Oly Meet Layout & Strategy

floor layout

There are three areas to note.

1 – The competition area. This will be a 4m x 4m taped out are where you will actually complete your lift as an individual. We will have a 35lb bar (I’m importing a reeeeeally nice one for the day!) and we will pre-load your weights. Your lift must be completed within in this are or it will be ruled no good.

2&3 – The Warm-Up areas. I will mark off two other areas for you to all share for warm up.  Each will be stocked with a 35lb bar and plenty of plates. The athlete “one deck” (next up) and “in the hole” (after the person next up) will have priority in these spaces.

Competition Flow


I will open up the gym at 7:30am for all athletes, so you can warm-up, stretch out, get in the right mindset, etc.

At 8:05am, I’ll have all of you head into the Coaches office.  At 8:10am, I’ll introduce each of you to the crowd as you come out individually to whatever entrance song you choose!

When we are done with that, I’ll brief everyone about how everything works for the day.

I’ll have a sheet on the desk for each one of you to put down the weight of your first attempt at the snatch and the clean & jerk.


We will start the competition with the snatch. Each athlete will get 3 ATTEMPTS at the snatch and 3 ATTEMPTS at the clean & jerk.  

We will go in order of lightest 1st snatch attempt to heaviest and maintain that original order throughout the rest of the day. 

We will pre-load the first weight and when done, will call out the 1st athlete’s name.  From the time we call the athlete’s name, she will have exactly 1 minute to walk to the stage and complete 1 attempt at the lift.

The lift must be completed within the 4m x 4m area or it’s no good.  

Additionally, there will be 3 judges. When you complete the lift, each judge will indicate a “good lift” or “no lift” (i.e a miss).  As soon as all 3 have indicated a decision, then you may drop the bar.  Majority will rule – e.g. whatever at least 2 of the 3 judges agree on will go.

Post Lift

After each attempt, the athlete must go back to the sheet and enter what she will attempt on her next lift.  The next attempt must be the same weight or a heavier weight than the previous attempt.

There will be a ten minute break between the last snatch attempt of the last athlete to go and the first clean and jerk attempt of the 1st athlete.


Your total score for the day will be the sum of your highest successful snatch and highest successful clean & jerk.  Example: An athlete that hit a 100lb snatch, failed a 105lb snatch, and hit a 135lb clean & jerk would have a total score of 100 + 135 = 235lbs.  The athletes will be ranked in descending order of their combined total.

Post- Competition

After each athlete has completed all 3 attempts of both lifts, we will high five each other, have a little ceremony, and rewards ourselves with much earned mimosas!

Rules of Lifts (Taken from USAW)

1.1 The Snatch

1.1.1 The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped,
palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full
extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs.
During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the
lap. No part of the body other than the feet may touch the platform during the
execution of the lift. The weight, which has been lifted, must be maintained in the
final motionless position, arms and legs extended, the feet on the same line, until
the referees give the signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The lifter may
recover in his or her own time, either from a split or a squat position, and finish
with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell.
The referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes
motionless in all parts of the body.

1.2 The Clean and Jerk

1.2.1 The first part, the Clean:
The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms
downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the shoulders,
while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the
barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. The barbell must not touch the
chest before the final position. It then rests on the clavicles or on the chest above
the nipples or on the arms fully bent. The feet return to the same line, legs
straight before performing the Jerk. The lifter may make this recovery in his or
her own time and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the
trunk and the barbell.

1.2.2 The second part, the Jerk:
The athlete bends the legs and extends them as well as the arms to bring the
barbell to the full stretch of the arms vertically extended. He or she returns the
feet to the same line; arms and legs fully extended, and waits for the referees’
signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The referees give the signal to lower
the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body.


After the Clean and before the Jerk, the lifter may adjust the position of the barbell.
This must not lead to confusion. It does not mean the granting of an additional jerk
attempt but allowing the lifter to:

a) withdraw the thumbs or “unhook” if this method is used,
b) lower the barbell in order to let it rest on the shoulders if the barbell is placed
too high and impedes the breathing or causes pain,
c) change the width of the grip.

1.3 General rules for all lifts

1.3.1 The technique known as “hooking” is permitted. It consists of covering the
last joint of the thumb with the other fingers of the same hand at the moment of
gripping the barbell.
1.3.2 In all lifts, the referees must count as “No lift” any unfinished attempt in
which the barbell has reached the height of the knees.
1.3.3 After the referees signal to lower the barbell, the lifter must lower it in front
of the body and not let it drop either deliberately or accidentally. The grip on the
barbell may be released when it has passed the level of the waist.
1.3.4 A competitor, who cannot fully extend the elbow due to an anatomical
deformation, must report this fact to the three referees and the Jury before the
start of the competition.
1.3.5 When snatching or cleaning in the squat style, the lifter may help the
recovery by making swinging and rocking movements of the body.
1.3.6 The use of grease, oil, water, talcum or any similar lubricant on the thighs
is forbidden. Lifters are not permitted to have any substance on their thighs when
arriving in the competition area. A lifter who uses any lubricant is ordered to
remove it. During the removal the clock goes on.
1.3.7 The use of chalk (magnesium) on the hands, thighs, etc., is permitted.

1.4 Incorrect movements and positions for all lifts

1.4.1 Pulling from the hang (unless discussing with a referee first).
1.4.2 Touching the platform with any part of the body other than the feet.
1.4.3 Uneven or incomplete extension of the arms, at the finish of the lift.
1.4.4 Pause during the extension of the arms.
1.4.5 Finishing with a press-out.
1.4.6 Bending and extending the elbows during the recovery.
1.4.7 Leaving the platform during the execution of the lift, i.e. touching the area
outside the platform with any part of the body.
1.4.8 Replacing the barbell on the platform before the referees’ signal.
1.4.9 Dropping the barbell after the referees’ signal.
1.4.10 Failing to finish with the feet and the barbell in line and parallel to the
plane of the trunk.
1.4.11 Failing to replace the complete barbell on the platform, i.e. the complete
barbell must first touch the platform.

