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Clean and Jerk

30 Minutes of Practice
Use medium to light weights and emphasize positions and speed under the bar. 

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The One-Armed Man

Standardized Warm-Ups
By David Osorio

One of our goals for you for this cycle is to increase both strength and stamina with our most basic gymnastics skills.  For a while now, our training has biased barbell lifting at the expense of many foundational calisthenic movements. We’ve seen people put up big numbers on the Back Squat or Deadlift who would struggle with a set of 10 strict pull-ups.  We’ve also seen many new folks unable to get their first push-up for too long simply because they don’t do enough of them.  
To fix this, we’ve decided to include a standardized warm-up which we’ll be doing at the beginning of each class. Consider this warm-up one of the training variables we’ll be playing with this cycle. If it goes well, we’ll implement standardized warm-ups in future cycles as well.

After class intros, we’ll break out and perform Warm-Up 1 or Warm-Up 2. Which warm-up you do depends on how many times per week you come. If you’re a 1 or 2 time per week CrossFitter, stick to Warm-Up 1, the consistency will be helpful since the overall training volume will be lower. Otherwise, alternate each of these workouts scaling to your abilities. Focus on PERFECT execution on these reps and work at a steady tempo on each rep and actively practice best-fit positions. Really, more so than warming you up, performing these movements with good technique consistently will increase connective tissue strength, body awareness and increase overall fitness.

The Warm-Ups
Warm-Up 1 A
3 Rounds of:
15 Hollow Rocks
15 Air Squats
8-12 Push-Ups
5-8 Pull-Ups

Warm-Up 1 B
3 Rounds of:
15 Hollow Rocks
15 Air Squats
10 Switch Push-Ups or Kneeling Push-Ups
3 Negatives (just the down portion) or 5 Leg Assisted Pull-Ups 

There are two versions of WU1.  WU1A is the advanced version which assumes you can perform the mature versions of all these exercises.  We’ve included a range of reps that you can play with in order to scale to your ability.  WU1B is for folks who are still working on getting their first mature push-up or pull-up.  Again, there are a few different modifications built into it so you can tailor it for your needs.

Hold the top and bottom of each squat for :01. For the push-up, hold the top for a :01 as well.  These tempos help build strength at end ranges where form is often compromised or short changed.

Warm-Up 2

3 Rounds of:
0:30 in a prone or supine plank. (alternate each round)
8 Reverse Lunges, each leg
10 Ring Rows

The planks in Warm-Up 2 develop isometric strength which we otherwise don’t do too much of in CrossFit.  This is a great way to strengthen your shoulders and tight body positions.  By altering hand placement, we can easily make these movements more less difficult.  On the lunges, focus on keeping keeping the front shin vertical and developing balance.  Another movement we don’t see much of in programming is the horizontal pull.  Many of you working on pull-ups do these regularly but many folks who already have them overlook this important movement.  Rows help develop the upper back which is important for upper body strength Thoracic spine stability.

What to do before or after
There is a 10 minute cap on these warm-ups.  If you finish early take a water break then you can do some quick soft tissue work like foam rolling or stretching.  For folks who arrive early to the gym, this would also be a great time to mobilize a difficult movement or foam roll/LAX.

We look forward to hearing everyone’s feedback on this and how it affects their training over time.

A Better Warm-up by Greg Glassman CrossFit
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Reader Comments (18)

I love the standardized warmup idea! I have to admit I fell off the wagon on Fox's pullup program -- it just became too hard to get it in as my mileage started going up for the marathon. But I still really want to be able to do a strict pullup, or at least graduate from the green band to the blue one. I'm really looking forward to practicing pullups every time I come to the gym, and to be able to do more than five full push-ups at a time.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella

I like the standardized warmup, too. I could see there eventually being a series of them that we alternate between depending on our focus for the month.

I am definitely one of those people who have been posting big lifts while my overall athleticism has been developing more slowly. Three things that have really been missing from my training are:

1- Agility
2- Reaction Speed
3- Accuracy

In addition to the crossfit warmup at the box, I will be doing this to warmup at the track while I focus on sprints this month:

1. speed ladder
2. hand speed drills
3. throws

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Keefe

I am very pro the new warmup system. Beyond creating a higher level of general athleticism in our box, we will also see people performing at a higher level. Some peoples bodies just relive well to standardized warmups. It stops you from cutting corners, as you can't blame unfamiliarity on the reason your warmup failed. I guess we will see, but all in all good call coach.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarc "the goose" mess

Respond* damn you autocorrect. At least it didn't say something dirty.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarc "the goose" mess

man, the hollow rocks are actually the movement in those warmup complexes i struggle with most.

that's kind of embarrassing.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele

FOB (friend of... the box :) ) Gillian Mounsey has an excellent article up at Starting Strength about the changes in her training trajectory.


there are parts of her story that are very hard to identify with - not being a freak of nature with essentially unlimited work capacity, for instance - but as someone who sort of admired her from afar for a long time, it's something of a sobering corrective to hear her side of her story.

if you're a guy and you start to read that article and get bored early on with the bits about female body image, i encourage you to keep reading. her "win or die" mentality in Crossfit and all her training is what she's really deconstructing in the piece, and that is definitely worth reading.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele

lovely hot and sticky 8am with coach margie

digging the standardized warm up. good call. will help A LOT!

