This is the plan I was taught from Coach Burgener as he teaches the Crossfit Weightlifting Seminar:
Coaching Staff/let us know if you have an injury!
The Athletes group
2. The Warmup:
outside the gym, assemble the group in lines (columns of three or four or whatever the situation requires).
Exercises done on “GO”:
Butt kickes (fanny whackers)
High knee skipping
Sideways skipping, turn other way on 2nd “GO”
3 “GO’s”: GO-sprint-GO-turn to right and back pedal-GO-turn to right and sprint through
3 “GO’s”: GO-sprint-GO-turn right 360 sprint-GO-turn left 360 sprint through
3 “GO’s”: GO-run backwards-GO-turn right 180 or 360-GO-turn left 180 or 360 sprint through
*****Quick break to put shoes on*****
3. Fundamentals of Teaching the Snatch:
Get PVC pipe, place it on right side of body. The snatch is jumping a bar through a range of motion and receiving it in an overhead squat. If you can jump, you can snatch. Have group jump in place 1/8” off ground with shrug at top. Do a few reps. If you can do this, which everyone can, you can snatch. This weekend, just remember it all comes back to the JUMP. Don’t let your mind get in the way. JUMP. It is this jump that creates the SPEED THROUGH THE MIDDLE critical in the Olympic lifts. This jump starts at the feet.
Jumping (pulling) position:
feet under the HIPS; the stance one would assume prior to doing a vertical jump (note: stance is critical as 90% of all missed lifts can be attributed to the feet/base). Everyone will be at hip width initially. Adjustments can be made later once you work with someone individually
Landing (receiving) position:
feet approximately shoulder width apart, toes turned out slightly with knees bent (1/4 squat) and knees tracking in same direction as toes (this will open up the hips and allow athlete to squat low “between” the legs). Chest should be up, with a good tall posture and tight back. This is where the athlete receives the bar.
Walk feet from jumping to landing position. Make sure proper width for feet in each position and knees are bent in landing position (do not land with straight legs!). Chest should be up, torso straight (tall), butt back a little as though going to sit in a chair. Wiggle the toes to make sure your weight is more on the back half of your feet. It is important to hammer on the DETAILS here. That is a coach’s job! Do this drill several times with coaches checking feet and body position.
Jump feet from jumping position to landing position. NO DONKEY KICKS. This drill is how you avoid donkey kicks. Reinforce that the ground is a lifter’s friend. This is not a floating basketball jump. Instead, slide the feet out fast to the landing position. Must be consistent with getting the feet where they need to be and one should be able to squat deep from this landing position. Have group stay down in landing position, adjust feet as needed and only come up when everyone is set in proper position.
Jump feet to landing position while increasing the depth of the squat the group lands in (2”, 4”, 6”, full squat). Again, feet should hit proper spot every time. Should be able to land in full squat without adjusting feet. Practice a few times. (NOTE: address “Butt wink” here. In bottom of full squat, raise chest up, arch low back and drive hips to heels, push knees out. The “butt wink” position is a soft position and not safe if have weight overhead. Do not overhead squat to a depth where wink develops. Cut squat short and then work on eliminating wink when have no weight overhead.)
Hook Grip: fingers around thumb. This is a very secure grip. A lifter will not have bar slip out of hands with this grip and it helps with keeping arms straight. MUST HAVE HOOK GRIP-SUCK IT UP! Note, however, that this is not a DEATH GRIP as that will slow down bar and lead to arm pulling. Have group show coaches the hook grip. Discuss flipping it out at the top to increase turnover. If this is not addressed early, a lifter will not adopt this habit. Lifters will release hook grip in clean so might as well do it in snatch too.
Width: (8”-12”) There are a variety of methods for finding a good grip for the snatch: scarecrow method, eyeball method…for beginners, err on the side of too narrow to avoid wrist pain. Have the group use the “eyeball” method to set their grip. Have them put the bar overhead and coaches walk around to verify proper grip. Next show bar position (frontal plane-show too far forward, too far back) and active shoulder (show armpits forward, not down, push to ceiling). Turn palms up slightly. Have group raise and lower bar a few times so know how to find proper position—coaches make sure everyone is squared away.