1.5 Incorrect movements for the Snatch

1.5.1 Pause during the lifting of the barbell.
1.5.2 Touching the head of the lifter with the bar.

1.6 Incorrect movements for the Clean

1.6.1 Placing the bar on the chest before turning the elbows.
1.6.2 Touching the thighs or the knees with the elbows or the upper arms.

1.7 Incorrect movements for the Jerk

1.7.1 Any apparent effort of jerking which is not completed. This includes
lowering the body or bending the knees.
1.7.2 Any deliberate oscillation of the barbell to gain advantage. The athlete and
the barbell have to become motionless before starting the jerk.

Lift strategy

The Basics

3 lifts aren’t a ton, so we want to be smart.  In general the strategy is safe, probable, and stretch.

Lift 1 – you should be able to hit this even on a bad day. Get early success under your belt and a mark on the board. Rule of thumb is 94%.

Lift 2 – this is something you are pretty sure you can lift. Maybe it’s your PR, maybe it’s just a hair under. If you only hit your PR 50% of the time, maybe go 5lbs under it. If you hit your PR over 75% of the time, go get it then!

Lift 3 – This is your time to shine! Look – at the end of the day, you have nothing to lose. Use the competitive atmosphere and crowd to go for it!

Great, But what if i miss?!

In any competition, you need to plan for as many scenarios as you can so you already have a plan in place. If you are prepared, then emotions are in check and you can focus on correction.

Scenario 1: You miss lift 1.

This is a sucky mental blow, but it can happen. This typically happens because you weren’t warmed up enough, or you lost it mentally. I’ll be there to Coach you. 

We will focus on the one thing that made you miss, practice and hit that weight in the warm up area, and likely go up for your 2nd lift anyway!

Scenario 2: You miss lift 2.

This may happen and it isn’t a big deal. We intentionally want to push the envelope on lift 2 a bit. Net, we will figure out one thing to think about. Practice it in the arm up area and see how we look.

If it’s an easy adjustment and you easily hit it in warm up area, we will likely go up in weight anyway on lift 3, but maybe not as much as we had planned.

Scenario 3: You miss lift 3.

No big deal. We want to go for it and it may happen. The lifts are over, enjoy you don’t have to do it again, and move on!

Mental & Physical PRep/Warm Up


Take this fact to heart – on competition day, the homework is done. This isn’t the day where we get better and work on form.  It’s the day where we see what our body has learned and can do under maximal loading.

In other words – don’t over think it. Keep things extremely simple. 

Here’s the routine I want you to go through:

1) Before your name is called, I want you to take 30 seconds and visualize a successful lift.

Close your eyes and see yourself successfully complete the lift. Think about your setup. What was your focus?

Think about during the movement. What did you really have to focus on to hit the lift? Was it position at the knee? Ripping your head back violently to extend your hips? Was it pulling under the bar because you know it’ll feel heavy? Or was it simple punching behind you harder?

2) When your name is called, smile and think to yourself “I’m going to make this bar my bitch.”

3) Focus on ONE THING during setup.

4) Focus on ONE THING during the actual movement.

5) Take your time under the bar, once you are there.  Stand it up. Done.

You will have nerves, but that is good. Harness all that nervous energy. Harness that adrenaline. And rip the living hell out of that bar!!

Physical Prep

In competitions, I have one major rule about warm-ups – make sure every single movement has a purpose. This is especially true for this meet.

We must be warm and prepped but must also not over use our power and extension.

Mobility and Joint Work

We want ankles, hips, and shoulders feeling good.  For that, I’d spend time doing the following:

  • Ankle floss each ankle for 2 min.
  • Hip floss each hip for 2 min.
  • Banded bull each shoulder for 1 minutes.
  • Overhead stretch each shoulder for 1 minute.
General Activation

The purpose of this is to get a little sweaty, get your blood pumping, and get your key dynamic muscles ready to work.

A. 5 minute row – 1st 2 minutes easy, 2nd 2 minutes medium, last minute rip.

B. Set 1/2/3

  • Wall Squat/Front Squat/OH Squat
  • 10 Strict Press/5 Split Jerk/10 Behind the Neck Snatch Grip Push Press
  • 10 Good Mornings/5 Broad Jumps/5 Aggressive Box Jumps
Skill/Technique Work with Barbell

2 Rounds of 3 Reps

  • Snatch Grip Dead
  • Snatch Shrug
  • Snatch Pull
  • Muscle Snatch
  • Overhead Squat
  • Hang Power or Squat Snatch (whichever you will do in competition)
  • Full Power or Squat Snatch (whichever you will do in competition)
Incremental Loading
  • Use this approach for snatches before your snatch attempts and then for clean & jerks in the break between the snatches and clean & jerks.
  • Barbell – 3 reps
  • 60% – 2 reps
  • 70% – 1 rep
  • 80% – 1 rep
  • 85% – 1 rep
  • 90% – 1 rep
  • Opening weight – 1 rep

*After your 1st attempt, you’ll have about 6-10 minutes until your next one. Hit 2 reps in that time. 1 at a weight below your next attempt and 1 at the weight.

**After your 2nd attempt, you’ll have the same 6-10 min until your 3rd. At this point you will be up there in weight, so don’t crush yourself. I’d do 1 or 2 pulls and then 1 attempt make or miss at your 3rd weight.



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