Hook Grip

Work to a heavy Power Clean

Using 80% of the weight of the clean above, do 5 Rounds for time of:

3 Power Cleans
2 Front Squats
1 Jerk
15 Push-ups

Lacrosse ball and shoulder action – watch these two episodes and pick your favorite.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Post strength work and WC time to comments.


I saw all of these quotes last weekend at Regionals and loved them all…..


What Is Deliberate Practice?


In the book Talent is Overrated, Fortune Magazine editor, Geoff Colvin highlights recent studies that show that greatness can be developed by any man, in any field, through the process of deliberate practice. How does one practice deliberately? Colvin proposes five elements that allow a man to practice deliberately and thus achieve greatness.

1. Deliberate practice is an activity designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacher’s help. Most people practice by mindlessly repeating an activity over and over without any clear goal of what they want to accomplish. For example, let’s say a man wants to improve his golf game. If he’s like most men, he’ll just go to the driving range and hit a couple of buckets of balls without thinking much about specific ways he can improve his swing. 300 balls later, this man hasn’t improved at all. In fact, he may have gotten worse.

Deliberate practice, on the other hand, is designed with clear objectives and goals. When top performers practice, they break down their skill into sharply defined elements. After breaking down a skill into parts, a top performer will work intently on the element they need to improve most. During the entire practice, they focus solely on that one aspect.

Take the golfing example again. Instead of just going to the driving range to mindlessly hit golf balls, break down your golf swing into different elements – body alignment, club-face alignment, grip, back swing, down swing, etc. After breaking down your golf swing into specific parts, go to the range and spend an hour focusing on just one of those elements. Keep working on that one element until you’ve made improvement, then move on to the next one.

Carrying out practice sessions in this deliberate fashion is a skill that takes time to develop. That’s why having a teacher help you design your practice sessions can be invaluable. They have the knowledge and expertise to break your skill down into specific elements. Teachers can also see you in ways you can’t see yourself and can direct you to focus on the elements that you need to work on most.

Unfortunately, many men have the tendency to think they’ve outgrown the need for teachers or coaches. We think it’s a sign of weakness to ask for help. But asking for help will only make you stronger and better.

There’s a reason the best golfers in the world continue to have coaches and the most successful businessmen seek the advice of mentors throughout their career. They understand the power of an outside eye and opinion in their personal growth. Don’t let your manly pride get in the way of your success. Stay humble and hungry.

2. The practice activity can be regularly repeated. The world’s top performers spend years of their lives practicing. Ted Williams, the greatest hitter in baseball history, would practice hitting balls until his hands bled. Basketball legend Pistol Pete Maravich would go into the gym on Saturday mornings and practice shooting from a specific spot on the court until the gym closed at night. To be the best, you have to put in the time. In fact, if you want to become an expert in your field, you’ll need to put in at least 10,000 hours or 10 years of practice first.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, Gladwell describes a psychology experiment done in the 1990s to see what created world class musicians. Psychologist Anders Ericsson went to Berlin’s Academy of Music and divided the school into three groups: the stars, the “good” performers, and those who were unlikely to ever play professionally and would probably become music teachers. They were all asked the same question: “Over the course of the years, ever since you picked up a violin, how many hours have you practiced?”
All the violinists had started playing at around age five, and they all played about two or three hours a week during their first few years. However, around the age of eight, an important difference began to emerge in the amount of hours they each practiced. By age 20, the stars in the group had all totaled 10,000 hours of practice over the course of their lives; the “good” students had totaled 8,000 hours, and the future music teachers just over 4,000 hours.

Nobel Prize winning psychologist Herbert Simon and William Chase found similar results in their study of world-class chess players. They found that no one seemed to reach the top ranks of chess without at least 10 years of intensive study and practice. The “ten-year rule” cuts across disciplines, too. Top musicians, athletes, scientists, and authors don’t reach the top until after they’ve put in around ten years of work and practice.

There are no short cuts to success. If you want to be the best man you can be, you’ll have to commit yourself to years of repeated practice.

3. The practice activity provides feedback on a continual basis. Constant feedback is crucial for improvement. You have to see the results of your efforts to evaluate if the way you’re doing things is working or if you need to change things up to improve. Moreover, without feedback during practice you’re more likely to lose the motivation to keep at it. During your practice sessions, constantly stop and look for feedback. With some activities, getting feedback is easy. For example, if you’re practicing your jump shot for basketball, if the ball goes through the net every shot, you know you’re on the right track. If you brick it every shot, that’s feedback that you need to change things up.

You might have a more difficult time getting feedback for activities that require a subjective evaluation. Music, speaking, and job interviewing are examples of this type of activity. For activities like these it’s a good idea to get a third party’s opinion or a mentor’s input.

4. Deliberate practice is highly demanding mentally, whether it’s purely physical or mental. This factor separates deliberate practice from mindless practice. When you’re practicing deliberately, you’re focusing and concentrating so much on your performance that you’re mentally exhausted after your practice session. Deliberate practice is so demanding mentally that studies show that “four or five hours a day is the upper limit of deliberate practice, and this is frequently accomplished in sessions lasting no longer than an hour to ninety minutes.”

In fact, top performers who practice deliberately report that they require more sleep than their less talented colleagues. In the Berlin Academy of Music study mentioned above, psychologist Anders Ericsson looked at the three groups of performers- the stars, good performers, and music teacher group- and found that, on average, those in the top two groups slept 8.6 hours a day—nearly an hour longer than those in the music teacher group, who slept an average of 7.8 hours. The top groups slept more at night and took more naps during the day than the bottom group. According to Ericsson, the study suggests that top performers work more intensely than the rest of us but also need more time to mentally recover.

