Supplemental Olympic Lifting for CrossFitters

By Mike Burgener with Tony Budding

In Olympic Lifts

December 01, 2007

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In our series of articles over the past year or so, we've introduced all the basic elements of the snatch and clean and jerk, as well as some of the important assistance and skill-transfer exercises. Starting this month, we'll address strategies for going beyond the basics. We'll make some assumptions about different types of CrossFitters and create programs for them. The goal is not to create competitive weightlifters, but to help CrossFit athletes improve their lifts.

Several times a month we get e-mail questions from CrossFitters who want to improve their Olympic lifting about how to combine such a focus with CrossFit training. Because there are several CrossFitters who come to Mike's Gym on the weekends to train, I deal with this situation there on a regular basis. Most of the CrossFitters who come to Mike's Gym are committed to CrossFit and want to continue to train hard-core CrossFit while they also work on getting better in the Oly lifts.

In this month's article, we'll assume that you have no extended formal training in the lifts, that you regularly follow the WOD (Workout of the Day) from CrossFit. com, that you've read our other articles and can perform the movements reasonably well with low loads, and that your basic goal is to improve your performance on those workouts that call for heavier cleans, jerks, and snatches. In other words, we're approaching this as if you consider the Oly lifts a chink in your general fitness armor.

The Burgener warm-up is the foundation for learning all the lifts (see our article in the CrossFit Journal issue 53 for more information and detailed instruction on the Burgener warm-up). It should be done every day with PVC. It can also be done with a light barbell if desired.

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3 Comments on “Supplemental Olympic Lifting for CrossFitters”


wrote …

I have made it through week 1-4 of this program. I am now on Day 3 of Week 5, first, is it supposed to be 6 sets or 5 sets? All other days say 5 sets, so seemed odd this was 6, but so be it, I did 6 today. More importantly though, are each of the 3 times through of 3-position cleans supposed to be down without breaking? Or do you do one 3-position clean, push press, then break. Next 3-position clean, push jerk, then break. Last 3-position clean, split jerk. Then break for set? Or is it straight through, basically without putting the bar down? Thanks in advance for the help.


wrote …

hey jared....nothing really is ever etched in stone. if i wrote 6 sets, then do 6 week 5 i probably wanted to increase the volume a tad. at any rate doing an extra set will not kill ya!!! will make you stronger!!! right???? you are correct in assuming that you do a 3 pos clean then a pp. rest..... do a 3 pos clean and hten a a 3 pos clean and a jerk. do not for a minute hesitate to contact me at: 760-535-1835 for help and info or i will get with you asap.

coach b


wrote …

I have a question, about this:

"3 sets:
3 overhead squats
3 pressing snatch balance
3 ...
3 ... "

Is this a 3 sets of circuit 3+3+3+3, or every movement 3 sets of 3, then another?

and the second one, can someone explain me..

6 sets:
3-position clean + push press
3-position clean + push jerk
3-position clean + split jerk

6 sets of first exercise then secon and third... or 6 sets "combo" ??

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