Burgener Warmup (Always keeping an eye on stance and grip too. Recheck a lifter’s grip by having them put the bar overhead. Also, check wrists neutral and elbows turned out sightly) Throughout cert, look for vertical drive, not horizontal drive, so that bar will stay in least line of resistance (Russian/Polish method). Path of bar will be back into hips with light brush (as opposed to catapult or horizontal hip drive method)
Down and Up:
position will be the HIGH HANG. High hang is position jump from. Stay tall, knees go forward (down portion is last position before the jump), relax the arms and keep the bar close. Come up by driving through legs and SHRUGGING HIPS AND SHOULDERS (jump). This is a crucial movement as it is the foundation for the lift itself. The down and up creates SPEED THROUGH THE MIDDLE (most important concept in cert. Make sure lifters know speed comes from legs and proper jumping stance). Make sure lifters lead with shoulders and arms follow (Discuss how the shrug at the top, after hip extension is the signal to get your ass under the bar AFAP! The shrug pulls you under the bar fast). Arms are like ROPES, hanging long but relaxed so bar does not bounce out with hip extension. Arms do not bend until after jump and shrug (shoulders lead arms follow!) If someone is having trouble keeping their chest up (staying tall) can place hand just in front of chest and tell them not to hit it. On SN, CL,J, PP the “down” is controlled and smooth to prevent drop of chest and bending of arms (which occurs when drop too fast). On Jerk or push press, going down too fast will cause bar to crash on lifter. Control down, explode up for speed through the middle.
Elbows High and Outside:
down and up, then elbows high and outside. This is the beginning of the 3rd pull (talk about the three pulls here) Don’t let elbows rotate back or hands come so high that elbows dip. Keep chest up, not over bar—be tall. If lifter is over bar, may hit head on a snatch. (Demonstrate proper top position). This movement will teach lifter how to keep bar close. By having the elbows high and outside, the bar will stay in the least line of resistance and will stay within the area of the base formed by the feet.
demonstrate this step by step-from waist to high elbows, then turn it over to top position. Do this a few times, adding speed. Make sure no rebending of knee. Put it all together, with bar travelling fast and close. This helps develop Third Pull. Make sure shoulders lead and arms follow! This is a great upper body strengthening exercise that enhances pull under bar. Coach Burgener’s athletes do this heavy every day!
keep the bar overhead after the last muscle snatch. Perform same footwork as before by sliding feet out. This teaches footwork in the power position and fixes donkey kicks and floating. Keep the bar up through all these reps—NO ONE puts it down.
lifter should drop as if standing on trap door-just drop, no down and up. Move feet fast to receiving position. Hold low position and make sure do not have to move feet to squat down. NO ONE puts bar down.
Now put it all together. 3 reps on each exercise. Demonstrate first time through, then pick someone to lead. Do 3 times through. They should do this EVERYDAY as a beginner when learning lifts. Also, as trainers, they should make sure to pay attention to details: consistency on feet, stance, grip position should always be evaluated. Increase weight very gradually in these drills: PVC, PVC+sand, cold-rolled steel….
Position (cont’d): Skill Transfer Exercises (as group) NOTE: talk about breathing: big breath, hold!
Snatch Push Press:
just like regular push press CrossFitters do, but with wide grip and behind neck. Keep chest up, sit back on heels, no forward flexion at hips, feel the heels on the down and up (keep knees out) and do not rebend. Speed through the middle! This works overhead strength, ability to support weight overhead. Should be able to SN PP+OHS 100% of best snatch
CrossFitters should be good at this exercise. Go over briefly: chest up, push knees out, weight on heels, active shoulder. This exercise develops core strength.
Pressing Snatch Balance:
make sure feet are in landing position and movement is done SLOWLY. This movement will not be used much after initially being taught but it shows the lifter how to press under the bar. If do not teach this with a new lifter, will get a lot of swinging of the bar and receiving the bar too far back.
