The barbell is certainly one of my favourite things in CrossFit, the more technical the lift, the better.  Wednesday we saw members bending the bar to score new bests on the deadlift.  The Touch set the stage with a 510lb hex bar deadlift (for all 7 sets)!  Organa looked strong completing 3/7 sets at her previous 1 rep max.  Savitar returned from vacation to post a new best and did one more rep at that weight just for good measure.  Lotus pulled a personal best, added some weight and immediately pulled a new best.  To prove naysayers wrong, Iron Dam lifted a solid 190lbs.  Riot also looked to have more in the tank after completing her first 200lb deadlift!

I got to play with the barbell too at OG’s Wednesday 7pm Barbell Club.  This week we began working on snatches and we played with a fun 3 rep combo I’ve never tried before: shrug, high pull, power snatch.  The Olympic lifts really require dedicated skill practice and OG has set it up so that we get a good number of reps at loads heavy enough to require proper form and provide great feedback but not so heavy that we can’t focus on technique.  She’s managed to find a volume that is enough to provide good practice but not exhaust us so that even though most of us did a WOD earlier in the day, we are still able to enjoy a great training session.  If you are interested in getting more practice with your technical lifts, register for October’s Barbell Club!

Over the past year, because I love practicing the Olympic lifts, I’ve been eschewing the use of the rack as much as possible during WODs.  Every shoulder press day offers me an opportunity to sneak in a few extra power cleans, every front squat day is a chance to practice heavy squat cleans.  This really paid off for me at the CanWest Games as my confidence with the lifts was at an all time high.  I followed the same formula for the strict muscle up-front squat day.  True, I do not yet have a 1.5x bodyweight front squat (300lbs) so I used something closer to bodyweight (205lbs).  I expected the squat clean to prove challenging at least for the first round or two as I found my groove but was pleasantly surprised that the 2 preceding weeks of drilling the squat clean in Barbell Club really paid off and the cleans felt smooth and easy.

Technique, technique, technique.  It is all about skill development.  The better you move, the easier these lifts are.  If you hope to build your confidence in the Olympic lifts, I encourage you to try to find extra opportunities within the WODs to squeeze in some reps.  Of course, with Friday’s WOD you will have the perfect chance to work on squat cleans!  Embrace it.


The squat clean may prove your limiting factor in selecting your front squat weight for this couplet (though apart from Bobo, few of us have a 1.5x bodyweight front squat yet).  To keep the pull up stations open, all front squats will be done on the lifting platform (max 6 bars).  I recommend squat cleaning your first rep every round.  If you are using a barbell, aim for about 75% of your front squat 1 rep max.  Sharing bars is an option but another challenging option is the double kettlebell front squat. 

If you are working toward your strict muscle up, we want to give you ample opportunity to do so in this WOD.  If you have not yet mastered the basics of bodyweight pulling and pushing (pull ups and ring dips) we have a much more appropriate version of the workout for you.

Warm Up

3 min AMRAP
12 KB Russian Swings
9 KB Goblet Squats

6 KB Swing to Squats

3 min AMRAP
20 Squat Ring Rows
10 Tyson Push Ups

Double KB Front Squat
Front Squat
Muscle Up progressions and alternatives


Rx’d Version Functional Fitness Version

Strict MU

Front Squats

4 Rounds:

2 mins C2B Pull Ups or Ring Rows
2 mins Ring Dips or Push Ups
2 mins Dbl KB Front Squat