Category Archives: CrossFit

The “Secret” of the Snatch

The “Secret” of the Snatch

Charlie Sims

Every month, a new batch of CrossFitters show up to my gym and it’s my privilege and responsibility to ensure that they are adequately educated in safety and efficiency within our CrossFit program. In addition to that, I want them to know the “How’s” and “Why’s” of CrossFit, and what it is that we really do.

As much as I love CrossFit. I really love Weightlifting. I especially love teaching people how to perform the two movements within the Sport of Weightlifting.

There’s something magical about seeing a Snatch performed with excellence.

I remember the first time I watched Lu Xiaojun SNATCH more weight than I could Squat. I felt like the guy who saw the DOUBLE RAINBOW.  I had to watch it over and over. I had to show all my friends. They didn’t care…  Click on the pic…

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I think people see something like a Snatch in a way similar to how someone isn’t impressed with watching the Master’s Golf Tournament. It looks mostly easy… That is until they give it a try for themselves.

Our athletes have to learn the Snatch using a PVC pipe. I assure them that if they can coordinate their body to work through the positions with a PVC pipe that doesn’t weigh anything at all, then using an actual weight will come a lot easier.

Even though they’re all strong enough to easily pull the weight up and over their heads even up to a moderate amount of weight, there’s a big difference between “Strong” and “Snatch Strong”.

The real turning point for all of our athletes is the day they decide to let go of the floor and actually pull themselves under a barbell. They make the conscious choice to trust their body, and their coach. They throw themselves confidently, and fearlessly under a heavy moving object, rejecting the lifelong common sense lie that it’s foolish.

They learn that the “magic” in a Snatch, is merely being confidently foolish.

It makes all the difference for them. Immediately after the first connected rep, they stand up with eyes wide open, and exclaim, “That was so much easier than I would have ever expected!”

And it’s THAT moment when I know we’ll be friends for a long time.

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Charlie Sims

We were in the middle of Friday Night Lights which is a weekly party we hold at the gym during the annual CrossFit Games Open competition. This year’s second workout, 16.2, had been announced and was proving to be an opportunity for us to come face to face with our own heart, and this Friday night, CrossFit Regeneration was filled with excitement, fire, and struggle.

The workout consists of a series of checkpoints, which if the athlete completes the required task, they unlock an opportunity to continue. If they don’t, their workout stops.

With each checkpoint, the athlete is required to do 25 toes to bar, and 50 jump rope double unders. Once this is completed there is a series of weights to be lifted using a squat clean. The weight increases with each round while the required reps decrease. More details can be found HERE.

I don’t brag on my sweet wife enough.

She’s my best friend, my partner, and my love. She impacts how I see the world around me more than any other person I know. I can’t imagine my life without her.

Friday night, she became my inspiration.

Kari had been dealing with a bit of shoulder pain for a couple days and wasn’t totally sure how it would hold up during all the toes to bar during the workout, so she spent a lot of extra attention on it during her warm-up, and I remember her saying, “I just wanna get into it and see how it goes. If it hurts, I’ll quit.”

So the clock started, and she had 4 minutes to get through 25 toes to bar, of which she handled easily, and when she grabbed her jump rope, she smiled at me. Game on!

Toes to Bar and Double Unders are among the things that Kari is especially gifted at. So, for her, the challenge would be all about the Squat Cleans. Her lifetime max is 140 pounds. The weights for the workout would be pretty heavy for her. But she methodically popped off the 15 reps at 85 pounds one at a time, and finished the first checkpoint with plenty of time to spare.

90 reps in.

She then quickly dispatched with the 25 toes to bar, and 50 double unders and came to her bar for 13 squat cleans at 115 pounds. Just a few reps here would be a pretty good performance for her, but she started knocking out one rep after another. Each one looked like it might crush her, and a couple did.

imageAnd with only 15 seconds left before the time cap, she had 2 reps to go. The whole gym was screaming at her to get going. She fought one up. 7 seconds left. She grabbed the bar, heaved it up, caught it in the squat, and fought. We celebrated.

178 reps in.

Kari’s reward for her victory?

Twenty-five more toes to bar. These were a bit tougher but she managed them fine.

Fifty more double unders. Unbroken as usual.

She had about 30 seconds to try and clean 145 pounds. My sweet, beautiful, wife staggered to the bar, and pulled with everything she had. It was a beautiful clean pull, but no squat clean.

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Afterward she was laughing. “You guys were yelling at me to pick up the bar, but I could barely pick up myself”.

My wife is my hero.

She didn’t win the workout. Across the world, many women finished that round and moved on to two more rounds and even heavier barbells. An impressive feat. But last Friday night Kari Sims stood over them all.

Fail-safe Plan To Success

Fail-safe Plan To Success

Charlie Sims

I had a Dentist appointment in my calendar from 6 months ago. My reminders started going off 2 weeks out, and started getting more frequent as it grew closer. And the day before my appointment, I got a phone call asking if I’d be there. I didn’t miss the appointment.

In fact, I had plenty of opportunities to schedule other appointments on Tuesday at 9:30am. And each opportunity would have been a far more enjoyable experience than that. But because healthy teeth is something that’s important to me, I kept my appointment.

If it were up to me to just decide to show up to the Dentist office when I felt like it, or when it is convenient to me, I’d never go. I would always find an excuse to wait till next week. I already know that I’m going again in September.

If you’re reading this as a member of my gym, you’ve probably heard me say on multiple occasions that the key to succeeding with your goals is to simply show up. We’ve done all the hard thinking and organizing so as to make your experience as simple as possible. And we’re really good at our job.

So your job is to just come in and let us do ours. But I have so many conversations with people who complain about how difficult it is for them to find the time to get into the gym. About how something always comes up.

Here’s the secret to success. Listen closely. This is the secret the “Pro’s” don’t want you to know.

Rhythm.

Life happens as a habit. We all settle into routines that are harder and harder to break once they’re set. So, simply put; set a habit around showing up to the gym.

The key is to organize your schedule in a way that makes your trip to the gym the expectation, rather than the exception. Do you want to come at your lunch break? Make the appointments in your calendar, and keep your appointments. Don’t stand me up. That’s rude. Schedule other things around your trip to the gym. It’s an unbreakable appointment, as important as keeping your Dentist appointment… Multiple times per week…

Are you someone who needs to come after work? Set the appointment. Don’t go home first. That couch can become a trap. Don’t assume that you’ll have the motivation. You’ll be wrong. Just come in. You’ll be glad you did. Don’t just come when you’re motivated. Sometimes you wont be motivated, but you still need to show up.

Do you need to come before work? Kill the snooze button, and get out of bed. Make the appointment, and keep it. No exceptions.

The point is to set your rhythm and to have accountability. Set up your calendar. Put in your gym appointments. Tell your coach, a couple friends, and a few of your classmates.

Keep your appointments.

It may be a little difficult at first, but before long you’ll be accidentally walking through our doors and well on your way to that six pack.