Chris Spealler

CrossFit/USAW Open

Chris Spealler and the Olympic Lifts

Chris Explains his Training for the CrossFit/USAW Open

At the CrossFit/USAW Open, Chris Spealler posted one of the highest weightlifting totals in the country for the 62 kilo class. His 200 kilo total (91 kilo snatch and 109 kilo clean and jerk) were enough to qualify him for the 2010 American Open Weightlifting Championships, which will take place on December 11-13 in Cincinatti, Ohio.

Despite his performance, Chris Spealler is not a weightlifting specialist. Spealler is a dedicated CrossFitter, having participated in all four CrossFit Games and taking third place in the 2010 CrossFit Games. He does not plan to compete in the American Open, preferring to keep his training focused on winning the CrossFit Games.

Chris began specifically preparing for the CrossFit/USAW Open only two weeks out from the competition. He did one workout that focused on the clean and jerk, and one that trained the snatch. One week before the competition he performed a workout that mimicked the format of a USAW meet.

In his normal CrossFit training, Chris usually performs the olympic lifts in metcons. He only performs heavy olympic lifts around once every 2 weeks.

Chris's minimalist approach to the olympic lifts stems from his individual strengths and weaknesses. While he still has flaws in his technique, that aspect of fitness has always come quickly to him. For example, he can get under almost any weight in the clean. It's having the strength to stand up with it that's the problem.

In order to target his particular weak points, Chris is in the midst of a 10 week cycle focusing on heavy squats, presses, and deadlifts. His back squat has already gone up 25 lbs., to 365. He has also added 5 lbs. to his press, bringing it to 160. Despite his slow lift focus, Chris has also taken 30 seconds off of his Grace time, with an impressive 1:43 performance.

As a trainer at CrossFit Park City, Chris takes a different approach to the olympic lifts. He's found that most people have more trouble than him with learning the techniques. In order to ingrain the correct form, he has his athletes train them more frequently. According to Chris, competitive CrossFitters benefit from programs that specifically target their weaknesses, whatever they may be.

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The CrossFit/USA Weightlifting Open

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1 comments on this entry

1. The Other Guy wrote...

is going to the AO. With Chris not going, that is one less person I have to lock in their room before the competition.


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