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Clean Complex

Fitness: High Hang Power Clean + Below The Knee Power Clean + FSQ

High Hang Clean + Below The Knee Clean


Front Squat

Fitness: 3x3

Heavy triple

Go heavier than the previous week. Only go as heavy as you can maintain a neutral spine and a solid rack.

3 Rounds NFT of:
20 Kettlebell RDLs
20t Pistols or Reverse Lunges with the KB
15-30 Second L-Sit

Jen S, former Meat raffle winner!

Curious about the Meat CSA? Meet the Farmer TONIGHT!

Jerry Peele of Herondale Farm, our meat CSA partner, will be in the gym TONIGHT from 5:30-8:30 PM. He loves getting feedback from CSA folk, and will also be able to sign up new members on the spot. Come say hello when you pick up your share, and ask Jerry about the additional items available for special order (hint: it’s time to start making stock!)
His son, Jack, will also be offering tastings of Jacuterie, his brand new salami, made (of course!) from Jerry’s grass-fed meat. The salami will be offered as a separate CSA share. Get the whole story, including pricing, straight from Jack himself.
Finally, MEAT RAFFLE! Ten bucks will buy you a chance to win a 15-lb meat share – a $160 value! Twelve pounds of Herondale cuts + three Jacuterie salami. The drawing will be held at 8 PM.
See you then!
The Art of Conversation: How to Avoid Conversational Narcissism

Reader Comments (28)

7am with McDowell and Arturo. I realized Saturday while snatching that my biggest problem with the oly lifts was aggression/speed under the bar... This translated into 155# on the clean complex, 20# more than last week and tieing my old PR for a single hang power clean. It feels like I could still move faster, plenty of room to improve.

185x3x3 front squat. This is also a tie for an old PR but it felt relatively easy, definitely going up next week.

Only had time for two rounds of the assistance work. Did pistols, holding onto a rack for balance. Mobility q: my right ankle is much less flexible than my left and I can't keep my knee tracking correctly during a right legged pistol. I've been trying various things like getting into a squat and applying pressure to my ankle but no real success yet. I'm guessing I should try banded distraction? Any other suggestions appreciated!

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpckr

Hi friends! Using the blog as the classifieds today.

2 futons for sale-both in v. good condition. One traditional w/ convertible wood frame and tan cushion. One dark gray and overstuffed w/ collapsible arms. Both, obviously, convert into beds. $100 each.

Happy to provide help getting them out and down the stairs, but you'll need a means of transportation to get them home.

On Craigslist by EOD, unless someone from here wants them. Gotta get 'em out by Friday!

And I also have 2 tix for The Head and The Heart tonight at Webster Hall. Message me if you want to go!

Courtneyleigh.hart at gmail.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

6am private with Josh. Worked up to a 232# jerk single. Arms felt slow today and the catch felt soft. Then did some jerk accessory work and strict presses from a split stance. Those felt much more solid than last week. Finished up with some ring work: getting inverted, my first ever skin-the-cat and a supported back lever. Fun stuff. I thought I would feel the skin-the-cat in my shoulders more, but everything felt fine.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Dropped in on Crossfit Back Bay in Boston yesterday, and the programming was FSQs and cleans so I figured I'd post it.

Warm up/gymnastics piece: 3 rounds of 20 seconds on each movement:

Ring Row
Ring Push Up
Ring Dip
Alternating Leg Hollow Hold (60 seconds)

Followed by either WOD 1 or WOD 2:

WOD 1: 7 min AMRAP of:

10 Power Cleans (95/65)
10 Burpees
10 Front Squats (95/65)

Rest 2 minutes

4 min AMRAP of:

5 Power Cleans (95/65)
5 Burpees
5 Front Squats (95/65)

WOD 2: 5 rounds for time (7 min cap)

6 Power Snatches (95/65)
10 Overhead Squats (95/65)
2 Muscle Ups

Rest 2 minutes

30 Hang Power Snatch (95/65)
8 Muscle Ups (4 min cap)

The ring push ups (scaled from my knees) and ring dips (with a band) were interesting since I had never done those before. I didn't think 65# for the cleans and FSQs would be that hard, but my quads and adductors are destroyed todays, so I guess they were. Overall this box was pretty friendly, and there wasn't a lot of instruction up front from the coach, but he would definitely correct any incorrect movement he saw during the workout. They cap their classes at 10, because it's a pretty small space--they do have legit locker rooms, but their locker rooms and front desk/Reebok-branded-apparel-selling-space takes up at least half their square footage, so it's kind of a weird trade off. But a good place to drop in if you're in town.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

MMMM MEAT! Does one need to be present for the drawing in order to win the raffle?

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBethany E.

Bethany - You'd need to take the meat (if you won) home tonight, so if you're not physically present at the moment of winning, you'd get a phone call from me to come pick it up :)

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichele

10am Class
HH + BTK Clean - worked up to 205. The high hang felt slow and I thought I wouldn't meet the bar fast enough, but I did.

