I’ve never been good at cleaning…


Is there any upside to crawling out of your warm bed at 6am, getting into a freezing car that barely starts, gloomily staring at the thermometer that indicates -23C, and driving to CrossFit? Yes. The fact that very few people choose to do that. So few in fact that you may end up with a private training session on Olympic lifts.

I was the only person to show up to the 7am workout. The whiteboard indicated deadlifts and met con (metabolic conditioning) sequence. I glance at Ryan, who is almost awake… “Screw deadlifts. My deadlifts are awesome. Help me with the clean?”. Last time we did clean and jerk, my cleaning was “atrocious”. 🙂

What follows is 60 minutes of nothing but cleans. Over, and over, and… you guessed it – over again. Ryan is bombarding me with terms like “Burgener warm-up”, “loading”, “pull”, “shrug”, “jumping position”, “landing position”. You’d think I was doing Cirque de Soleil. I found myself asking questions like: “Do I use a hook grip for both the squat clean and the power clean?”. [The answer is yes.] Who is this girl?

“Well, we barely scratched the surface”, Ryan shrugs after an hour. I’m exhausted. Not physically. Mentally. There are approximately ten billion microscopic movements in a clean… at least until it becomes automatic. And then it’s just one movement. One fluid, smooth, beautiful movement. Until then… it’s feet. Hips. Shoulders. Elbows. Back. Hamstrings. All engaged, and all doing different things in different order. Gah. By the end of the session it’s a miracle that I didn’t drop the barbell on my head once.

P.S. In case you are curious, the Burgener warm-up is a sequence of movements, designed to warm you up for various Olympic lifts. Mike Burgener is an international weight lifting coach, and is a bit of a celebrity in CrossFit circles. Full warm-up is here.

Leaving you with some salad inspiration = spinach + roasted beets + apple + raisins + walnuts.


Signing off,

Posted January 23, 2013

8 responses to “I’ve never been good at cleaning…”

  1. Crossfit sounds really intense. It’s awesome that you got a private training session. I’m not at strong as you are, I have to work out after work because i’m not a morning person.

  2. Sara says:

    You are awesome! Love your dedication and what motivation for us! Congrats on such an enlightening hour. It seems like I always PR on bad weather days. Go figure…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Amazing! I love your blogs:o) Do you know of a good online resource for an independent weight circuit (can’t afford Crossfit right now-single Mom), but want to short list my weight and increase the intensity…I’m sure I will see you this season-you inspire me.

    • Solo says:

      thank you. :)))) glad to hear someone is reading. what are you trying to do with the weights? I find that this place is actually pretty good: http://getfitguy.quickanddirtytips.com/

      he is an athlete, and he lists a lot of workouts, especially for beginners. let me know what exactly you are looking for, and I can recommend something more specific.

  4. Amy Lawson says:

    Ugh! Struggling with my cleans, too. It’s all about technique, and I’m not sure why my body wants to reverse curl it up instead of doing it the easier, right way! Practice, practice, practice!

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