More Squat Musings…

Recently, the guys over at Lift Hard have been posting about driving knees in to come out of the hole during squats. Dan Green of Juggernaut Training Systems also posted a video about this technique.

Whilst this bucks the trend of the popular ‘knees out’ coaching cue, guess what…I agree! I posted about this in June of last year, check it out – Thinking About The Squat

Thoughts and comments please!


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Max Out Friday

I was a little apprehensive about today’s session. I was unsure (more than usual) about how I would fare on the snatch.

On Wednesday I lifting from a hefty 3.5″ deficit (it doesn’t sound like much, I know. Try it for yourself!). As I am long in the leg and short in the torso, I needed to narrow my feet to get my legs in between my grip! Pulling from that position seemed to do me no harm at all, as I worked up to 102.5 from the deficit.

After talking it over with coach, he said it was worth a shot for me to try pulling from the floor in the narrower start position. I worked all the way up to 107 with no misses today, which is really encouraging. However…110 felt ridiculously heavy through my back. The extra 3kg felt like 10!

Anyway – the session ended 107/143 and a 175 2RM front squat…which is a PB!


Tomorrow sees us descend on Reebok CrossFit Glevum for the 2nd Athletic Evolution Olympic Weightlifting Workshop, and I’m really excited to see people make some progress!


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All Aboard The Tsypkin Train

The meet, at CrossFit SA1, went pretty well on Saturday. I mean, I got the total I needed – the 245 has enabled me to compete at the British Seniors in July. I almost bombed my snatch though! I pressed out 100kg, after hitting it comfortably in the warm up area. Then I threw 102 WAAY out in front. I got it done though!

The C&J was a completely different kettle of fish though. I pushed my opener up to 140, from 135. 140 sailed up, followed by 143 just 2 minutes later. With qualification confirmed I tried 150m for a PB C&J and PB total of 252. Easy clean, missed jerk…slightly gutted.

Job done though!

There were some more than decent lifters at the meet, namely Faye Pittman (75/100 at 69kg) and Jake Davies (120/140 @ 94kg). See the video for them lifting.


My training, since the Welsh Champs, has felt a little wayward. Enter my good friend and former coach, Jacob Tsypkin. Jacob is a great coach in both weightlifting and CrossFit. One of his athletes is a Juggernaut Training Systems athlete, he has two individuals and a team going to a very competitive Nor Cal Regional in May. Jacob also programs for Monterey Barbell Club (I know, he’s a busy boy!). Jacob did my CrossFit programming for a couple of years and he helped me win the UK Sectionals and finish 21st in Europe last year (with a torn bicep!). He knows my schedule, how my body works, what my lifting needs are – quite simply, he is going to help me hit a 115/155 total in Bangor – just 12 weeks away now!

Todays session wasn’t a tough session, but it was hard work. Everything was slow and laborious. Tomorrow sees the start of hitting some nasty complexes…they will be revealed tomorrow.


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Monday, Monday

Double day today. It took a while to get going this morning. Had to take a few extra warm up sets to start, once the joints where oiled up things seemed to go pretty well. I’m really please with how today went, I really tried to focus on getting my hip to go straight down when moving under the bar. It is easier said than done but it’s already starting to feel more natural.

Wednesday 25th March 2013


Snatch to Hi Hang Snatch – 100kg

Snatch to Hi Hang Snatch – 85x1x5

Clean/Hi Hang Clean/Jerk – 130kg

Clean/Hi Hang Clean/Jerk – 110x1x5

Back Squat – 147.5x5x3


Snatch from block below the knee – 100kgx2

Clean from block below the knee – 130kgx2

BTN Jerk – 120x2x5

All in all a pretty good day!



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Something different…

Still snatching and stuff, just really tired today so I played around with a snatch complex and a really cool jerk drill that I saw on the MDUSA YouTube channel.

Thursday 21st March 2013

5 sets at 40% of max

2x Hi Hang Snatch

2x Drop Snatch

2x Sots Press


5×1 Jerk Press Outs – 100-120-130-140-145




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I attended a conference today and the subject was tendinopathy in running athletes. There were some great speakers including Frans Bosch, Raph Brandon and Craig Ranson, to name but a few! I have pages of notes to digest and I’ll get some thoughts up soon.

I managed to get a quick session in at CrossFit Northampton – the guys were kind enough to open their doors. You should check the facility out!

What is CrossFit Northampton?


Wednesday 20th March 2013

3 position snatch (Floor/below knee/hi hang) – 97.5kg (2.5kg PB)

Shankle complex – 130kg (equal PB)

Front squat – 135x3x5

This is the Shankle Complex. I could have posted my 130 but this is FAR more enjoyable to watch!



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Catch Up

I haven’t posted in a while due to tech issues. But here’s a quick catch up on the training diary.

Wednesday 13th March 2013

3 pos snatch (Floor/Below knee/high hang) – 95kg

Clean/FS/Jerk – 135kg

Thursday 14th March 2013

Power snatch – 80% (of power) x 2 x 4 – 80kg

Power clean  – 80% (of power) x 2 x 4 – 112kg

Jerk drills


A1 – DB Bicep Curls – 3×10

A2 – Band Tricep Extensions – 3×10

Friday 15th March 2013

Max Snatch – 107.5kg

Max C&J – 140kg

FS Double – 170kg

Monday 18th March 2013

Snatch Hi Pull to Snatch Below Knee – 100kg

Clean Pull to C&J Below Knee – 135kg

BS – 145x5x3


Also – had some fun with crawls!



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Back to it….

Pretty solid weekend. I really wanted 110/145 but it just wasn’t to be. I ended up with 105/135 going 3 from 6. 100-105x-105 then 135-140x-146x. The 140 was failed on a technicality…so infuriating!



My body feels really good, mentally I’m still pretty tired but, back to training today. No Feet variations and squat volume. Both felt really good, surprisingly!

Monday 4th March 2013

No feet snatch – 95kg

No feet C&J – 125kg

Both lifts were at 85% of max

Back Squat 140x5x3


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Final Week

Final max out day today. Things are feeling good!
Monday 25th February 2013

Max Snatch – 105
Max C&J – 145 (equal PB)
Max BS – 190 (200 felt pretty good. I just rocked forward coming out and had to fight too hard…didn’t want to risk it!)


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Snatch – How do you catch yours?




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