In Athletes, CrossFit Games, Videos

February 11, 2010

Video Article

One CrossFit Games champion has inspired another.

After watching, Sisu, Sevan Matossian’s documentary on 2009 CrossFit Games champion Mikko Salo, 2008 champ Jason Khalipa is forsaking the floor after a WOD. Salo sees sprawling out on the ground as a sign of submission and refuses to do it, and Khalipa is following suit in his prep for the 2010 Games.

From now until July, Khalipa will be following specific programming from Austin Begiebing of CrossFit Unlimited, and the powerful athlete from CrossFit Santa Clara is also working on his nutrition. If his time in a short power-clean/burpee WOD is any indication, his training is right on track for another strong performance at Aromas.

7min 05sec

Additional reading: Redeeming a Bad Run by Mike Warkentin, published July 15, 2009.

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35 Comments on “Cleans, Burpees, Reflections on the Games”


wrote …

Kalipa looks ready. I like the programming at Overload. Keep it up man!


wrote …

I agree with both Mikko's and Jason's philosophy about not sprawling out on the floor. As an old competitive athlete, I was told such dramatics were a sign of weakness, and you never want your opponent to see weakness in your actions for them to take advantage of.


wrote …

Jason, your a beast! The nutrition and breathing standing up after a workout is something I am trying to focus on as well, its a state of mind to automatically sit or lay my back.

The nutrition is the hardest part for me, I try and follow my most basic regime.

6meals a day, good clean food, mentally balancing the carbs, fats, and proteins. 40/30/30. But I need to get it stricter.

Anyways keep it up buddy!


wrote …

great video! I wish I could see more of Jason :D


John Sachs wrote …

Khalipa's looking real strong. He has definitely put on some lean mass. I'm sure he knows he could be more efficient with the cleans. He gets away with it because of his enormous amount of brute strength. More efficient cleans and he cuts 15+ seconds off this already blazing time!

Also, Jeremy Thiel subscribes to "no rolling around after a WOD". One of his videos last year, I believe his quote was something along the lines of "I get PRs standing tall".


replied to comment from John Sachs

yup i remember that video of thiel...speaking of which i think sevan needs to go cover him and carey kepler!!


wrote …

Can't wait for the games! Jason is one monster that keeps growing!


wrote …

Mikko's comment on not sprawling on the floor has caused MANY of us not to!


wrote …

Much respect to you Khalipa. A big man doing burpees like that, not easy. Keep it up.


wrote …

The way I see it, if you aint on the floor at the end of a WOD, you didnt go hard enough. Im not saying I can go harder than either champ just because I am on the ground at the end of a WOD, but I push myself far enough to where I cannot possible stand up at the end of some of my WODs. It is a good position for recovery.


wrote …

Coach Rip will tell you strong wins. Those were strong cleans. Would love to see them with strong, and no early arm bend. Either way Khalipa is inspiring whenever I see him.


wrote …

Those cleans are exactly why I don;t teach our clients the med ball clean. It has absolutely no translation over to a barbell clean. Khalipa is a beast and is strong enough to pull 185# off the ground without using his hips, but I'd be interested to know what his max clean is and what it could be by pulling bar around the knees and getting contact with the thighs before the jump and shrug. I have noticed that technique on cleans from other videos of top games competitors and I wonder how, with all of their attention and exposure to top coaches, nobody ever helps them fix it. Jeremy Thiel's are the same way. Am I missing something? Is it faster to just pull it from the ground using all lower back and upper body in a met-con? Jason, could you touch on this please? Either way you are a beast and a force to be reckoned with for years to come


wrote …

would some one please video him for a month that would be a sick journal 30 part video session !!!


replied to comment from Kade Boyer


Khalipa was definitely using his hip. He was basically muscle cleaning the weight, not catching it with a close hip at the top (power clean). But he was explosively opening his hip to get the weight up.