Heaving Snatch Balance:
add a little speed to the movement with a small dip and drive, feet remain in landing position. Again this movement will rarely be used.
(fastest of these movements), note that now the feet go from jumping to landing position. Very good exercise to use with lifters. FAST. 100%+ of SN (+20 kg).
Split into coaching groups and go through Burgener Warmup and Skill Transfer Exercises. (Can also do as big group)
Come back together as group and pick one person who has looked good. Talk through a high hang snatch: Jump the bar through a range of motion to an OHS, creating speed and elevation on the bar—Jump it up, receive in OHS. Stand close to bar or use PVC so bar does not swing out. Have person do a few. If have trouble, have them do down and up a few times, then snatch. Tell group everyone can snatch from the high hang!!! Also, show how bar path has changed. Before when they put PVC overhead, the swung it out, now they keep it close.
Then do a few with group. Get them comfortable doing this. Explain that this is snatching. The high hang position is a great way to learn from, add weight, get better at snatches and come back to if technique problems occur.
Drill: Do high hang snatch and receive at 2” (hold then ride down to full squat for all reps) for a few reps, 4” (hold and go down), 6” (hold and go down), full squat (hold at bottom). Make sure feet are hitting landing position!!!
Return from lunch, warmup with Burgener warmup and Skill Transfer Exercises, high hang snatch and 2”/4”/6”/full drill.
Position (cont’d): as a group
Goal of this section is to teach the mid-thigh to pockets to jump sequence. Lifters should hit pockets and just think “Jump!” You cannot teach the double knee bend. In any case, it happens automatically (demonstrate from mid-thigh). This position is crucial. “Pockets” is the position lifter will jump from. Keeps lifter on heels and prevents from jumping forward or jumping too soon. Is a way to transfer weight properly in jump and counterbalance weight of bar. Lifter must learn to STAY OVER THE BAR and be patient by using LEGS (not back) to reach mid-thigh position and only then changing back angle to get to pockets position. When reach pockets and then initiate jump, lifter will be in bottom position of “down and up” and ready to explode vertically. MID-THIGH POSITION MUST TRANSITION TO POCKETS BEFORE JUMP IS INITIATED. Lift will be smooth off ground and acceleration for jump begins at mid-thigh, into pockets and into aggressive jump.
Show mid-thigh position (staying over, using legs to get to mid-thigh, back angle staying constant). Mid-thigh position is like resting position during foul shot: slight bend in knees, hands on knees, chest up, arch in back, butt back. Do some jumps from here. Then PVC on ground in front of toes. Go to mid-thigh position, put hands out, jump as hard as possible, without touching PVC. Pickup PVC, slide to mid-thigh keeping knees back. Do high hang to mid-thigh a few times. Make sure shoulders are in front of bar. Then show how to get to pockets by changing back angle (lift chest), then blending it into “jump”. Teach group how to find mid-thigh and pockets with drill: “high hang/mid-thigh (slide down thigh keeping knees back—analogy of closing car door)/pockets/mid-thigh/pockets….for several reps. Once have it, mid-thigh/pockets/JUMP(with shrug). Make sure lifters are jumping (double knee bend) and not just extending. After group has it, do high hang/ mid-thigh/pockets/Snatch and hold in bottom. Watch for bar swinging out, or not getting to pockets. Do a few reps.
Go to small groups
In small groups, do with PVC: a) high hang/mid-thigh/pockets/jump only b) high hang/mid-thigh/pockets/SN c) high hang/mid-thigh/SN (make sure hit pockets!). Then repeat sequence with bar.
Come back from break and show group how to progress to below the knee to mid-thigh to pockets to snatch. Path of bar is back into hips. Make sure knees go back and that first pull is controlled so hit mid-thigh then pockets position. Drill this for a few reps: high hang, mid-thigh, below knee, mid-thigh, pockets, mid-thigh, below knee…. Then show from the floor. Show starting position (sit more than Rippetoe deadlift). Again, path of bar is back and knees go back. Bar is brought to mid-thigh in controlled manner then accelerated to pockets and JUMP or SNATCH. Drill below knee to mid-thigh to pockets and floor to mid-thigh to pockets with entire group with PVC. Then go into training groups and work on these positions with the bar all starting from the high hang. Mid-thigh to pockets to snatch; below knee to mid-thigh to pockets to snatch; floor to mid-thigh to pockets to snatch. Have people do and coach.