3 Rounds of:
15 Hollow Rocks
15 Air Squats
8-12 Push-Ups
5-8 Pull-Ups

lots of CLEAN and JERK practice
landing practice to 1/4 squat
landing practice to full squat
mid hang
rack position
split jerk practice

good tip from margie to get the bar more on the meat of my hand. due to wrist flexibility it's more on my fingers and not the most ideal position to drive the bar up. have to pop the bar to the correct position on my hand for better force. good stuff.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

I keep losing my training book, so I'm gonna try this website tracking thing out, and save paper:

Warm up 1B:
Took me a while to figure out how to do box assisted pullups, so I didn't get in all 3 rounds. About 1.5 when time was called.

Clean and Jerk practice
42lbs x ~ 25 reps

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine N.

Great class today! Today might have been my first time doing clean and jerks. Love them!


July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Mohr

I really like the warmup as well. My pushup have been really loosey-goosey, so taking the time to work on them and on hollow rocks is really wonderful. I still haven't gotten to the point where I'm able to pull off a strict pullup, so it's also nice to feel like I'm putting in some base work for that.

The supine plank did something super funky to my left hand this week, it went all numb and tingly(for 36 hours), so I'm going to have to figure out some modification for that.

Having time to play around with the clean and jerk was great, especially considering the heat. Got some good pointers from the coaches on working on my split, focused on my hook grip. I started at 65lbs and ended up at 95lb.

95lbs was a good weight to keep me aware of my balance in the split and focus that whole toe/foot/leg/hip business. Moving the feet in was awkward for me though.. I wanted to move my back foot first.

Like Billy, I think I probably need some sprint work in my life, but I can't seem to bring myself to do it in this heat.

July 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

i also love the new warmups. i got a strict pushup PR today -- 10 unbroken. that is the most i've done consecutively (ever, in my life). the hollow rocks are definitely very challenging.

clean and jerks at 9am w/ margie were a blast. this is my favorite barbell lift and i'd love to see it as often as possible. i don't mean to imply that i'm good at it -- just that i really like it. it's crazy how just a couple of them can fatigue your whole body.

July 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterNick Angiolillo

Another vote of confidence in the standardized warm up. I fell off the wagon on the pull-up plan, so it's great to hit those 2x/wk, and working up to hollow rocks will be huge for learning to get more organizized generally.

It was also nice to have a lot of time alone with messrs Clean and Jerk. I did mostly light singles, concentrating on one weakness at a time: hip opening, dip driving, getting under the bar, grip issues, etc. A cycle to learn, a lifetime to master, or something.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJZ

A 3:39 Fran is pretty damn good. I'll take a late round flier on him for sure. Also totally would be down for a CFSBK Fantasy Football league.

July 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoel Wertheimer

I thought I had been doing Clean & Jerks for years now. But since I started at CFSBK, I've discovered that I was actually just having seizures like these:


Thanks to Noah (this time) for the top tips.

July 23, 2011 | Registered Commenter/cy

I think David stole the warm-up from watching me. Except for the hollow rock part, (but I have been seen doing planks instead ;-)


I found Gillian's article really interesting on many levels, but way overly negative about CF. It seems that ex-CF'ers who are the most vitriolic are the one who used absolutely no common sense whatsoever in their training.

I guess the CF culture can kind of reinforce that stuff (remember that pain article that was posted and I commented on?) but people need to take responsibility for their own actions, training and programming. In other words, don't beat yourself up stupid.

Even after Rip gave her clear and precise programming instruction once left her home she still went off the deep end. Why the hell didn't she find a weight-lifting gym in San Diego?

The first thing I did when I planned my trip to Colorado was to find a CrossFit gym to lift in. I didn't want to miss one workout (yeah, I'm a nutcase too), but I sure as shit wasn't going to replace my lifting with some crazy cardio instead. I didn't do a WOD at Flatiron CrossFit-- I fucking lifted like I always do. The great thing about CF is there are now gyms everywhere and they have bumper plates, platforms and tons of barbells. WTF?

Anyway, I don't know why I'm defending CF here, maybe I should be doing this on the Starting Strength forum, (hell I don't even CrossFit), but it was a really interesting article and besides her own neurosis, it brought up a shitload of great points about eating, body-image, recovery, volume and working out.

Thanks for posting Mig. Thanks for reading my rant everyone else.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob Is

In general, I agree with you, rob, and I responded similarly on the SS boards.

I think xfit is no more to blame for an individual's exercise neurosis/compulsion than any other sport or practice.

That part of the article was the least interesting to me, truthfully.

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Knowshooooooon I've been disappointed in his 1st twoseasons but he was my favorite rb to watch the last 10 yes. I just loved his balls out straight ahead running style. It didn't really translate to the NFL cause his small frame. I'm gonna draft him as a sleeper this year.

Cfsbk fantasy football anyonE?

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShawnS

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