How To Order and Train With Crossfit Weights

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

To begin, make sure you have a solid floor that can support at least 3 times your bodyweight. Performing an Olympic lift is most efficient and safe when completed on a hard, flat surface like wood, concrete, or rubber. Good Olympic lifting shoes (see other posts) or stable shoes with a flat bottom and high friction are ideal.

Step 2

Once you have ample room, solid flooring, and stable shoes, you need to purchase proper equipment. I recommend buying Olympic lifting plates that are made to be dropped (hard rubber). Whether you’re learning to perform this lift or shooting for a personal record, you should use weights you can drop safely without causing damage to the floor or equipment. Metal weights are great for power lifts such as bench and squat, but when learning a lift that requires explosive movement, you never know when you need to bail and let go of the weight so you do not injure yourself.

Step 3

See the above rubber weights I have posted along with the bar and clips to get an idea of what you should order and use.

Step 4

Once you have purchased your weight (if you’re a beginner, purchase a set of 45lb bumpers, 35lb, 25lb, 10lb, and 5lb—this low is usually metal only which is fine), you are ready to begin learning the power clean.

Step 5

I will explain the progression of movements to complete the lift, but always remember to practice with a very light PVC or broomstick bar. After understanding and gaining a feel for the movement, then you can begin to use a normal bar or add the plates to increase weight.

Step 6

IMPORTANT: Do not add weight until the clean motion is perfected. There is no use in executing a lift with poor form and movement. It will only cause injury. The body is made to move and support loads of pressure in certain positions that will enable the least amount of tension and stress. Moving the body with weight outside of these ideal positions will cause stress and injury on joints instead of focusing on muscle strength.

Step 7

The power clean: First, stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and toes forward or slightly pointed out. The bar should be on the ground in front of your toes.

Step 8

Next, squat down keeping your back straight and cheat up with shoulders back and deadlift the bar up to your waist (see other post for deadlift). I am simply telling to you deadlift the bar so I can explain proper hand position and where the bar to start without using any weight when practicing or learning.

Step 9

As you stand with the bar at you hip (both palms should be facing your body as you grip the bar), make sure you place arms shoulder width or slightly wider than shoulder width (keep shoulders pulled back—squeeze scapula).

Step 10

Once you obtain a strong grip, keep the bar close to your body and slowly descend the bar by pushing you bottom backwards and bending your legs to lower the bar down past your knees. Your arms should stay straight!

Step 11

While keeping your back straight (just like descending on a deadlift) and chest up, lower the bar until it is just below your knees, about mid-shin level (you want the bar to be at a level high enough to portray the height the bar would rest on the ground with the bumper weights).

Step 12

Once in position, you are now ready for the lift. To begin, keep chest and head upright with straight back, and focus your weight toward your heels, keeping a balanced, firm stance. Your arms should be on the outside of your legs.

Step 13

Next, while holding shoulders back, drive through your heels and use your back to unhinge and lift the bar back toward your upper thigh over your knee (as you pull the pull the bar, your knees will straighten and move out of the way). This needs to be a strong pull, but only to start momentum—do not pull fast during the first movement to the hips. Your arms remain straight.

Step 14

As you reach hip level, slowly transfer your body weight to your toes and begin to aggressively extend your hips and create a rapid full body extension that propels the bar upward toward the ceiling. As the bar is being lifted, sink your body back under the bar and simply create a catch with the bar in a front rack position. The finished movement with show the weight resting across your shoulders and chest and arms supporting the weight in front of your body.

Step 15

The power clean movement is to be explosive and performed as quick as possible. The first movement from the ground to your hips is to be strong and controlled. Once bar is guided toward hips, you should aggressively extend and pull the bar to your chest using this popping action and arms as a guide.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

NOTE: Always watch video online of these lifts to get a visual understanding of what I am trying to portray in the description. You should also only progress in weight once an experienced lifter feels your motion is appropriate. To gain a better grip, you can also use the hook grip technique. Using wrist wraps and shoes made for Olympic lifting will better enhance comfort and performance.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

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New Rules of Lifting $12.82

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There are not really any Crossfit specific weights, but rather Crossfit uses certain pieces of equipment to fully benefit the lifter and to ensure an efficient exercise. Rubber bumper plates are ideal for Olympic and power lifting, especially during WODs that need you to move quickly and impact the floor. Kettle bells and dumbbells are used frequently to perform movements as well as medicine balls and Strongman equipment. Rogue is the company to go to for an easy find regarding all of these specific weights, but if you understand the movements to be completed, mostly any sports gear provider will be able to supply proper equipment. For the following how-to, I will explain how to properly complete a power clean and purchase the necessary equipment.

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