Come back into big group in single file lines. One coach controls, other coaches coach one lifter at a time. Do 3 position snatch by the numbers on coach’s call (do not come up from bottom position unless given command): 2 x high hang, 2 x mid-thigh, 2 x floor. ALWAYS HIT THE POCKETS POSITION. May go through twice.
At 4:00 PM, bring group back together for a Q&A. Review points of performance from board. Some points to make to most groups: anyone can snatch from high hang, but may get a little crazy when start going from below knee or floor—if struggling, just come back to high hang position; vertical motion, not horizontal hip thrust, use down and up and jumping drill to instill this; it is OK to look like a beginner when learning, do not get discouraged or frustrated.
Good news: if you know how to snatch, you know how to clean. The hard part is over.
Setup following day (time to meet, plan, that night’s dinner plans etc….).
DAY 2: Clean and Jerk
Start with Q&A
Then same agility warmup as previous day.
A little snatch review:
-SN grip overhead lunge (step out to 11 & 1, light touch of back knee, then raise it 1” off deck) 2 reps each side
-OH squat, hands and feet together x3
-Burgener warmup, Skill transfer exercises
-High hang jump, high hang snatch, mid-thigh snatch, below knee snatch, floor snatch (smooth off floor, controlled to pockets)
*coaching point: to prevent back lifting, get to heels as soon as possible off floor, bringing the bar back to you. Show how can use PVC to prevent bar from staying out and not coming back into lifter.
The Clean: show Stance/Grip/Position-very similar to snatch
Front Squat: first step is learning front squat, which is pretty easy for CrossFitters. Need to know front squat so know where will be receiving the bar for the clean. Do front squat in big group. Start with hands free to show where will rack bar when receiving clean: in notch on shoulder. Chest up, knees out, stay as tall as possible, bring hips to heels, elbows up and lead with elbows out of bottom. Do not let elbows come in. Show grip as this will be clean grip!
- Then show grip to use with PVC (hands turned over), do a few sets.
- Show stretches for increasing flexibility in upper body. PNF/Back squat, elbows through
- Train the front squat in small groups with bar. Do hands free, then go over grip again and do few sets. Lead with elbows out of bottom, bar high on shelf, coach technique, and go over stretches with group.
- Come together briefly to teach adjustment of grip/transition for Jerk. Get bar in hands, elbows down and out but forward of bar so still create shelf. Do not have death grip. Demonstrate consistency with FS to press/FS to PP/FS to PJ/FS to J.
- In groups, work on transition: FS to transition. Then FS to Press and FS to PP. several sets.
- Elbows high and outside:
- Muscle Cleans: fast elbows, bar close, proper timing, NO REVERSE CURLS
- Clean Land: stay tight even though bar will drop on you a little
- Clean Drop: again bar will drop on you-stay tight
On cleans, look for full extension, shrug at top, foot position and properly racking bar. ALWAYS HIT POCKETS!
Watch back angle: lift with legs, not back. It is legs that give speed on the bar.
Come back from lunch, do Burgener warmup for snatch, skill transfer for snatch, high hang snatch 2”/4”/6”/full. Mid-thigh 2”/4”/6”/full. Floor 2”/4”/6”/full. Now, high hang clean, mid-thigh clean, floor clean. Throughout this sequence remind what each exercise for.
In groups, do high hang clean, regrip, press. Progress to mid-thigh clean, regrip, press. Then full clean, regrip, press. All of this with bar.
Come back in lines, one person lifting at a time, one coach controls tempo, other coaches watching 1 lifter. High hang clean x 1, mid-thigh clean x 1, clean x 1.
Skill Transfer Exercises
- Push Press Behind Neck
- Push Jerk Behind Neck
- Push Press
- Push Jerk
- Jerk Behind Neck
- Jerk Stuff behind neck is good way to learn as it puts bar in proper position.
