The dreaded Overhead Squat.  No other CrossFit movement demands as much full body mobility.  It’s the reason Ben Bergeron considers benchmark workout Nancy the most complete test of fitness.  It’s why legendary strength coach Dan John prefers athletes to learn to Overhead Squat before they front or back squat.  If you can Overhead Squat, all the other squats become easy.

Yesterday we had an opportunity to execute 90 Overhead Squats at a lighter than usual load and our members really stepped up to the challenge.  Here are the times for athletes who completed RX’d:

Time Women Men
16 mins   Sandman
Under 17 mins   Point Break
Under 18 mins Hard Rock Yeti
Under 19 mins   Smash, Magnum
Under 20 mins   Dr. T, D-Knee
Under 21 mins G-Money The Heat, Badger
Under 22 mins Gymkata Smokey
Under 23 mins   Rowdy, Jr.
Under 25 mins   Crusher, Brick
Under 27 mins Boomer  
Under 28 mins Dauntless, Peril  
Under 30 mins HeeHee  
Under 32 mins Fe Prof  
Under 34 mins   Music Man
Under 35 mins Sprite  

About 12-18 months ago I gave classes a hard time on avoiding working on weaknesses, specifically the Overhead Squat.  The 5am boys really took this to heart and nearly every make up day can be found diligently working on the 100 OHS AFSAP.  I was delighted yesterday to see their dedication pay off as they all did a fantastic job on the WOD showing how much progress they’ve made on a lift with which they used to struggle.  Sandman, Point Break & Yeti in particular put up untouchable times!  No one in later classes could come close.

Even more impressive than all the RX’s was how many athletes stepped up to my challenge to do the Overhead Squats unbroken through all three rounds.  This not only requires excellent Overhead Squat mechanics and close attention to all 8-points of performance, it also requires a heaping helping of mental grit one of the attributes we’re fond of cultivating at Empower.

Once again, led by 3 boys from 5am, congratulations to the following athletes who completed all reps unbroken at the RX’d load: Yeti, Dr. T, Sandman, HHH, Motor, G-Money, Smash, Hard Rock, Gymkata, Magnum & D-Knee.

Yesterday’s loads were light.  If you required a lighter load or struggled to go unbroken, I suggest you take a page from the 5am playbook and dedicate more practice time to developing confidence in the Overhead Squat.  As elite coaches Dan John & Ben Bergeron point out, the full-body strength and mobility that this movement demands will not only benefit you in your life, it will also make other gym movements far easier for you!

Whether or not it’s on the board, you are welcome on any make up day to practice the 100 OHS AFSAP.  Your goal should be to one day complete at the RX’d weight of 65/95lbs in 5 sets or less.  When you can do this, you’ll no longer fear Overhead Squats.  When I was first starting out it took me 12 sets.  My coach completed it in 2!  Over the years I worked my way down to just 3 sets.  I believe Magnum has done the same.  You can too!