The CrossFit Games, A Million Bucks, and Your Snatch
CrossFit has grown from a little grassroots fitness club into a massive phenomenon complete with it’s own sectional, regional, and national championships. Last year they put on a joint CrossFit/USAW competition that was larger than any American national weightlifting meet (save for the Arnold). And now, we can add a huge sponsorship with Reebok to the list of their accomplishments. What does that mean for you? There’s a $1 million dollar pot waiting for the winners of this years CrossFit games! It’s official, CrossFit is a sport. It’s time to start training for it.
OK, now we can talk about your snatch …
Ever noticed that the best athletes at the Games don’t leave anything to chance? They are conditioned, they are strong, and they have spent the time required acquiring the proper technique in the complex lifts/events. If your snatch (and/or equivalently, your clean and jerk) sucks … you are gonna suck. It would be like not being able to do a kipping pull up.
Did you watch the CrossFit/USAW competition? The best CrossFit athletes had impressive form on the Olympic lifts, and consequently, they lifted big weights. Even top Olympic lifters like Kendrick Ferris and Natalie Burgener were very impressed with these folks abilities. Guess what? These are the types of folks you’ll be competing against.
Take Chris Spealler for example. At the Crossfit/USAW meet he posted a 200k total in the 62k class, which was enough to qualify him for the American Open Olympic Weightlifting competition. He’s competed in all four of the CrossFit games and won third place at the last one. Check out his immaculate bottom position in the clean in the photo above! This guys knows that if you are serious, then you put in the time to get it right.
Learning the Olympic lifts is a high-skill endeavor. But, don’t get me wrong. You don’t need to focus on becoming the greatest Oly lifter since Naim. Just a few months of dedicated work will change your life. (That’s not Hyperbole.)
While weightlifting isn’t exactly like riding a bike, the fact is, once you’ve put in those first 3 to 6 months of technical work, you will be able to lift MUCH heavier loads than you would have been able to without it. Consequently, you’ll get stronger faster, you’ll become far more explosive, and all of the other events you do in CrossFit will become easier. There is reason that nearly every top athlete in the world, in nearly every sport, does hard work on the Olympic lifts: They work!
Right around now you may be asking, “Dude, I ain’t got a chance against Chris Spealler! I’ll never see that money, so why do I care?”
There are two reasons. First, it’s not about the money, it’s about your body. You got into this kind of craziness because you love to push yourself to higher and higher levels. You wanted to see how far you could take yourself. Learning the Olympic lifts is the next step in your evolution as a serious athlete.
Second, even if it WAS about the money, you have to take the long view. CrossFit ain’t gonna shrivel up and die tomorrow. It’s only going to get bigger. This means that the sponsorships will keep coming, and the prize money at each level of competition will get bigger and bigger.
In the near future, there will be good money to be had at even the more local Sectional competitions. When that time comes, are you going to be ready? It may take 2 to 5 years, but it’s coming. Imagine how much better an athlete you will be if you dedicate the next 2 to 5 years to improving yourself! You could be in the top of your class. (BTW, speaking of classes, they lowered the masters class down to 40 years old. This is means more opportunities for more people.)
My advice is to make sure you contact the best Olympic lifting coach in your area and get started learning how to snatch and clean and jerk right away. If you aren’t sure who that person is, then simply leave a comment below and I’ll find out for you.
This is the year to make it happen. Wherever you are, whatever level you are at, one year from now you will either be a better athlete than you are now, the same, or even worse. It’s your choice.