Thursday 140703

Hang snatch 2-2-2-2-2
Bench press 3-3-3
Snatch grip deadlift 3-3-3 

Post loads to comments and BTWB

Mike working on his breathing during his freestyle stroke. Yeah for swim WODs!!

Mike working on his breathing during his freestyle stroke. Yeah for swim WODs!!

The 1,000 Rep Problem, #whatsupwiththat – (Not originally by, but brought to your attention) By Courtney Shepherd

Last week I blogged about Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity. I talked about why it is that mechanics comes first. Now I want to take this blogging opportunity to address consistency. Why do we need to be consistent? Do I really only want to be able to perform a lift perfectly once? Well, maybe, if I’m in a 1RM contest and I plan to retire immediately following that one perfect lift. But I don’t see that to be the case. Instead I foresee a WOD in which I will have to perform a lift upwards of 50 times. I want to make sure I can make that lift 50 times with good form, because as stated in the previous mechanics blog last week, we know there is a price to be paid for lifting with poor form. It is not enough to have good mechanics, I NEED to have them consistently.

There is an idea known as the “1,000 rep problem”. Matt Foreman wrote an article about this for the Catalyst Athletics website, you can click here to read the whole thing. This is what Matt has to say:

“The 1,000 rep problem is the situation that exists when a lifter has finally found the correct technique of the snatch or clean & jerk. After tons of work and coaching, they’ve done it right. But now they have to do it right another 1,000 times to memorize that correct movement.

We’re talking about things like muscle memory, nervous system memorization of a specific movement, motor learning, that kind of stuff. Some people think of this as learning correct technique and then making it a habit. I don’t really see it as a habit. I think of it as learning correct technique and then continuing to do it right until you basically don’t know how to do it wrong anymore. Habits are just recurring behaviors, like peeing in the shower. You can stop doing those things any time you want. I’m talking about a more fanatical level of performance, where your body just instinctively executes a certain movement because that’s all it knows how to do.

I think you have to do a massive number of correct lifts before you’ve got that kind of muscle memory. I picked 1,000 for the name of this concept because it emphasizes long-term development and it sounds cool. I know there’s no set-in-stone number.”

Fanatical level of performance? This article specifically targets the Olympic lifts but we can have a fanatical level of performance in anything, from the kipping pull-up to making our bullet proof coffee in the morning. It simply means taking the time to do something right and continuing to take the time to keep doing it right. What’s the rush? When we position our body correctly and move it through space maintaining that right position what results is correct form and highly efficient movement. The question becomes, how do we maintain correct form and highly efficient movement? Answer: Repetition. Even better answer: Repetition of the correct form and highly efficient movement. Anything that’s worth doing right is worth doing right a lot, like 1,000 times.

Some final thoughts:

– We only get the 1,000 rep problem after we’ve done it right for the first time. Our first correct rep is #1. There is the possibility some of us haven’t even had this rep yet. That’s okay. Our goal is to get that first good rep and work from there.

– Bad lifts don’t count towards our accumulated total. So if we’ve done 287 correct lifts and then we have a workout where our technique is lost, we make no attempts to correct it, and we wind up doing thirty sloppy snatches, we are still at 287 at the end of the day.

There is a word used in CrossFit that has become a favorite of mine, virtuosity, doing the common uncommonly well.  

Lighten the load, slow the pace, master the technique, strive to be virtuous. 

*Alright Ververs, we will be hosting a non sanctioned in-house Olympic Lifting meet on Saturday August 2nd @ 2pm. The cost is $10 per athlete. Have you been a committed VBBCer, now’s the time to show your progress. Haven’t been doing VBBC but still want to have the experience of an Oly meet and try for some PRs? Then sign up. To sign up please email me @ We will keep you posted with more details over the next few weeks. (Non-sanctioned means no worries about those singlettes, unless of course you want to wear one, we won’t judge. Well, we will judge you, on your lifts.)

*Get excited for more swim WODs!! This Saturday, July 5th, @ Berkley Pool at 9am and 10am. The WOD and directions to pool will be posted on the blog the night before. Sign up on MBO, free to members, $20 drop in fee for non members.


  1. Bo :

    Is this really the WOD? We did this exact WOD last Friday!

  2. James (O.G.) :

    Yeah! What’s with repeating the exact same two WODs every week for the last eight weeks? Do you guys have some sort of plan to make our bodies adapt to a particular stimulus and grow stronger? It’s almost like you’re trying to turn a weakness into a strength!

    • Matt :


      It’s the SAID principle in action: specific adaptation to imposed demands. Come in, lift heavier weights than last week and apply the positioning lessons from last week to improve your application of force. One more week, a Deload week, then retest 1 rep maxes.

  3. Kacey :

    I’ll echo what Danielle said the other day. I trust the process, the programming, and the coaches.

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