Olympic Lifting: Your Weakest Link #TeamRich Week 4

by | Jun 8, 2016 | Fitness

Olympic lifting isn’t called elite for no reason; it’s a tough combination of strength and, more importantly, technique.

I’ve found myself facing two challenges, the first being a physical (strength) & the second more emotional (technique).

Let’s start with the physical opponent, my ability. Throughout the past four weeks, my wrists have been the weakest element to my lifting and ultimately causing a slight burden to my training. Fortunately for me the good trainers at Black River CrossFit assured me that I wasn’t the first person to ‘complain’ about wrist pains, it’s actually a thing.

So what caused these stiff, rigid wrists? Surely all the high-fives, push-ups  and casual office fist-bumps helped? Well no, it’s actually the office that ultimately was my downfall. The keyboard! While typing this out, I’m more aware of how still my wrists are, only needing slight mobility to create this masterpiece of information. Yes, masterpiece. But it’s causing long-term negative effects on training. Mobility out the window.

Try these 3 exercises to alleviate immobility:

1) Wrist Rotations. Wrap your fingers together and move your wrists around in every possible direction. Hold any position that feels a little tender/limited for a few seconds. Repeat often throughout the day.

2) Planche Push Up Position. Get into a plank position (elbows fully extended at the top of the push up). Turn your hands inward so your fingertips are pointing toward your toes. Keeping a rigid torso, shift your body forward so you have an angle from your shoulders to wrists. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds (or as long as you can bear) and repeat. If this is too intense, drop down to your knees and complete.

3) Static Holds. Pull your wrist back into extension and/or flexion and hold for at least 20-30 seconds.

Now, onto the second and more emotional part. Technique. The catalyst for more intense lifting, and the aid to injury prevention. Technique is a constant internal battle, even with the trainers helping, guiding and correcting your form at all times, it is ultimately you alone that only has the ability to master. They cannot magically transform your style into perfect form, or drill into you the exact method. You will need to accomplish this by yourself, thorough sweat & tears. (and sore wrists!)

This is where the emotional aspect kicks in. I dreaded Olympic lifting due to my poor technique and dodgy wrists. It infuriated me that I couldn’t nail down the correct technique, always lifting light weights & constantly failing myself by not reaching personal goals. Mentally, it’s taxing and slightly disconcerting when you have a time limit to the challenge.

Fortunately, with the help of the trainers and some serious one-to-one talks in the mirror, I’ve been able to nail down an almost acceptable clean. But in my eyes, that’s an achievement far greater than increasing weights on a bench press!

It’s taken a great deal of effort to pull off this move and the reward is enormous so I can proudly proclaim my PB this morning with a 80kg Hang Power Clean.




Training Plan for Week 4:


Part A
Every 90 seconds for 10 rounds:
1 front squat
1 power jerk
1 split jerk

Part B
For time
OH walking lunges with weight plate
Pull-ups (Chest to bar)

Part C
Abductor stretch in band
Partner hanging bar stretch

Part A
3-3-2-2-1-1 power clean
*build to heavy single for the day

Part B
Pause clean deadlift

Part C
In 7 min
Amrap wallballs
Emom 4 hang power cleans (135/95) (115/75)


Part A
Practice kipping HSPU
*if can do normal then practice in paralette or DB

Then EMOM 10
5 Kipping HSPU OR pike HSPU on box
The max toes to bar
*cap is 45 seconds

Part B
5 rounds, alternate with partner
200M/150M row AQAP
Max ring dips/ push-ups
Max distance farmers carry

Part C
Split stretch
Seated partner pike stretch


Part A
6 sets of
3 OH squat – Build in weight
Alternate with 3 bent over DB rows
(If red Panther then do 3 front squat/ 3 PVC pipe oh squat)

Part B
3 rounds for reps
2 min max double unders
1 min max double KB swings (24/16) (20/12)
30 seconds max GHD sit-ups/v-ups
Rest 1 min


Part A
Alternate rounds with partner, 6 rounds each
Max time assault bike at over 90rpm/ 75rpm (80rpm/65rpm)
20M sled push
*each round add weight to sled

Part B
5 sets not for time
10 Paralette/DB push-ups in planche position
5 strict weight pull-ups
Max l-sit in rings/ box

Part C
Couch stretch
Psoas release
Foam roll


Part A
Find max clean and jerk for the day

Part B
In pairs for time:
40 clean and jerks *while partner holds weight in front rack (115/85) (95/65)
Emom – 1x 20M seated sled pull
80 calorie row
Emom 5 partner burpees
40 back squats (same weight as above) *while partner holds bar in back rack
Emom – 1x sled push 20M


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