Congratulations, Gordon, for becoming the newest member of the body weight snatch club!  This is a great accomplishment for any athlete, and Gordon's consistent, hard work in the gym is really starting to add up to bigger numbers, faster times, and just plain old impressive fitness.   

A body weight snatch - what's the big deal (some of you may ask)?  The answer that follows is largely adapted from a blog I wrote in the spring when Megan achieved the body weight snatch milestone...

The bodyweight snatch is a milestone for many CrossFitters, and even some Olympic-style weightlifters - a gold standard of proficiency and one of the hallmarks of the beginning of mastery.  By my count I believe Gordon is the nineteenth athlete at Arena Ready to snatch his/her bodyweight (I believe the men's count is now fourteen, and the women's count is at five... with several ladies very close to being the next in line), which is pretty cool considering we are a fairly small gym that predominantly runs a CrossFit program in our classes (not a pure weightlifting program).   

The snatch is (as just about all of you know) a very complex movement, and an athlete's ability to snatch relatively heavy weights can often tell a lot about said athlete's abilities in other areas of fitness.  If an athlete can snatch his/her bodyweight it likely means that he/she is pretty darn strong, powerful, flexible, coordinated, agile, fast, and has a sound sense of both balance and accuracy.  Coincidentally those are 8 of the 10 "General Physical Skills" as defined by CrossFit in their classic, 14-year old article "What Is Fitness?" and it's arguable that snatching relatively heavy weights can also be a tool in helping to build capacity with the other two skills they define, cardiorespiratory endurance and stamina (assuming the athlete is spending time training other modalities and domains, and not just weightlifting).  In Gordon's case I think the argument is pretty solid - not only can he snatch his bodyweight, but I'm pretty confident he can run a 6-minute mile if pressed to do so, do big sets of strict pull-ups and bodyweight back (or front) squats, pick up heavier objects than most men & women, run a respectable half marathon time (if for some reason he wanted to do that to himself on purpose without anyone chasing him), beat most of his friends in a test of vertical or broad jump prowess, and probably embarrass more than a few people in a pick up game of his choosing.  Last Friday it was clear that his ring muscle-ups are among some of the best in the gym, even though he wouldn't consider himself "regularly practicing" that complex movement on an on-going basis.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

What does this mean for many of you?  Well, since we love to teach weightlifting at AR we have a membership base that generally likes to snatch (and clean, and jerk, and squat, etc) and appreciates spending time getting better at the movement.  But there's always some folks who just don't quite understand the point of trying to learn how to do this awkwardly dynamic movement, and who may not appreciate what it does for herself/himself when they build proficiency in such a seemingly novel pursuit like the snatch.  I can guarantee you that the better you are at snatching the better you will be at an overwhelming majority of physical tasks in your life - carrying your kids, moving your furniture, hauling luggage in an airport or on an airplane, skiing, surfing, running, jumping, playing catch with your grandchildren, chasing your dog, telling snot-nosed bag boys at the grocery store that "No thank you, I don't need help out... these aren't actually that heavy for me."     

Who will be number twenty at Arena Ready for the body weight snatch?  

But first, squats... duh...

WOD for 08-02-16:

Back Squat:

15 Minutes to Establish a Moderately Heavy Set of 5 (not 5RM)


For most athletes this is roughly in the 80% of 1RM range, and/or within +/-5% of your top set from 07-22-16.   




For Time (Using 80% of Your Top Set of 5 From Above):

800m Run

15 Back Squats @ 80% of top set from above

600m Run

12 Back Squats

400m Run

9 Back Squats


(Compare to 04-08-15)