Tag Archives: snatch

Tour of England


I flew into Bristol Friday April 14th and I have been doing seminars in the UK for the last two weeks. The first one was at AFS CrossFit inAndover which was a pretty big seminar with 31 people attending. AFS is a nice gym and quite a few good lifters were in attendance. Chris Murray was probably the best, he is moving to 77 from 69 and was weighing about 74 on the day of the seminar. Very quick lifter who was also very consistent with his movements the whole day. He was able to snatch 125kg and tried 133kg for an all time PR but missed. He still had a hell of a day.  Quite a few people also attempted the Pendlay certification with several passing.  Overall a great introduction to the UK!

Specificity vs Adaptation



Everyone knows how to make the body adapt.  Simply do an exercise that you have not done before.  Or do several sets in a rep range that is outside the norm.  You will get sore, but over the next few days the soreness will go away, and when you repeat the exercise again and again, you will have less soreness each time.  Eventually you will have none.  The body has adapted.

But as weightlifters, we do the same exercises over and over gain.  Not exactly ideal for adaptation.  But if all you do is snatch and clean and jerk with near maximal weights, it is ideal for SPECIFICITY.   Every adaptation that your body makes will be perfectly suited to the task of heavy snatches and clean and jerks.

If you add heavy squats to the mix, it will surely help make your legs strong.  But, the increased leg strength will not be perfectly suited to the snatch and clean and jerk.  Squats do not occur at the same speed as the snatch, the force curve you need to apply with your legs is not the same as the force curve in a snatch, and the range of motion in the squat is not the same as in a snatch.  It is the same with every assistance exercise that we do.  Doing things other than heavy singles in the competition lifts allows us to greatly increase the adaptations in our bodies, but those assistance exercises also cause the adaptations to be less than perfectly suited to the of maximal lifts in the snatch and clean and jerk.  So there is a trade off between adaptation and specificity.  What is great for one, is bad for the other.
Abajiev was a proponent of training with a short list of exercises.  He pared down the 50 or 60 exercises used by the Russians until he was left with only the competition lifts, front squats, and the power versions of the competitive lifts.  But even that was not as far as he wanted to go.  He theorized that the PERFECT training system sould be maximal singles in the snatch and clean and jerk, and nothing else.  No squats, no front squats, no pulls.  He wanted to try this but he said the people who were paying him were paying for a proven system and he was not sure that a system without squats would work.  His system WITH squats definitely worked, so to make sure he kept producing he continued with the proven system.

My next blog will cover the REAL reasons we do assistance exercises!

Where Does it Hurt?

A few years ago I heard something that really made sense to me.  I did not know it at the time, but it would eventually really change the way I coached the lifts, and thought about programing.  I did not hear it straight from the source, only 2nd hand, actually it might have been third hand now that I think of it.  I did not know Joe Mills at all.  Never even met the man.  But every time I hear someone talk about the things he used to say, I pay attention because it seems like so many of those things really, really make sense.

I believe it was Joe Dube that told me Mills told him that after a training session you can often tell if your technique was correct by where you are sore, and what muscles are fatigued.  Actually it might have been another lifter from that era telling Dube that Mills used to say that, I forget.  But however Dube heard it, the principle  remains the same.

Mills believed that after a hard training session, the body as a unit should feel fatigued, but there should be no one area that feels especially tired.  If the fatigue is centered around your legs, or centered around your lower back, it means you are doing something wrong and overusing that particular part of your body.
That simple statement has huge ramifications.  Think about it for a while.  Think about how you feel halfway through, or after a training session.  What does that tell you about how you are doing the lifts? This is a typical Mills quote, seemingly very simple but only after months or even years the importance of it finally sink in.

Jared Fleming


Jared Fleming did what every weightlifter wishes they could go back in time and accomplish, he started at age 10.  And he did not start in a haphazard way, his dad took him to Jim Storch for coaching.  Storch became his first coach, and continued with him until he was12 years old.  Jared still has a ton of respect for Storch, and mentions him frequenttly even today.  At age 12 Jared’s dad took over coaching duties, and continued to coach Jared until he graduated high school.

Starting early and getting great coaching early certainly paid off for Jared as he won Schoolage Naionals that first year at age 12.  He took second the next year, then reeled off a long string of first place finishes that lasted till he ended his school age career.  He also broke the school age record in the snatch and the total.  During this time Jared also played soccer with a Elite traveling squad and wrestled for a year. One interesting thing is throughout this time Jared never trained more than 3 times a week!  Hard to believe in an age where every crossfitter with 6 months experience is training twice per day, but Jared managed to win 5 Schoolage National titles, 3 Junior National Titles, and an American Open title, and was on 2 Junior World teams training only 3 days per week.

