Olympic Lifts

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Weight a Second: Finish!

By Mike Warkentin

In Olympic Lifts

April 13, 2016

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Mike Burgener offers quick tips to correct errors in the snatch and clean and jerk.

Just as it’s possible to correct weightlifting errors, it’s possible to cause errors when cues go awry.

Take, for example, the oft-used cue “finish!” What the coach is looking for is a natural position created by perfect balance and unbridled aggression. In a snatch or clean, a profile shot of the finish will show a lifter at full… Continue Reading

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In Coaching, Olympic Lifts

April 06, 2016

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Mike Burgener offers quick tips to correct errors in the snatch and clean and jerk.

Most of us have seen the guy who can do a kettlebell swing with a 300-lb. barbell. The lift is called a clean, but it lacks the grace and speed evident when skilled lifters pulls their bodies around and under a perfectly placed bar with lizard-like speed.

While ugly, the swinging clean is impressive because the lift… Continue Reading

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Unstoppable: Cassidy Duffield

By Mariah Moore and Jay Vera

In Athletes, Olympic Lifts

January 25, 2016

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“If you would’ve told me 10 months ago that I was going to compete in weightlifting in a national championship, I would’ve laughed and called you a liar because I just never thought that I could do something like that,” says Cassidy Duffield of Salt Lake City CrossFit.

A former gymnast, Duffield admits she was once self-conscious about having broad shoulders and a muscular figure. When her gymnastics career ended, she looked forward to being “skinny”… Continue Reading

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You Don’t Know Squat

By Hilary Achauer

In Coaching, Olympic Lifts, Powerlifting

August 05, 2015

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CrossFit athletes sometimes look to squat programs to increase strength—but are they effectively targeting weaknesses or merely feeding the ego and sacrificing general physical preparedness?

The first squat program Aaron Straker tried was the three-week Smolov Jr. cycle in March 2014. His goal was to build strength after an Achilles rupture. The cycle was so successful Straker decided to try the full 13-week Smolov cycle later that same year.

“It just buried me,” said… Continue Reading

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In Coaching, Olympic Lifts

May 26, 2015

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Bill Starr describes additional drills to help you finish the pull and clean big weight.

Editor’s note: Bill Starr completed this article before he passed away April 7, 2015, in Maryland.

In September 2009, the CrossFit Journal published my article “More Pop at the Top,” which described how to do high pulls, shrugs, isometric contractions and throws to improve the numbers on any type of… Continue Reading

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No Rest for the Foolish

By Bill Starr

In Coaching, Olympic Lifts, Powerlifting

May 13, 2015

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Bill Starr addresses an element of strength training that’s too often disregarded by hard-charging athletes.

Editor’s note: Bill Starr completed this article before he passed away April 7, 2015, in Maryland.

There are three sides to the strength pyramid: training, nutrition and rest.

It takes time to learn how to do various exercises using proper technique, what exercises to do on which training days, what sets and… Continue Reading

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Bill Starr, 1938-2015

By Mike Warkentin

In CrossFit, Olympic Lifts, Powerlifting

April 10, 2015

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Longtime CrossFit Journal contributor and strength legend Bill Starr passes on at 77.

Bill Starr died April 7 in Maryland. He was 77.

Starr first contributed to the CrossFit Journal with the November 2008 article “Overhead Is Rising.” It was introduced as follows:

“This article is both an instructional piece on overhead lifting, as well as a history of the unfortunate demise of overhead lifting in most strength and conditioning programs.”

The lines… Continue Reading

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Stability Now!

By Bill Starr

In Olympic Lifts

March 27, 2015

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If the bottom of your snatch is full of trepidation and shaking, Bill Starr has the cure.

I believe full snatches are the epitome of athleticism. When done correctly, the full snatch is a flawless symphony of strength, quickness, timing, coordination and balance. There are many things that have to be done before an athlete is able to master the technique in the full… Continue Reading

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