Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in WOD | 6 comments

Excerpt from CrossFit West Santa Cruz

Do you lift with intent?

Coaches talk a lot about technique at CrossFit West Santa Cruz. The basics of a lift, say the deadlift–hips down, shoulders over bar, neutral neck, even ascent, etc, are repeated over and over. Nuances of the lift–lat activation, breath, elbow supination, abductor support, etc, are explained. But, after the physical aspects of a lift become second nature, there is another side to lifting that is just about as important. The esoteric side. That is where intent falls.
Many years ago I was lucky to train with George Xu. Xu was a very skilled fighter of enormous repute. He had won a string of challenge matches in China and Taiwan before living in San Francisco and was a highly respected fighter there. Xu had trained with men who had killed other men with their hands in the wild of early 20th century frontier China (I met one of them, a mean eyed man in his 80s who had spent years as a saber-wielding caravan guard in the autonomous regions of China).
One thing that Xu emphasized over and over was intent. Referring to solo forms, he said that everything a person does in the martial arts gym must have intent. He used dogs as an example, saying that a dog is a master of intent. One moment a dog can be calm and quiet, not particularly focused on anything, and then they can be wholly and aggressively focused on something. And, if you have ever had a dog focus on you that way, it can be quite frightening. Xu said you must have this kind of intent when you are practicing fighting (perhaps it was a language issue, but he didn’t use terms like martial arts or kung fu, it was fighting to him), otherwise you are just dancing around.
When you do a lift, where is your intent? Are you wholly focused on the lift? If it is a very heavy lift, approaching a max weight or maybe a PR weight, probably, but what about all the other lifts? Intent isn’t something that is going to magically appear when you most need it. Like just about anything else, it needs to be practiced. Just as the physical aspects of a lift need to be trained, so do the esoteric. A good lifter who can deadlift 500 pounds will strive to have the exact same technique on 300 pounds. That’s what ingrains good technique, making it subconscious and unthinking. And so it is with intent. You need to train your intent every lift you do, whether it is maximal or not. Just as a person across a room from a dog can see it’s intent without having to hear any growling or barking–body erect, hackles raised, balance forward to the fore of the paws, eyes engaged–so should a person across the room be able to see your intent on each lift. That’s good lifting. That’s safe lifting.

Thoughts? Please post to Comments.

strength 5x3x1 @ 75% 1RM


Yeah New Rowers!!!

3 Rounds of the following.

3 min cap followed by 6 min rest.

In 3 mins you must row 500 m, and remaining time complete as many Full ROM Burpees.

Score is the amount of FULL ROM Burpees completed. .


  1. Me at 4:00pm “that’s it? that’s all we’re doing. that’s gonna be easy”

    Me at 5:30pm “OMF i’m dying..”

    WOD: – Round #1:21 #2:22 #3:23. Trying to keep up with Pete and Chris is either gonna make me a better Crossfiter, or kill me. def one of the two.

    Way to go everyone, that was a sneaky bugger!

    Finished off by PR’ing my Double Unders @ 92

    • Great job tonight man! I also shared your thoughts on tonights WOD haha, boy were we wrong!

  2. Underestimated this WOD, but it was a fun one! Finished with 75reps (25/24/26). Great job everyone!

  3. I thought the same as Scott. That’s doesn’t look bad at all. By the third row my arms felt like jello. I was trying to watch Christian and Scott’s rowing form to try to learn to do it better when it was my turn.

    Or on my row 500m row 2:18 with tons of room for improvement.

    Strength press 45#

    Wod 22

  4. Strength: power cleans @ 85#… My timing/technique sucks.. Working on that shrug!!
    WOD: got 31 burpees done.. Kept cramping up on the rower but got through it.. Rowing technique needs some work as well to maximize momentum.

    Yay for post-wod Hot Yoga!! Soo good.

  5. strenght worked on bench press work

    wod, 23 x 3. great wod, would’ve loved to tackle this at 100%, but pretty happy with the result.

    small group at 1 pm, great job though all.