150120 Tuesday 0900 & 1800 & 1915

Catalyst Athletics Level 1 Certification Coaching Points

The first thing I need to say is that Catalyst and other weightlifting gyms are designed to do one thing; maximize the power of an athlete in the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.  Given that this is the end goal the methods of getting there may not be the best for all people given joint limitations so this is not a one sized fits all glove.  I am sure Greg Everett, founder of Catalyst Athletics, would disagree with this statement so from that I will get to why, with the move we all know and love.  The CrossFit Squat.

Yes it is the CrossFit Squat, not the Olympic squat or PowerLifters Squat.  As shown below in that order.

Olympic Squat – The hips and knee movement begin AT THE SAME TIME.  ß I can’t emphasize this enough.  As your butt pushes back and down your knees come forward and stay in motion until you have placed your hamstring as far into your calf as possible.  Will go over why later.

Powerlifting Squat – Hips/thighs parrellel to the ground. Shins vertical but because of the nature of where the bar is placed and the activation of big posterior muscles and hip flexors the powerlifter uses these to push big weight.

CrossFit Squat – Hips below the crease of the knee. Feet between 0 – 15 degrees turned out. Thoracic cavity as upright as possible. Vertical shins. Knees tracking over toes.

power vs cf squat
SquatAir cf

Now please put that vein back in your head CrossFitters!  I know what your thinking…”knees over toes you gotta be crazy!”  You have to ask what the intent is and how we got here.  You will not be have Bob at 55 years old squatting this way but when Bob is 57 and in the best shape of his life.  Has trained weightlifting and has mastered the powerlifting movements.  He has built the stability and caused adaptations in his body to make the connective tissues between joints very strong.  You will have to ask if Bob if he would like to try to train for maximal power.  You will tell him your concerns about the movements in the knees and shoulders.  That’s your job.

With that being said here is my list of things I learned that you can employ.

  1. The athlete has got to have the squat down before doing this movements. They just do.  I know you see and hear coaches say, “Just because they have an immature squat doesn’t mean they can’t snatch.”  No, literally it does.  They literally cannot put their body into the receiving position of a snatch.  “Well they can snatch a PVC pipe.”  No they can do a really fast pass-thru.  Squat therapy!
  2. READ THIS: You are probably just scrolling for coaching notes so here it goes.  Do you have the athlete that has the stripper booty(hips lead the movement), shoulders lead the movement(more rare), do they stop for a split second at the mid to high hang, bar floats away from the body and then smashes against the thigh or hips causing this catapult thing and they usually jump forward/miss forward?  Here is how to Correct this:
  3. 3 Position Segment Snatch Deadlift
    Some points here:
    Pause at 1 inch off the ground, pause at knee, pause at mid-hang position x 2-3 Seconds

    The last pause. Notice how far over his chest is in relation to the bar.  Also notice him engaging his lats pulling the bar into his body.  There is no trap action happening here. Do not shrug.

    Halting Snatch Deadlift


    Notice how the back flexes as the lats move the bar into the body.  Coach this!  Prioritize that back!

    Halting Snatch

    Halt at the mid-hang position for 2-3 seconds and snatch.

    With all that being said there are a 100 ways to utilize variations of these skill movements in order to correct a fault.  Triage your concerns and focus on fixing one thing at a time.

    1. Snatch Progression.
      1. Squat
      2. Overhead Squat
      3. Mid-Hang Pull Snatch
      4. Tall Power Snatch
      5. Scarecrow
      6. Tall Snatch
      7. Mid-Hang Snatch
    1. The overhead position in CrossFit is taught by queuing the athlete to push up on the bar. This is not what we want.  We want the shoulders retracted and tight.  This will make the shelf for that weight as it is over head.  Pushing up and through the weight causes instability in the shoulders and also causes your shoulder blade to ‘float’ which is problematic if you bail.  Crazy things happen in your shoulder capsule.  You can coach the latter but please add shoulders retracted.  Uses the strong lat and set of trap muscles to really get that PR!
    1. Thou Shalt not queue the athlete to JUMP! Mike Burgener loves this queue and it may be an awesome queue to beginners but that is up in the air.  Here is why…if you practice jumping you will perform the jump with weight.  If you jump very aggressively and you pull your body under the weight the barbell probably travels past your face as you wait in the bottom position ready to catch this thing that now weighs double because it is going to crush you as you are in a static position and your barbell is going to be shamefully on the ground in front of you.  The analogy that Greg Everett apparently uses is: In the squat would you rather someone place the barbell on your shoulders or drop it?


    1. Thou shalt not keep a neutral cervical spine! Look up!  Don’t strain your neck but look up at the start position of the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk.
    1. Pull/Drive position your feet should be between 5-15 degrees. Receiving position between 20-35 degrees.
    1. The Jerk. There are 11 different damn progressions of the Jerk.  Please look into them. I am not going to illustrate them here.

    Finally, as with CrossFits Weightlifting certication the only difference in the progressions of the snatch and the Clean is the rack delivery!  So with that happy PR’ing I hope!

    Jared – FTCF

    A. Progressive Model Double Unders

    B. SWOD
    Use a weight that is 80-90% of your 1RM Snatch
    EMOM for 5 minutes
    2 x Three Position Segment Snatch Deadlift (Hold each position 2 – 3 Seconds)
    EMOM for 5 minutes
    2 x Halting Snatch Deadlift (Hold for 2-3 Seconds)

    C. WOD
    In 10 Minutes find your
    10 Rep Max Front Squat

    D. WOD Strength/Skill
    EMOM for 10 Minutes
    Snatch Complex 60-70% of 1RM Snatch
    2 x Snatch + Overhead squat

    You will squat with the snatch and you will squat with the overhead squat. If mobility is an issue in either of these movements move to a clean complex. Coaches adjust accordingly!

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