Dave Tate of Elite FTS is a powerlifting expert with a 930 lb. back squat, 610 lb. bench press and 740 lb. deadlift. Greg Amundson is the original CrossFit firebreather and consistently finishes Fran under three minutes.
To give Tate a taste of what CrossFit is all about, Amundson did Fran at a private seminar held Jan. 9, 2009, at CrossFit San Diego. With Amundson 10 reps into his opening set of thrusters, Tate shifts his position and starts pointing to Greg. During the post-WOD critique, the uncensored powerlifting coach explains what he saw.
“On his first set of thrusters ... his foot was everywhere. Every time he applied force, one rep it was in the front of the foot, one rep was in the back off the foot. One rep was here, one rep was here. There was a shitload of wasted energy being applied because of that.”
Amundson’s second set was better, but he shifted his weight too far forward and took his posterior chain out of the movement. Tate explains that the quads burn out quickly, and that leaning forward also makes for a longer bar path. His recommendation? Sit back and drive off the glutes and hamstrings. The resulting movement will be more efficient and will produce more reps in less time.
Additional reading: Human Power Output and CrossFit Met-Con Workouts by Tony Leyland, published July 1, 2008.