Jared attended LSUS right out of high school, training in Louisiana under Kyle Pierce, Jared continued to win.  He racked up a few more victories and accolades while at LSUS.  He made another Junior World team, won another Junior National title, another American Open title, won 3 University National titles, made the senior World Team 2 times (the first time as a junior lifter) and won his first National title, and broke 2 Junior and 1 university national record.  While at LSUS Jared upped his training to 5 times per week, and got a TON stronger.

Currently Jared trains at MDUSA coached by Glenn Pendlay, with his dad still offering advice and helping out at competitions.  Training at MDUSA seems to agree with him, as he has upped his total 16 kilos within his first year in South Carolina.   Since being at MDUSA he has upped his training to 9 sessions per week. During his stay at MDUSA he has won yet another American open and National title, qualified for another world team and broke his first senior american record with a 170kg anatch. Everything seems to be in order for a great World Championships showing.

Here is a look at Jareds workout log.  This is about 4 weeks prior to the 2015 World Champioships in Houston.


1. Snatch sotts press – 50-2×3

2. Snatch – 110-2×1, 130-2×1, 140-2x1x, 150-1, 160-1 (94%), 150-1

3. CJ – 170-1, 180-1, 190-1 (96.4%)

4. Clean Pull – 200-3, 210-3, 215-3

Typically do 2 training sessions on monday with snatch and snatch accessories in the morning and Cj and cj accessories in the afternoon. Just arrived in Houston for a training camp and we only have gym access for 1 training session.

Accessories for back health

1. 1 leg RDL – 30kg – 2×8 per side

2. Suitcase deadlift – 60-2×8 per side


1. Snatch Balance + OHS – 150-1/1, 160-1/1, 170-1/1 (100% of Snatch)

2. Front Squat – 200-3, 215-3

3. RDL – 150-3, 170-3, 190-3

Accessories for back health

1. Lunges (opposite leg then I jerk with) – 70-5, 90-5, 100-5

2. 1 arm walking deads – 20lbs – 2×13 steps per side


1. Snatch – 130-1, 140-1, 150-3×1

2. Snatch Pull – 160-3, 170-2×3

Normally have 2 sessions on Wednesday but I was still in Houston for part of the world training camp so we only had 1 session then had to rush to the airport. Typically I snatch and snatch pull in the morning and do Cj and clean pull in the afternoon.


1. Back Squat – 210-3, 230-3, 240-3* 

*240 is the heaviest Ive squatted since injuring my back in 2013.

2. Jerk Recoveries – 200-1, 220-1

3. Good Morning – 80-3×5

Accessories for back health

1. Lunges (opposite leg then on jerk) – 80-5, 100-5, 110-5

2. Long stretch session in sports medicine


Morning Training

1. Snatch Sotts Press – 50-2×3

2. No hook snatch – 120-1, 130-1, 135-1, 141-1x, 142-1 PR no hook snatch

Afternoon training

1. Snatch – 124-1, 134-1, 144-1, 154-1, 164-1x, 167-1x, 160-1

Normally would do Cj and Clean pull after Snatching but tweaked my wrist on final snatch at 160.


1. Front Squat – 190-3, 200-3, 210-3, 220-3 PR

2. RDL – 170-3, 185-3, 200-3

3. Stretch

Another milestone.



Two days after making 2k in 7 min 24 sec I tried a 5k, and this morning at 6 am and was able to record this time, 19;54.1, just barely faster than a 2 minute pace .   As usual, I was pretty good about sticking to my pace throughout.

I started thinking about thinking about doing a 5k below 20 minutes when I first got a rower, about 2 or 3 months after I had my stroke and started rowing seriously.  That was almost 2 years ago so this has been a pretty big milestone for quite a while and I am VERY glad I finally achiever it.

I just found out today that the OTC has a few C2 rowers, so I will be able to keep up my rowing while I am there for the world team camp.  I leave tomorrow, and will be there for almost 3 weeks, leading up to the World Championships in Houston.  I am trying to think of a good goal to try and hit while I am at the OTC and before I get back to South Carolina.  Anyone have any good ideas?









Monday July 6th PendlayWOD


Well we are starting our second 8 week training cycle.  For this cycle we are going to concentrate on strength.  So the programming will be slightly different from the last cycle.  Our weightlifting days will be Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, and Sat.  I will post workouts on the other 2 days though, but they will be very short conditioning workouts.  If weightlifting is your only game, there is no need to do them, but if yo u want to be healthy as well as look good naked, they will help with that.  I might also throw in some very short conditioning stuff on the days we lift.  I am really enjoying doing these PendlayWOD workouts, and I hope some of you guys are enjoying it also.  Here is the workout for today…

snatch 75% 10 lifts EMOM

clean and jerk 75% EMOM

back squat 3 sets of 5 at 80% of your best set of 5

Saturday July 4th PendlayWOD



Get up tomorrow morning, and go run or row 5k.  Slowly.  Then pig out on BBQ and hot dogs and hamburgers and corn on the cob and other wonderful stuff.