FSQ - worked up to 235x3

Pistols, 32kg, and 15 second l-sits, oh boy

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Make-up post from Monday and Tuesday. Diane in 6 min with piked HSPU and 125#. Even though my back was fried the next day, it didn't feel too hard, and I definitely should have gone heavier and focused on being super organized on my deadlifts.

Did Wednesday's lifts at 7pm last night and was kind of a mess. I was tired and super sore, and had to go down from last week on both the cleans and front squats. Stupidly thought I'd see how a 45# bar felt on the cleans, and ended up being terrified of slamming my collarbone with it. I keep rounding my back on my front squats. Woof. Will try again next week. My back is absurdly sore... might be because I stopped taking fish oil about a week ago?

The AoM link is so smart. Found this neat video featuring leafs freezing, 54 seconds of pretty.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

just curious why the emphasis on stringing the two movements together? i can high hang clean 215, i can below the knee clean 215, but trying to catch 215, and getting my fingers and grip all set isn't happening without some major form issues. I could go down in weight, but then i'm not really working my clean as much as i could

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLuca

Cosign on Luca's comment. Its one reason I have kept my weight down and in some cases just put the bar down and picked it back up to do the second movement. My hand position and grip don't feel set to me when I am trying to chain the two cleans together. I typically have to bend at the crease and adjust my grip which still doesn't feel 100% as it does if I put the bar down and set from the floor deadlift to position.

The pistols were also starting to make my right knee hurt a little so I switched the last round to lunges. Not sure what is going on there other than old age and years of skateboarding and snowboarding taking their toll.

cleaned 120-135 today.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

Hey all -

I have a friend who just started foundations up in Syracuse. He finished his 3rd class on Monday, which involved cleans, squats, and pushups. Today he woke up with significant swelling to his forearms and elbows which has increased over the course of the day. He sent me a picture and it is VERY swollen. He was not very active before starting foundations (occasional hike, bike ride, etc). Does anyone have any thoughts? Think he needs to see a doctor or just take some time off? Apparently someone else in his class already dropped out after experiencing a similar issue...

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah M


he should go see a doc and change gyms.

November 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

@SarahM do you know what box your friend was going to up there? I know there are a lot of new ones, but I have had great experiences at Crossfit Syracuse (although I only did one holiday WOD and an Open Gym session there, the programming and coaching seemed to be pretty good).

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

10am class with nap-king Jeremy.

Performance Complex: High Hang Clean + Knee Clean
-worked up to 123 and hit the complex there twice.
a little forward on my catch but overall much better than last weeks 113.

Front Squat-heavy 3
(95x3, 135x3, 155x1) 165x3, 175x3, 185x3
-these felt good...and gives me hope that someday I might be able to Clean 185! Slowed down just a bit but never a doubt that I wouldn't stand. Used my belt for all work sets.

20 KB RDL's at 28kg, 20 rack-assisted pistols, :20 L-tuck hold

Good training day. My soreness is slowly going away so it's nice to be able to move without cringing!

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Todd - foundations at crossfit 315. He was thinking of doing foundations there then switching to crossfit shockwave (which is closer to his house in north Syracuse but doesn't have a foundations program)

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah M

@ Luca, Keith W

I have had the same question for a while. If one drops the bar between movements as opposed to catching and re-gripping what is being lost? Is it about grip? Keeping rest time between the two movements to a minimum?

November 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterDoug Jones

Yesterday- 10am with Lady Fox

'Diane' in 8.28 with piked handstand push-ups and 145#.
I was going to do presses because the last time we did these in a WOD, I struggled, but Sir Fox spotted me with the dumbbells, raised an eyebrow and said 'No inversions today, Charlie?' That was enough to make me change my mind.
Also, Jess noticed I was making a line with my head and hands instead of a triangle so when I fixed that, they actually went well. Thank you Foxes!

Today- 10am with Jeremy. Clean complex- worked up to 93# which was not the prettiest but was happy because I failed at 88# last week.
Front squats- I went too heavy today. I managed two reps at 145# but failed the third. I did a second set at 140#, third set at 130#. Not sure why I took that much weight off but it felt like the right thing to do.

Crash-B training instead of the cash-outs both days. Thanks Charmel for helping me yesterday!

I did answer yesterday's question but I think the blog was hungry this morning or maybe I did something wrong; this post is long enough already :)

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

@Luca, Keith, and Doug. Good questions, thanks for caring.

Complexes are a staple in weighlifting and so we copy from the best, and they provide a few benefits that also specifically benefit a CFer as well.

