Alright so for one more week the inmates are running the asylum and Sheppy has put me (the lumberjack) in charge of the programming and content for the week. I know what you are thinking and yes you will all have to lift some heavy weight this week but also expect a lot of gymnastics and running as well. Before I get into the workout and while I have people thinking about gymnastics, Emily has put together another one of her gymnastics days at Pheonix gymnastics next Sunday. Everyone had a real blast last time so check it out; they say a picture is worth a thousand words and a video has over a thousand pictures so check out the video of the last session in the video of the week section. Next Sunday - January 16th - 5 pm at Pheonix Gymnastics (33rd and Ontario) One and a half hours - some coaching and lots of open gym! Kate Richardon - 2-time Olympic Gymnast will be on hand helping coach again. Cost: $25.00 Last time it filled up within four days, so grab a spot while they're still available. Sign up will be posted at the school tomorrow. Pay Eunice upon sign up. Today we are going to focus on Olympic lifting so I want to address what I would consider an underutilization of a core Olympic lifting skill: the use of the hook grip. I was personally able to add 15 lbs to my snatch and 20lbs to my Clean by figuring out how to utilize a hook grip. As difficult as it was to get the hang of my thumb is quite comfortable in the position now. Hook Grip Olympic weightlifters use a special grip that is relatively unknown to the average gym goer. This special grip is known as the hook grip. The hook grip will stop the barbell from turning while gripped in the hands unlike a conventional grip. A conventional grip of thumb over the fingers can produce more force; however it is not the most secure grip to use. The hook grip is achieved by wrapping the thumb around the bar first and then wrapping the pointer and middle finger around the thumb. There are two ways to unhook the hook grip. The first way is done naturally when a lifter flips their palms up. Other lifters might have to unhook after the squat and then prepare for the jerk. Most lifters will use a conventional grip when jerking the barbell. Initially the lifter who is first using the hook grip will experience pain in the thumb. This is normal to a person who has never conditioned their hands to the hook grip. Some beginners will also have the thumb bruise (turn black and blue) this is normal and will pass with time. If the lifter experiences too much discomfort from the hook grip they should only do some lifts with the hook grip while using a conventional grip for other exercises. Eventually the lifter will build up a tolerance to the pain while using the hook grip and will be able to use it all the time. Hopefully this helps and feel free to ask the coach in your class for help in mastering this essential move. Warm up: Burgener Warmup WOD: Olympic Lifting Total Once the warm up is complete you have the entire class to complete a one rep max of both the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. As we are Crossfitters and not Olympic atheletes some press out is okay. So grab a partner or two and team up so there is someone there to cheer you on. Combine the two lifts and post it as your score on the leaderboard. Good luck everyone and let the games begin.