Demonstrate the Push Press behind the neck, Push Jerk, PP from a front squat (adjust grip), PJ from front squat (adjust grip). As a big group have everyone do a few reps with PVC of each exercise.
1) Footwork: the Murray Cross (also mention walking lunges diagonally to learn movement). Put PVC between feet. Tell group to do one lunge. The foot they stepped with is most likely front foot. Also show other methods: “Trust me”, push person in back…
2) Now that know which foot is front foot, put hands on hips. Keep belly button at 12 o’clock. Walk to lunge position by moving back leg (as back leg will touch first) back about 2 feet to the 5/7 o’clock position (depending on if R or L foot). The weight should be on the ball of the back foot (heel off ground) and the leg somewhat bent. Make sure the torso is erect, perpendicular to the ground.
3) Now walk front leg forward. Want knee behind ankle, shin perpendicular, weight on heel of front foot (should be able to wiggle toes) Want everything pushing into a box around hips. Slight turn in of toes. Be in a balanced comfortable position. Do several reps of walking out to landing position, hold until checked out by coach, then recover. Teach how to recover: ½ step back, then ½ step forward. IF recover back leg first, then too much weight forward.
4) Jump to land, hands on hips. Do a few reps.
5) Feet in landing position, do a front squat, then adjust feet and jump into landing position for jerk, hands on hips.
6) Add PVC, do FS to Jerk. MAKE SURE DO NOT HAVE DEATH GRIP ON BAR!!! This slows you down. Also, control dip down so bar does not crash on you. Teach BREATHING—big breath on squat, release at top, big breath again prior to jerk. Make lifters hold position after receiving jerk. Recover and DO NOT let bar down until told.
7) Break into groups to jerk with bar. Back squat to jerk a few reps. FS to jerk for a few reps. Talk about the pane of glass in front of lifter. On clean and FS, do not touch plane of glass. On jerk dip, still do not drive through plane of glass. On drive up, not yet through plane of glass. But, as drive under bar, drive through plane of glass.
Bring them back into lines and use bars, one coach controlling tempo (make sure not bringing bar down early) other coaches controlling one lifter. Do a high hang clean and 2 jerks, mid-thigh clean x 2 jerks and full clean and 2 jerks. Hold positions!
Use PVC to test dip on Jerks and make sure it is straight up and down.
End seminar with plyo drills: arms out, over under, jump rope…
Review of cert: Stance-Grip-Position for Snatch and clean and Jerk.
Review of board material.
Do Burgener drills every day. Watch YouTube, call Coach. Keep practicing. Come see us again!
1) Jump/Pull Land/Receive
2)Hook 8”-12” Overhead
3) Positions: High hang/Mid-thigh/Below Knees/Floor
4) Burgener Warmup:
a)Down and Up—for speed
b)Elbows high and outside—for keeping bar close
c)Muscle Snatch—for strength and 3rd pull
d)Snatch Land—for footwork (power)
e)Snatch Drop—for footwork (full)
Skill Transfer Exercises:
a)SN PP-overhead strength (100% of SN)
c)Pressing SN Balance—pressing under the bar
d)Heaving SN Balance--
e)SN balance—fastest, 100%+ of SN
3 Pulls of weightlifting: first, second, third
“When the arms bend, the power ends”
“Jump hard, not high”
“Shoulders lead arms follow”
“Pull yourself under the bar”
“Speed through the middle”
SUNDAY on board
1) Jump/Pull Land/Receive
2)Hook Thumb +1/2 knuckle from knurling line
3) Positions: High hang/Mid-thigh/Below Knees/Floor (3 pulls)
4) Burgener Warmup:
a)Down and Up—for speed
b)Elbows high and outside—for keeping bar close
c)Muscle Clean—for strength and 3rd pull
d)Clean Land—for footwork (power)
e)Clean Drop—for footwork (full)
Skill Transfer Exercises:
a)PP Behind Neck
b)PJ Behind neck
e)Jerk behind neck