On Saturday January 17th I attended my first Olympic Lifting Clinic hosted by CrossFit Pledge Fitness. I didn’t really know what to expect going into the gym that morning. As an endurance athlete I supplement strength training so I can yield more power but olympic lifting is never really my main focus. Strength training can be addicting, you see your numbers go up on lifts like a back squat or a bench press and you want to do it more and more to hit those bigger numbers. With Olympic lifting sometimes it can be quite the opposite. The snatch and clean and jerk are so technical it requires you to invest time into achieving those big numbers. You can’t muscle your way to a snatching a ton of weight. That is where I stood I found it to be difficult but I didn’t invest time into the technique to improve it. I would soon realize that signing up for this Olympic Lifting Clinic was exactly what I needed.
We were introduced to Anthony Pomponio who hosted the class, he is the 2014 American Open 85kg Class Gold Medalist in Total and in Snatch. He informed us that we would be focusing on the snatch and walked us through proper form and techniques that would help us in the lift. He showed us videos of himself and his team and pointed out the technique used to effectively lift the weight. Once the presentation was wrapped up it was time to get to work, we all laced up our Oly shoes and grabbed a bar.
We ran through some drills and Anthony gave us suggestions on correcting our form. He took the time to watch each and every one of us and help us with our posture and provided tips on how to correct it. When we were all warmed up we partnered up and started to Snatch.
I worked with Fermin, he’s fairly new to the gym but is one dedicated dude. He has made incredible progress and his determination to improve is extremely motivating. We found a nice weight to start of doing 3 reps each and climbed from there. For both of us it was hard to get in a deep squat position but we kept at it encouraging each other and adjusting with the feedback given by Anthony. As the reps grew our form improved and the weight on the bar increased. How do you get better at a movement? You do it over and over until you get it right. It wasn’t about snatching a ton of weight it was about improving our technique with a comfortable weight. We all had the urge to max out but the first task was to fine tune technique.
When it was time to max out everyone cheered each other one as we hit our numbers. It’s incredible the results you get when you dedicate three hours to one lift and have a group of determined individuals motivating you. I never thought I would get good in the snatch lift but with more work ill hit some good numbers. The most positive comment that Anthony made is how knowledgeable our coaches were. he spoke highly of coach Ray and Eddie and complimented our gym in more than one occasion. I’m very honored to be training her at CrossFit Pledge Fitness and to have the resources that they provide. The day came to and end as we watched coach Eddie maxed out with an impressive 235lbs snatch.
And of course the class was documented by the CrossFit Pledge Fitness photographer Armando Colunga. Enjoy the video as this was a fantastic experience and I would encourage anyone to take the opportunity and attend an Olympic Lifting Clinic.
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For this Monday motivation, we are recognizing Sangee. What impresses me most about her is how quickly she applies what she learns. This girls was executing #leans the same day she learned them. She’s a natural! And what makes her an awesome individual is her great personality. Keep up the great work and you better not miss today because today we squat.
We all know Boj as the nice guy and probably one of the most friendly and kindest members of the gym. But when it comes to training his mind shifts into beast mode and his hunger for strength comes out. Boj was looking for a way to make some changes in his life and found CrossFit to be an interesting approach. After visiting other local gyms he decided he wanted to join the CrossFit Pledge Fitness family. It has been a little over a year now and with hard work and dedication Boj has transformed into a great athlete. His strength has increased and he has also started taking on new challenges. When you see his work ethic its no surprise how far he has come in such a short time, this fuels his hunger and makes him want to grow more as a person and an athlete.
Many wake up early on Thanksgiving day and start preparing their turkey dinner, but for a few of us it was one last chance to get a workout in before consuming all the delicious food the holiday has to offer. The class was scheduled to start at 8:30am and as usually most of us arrived early excited for the pain ahead of us and to get in a few minutes on the foam roller.
Once everyone was ready coach Raymond explained the workout to the group. “MURPH” a 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and 1 mile run was on the menu for us that morning. Ray talked a little about strategy on attacking the WOD and how it would be beneficial to break up the work into 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 air squats. Already overwhelmed by the workout I took his advice and stuck to that game plan. After all its only 20 sets right. Coach Ray also explained to us the meaning behind the MURPH WOD and why it is such a difficult workout, not only physically but mentally as well.
Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy (May 7, 1976 – June 28, 2005) was a United States Navy SEAL officer who was awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan. Murphy was killed June 28, 2005 after exposing himself to enemy fire and knowingly leaving his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. He provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element and then returned to his position to continue fighting until he died from his wounds.
We each battled through the workout differently but we all suffered the same. The minutes winded down and we all worked hard to get to the last mile. It was some what of a victory lap for completing the workout. Everyone motivated each other, just when you felt weak a fellow member yelled words of encouragement your way to give you the extra push you needed to finish that set. I’m thankful for the gym and all its members. They motivate me everyday to better myself. And I’m thankful I can push my body to do these challenges. This ones for you Lieutenant Michael P. Murhpy.
LIEUTENANT MICHAEL P. MURPHY
UNITED STATES NAVY
FOR SERVICE AS SET FORTH IN THE FOLLOWING
FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY AND INTREPIDITY AT THE RISK OF HIS LIFE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY AS THE LEADER OF A SPECIAL RECONNAISSANCE ELEMENT WITH NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE TASK UNIT AFGHANISTAN ON 27 AND 28 JUNE 2005. WHILE LEADING A MISSION TO LOCATE A HIGH-LEVEL ANTI-COALITION MILITIA LEADER, LIEUTENANT MURPHY DEMONSTRATED EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN THE FACE OF GRAVE DANGER IN THE VICINITY OF ASADABAD, KONAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN. ON 28 JUNE 2005, OPERATING IN AN EXTREMELY RUGGED ENEMY-CONTROLLED AREA, LIEUTENANT MURPHY’S TEAM WAS DISCOVERED BY ANTI-COALITION MILITIA SYMPATHIZERS, WHO REVEALED THEIR POSITION TO TALIBAN FIGHTERS. AS A RESULT, BETWEEN 30 AND 40 ENEMY FIGHTERS BESIEGED HIS FOUR-MEMBER TEAM. DEMONSTRATING EXCEPTIONAL RESOLVE, LIEUTENANT MURPHY VALIANTLY LED HIS MEN IN ENGAGING THE LARGE ENEMY FORCE. THE ENSUING FIERCE FIREFIGHT RESULTED IN NUMEROUS ENEMY CASUALTIES, AS WELL AS THE WOUNDING OF ALL FOUR MEMBERS OF THE TEAM. IGNORING HIS OWN WOUNDS AND DEMONSTRATING EXCEPTIONAL COMPOSURE, LIEUTENANT MURPHY CONTINUED TO LEAD AND ENCOURAGE HIS MEN. WHEN THE PRIMARY COMMUNICATOR FELL MORTALLY WOUNDED, LIEUTENANT MURPHY REPEATEDLY ATTEMPTED TO CALL FOR ASSISTANCE FOR HIS BELEAGUERED TEAMMATES. REALIZING THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF COMMUNICATING IN THE EXTREME TERRAIN, AND IN THE FACE OF ALMOST CERTAIN DEATH, HE FOUGHT HIS WAY INTO OPEN TERRAIN TO GAIN A BETTER POSITION TO TRANSMIT A CALL. THIS DELIBERATE, HEROIC ACT DEPRIVED HIM OF COVER, EXPOSING HIM TO DIRECT ENEMY FIRE. FINALLY ACHIEVING CONTACT WITH HIS HEADQUARTERS, LIEUTENANT MURPHY MAINTAINED HIS EXPOSED POSITION WHILE HE PROVIDED HIS LOCATION AND REQUESTED IMMEDIATE SUPPORT FOR HIS TEAM. IN HIS FINAL ACT OF BRAVERY, HE CONTINUED TO ENGAGE THE ENEMY UNTIL HE WAS MORTALLY WOUNDED, GALLANTLY GIVING HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY AND FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM. BY HIS SELFLESS LEADERSHIP, COURAGEOUS ACTIONS, AND EXTRAORDINARY DEVOTION TO DUTY, LIEUTENANT MURPHY REFLECTED GREAT CREDIT UPON HIMSELF AND UPHELD THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE.
SIGNED GEORGE W. BUSH