Thanks be for smart patient coaches! Coach Jack was able to help me better understand the technique of the snatch today. There’s still a long way to go to being proficient, but at least a major misconception of mine has been cleared up.

Turkish Situps

These were pretty straight forward. Was able to work from 35#-62# 2 reps on each side. 62# was REALLY tough on the left side. I had a bit of time and experimented with a 45# barbell for a set of two with each arm. I need to practice for that. It was very difficult to maintain a neutral grip through the motion and the shifting barbell put a lot of torque on the wrists. Ouch.

3 Rounds For Time:
10 Snatch (135/95)
Run 400m

I was one e-mail away from ditching this WOD entirely last night. Snatches last Friday. Snatches last Tuesday. I know we need to work our goats, but man, add in that 400M run (my least favorite of the most common run distances) and I really did not want to do this WOD on first read.

Factor in the fact that I’m starting a stay-cation tomorrow so my workout schedule is a bit more flexible and the thought occurred to me, “I don’t have to do this WOD.” The next thought that hit me was, “No. You need to change your brain and WANT to do this WOD. Snatches aren’t ever going to go away, so you’d better decide to figure them out.”

Jack was very generous working with everyone. He worked the room helping us all practice and improve our snatches in between sets of Turkish Sit Ups.  For me, he finally helped me understand one of the fundamental things that has never made sense to me.

Since Day 1, coaches have been telling me a) “get over the bar” and then in the next breath telling me b) “get your shoulders back.” I have NEVER been able to reconcile those two cues! Maybe I’m dense, but they always seemed completely contradictory to me. Now in fairness to all of the coaches, I’ve never been able to communicate my confusion about it either. Coach Ashley T and I were trying to work through it last Friday, but it just didn’t quite click for either of us.

In my head, there was this invisible wall extending vertically upward from the plane of the bar. Trying to simultaneously “get over the bar” AND “get my shoulders back” meant I was trying to position my shoulders in this non-existent perfect balance up against this imaginary wall exactly vertical with the bar bell.

Today Jack was able to help me understand that “get over the bar” means my shoulders should be well forward of that plane and “shoulders back” means my chest should be expanded and my shoulders rolled back. He also helped me grasp that despite all the talk on so many lifts and exercises of “being back on the heels,” it’s ok and actually advantageous to shift your body weight forward onto the balls of the feet when initiating the snatch…but you still have to land “on the heels.”

All of these pieces falling into place today made for MUCH smoother snatches. There’s still plenty of things I need to fix. I’m still not doing all these things consistently enough, but far better than any previous day. I still don’t squat deeply enough. I still arc the bar too far out in front of my body. But I expect these things can and will come into line now that I feel so much better about the starting position.

In the end, the WOD took 14:19 to complete  at 95#. I was less concerned with time today. I really paid attention to setting my grip (hook), setting the feet consistently, lining up the body for the start, controlling the breathing, etc on all 30 reps. Intensity was still there. I was a sweaty mess when it was over.

My run times were ugly. All over 2 minutes. The final one in the vicinity of 2:20. Running after a set of 10 snatches HURTS!

Still for a WOD that I really wanted to ditch at first, I’m pleased with the results.