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Be Smart, Be Efficient, and Stay Calm


This week’s pep talk on Open WOD 12.2 from CFDV’s own Sheldon Danley:

I’m going to start well before the workout even begins. If you have a lacrosse ball/foam roller/band at home, or if you are going to be at the box the night before performing 12.2, then use them liberally on your traps, lats, back, pecs, and hips. We want the shoulders and hips to be nice and fluid for this one. Next, let’s talk warm-up. You should be spending a considerable amount of time warming up your shoulders. Start by doing two minutes of arm swings of all varieties, this includes PVC pass-throughs. Trust me, two minutes will feel like an eternity, but you should do it anyways. Then I would do a few minutes of upper body bodyweight movements like inchworms, push-ups, ring rows, pull-ups, ring dips, handstand holds, bridges…you name it. Lastly, I would grab an empty barbell and go through some snatch progressions. If you don’t know what I am talking about, it’s OK, the trainers will surely lead everybody through this portion.

Now it’s time for the 3-2-1-GO! There are a few form factors to think about while doing this workout. First and foremost is taking care of your lower back. As you fatigue, you will naturally bring your hips higher and higher in the start position, losing the ever-essential lumbar curve. Remember to get the knees out, hips down, chest up, and back set before each rep. Now, I’m not saying that you need to sit in the bottom and get ready like each rep is a max effort attempt, but you should be conscious of these things. Just keeping your line of sight forward instead of down at the ground will go a long way here.

The second thing to take care of would be your shoulders. It is imperative that you try to CATCH the bar overhead, not PRESS the bar overhead. With the lighter weights, you will want to muscle it up there, and will quickly burn out your shoulders in doing so. The best thing I can tell you in regards to getting under the bar is this – as fast as you open your hips to accelerate that bar upward, you should be shooting your hips back and down once the bar is becoming “weightless.” I won’t elaborate more on this point because it’s outside the realm of this little rant, but watch the demo video for the workout and how fast Rich Froning’s hips move from full extension to the quarter squat position (and ladies, try to keep your minds out of the gutter while doing so).

Finally, a few words on strategy for the workout. Let me start by saying that very few people will make it to the max poundages in this workout. Some will make it to the third level and get some reps in there, but the majority will be looking to get through the second round. That leaves you 60 reps to complete in 10 minutes. That works out to 10 seconds per rep. The snatch is the fastest movement in weightlifting – each rep takes less than a second to complete. With that being said, do you think it’s smart to come flying out of the gate like this is 60 reps for time? Absolutely not. I suggest treating the first round as a warm-up to the second. Do them quickly, but not so quickly that you notice yourself gasping for air. Next, break up your challenging weight into manageable sets – 5’s, 3’s, 2’s, even 1’s are OK, as long as you are not staring at the bar for 10 seconds between sets. If last week’s mantra was “down up,” this week’s should be “3, 2, 1, Lift!” That’s all the time you should take between sets. If you need longer, do less reps per set.

To wrap things up, I guess my pep talk would go a little something like “be smart, be efficient, and stay calm.” I know it’s nothing heroic, but I think it’s the best advice for this week. So good luck everyone, and I expect to see some people setting snatch PRs!

For all you Supple Leopards out there, here is what Kelly Starrett has to say about 12.2.


  • Monica
    March 1, 2012

    Great advice, Shel.

    It’s all in the hips, it’s all in the hips, it’s all in the hips.

    I am geeking out over this WOD, but I know it’s heavy and will be painful. The best advice I can give those who find this weight daunting is this: God gave you legs and hips, so use them. Open your hips violently and then get under that bar by squatting. I always imaging humping the wall in front of me. It’s silly and crude, but it helps me get taller and gives me more time to get under the bar. Every rep counts!

    If you are still learning this movement, use this workout to practice. Do your best and know that next week will bring a new workout with different modalities.

    And please, PLEASE do not attempt this workout more than once. It will be far more taxing on your muscles than 12.1, and you are putting yourself at risk of injury if you repeat this workout before Sunday at 5 p.m.

  • Sheldon
    March 1, 2012

    Monica already stated it, but I too would like to stress the “no repeat” rule for this one! Give it all you’ve got tomorrow and let it go.

  • josh
    March 1, 2012

    Sheldon, you forgot Musical Accompaniment this time around. Dont worry, I got you covered.


  • Coyle
    March 1, 2012

    Good selection, Josh.

  • Stacie
    March 1, 2012

    All such good advice (and music). And I’m taking all of it.
    Thanks everyone!

  • Tara
    March 2, 2012

    Great advice Sheldon even though my goal is to get through the first 30! :)


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