They mean that you are necessarily training at a sub max weight. Your 1RM is not a 2RM or a 3RM. Same reasoning in why we don't only do single rep maxes every week on the slow lifts. The complexes this cycle are focusing on positions that people tend to have trouble with and avoid, i.e. the high hang and at/below the knee. A common error is to try and muscle the barbell at full speed off of the floor, the BTK position is in there to teach patience off the floor to that position. Many athletes also jump too soon, with the bar at the mid hang resulting in a forward bar path. Have you ever missed a lift out in front, or caught it on your toes? That's commonly a result of not pulling the bar to the hips at the high hang. Another common error is to attempt to pull heavier weights higher to complete a lift instead of completing the 3rd pull, which is a pull of the lifter under the bar using the bar as leverage. The high hang works this. Finally, CF commonly uses hang cleans for reps in WODs, Recycling the bar from the shoulders back to the hook grip at the hang is a skill that each CrossFitter should work, and multiple reps with relatively heavier loads will make multiple reps at lighter WOD loads easier.

In short, don't get caught up in thinking that training is ALWAYS about having the most weight on the bar. That's what powerlifting and weightlifiting meets are for, and also why we program 1RM tests a few time per year. Our goal with programming the strength portion of the day at CFSBK is for people to move through good positions with enough weight to elicit a training response,plain and simple.

If you have to bail a bar and then pick it back up to complete the second part of a complex you do lose some of the intention of said complex. That saod, while I'd prefer you not load up the bar beyond your capacity to handle it properly, if you simply can not bring the bar back to the hang then bail it and pick it back up. The barbell police will not come calling.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

I am coming for you.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbell Police

Gonna guess here...B Dubs for the win?

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Late post from monday did Diane and time was 7:40 bar weight 115# and piked push ups, I should have done 125# but chickened out at the very last minute and pulled off the weight.

4:30 class with Arturo and McDowell
clean complex I really hate these!!! I was able to clean off the floor and ended that cycle at about 88lbs This new high hang crap is really messing with my head I have gone down to the 22lb bar just to learn the damn new movements I don't know whats going on in my head during these moves that doesn't allow me to string everything together I will probably start using the PVC pole next!!

Front squats were way better than cleans 100lbs if it wasn't for the squats I would probably not come to the class when cleans are being done Oh never mind I do have to come because Wiliie loves the cleans since he is sooooo perfect at them!! Blah!!

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy and Willie

oops the last post was just me I forgot to clear Willie's name LOL

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Cleans are really coming together for me. Feel more courageous every time I approach and test myself.

Double PR: #113 #123
Wide box squat "20in
no pain during, no pain after :)))))))))
Ro, I am in debt to you for all your genius and constant pep talks.

It was a good day y'all. A good day.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

5:30 with Arturo and McDowell. I was a real klutz today. 113# felt good on the clean complex, but 123# did not. Threw the bar at my chest on one rep, and then right at my windpipe on the next. Yuck.

Did a heavy triple on the front squat at 150#. This felt actually okay. Or as okay as anything that's really heavy and also cutting off your supply of oxygen can feel.

Dilly dallied through the NFT work. Romanian deadlifts with the 28kg bell, and assisted pistols clinging to the racks for dear life. While I was changing my shoes my glutes started spasming and I had to limp over the the mat to roll my butt before being able to walk again. Hot. Mess.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Mc

Little post training sessions workout session today:

High Hang Squat Clean
Below The Knee Squat Clean
Split Jerk

Did 7 sets of this at 175lbs

all except the last set were smooth as butter. Was able to trouble shoot a hip alignment problem on the jerks which felt great and was working on finishing hip extension from the below the knee pull.

Fun Timez.

November 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

155 on the clean complex, feeling heavy, can't seem to get beyond this weight.
200 on the front squat - feeling good and room to improve after a loooong time of being stuck at 165-175

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDMak

6:30 with McDowell and Arturo

A BAD habit that started a few months ago and I can't shake is waking up between 2-4am and not going back to sleep. Sometimes it's to go to the bathroom, sometimes to eat, but mostly I just open my eyes and I am wide awake. It happened at 4:30 this morning. I had to workout with Todd on his last night but will probably need a couple rest days after tonight.

Cleans didn't go my way. Started off feeling heavy and slow. 63x2, 73, 83, 93xFFFFF.......

Front squat 110x3x3. I was so happy there was not a pause in here tonight.

20kg kb for dl and rev lunge, 15sec L-sit .

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercrystal

6:30 with McD and Ro

Performance Complex plus Split Jerk
95x1 135x1 155x1 175x1 185x1 195xF,F

Failed the 2 jerks at 195. Got under them fine but wasn't braced and my back got soft. Need to work on that as its where I feel most heavy jerks failing.

Front Squat
135x3 185x3 205x3x3

Assistance work is going to destroy me for my flight tomorrow. Foolishly did it all anyway. Pistols always give me knee twinges and RDLs smoked my back at 2pood. Here I go (back to my original box in Manila!) See everyone in a month.

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

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