's, Lincoln's, Coach's, and Lauren's input though all input would be great!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2004, 06:43 PM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
Member Lincoln Brigham is offline
 
Lincoln Brigham's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland  WA
Posts: 3,987
Full squat cleans are more exhausting because they recruit more muscles. That's why we do them.

All other things being equal, given the same amount of weight on the bar, the squat clean requires less velocity on the top of the pull than the power clean, but the recovery (i.e. standing up after racking the bar) moves a much greater distance. It's almost like two lifts in one - a big pull and a deep front squat. The power clean is a slightly bigger pull and almost no squat. In addition, the low squat position of the squat clean recruits the hamstrings and glutes in ways that the power clean simply does not hit.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2004, 07:08 PM   #3
Patrick Johnston
Member Patrick Johnston is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Modesto  Ca
Posts: 361
Lincoln:

So what would you suggest regarding workouts such as Gwen? It would seem, if I am reading what you wrote correctly, that it would be normal for an individual to be able to do higher rep clean workouts better with a power clean. Is that correct? I understand that a good squat clean will enable the lifter to do more as a max than a power clean would. However, the extra muscle recruitment might actually compromise the ability to do high reps. Is that right? I guess I'm trying to find out how I should approach a workout like Gwen.

Thanks so much.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2004, 08:04 PM   #4
Lincoln Brigham
Member Lincoln Brigham is offline
 
Lincoln Brigham's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland  WA
Posts: 3,987
It's going to vary from individual to individual. In my case, for example, I can power clean more for a max than I can in a squat clean. This is unusual for an experienced lifter. Other lifters who are stronger in the low position will experience less fatigue squat cleaning than I would.

I would say just pick a reasonable weight, try to squat clean every rep, and give it your best. In a workout such as this, it's the effort that matters, not the amount of weight on the bar. So just gut it out with the squat cleans. If it ends up being too easy (unlikely) or too hard, adjust your "Gwen" accordingly the next time it comes up.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2004, 05:24 AM   #5
Lynne Pitts
Administrator Lynne Pitts is offline
 
Lynne Pitts's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Madison  WI
Posts: 3,232
I would say just pick a reasonable weight, try to squat clean every rep, and give it your best. In a workout such as this, it's the effort that matters, not the amount of weight on the bar. So just gut it out with the squat cleans.

This brings up the age-old crossfit debate of weight and reps. And is pertinent for me, because I *suck* at Gwen! I can front squat 135x5, so I should be able to FS 80 for a dozen anyway. But I can't squat clean & jerk 80 for more than 5. I'd literally have to do Gwennie with just the bar to stand a fighting chance of getting the reps, and even then, it would be tough. More due to CV failure I think; not strength. Strength-endurance is certainly a weak spot.

But, what's the point in doing Gwen with 45 lbs? It's so light that I can tend to cheat like crazy on the form (reverse curl the bar...) and if I want cardio debt, I'd be better off skipping rope (?)

It's a quandry. Thoughts?
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2004, 06:30 AM   #6
Larry Cook
Member Larry Cook is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cheshire  CT
Posts: 274
My apologies for backtracking on this subject a bit, but I have a question. Gwen is described as a "clean & jerk" and when I look at "clean & jerk" under the exercises section, it looks more like a power clean to me than a squat clean. It could be I don't understand these types of lifts that well (which is true) or that there is an unwritten Crossfit rule that calls for all of these types of lifts to be squat versions. Clarification anyone? Thanks
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2004, 06:57 AM   #7
Patrick Johnston
Member Patrick Johnston is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Modesto  Ca
Posts: 361
Lynne:

What you are describing is much like what I am facing. I can C&J with a full squat technique over 200 lbs. I can also do Gwen with 135. However, this is with a power clean technique. I don't think there is any way that I could do Gwen with 135 using a squat clean technique. I'd probably have to back that down to 100 lbs. or so. But then, I wonder if that is the best approach. I'm not sure that Gwen, at that weight, would place the same overall demands on me as Gwen at the heavier weight. It might. I just don't know.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2004, 09:42 AM   #8
Lynne Pitts
Administrator Lynne Pitts is offline
 
Lynne Pitts's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Madison  WI
Posts: 3,232
Exactly. One of my toughest adjustments to Crossfit (and I'm not adjusted yet!) is doing traditionally low-rep movements for high reps. Deadlifts and power cleans in particular (I never did a squat clean until starting Crossfit 6 mos ago). I have the same issue with overhead squats, really. You have to use such light weight that the benefit seems unclear. You're certainly not able (or, I'm certainly not able) to create any kind of training overload on the legs, since I can't manage very much weight. They have a high misery factor, but I wonder at what carryover benefits there are to doing "heavy" lifts at a fractional percent of weight capability, for an overload of rep capability.

Then again, maybe I'm just a weenie.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2004, 09:48 AM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
Member Lincoln Brigham is offline
 
Lincoln Brigham's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland  WA
Posts: 3,987
My coach teaches that you should be able to squat clean an empty bar with exactly the same technique as 200 pounds. I know, I know, easier said than done. But once you've learned how to do this, you won't have to learn 10 different techniques for 10 different weights. You'll have a much higher success rate on the heavier lifts, too.

The trick, for me, was to concentrate on keeping the velocity of the bar the same for the light lifts as the heavy lifts. I just took a little speed off the second pull - but still kept full extension of the hips and knees. Instead of approaching every lift like you are going to slam dunk over Michael Jordan, take the soft jumper on the easy shots.

Lynne, you're not a weenie. You just need to take a longer view. In a year or so you'll be so far ahead of everyone else they'll never catch up.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2004, 09:59 AM   #10
Lynne Pitts
Administrator Lynne Pitts is offline
 
Lynne Pitts's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Madison  WI
Posts: 3,232
Lincoln,
I know that's the theory. Watching big Shane in the WCC tapes, I'm amazed by the fact that he can do exactly that - bar or 300 lbs, it looks the same. I'm a long ways from there. The velocity hint helps though.

Thanks for the non-weenie vote! But I felt like a world-class weenie during the last Gwen. I am going to have to get off my lazy butt and get some o-lift coaching.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:30 PM.


CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.