Hey Kade, Jason's max clean is 300# and he definetly knows how to double knee bend, pull with legs not back, and keep his arms long(this one does cause him trouble though). The reason you see what you see at this weight is because it's not that demanding for him at 30 reps. He can get it done faster without "perfect" technique. But then again "form follows function" so for a competitive atmosphere maybe this is the correct technique. For most of us this would be like using 45# empty bar. If you spent the time to double knee bend it would actually slow you down a bit. If you notice the third round you can see he goes to more of a double knee bend when it gets more demanding. For a beginner athlete I would make it mandatory to build the correct muscle memory through hammering the right mechanics and not worry about time. For Jason it's not as critical and I think actually benfits him by knowing how to do it both ways.

You shouldn't leave out the medball clean just because it doesn't transfer perfectly to the barball clean. It has it's place. Just my two cents.


replied to comment from Kade Boyer

Agreed with Ben and Austin...

At submax weights the most efficient movement pattern is not typically 'perfect' Olift mechanics. One of the criticisms of crossfit by olympic lifting proponents is that high-rep submax cleans and snatches aren't "real" cleans and snatches... and they'd be right... but we're in the business of moving weight as quickly and efficiently as possible and the result is movements like Jason is doing. I highly doubt he would beat his time if he did every rep with technical precision.


wrote …

Thanks guys for your input. I agree that having perfect technique would slow you down in a met-con and I also agree that he makes 30 reps @ 185lbs make it look like a 45lb bar. I do disagree on the med ball clean though. And Austin I loved thevideo they did on your box, great trainer and even better attitude. Looking forward to seeing Jason at the games this year.


wrote …

Wow, that was fast. Nice work Jason. Already can't wait for the games. Looking forward to all the coverage of the sectionals and regionals too.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

Holy S**T! JK is jacked and definitely not the typical physique of a CF contender.

That motivated the hell out of me!



wrote …

I was wondering about the asymmetry in Jasons cleans. Its noticeable at the top - his right shoulder is lower then his left... Could i ask is he left handed and is this something that should be addressed at all in training?

Im speaking from the position of having a injured right shoulder and wonder about the effect of having a similar asymmetry on my own body mechanics particularly as regards injury and prevention. My legs are also different in lengths too :-/

Great video and Jason is beast - either way i dont see it slowing him down!


wrote …

I love the Mikko documentary and he is an inspiration to so many future games participants. I have watch the documentary about a dozen times and even my wife who isn't a hardcore crossfitter loves watching the 2009 games. Whenever I do a WOD I try to think of the rhythm mikko displays whenever he does a movement, and I never go to the floor never have. Can't wait for the games working towards 2011.


wrote …

It was great seeing Unlimited again! It reminds me of how much I miss that positive coaching environment! Austin you rock! Jason, once again you prove to me that you are a beast!! Good luck!


wrote …

#15 Austin, have you experimented with a sumo stance power clean. The line of pull is straight up and down with no time spent double knee bending. This seems like it would fit our needs for speed. I'm going to play around with this idea for a few weeks.


wrote …

ya running sucks haha Khalipa is a beast these are just facts lol



wrote …

I like Khalipa's chances. He's at the top of my list.
Regarding the sprawling, we are not animals. Animals may do it as a form of submission, but they also do it to trick a prey into thinking they are dead. As humans, in Judo, being below the opponent can sometimes be better than on top. I myself don't sprawl because I use it as an extra conditioning, forcing the body to recover while still standing. I've found that I've felt worse after sprawling and getting up than staying standing.


Hey Luis, Jason actually has played around with that during last years training. I think he decided to use it only if the load was right. If memory serves correct I think it made sense to him under 135#. I could be totally off on that though, it's been a while. Jason?


Jason Khalipa wrote …

Very interesting discussion going on in regards to my technique.

Can my technique be better? Absolutely. I am working hard at this currently. However, would better technique make my time better? Maybe, maybe not. The more efficient movement would benefit me in a longer workout for sure. However in this short of a workout with such few reps I believe I am able to get away with not as good of technique for a faster rep.

