Understanding 12.2


Check out Kstar’s tips for 12.2 on MobilityWOD!

This week the Open workout is again a single modality challenge. Snatching, or the act of taking a bar directly from the ground to an overhead position, is done at an increasing weight through multiple reps. I, personally, was happy to see this workout posted as I enjoy snatching. I, professionally, feel it is necessary for individuals to understand the factors involved to safely hit your personal best at this.
Last week, as the minutes drained on many of our burpees got uglier and uglier. This is because a build up of lactate (lactic acid), a chemical from exercising muscles, causes a full body loss of co-ordination. Those first 10 reps, so pretty and smooth, sometimes degenerated into body flops, peeled push ups, and barely noticible hops. However, that comes with the territory!
The burpee is a relatively controlled movement. The shoulders are always in a close and stable position, so co-ordination can diminish and STILL have the burpee be safe.

The snatch requires intense co-ordination as the shoulder must catch relatively heavy weight in an inherently unstable position. As well, the head and neck must be perfectly positioned for the shoulder muscles to have a chance to do this correctly. This means that hips, shoulders, head, and neck must all work in unison to achieve a correct movement! A loss of co-ordination in this movement will at the least, result in minor damage to the shoulder joint and surrounding structures, and at most rotator cuff tears, dislocations, disc bulges, and headaches.
Now, I believe that when properly trained the benefits of getting better at snatching greatly out-weigh the risks. I also believe, that at moderate weights, a higher repetition movement requiring co-ordination has great benefit on mental concentration. However, I want to warn all of my athletes to take caution when increasing the weight in this workout.

The lighter weights early in the workout means we can move quickly, which will bring about larger levels of lactate and thus reduce co-ordination. This means when we add weight to the bar mid-workout you may lack enough co-ordination to safely perform the heavier lift. So when you reach that next weight, be sure to have your heart rate under control, your focus on what the movement should feel like, and have had no pain symptoms at the previous weights. A high heart rate, lack of co-ordination, and a little prior damage is the perfect prescription for a larger injury.
While this is a competition, we are looking for longevity in our athletes. We want you all to train, year after year, without major set-backs. This, in turn, will allow the greatest progress. This workout is simply one test of many, give it your all, but nothing more.

10 thoughts on “Understanding 12.2

  1. J$

    This is what makes Crossfit Asheville so special. Our coaches have a very high level of expertise and also truly care for our wellfare.

  2. Tom

    Can we, should we, do reps at weights between these jumps? I know those reps won’t count. May be a good idea to have an in between weight ready.

  3. Corey Duvall

    @ Tom:

    Can – Yes

    Should – Depends on your level of comfort with the movement, level of fatigue, and how high the weight is relative to your 1 RM.

    I think it’s a fantastic idea to be prepared to do some “cool down, warm up” weights if the jump is too big. To progressively feel out your level of comfort and fatigue instead of going from tired directly to a PR might be a very smart move.

    Plan it ahead of time. Have a projected time to complete each 30, and have weights ready in anticipation.

    Now’s lets kill this workout!!

  4. miriam

    Thank you for this great post, Shanna. This is indeed what differentiates CFA from the others. As a recent shoulder surgery patient, I promise you that an ounce of prevention is worth waaaaaay more than a pound of cure.

  5. shanna

    I feel compelled to note that this is actually Corey’s post. Randy through up my pic so I guess that made it confusing. Regardless of who we all feel strongly about the topic.


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