Over the last 5+ years the relatively long list of members who have snatched their bodyweight at Arena Ready has been fairly impressive given the smaller size of our community, the low turnover of our membership (i.e. no steady flow of new athletes to artificially bolster this statistic), and the fact that we are - at our core - a CrossFit gym (and not an Olympic weightlifting facility, or a CrossFit gym that's a "wannabe" weightlifting gym).  I stopped counting when we got close to two dozen total (men & women) so I don't know what the official number is anymore.   

What's the big deal, some of you may ask?  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.   

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, 16-year old article "What Is Fitness?" and it's arguable that snatching relatively heavy weights can also help in building 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 the case of our athletes who have hit this milestone I think the argument is pretty solid - not only can they snatch their bodyweight, but I'm pretty confident most of them can run a 6-7 minute mile (give or take, assuming they "wanted" to LOL), do multiple strict pull-ups, pick up heavier objects than most men & women, run a decent half marathon time (if for some reason they wanted to do that to themselves out of the blue), and probably embarrass more than a few people in a pick up game of their choosing.  I'd bet that nearly all (if not all) of them can do muscle-ups too. 

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 - 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."     

It'll be cool to see who will hit the bodyweight snatch milestone next.  Complexes like Friday's WOD help to build comfort, confidence, and neurological adaptations to eventually make your snatch better over time - and for most of us this type of workout is just plain fun... lifting a barbell on a Friday with some friends!

WOD For 06-15-18:

Every 90 Seconds For 20 Rounds (30 Minutes):

Power Snatch + Hang Squat Snatch + Overhead Squat


Use FOUR different weights:

Rounds 1-5: "LIGHT" (approx 40-50% of 1RM Snatch)

Rounds 6-10: "MODERATE" (60-70% of 1RM Snatch)

Rounds 11-15: "MODERATE-HEAVY" (70-80% of 1RM)

Rounds 16-20: "HEAVY-ISH" (85% of 1RM... note this is NOT a max)

The goal here is technical consistency and developing confidence (i.e. "not overthinking it") at increasing loads.  Ideally we want to see 20 out of 20 makes (no misses), with the movements looking the same in rounds 16-20 as it does in rounds 1-5.  If you miss during rounds 16-20 you MUST reduce the weight in the following round.

Beginners may modify the complex (if needed) to: 

Power Snatch + Hang Power Snatch + 2 Overhead Squats