Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Progression Wednesday: picking stuff up.

Vaidy shows how to explosively drive the bar overhead during Monday's heavy thruster workout.
This is a third article in a series (one and two here) about how we make our workouts accessible to anyone.

Picking up something from the ground is probably one of the most common things you do in a day, second only to sitting down and standing up (which we covered in the squat progression). The deadlift is my favorite lift, and if I could only have you do one lift ever, I'd pick the deadlift. It's a whole body workout and uses all of the big muscles.

There's really not much of a progression to a deadlift, you just need to pick the bar up. Sometimes getting your body in the right position and making room for the bar to travel can be tricky to someone new to the lift. So we'll usually introduce the deadlift with a kettlebell deadlift. Since the kettlebell is small (but heavy), it's easy to teach most of the mechanics of the deadlift without having to worry about the nuance of getting the bar around your knees.

From there we'll proceed to a real barbell deadlift. Randy will often go to a clean-style deadlift (clean pull) since he likes to transition into the clean right away. I like to go with a more powerlifting style deadlift.

After you can pick up the bar safely, we'll start to add speed and work our way into a power clean, then a power clean + front squat, and finally a clean (or as our Aussies call it, the "proper clean").

The progression from ground to shoulders is:
kettlebell deadlift
deadlift / clean pull
power clean
power clean + front squat
(proper) clean.

I often have cleans programmed in a workout, and if we have a new member in class, rather than scaling back the weight and doing a very light clean, I'll often just have them do a deadlift. Once we have the deadlift nailed down, we'll work our way to the clean.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


deadlift 8-5-3x5


5 heavy swings between strength sets

Group Workout

row 2:00 each at
16 SPM
18 SPM
20 SPM
22 SPM
24 SPM
26 SPM
24 SPM
26 SPM
28 SPM
30 SPM
try to stay around 70% of your 2k effort

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