In regards to the sumo stance clean. I have experimented with this several times. Austin is spot on at the 135# mark. Anything over that and I needed my feet in the power position, however 135# and below I was able to get away with a wider stance and not having to move my feet to the catch position. I was able to do this with power and squat cleans as well.

Thank you for all of the positive comments!


wrote …


Wow man! That is very inspiring to watch.

Please ignore any naysayers who discount your game preraration. I certainly wans't there, but I take your word that your prep included plenty of running. How many NFL running backs have we seen hobbled by cramping? Anyone going to say they did not run enough?

I really wanted to ask for more details regarding your comment on nutrition. Were you speaking generally, or specifically to pre-games diet? What did you see as deficiencies, and what did you determine to be the solution?

I sincerely appreciate any time you put into a response.


wrote …

The more I watch Jason and visit his site the more my respect for him grows. I think it would be great if more professional athletes show the class that Mikko and Jason display. Their workouts are inspiring, and Jason's doing some great stuff with Crossfit Santa Clara. I really like his programming and his weekly challenges.
I'm hoping that some people who are more knowledgeable than me can comment on Jason's burpees as well as the Burpees that Mikko performed in Sisu. All of the burpees looked questionable with arms very bent on the overhead claps. I've always reached straight up as high as I can and clapped with a full extension. Also, Jason, seemed to practically do a cobra and come up with his legs wide apart during rounds 2 and 3. I've always done the burpees with more of a pushup like plank From a time perspective their form can shave a lot of time. Should I change my technique?

This workout would have taken me much longer and crushed me. Awesome stuff. Thank you for sharing it.


wrote …

Jason, you crushed that! Looking strong brother.

I personally will continue to go straight to the floor after a metcon like that. I could care less about the machismo of standing up when I'm tired out :-)



I was speaking more generally. Not for only Games prep. I am trying new things on a daily basis when I work out. Maybe I eat an hour before, maybe 5 minutes, maybe 2 hours??? Also I am trying different meals. Maybe it is a peanut butter and honey sandwich, maybe a protein bar????

Pre 2009 Games I should have hydrated more for sure. Other than that I am researching on my own to find what will work for me in 2010.

If you want to talk more, simply shoot me an email. No problem.


replied to comment from Michael Halbfish

Hey Micheal, I don't know exactly what you mean by "some of the reps looked questionable." Per the 08 games, the hands had to meet and the ear had to show. Yeah, you can do this with your arms straight up in the air, but it is much faster to bend your elbows. The same is true of the wide legs. It is just faster. You are essentially shortening the range of motion, but thats fine as long as your chest and legs touch the ground and your feet come off the ground. Sure, it may be a "better workout" to use 'strict' form, but it will certainly not be faster. In a wod like he was doing, it was a sprint.

hope this makes sense.


wrote …


First up: STOKED to get some time with you last weekend at the coaching summit. I've been telling my husband that you're actually FUNNIER in person than you are on film...and, I thought you were hilarious already!

Second: HOW you fire through cleans at that way is comparable to Barber's burpee speed. It's the stuff my son calls superpowers. He thinks mine is shooting rainbows at people to make them happy; not QUITE as functional in CrossFit WOD's, but good, bad-ass in a Punky Brewster sort of way, I guess.

Finally: Really respect the way that you're handling the criticism on these comments. All good feedback (both positive and negative), but I'm guessing that your open-minded and welcoming way of dealing with it all is precisely WHY you're such a monster at this stuff. We totally dig it, dude :)

Good luck this year!


wrote …

It seems some people might have misinterpreted my questions regarding form. It was not a criticism. I noticed that both Mikko and Jason were doing a similar form, and it was different than the way I've done it. Jason seemed almost super human in that workout. It was an awesome workout and awesome article.

I'm looking forward to getting crushed by that workout.


wrote …

AWESOME!!! I have a feeling that one of the mandatory criteria for the games is going to be "stay standing after a WOD".
I remember Jeremy Thiel mention one time if he was still standing after a wod he could still push himself harder.
Kudos to those who can still stand after finishing a wod and there is no shame in lying on the ground. I like to make sweat angels.

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