Shankle Strong

Through the latter half of 2011 my training took on a heavy lifting bias, sacrificing conditioning (we dropped to 2 sessions/week) to help me get stronger. The sacrifice paid off. During the strength cycle I did ‘Nasty Girls’ in 6:04 and today I did ‘Helen’ in 7:23 (not amazing but I had to run through 3 doors to get outside for the run). What I’m saying is that I managed to MAINTAIN a decent level of work capacity whilst my lifting numbers increased! My back squat 1RM and 3RM jumped from 185 to 200kg and 170 to 190kg, respectively. My press increased 10kg to 85kg, snatch up 10kg to 100kg, clean up to 145kg. Not bad, right!?

Well, my coach and I had a conversation via HeyTell today about the Shankle complex. What’s the Shankle Complex?

  • 3 x Hang Pulls with Shrugs
  • 1 x Hang Clean
  • 2 x Jerk
This video shows Donny Shankle doing it with 190kg! That’s a pretty decent DL, let alone the rest!
Now I know that, as CrossFitters, we don’t really want to specialise as it limits our ability for the unknown and the unknowable. But how much more could we accomplish if we were stronger!?
Another friend/colleague/client of mine, Tino Marini said on Twitter ‘@AthleticEvo what has adapted in crossfit since the start? movements all similar, however it’s much heavier…hence why #strengthwillprevail‘.
What am I saying? I’m saying, there will be times when specialising (even for a small period) will be of benefit, whilst maintaining the other areas of your Athletic Evolution.
3 rounds for time:
400m run
21 swings, 24kg
12 pull-ups
Rest 20 mins
1RM Snatch


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