WEIGHTLIFTING FOR CROSSFIT – Torokhtiy Weightlifting


From my coaching experience, progress in weightlifting in most cases is usually related to 2 main factors: strength and technique. If there is an issue in your training, it’s easy to decide which aspect needs more attention – the problem will be clear as day! The next question is about motivation and your abilities.

When we talk about functional fitness and CrossFit, we meet similar problems there, but with big differences:

– an athlete can be strong in basic exercises (pulls, squats), but at the same time his squat snatch catch position is 2 times higher than the catch position of any weightlifter during power snatch, and rack position in clean is always with open wrists;

– no less common situation: good movement and coordination, excellent performance, but as soon as the task is 1 rep max – the back does not work, the legs do not pull.

I’ve heard this myth from CrossFitters: “when we do weightlifting metabolic workouts for a higher number of reps, we also work on technique”. I fundamentally disagree with this. Against the background of fatigue, technique ALWAYS gets worse. And if the skill, in principle, is poor, so you should not expect improvements from this approach.

Doing a wrong move a million times won’t magically teach you how to do it right; in fact, you’ll find that the more time you spend doing it wrong, the more trouble you’ll have getting it right.

In my opinion, CrossFitters need to focus on developing their lifting technique first in isolation and in phases. This will allow them the ability to perform exercises against fatigue, which is essential for improving fitness no matter what type of workout you’re doing – whether it’s strength endurance and not just causing nausea.

According to Greg Everett, methodically and from the point of view of mechanics, a weightlifter and crossfitter need to learn how to solve 3 main tasks:

– powerfully and effectively extend the knee and hip joints;

– effectively and safely interact, control, and absorb external forces;

– constantly improve motor skills.

In “his classification”, he distinguishes 3 types of Crossfitters:

– just a Crossfitter: needs weightlifting skills to effectively perform WODs and compete in CF;

– A Crossfitter with weak weightlifting: lacks strength or technique (or maybe both) to effectively complete training tasks and compete;

– A weightlifter who loves and wants to be functional: he likes to perform in weightliftingwhile his training process includes a large number of loads from CF.

They all need weightlifting training, but each of these types of athletes sees it for itself from a slightly different angle.

The most common accident of the average CrossFit is that he needs consistent free-lifting technique when the barbell work is on the WOD plan. In most cases, athletes will not work with heavy weights, so the level of force required will be average.

The secret to success is a high-quality special warm-up and a block of technical work with PVC for neuro activation of all segments and systems. I enjoy creating snatch, clean and jerk routines on my social media.

I also remind you that against fatigue, the technique will ALWAYS get worse, and in general, it is normal that sometimes something may not work out. Therefore, regularly devoting time to technical work on individual elements, later will result in stabilityand hence in performance, as well as new kilos on the bar!

Speaking of CrossFitters with poor results in weightlifting, we can distinguish the following: these athletes need to optimize their training routine towards the strength aspect and weightlifting exercises, or purposefully go through a weightlifting cycle. Both options make sense.

I have heard many times from TOP CrossFitters that they started their training after the transition period with an 8-12 week weightlifting cycle to improve strength, snatch and C&J.

While it is true that many athletes have complained about their progress not increasing, I often heard complaints regarding programming. Heavy snatch once every 2 weeks… because “working with a barbell too often can be dangerous.” At the same time, no one has any questions about the fact that powerlifters squat and deadlift 2-3 times a week. Here it should be noted that CrossFit load planning with the effect of “surprise” will not bring many results. In my opinion, consistency, periodizationand variability are the keys to successful progress.

If the athlete does not have the opportunity to organize an independent cycle of weightlifting training, then it can be organically built into the daily training routine, as recommended in the CrossFit training manuals in the 3 + 1 or 5 + 2 training protocol (that is , 5 training days and 2 days off ).

If an athlete needs to incorporate an increased weightlifting load, then this matrix will help him distribute the load correctly, taking into account past and future loads. In my opinion, with a 5-day training schedule for CrossFit, a strength and weightlifting load will be quite enough 3 sessions a week.

in my new WL4CF training program, all periodization of loads is built according to this logic. Accordingly, if G + W is combined on the training day, then this suggests that the athlete had a significant gymnastic load, therefore, in weightlifting training, the load on the arms is minimized.

The WL4CF consists of 10 weeks with wavy volume and intensity, to reach peak form and a new result in the snatch and clean and jerk by week 11. At the same time, the program contains a variety of strength exercises for the development of maximum strength and dynamic exercises for the progress of power and speed.

WL4CF will also be an optimal solution for competitive amateur weightlifters who include CF WOD in their workouts since the training volumes in WL4CF are much lower than in standard weightlifting programs (training duration is 40-60 minutes) and this allows you to add your metabolic loads.

For those athletes whose goal is progressing in the snatch and C&J, I recommend doing the weightlifting part first and then moving on to conditioning and metabolic blocks. But I understand that it may be different, depending on your personal goals.

Regardless of whether you are a professional or amateur weightlifter, in the end, most athletes want to evaluate the result after completing the training program. In our case, it can be pre-planned competitions or separate MAXOUT workouts for snatch and C&J. Progress and new results are always a great motivation to move forward to new heights!


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