Crossfit Journal, 9/27/12 & Notes on a Proper Deadlift

Yesterday, another workout at CrossFit.  This time it was much more focused on Olympic style lifts.  This is more what I expected from CrossFit, but it is also the area that I’m consistently disappointed in, for this particular gym.  I’ll share the workout first, and then talk about some form issues at the bottom of the post.


  • 320-m run
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • 10 pull ups
  • 10 good mornings with dowel
  • 10 squat presses (with a 10-second pause at the bottom of the squat) – 25 lbs
  • 10 cleans – 25 lbs
  • 10 scissor legs (alternate vertical scissors with horizontal scissors)
  • 10 knees to elbows



Experienced Crossfitters did 5-3-1-1-1 (that’s number of reps per set.  There are five sets in this case.)

For Newbies (me): 7-7-5-3 (four sets in this case.)

The goal here (for newbies) is to hit your three-rep max.  So the weight needs to be heavy.  I did 75 lbs – 95 lbs – 95 lbs – 105 lbs.


“Grace” – lots of common CrossFit workouts have names.

Grace is simply 30 clean-and-jerks for time.  I did mine at 55 lbs, in 9 minutes, 23 seconds.  I went slow, because I wanted to be safe, and I don’t feel as confident in my form for this lift.


Rant:  The trainer at this gym, while a really nice guy, and a good motivator, is disappointing to me in terms of instructing on form. First of all, it’s just him at the gym, and whoever shows up for the WOD, he is the only guy monitoring form.  There are no other trainers.  1 guy for 10 people is not enough, especially when there are at least 3 newbies in every class.  There was a guy next to me, who had clearly never learned a jerk before (why does this gym not require that everyone attend an “elements” class?!?!).  That is totally fine, but the trainer should have taken his weight down, and worked on his FORM.  This guy was one of those people who was very open to direction, he wasn’t trying to be tough, and he wanted to do it right.  I don’t think our trainer has a good eye for form, neither has he developed a method for effectively communicating how to improve your form.  Frankly, I think I could even do a better job.  End of rant.

Anyway, let’s focus on something productive.  Since I’m still sort of trying to find my groove for Clean and Jerks, I’d rather talk about Deadlifts.  That’s a lift I feel pretty confident about.  Here’s a great video showing what I consider to be really nice deadlift form:

Some of the things I keep in mind when I’m doing a deadlift:

  1. shoulders back
  2. chest up (I try to set my gaze at the point where the ceiling meets the wall)
  3. weight in heels
  4. drag the bar along your legs
  5. one fluid movement with legs and back straightening at the same pace (i.e. not legs first, then back).

Are there any tips you think about when you’re working on deadlifts?  Have you ever been to CrossFit and seen a trainer ignoring improper form?



3 thoughts on “Crossfit Journal, 9/27/12 & Notes on a Proper Deadlift

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