Thus, a good way to gauge if your practice is hitting the deliberate practice zone is to ask yourself how you feel after a practice session. If you feel absolutely bushed after just an hour, chances are you practiced deliberately.

5. Deliberate practice isn’t much fun. Most people don’t enjoy doing activities that they’re not good at. It’s no fun to fail over and over again and receive criticism on how you can improve. No one likes to be humbled like that. We’d rather do stuff at which we excel because succeeding is enjoyable, and it strokes our egos. Yet deliberate practice is specifically designed to focus on things you suck at and requires you to practice those skills over and over again until you’re mentally exhausted. What a buzz kill.

But according to Dr. Ericsson, in order to practice deliberately, practice sessions have to feel like drudgery. The ability and willingness to slog through this “dead work” is what separates great men from the mediocre. My high school football coach used to tell us: “If football was easy, then everybody would play.” The same goes with deliberate practice. If it were fun and easy, then everyone would do it and be great at whatever they tried. But deliberate practice isn’t fun, which is why we live in a world with only a few great men and hundreds of millions of men who simply wish they could be great.

Don’t get the wrong idea. These studies don’t say that just because you spend a lot of time deliberately practicing a skill, you’ll become a master at everything you do. If you’re 4’5″, no amount of practice will allow you to slam dunk like Michael Jordan. What these studies do suggest is that we’re not as limited by our natural talents as we often think we are.

Post thoughts to comments.

Friday WOD, June 24, 2011

15 thoughts on “Friday WOD, June 24, 2011

  • June 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Andrew’s housewarming party has been rescheduled and YOU are invited!

    Friday, June 24, 8 pm
    Andrew’s New Home
    3636 Manderly Place
    Fort Worth TX 76109

    RSVP to comments if you can attend!

  • June 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Digging the new format, looking forward to Ryan’s promised shower instalation.

    For those of us who work and/or suffer the indignities of Capitalism and don’t have a local zip code; this will be a huge good thing.


    Ryan 4 aka Bo 1’s stunt double is going to be a CF7 force. He will shortly be giving Curtis a run.

  • June 24, 2011 at 7:52 am

    power clean up to 135#

    WC 11:50 @ 95#

  • June 24, 2011 at 8:00 am

    7:43 – 170 lbs got very heavy on the 4th jerk – failed and had to pick up again – 5th jerk failed twice before success.

  • June 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

    power clean up to 225# … not a PR 🙁

    6:14 @ 185#
    rest 2 minutes
    5:47 @ 135#

    very competitive rooster class!

  • June 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

    should have stayed in bed but glad to get the sweat; very sluggish this morn.

    only 175# on PC w/hook; hook grip sux btw

    WC: did 1st set with 157#; shed to 135# for the other 4 sets working with Paukune like efficiency again – 7:20

  • June 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Bite your tongue! The hook grip is AWESOME! It’s makes me feel so safe and secure, I hook grip everything (though no one should really hook grip overhead). In fact, if I’m driving and get stuck in bad traffic, I hook grip the steering wheel, just because it makes me feel better. Try it and see 🙂

  • June 24, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Agree with David the hook grip blows and so did my weight and time!!

  • June 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

    175# PC, need to work on my hook grip.

    7:22 @ 145# rds 1-2 & 135# rds 3-5

  • June 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Hook grip makes me feel like i’m going to break my thumbs. Oh . . . and thumbs up about Ryan getting Ronin to take a shower.

  • June 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    All of the hook grip haters – where is the love?? The hook grip is as good as steak wrapped in bacon – you gotta love it!

    This week was AWESOME at CrossFIt! I did 5 days in a row of WODs and feel really strong! I’m so fired up!!! It’s been a long time coming! Today did half of the crazy Seal-Fit WOD – so glad I only did half 🙂

    400m Run
    10 Burpees
    10 Pull-ups (tried to get c2b, but I think I failed on most)
    25 Push-ups
    30 Squats
    400m Run
    30 Squats
    25 Push-ups
    10 Pull-ups
    10 Burpees
    400m Run

    22:32. Kristin and Mark F. did the full version and major props to them!

    I have to thank Curtis too because I heard him talking push-up technique and placing your hands closer to your body – I tried that today, and it works like a charm!

    GREAT WEEK! Looking forward to next week!

  • June 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    215 pc and metcon in 10:03 @ 175#

  • June 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    185 power clean (not PR)
    150 on WOD in 8:04. Failed on jerk rounds 4 and 5 and had to regroup with another clean and then jerk. Never thought those front squats would make the jerk so hard. Wow.

  • June 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Big fan of the hook grip – it is like seat belts – they are a pain to put on but once get in the habit its not a big deal- and you know you should – but also like seat belts they should not be mandated by law – Ronin the last part was for you

  • June 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Pau-kune, glad to know you have your thinking right – on the seat belts that is. I always wore them, till the stupid law got passed. Then I got the bright idea of not wearing mine in protest. Then I thought, what if they passed a law requiring us to be armed at all times? Reason prevailed.

    Anyway, hook grip is nothing but posing at xfit weights. If I was into posing, I’d go do fake yoga at Bekram.

    Speaking of hot, rumor has it that Ryan is also considering a sauna

Comments are closed.