Training With Champions: Parts 3 and 4

By Mikko Salo and Dan Bailey

In Athletes, CrossFit Games, Videos

December 24, 2011

Video Article

Find out what it’s like to train with 2009 CrossFit Games champion Mikko Salo and Dan Bailey, first-place finisher in the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games Open, as filmmaker Sevan Matossian captures their training in preparation for the 2012 Games season.

In Part 3, the pair talk about their certifications and seminars, lifting gear and nutrition while they finish front squatting.

“After this year’s Games, I decided to get rid of the belt, doing every squat and deadlift without the belt,” Salo says. “It’ll get my numbers a bit lower, like 5-10 kilos, but I feel I’m getting stronger from the midline.”

He adds: “I should have done that years ago.”

Salo and Bailey talk about their pre-workout breakfasts, and Salo admits to being a coffee “addict.” Bailey says he’s taking after Rich Froning and eating more peanut butter.

“I actually like it,” Bailey says. “I’m actually more full throughout the day.”

In Part 4, Salo and Bailey share pointers for front-squat technique as they get to their heaviest lifts of the workout. They discuss how important elbow position is to the movement.

“When you’re on the bottom position and you’re starting to squat up, put your elbows to that ceiling … . (The) upper back goes in the right position,” Salo says. “It’s not about your leg strength. It’s about the upper back.”

Part 3
6min 35sec

Part 4
9min 15sec

Additional reading: Get Ready for 2012.

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9 Comments on “Training With Champions: Parts 3 and 4”


wrote …

I'd like to see more training, but a good video.


wrote …

that was a fine video...but nutrition tips from top athletes have always confused me even more :-)


Nigel Gordijk wrote …

What are peoples thoughts on Mikko's comments about the belt? I never use one but have started thinking I should, and some people only them when going heavy on certain lifts.


Jake Di Vita wrote …

I don't think I agree with Mikko on the belt as the belt's primary purpose is to give you something to flex your abs against with the purpose of increasing intra-abdominal pressure. The abs by no means go to sleep when using a belt.

But hey, constantly varied, right?


replied to comment from Jake Di Vita

It is. That's what your abs/core muscles do. They stabilize your spine (midline) by increasing the pressure (support) around it.

Using a belt will increase the amount of support. However, training exclusively with a belt likely limits you to only being able to do those heavy lifts with the belt.

There is likely some room for training with and without a belt, but that will probably relate to individual goals more...


wrote …

I would to know what Mr Bailey thinks of the pose methods now that he is USATF certified and a CSCS. I took the USATF cert too and I am studying for the CSCS too. The two organization think of the pose method as a scam. Sprinting is all about applying force to the ground unilaterally!


wrote …

personally, I'd like to see more training.


wrote …

I was under the impression one does not take a deep breath into their lungs before a squat or heavy lift, but instead a deep breath into your stomach. Thoughts?


replied to comment from Nick Berardi III

I would agree with you Nick. I've been told belly breathing is more efficient because it allows your diaphragm to push down giving your lungs more room to expand. I feel like when i take a deep "belly breath" before a heavy squat/lift i feel like my midline is more locked in. Just like we talk about watching how kids squat, watch how they breath some time as well. They are belly breathers. Sitting behind our desks and slouching around on the couch has conditioned us to not only squat like crap but to breath less efficiently as well!

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