Don’t Call It A Comeback!



The Olympic lifts, or the Snatch and Clean & Jerk, have been getting a lot of attention the past few years. Some of it is due to CrossFit, maybe a little more to do with the fact that strength and conditioning professionals are becoming more educated. In the fight against squat-suited up muscle heads and Richard Simmons step class bodybuilders, how do we stand a chance? First, lets get a little background.

The sport of weightlifting has been traced back more than 5,000 years to the walls of ancient Egypt and Chinese transcripts. Many of the apparatus’s used included stones, dumbbells, and other heavy objects, but almost always were from the ground to overhead.

The first weightlifting competitions were held in the late 1800’s in Europe, and the first world champion was crowned in 1891. It was simple and pure. The goal was to find the strongest man, so there were no weight-classes. It began with a two-hand and a one-hand lift, which later progressed to the press, snatch, and clean & jerk. Today we know it just as the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. With the surge of CrossFit and the reinstatement of the lifts in the strength and conditioning world, people are beginning to see the benefits of lifting weight from the ground to overhead, which had already been discovered 5,000 years ago.

So what happened years ago when Olympic weightlifting began to decline and powerlifting and bodybuilding were on the rise? It’s pretty simple really, they are easier to do and easier to master. The movements that are required can be achieved by everyone, especially at the rule requirements for range of motion. Now before you testosterone filled, shirt bencher’s start throwing your computer across the room, I believe that I can say this, because I was a powerlifter for a majority of my strength training career. In Nebraska we did not have Olympic Weightlifting, or any qualified coaches to teach it. I lifted with and around some of the best in the world. B.I.G. Iron Gym and South Side were right around the corner from where I went to college, with people like Shawn Frankl, Jim Grandick, Becca Swanson, Kenny Rueben and Tim Anderson, and legendary coach Rick Hussey. I competed in the sport for 5 years, still hold American records, and loved it. The truth is that powerlifters are strong, but were uncoordinated, inflexible, or too slow to be sufficient in the Olympic lifts. For obvious reasons this made the conventional powerlifting movements, or squat, bench, and deadlift very attractive for the general public and strength and conditioning coaches. They are easy to teach, especially to a big group, and can get people freaky strong. Now we are seeing the Olympic lifts being done on an everyday basis. So what brought these beautiful movements back to life, and what are the benefits of doing the lifts instead of just squat, bench, and deadlift?


Can you see what these four pictures all have in common? If not, we have some problems. The Olympic lifts require rapid extension of the hip, as most sports do. In the pictures above, either bilaterally or unilaterally, the athletes are aggressively opening their hip, which makes these movements very beneficial. For athletic performance, the goal is to increase the athlete’s ability to produce force at higher velocities, which is known as “power.” Olympic style training involves “using heavy loads that are performed at a high velocity resulting in a high power output” (Hoffman, et al 2004). So once again, very beneficial to athletes with a lot of carry over to specific movements performed often in sports. I bring this up because in many strength and conditioning facilities as well as CrossFits we train EVERYONE like athletes. I approach a general population client just like I would approach an athlete. Athletes are looking to perform better in a sport or activity. An every day Joe is looking to perform better in what ever it is he or she wants, it’s all performance. I don’t just want my clients to be able to get around the grocery store; I want them to strut up and down the aisles, and then tell the high school bag boy to take a seat while this bad a$$ soccer mom loads her own car while feeling like a champ!

Powerlifting often argues that absolute strength is most important when looking at athletic performance, but what really carries over? Absolute strength is very important to the sport of powerlifting, because that is what is tested in the sport.  Olympic lifting “may be superior to traditional powerlifting training because the exercises, while using heavy loads, are performed at a much higher velocity, which leads to a higher power output” (Hoffman et al 2004). Athletics require muscle synchronization, balance, flexibility, and coordination as well as strength, speed, power, and metabolic development. These are all assets that I would like everyone to obtain and excel at, not just athletes. Olympic weightlifting provides development in all these areas. It’s as simple as saying athletic movements build better athletes, and the Olympic lifts give the individual the opportunity to train a very athletic movement at a high velocity with maximal weights.

Not all people are going to be able to do the full-lifts, and that’s just reality, but everyone can do variations. I’m not saying that you should never squat, bench, or deadlift either. As lifters we squat, pull, and press everyday. Do you absolutely have to do the lifts or have them in your programming to be successful? No, but they will make you that much better, and when done properly are one of the most fulfilling achievements you will obtain in the gym.

-Coach Thomas


*Hoffman, et. al (2004) Comparison of Olympic vs. Traditional Power Lifting Training Programs in Football Players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 18:129–35.


WOD 7/16

Performance – Week 2 of 8 Strength and Aerobic Base Focus
Skill Work
EMOM Alternating for 21:00
0:00 – 12-15 Double Unders or :30 of DU practice
1:00 – 3 “5 step Burpees”
2:00 – 3 Hollow Rocks
*Continue in this sequence through the, entire 21:00
4 Rounds
400 M Run @ highest consistent effort possible
2:00 Rest
*consistency over intensity today, walk around during rest time, scale distance if 400 M take over 2:00
*Avg Interval time recorded
time allowing:
C. Scap Pull-ups x10x3

Foundations (Test)
Press, Push Press, Jerk
Push Press x8x4
Step ups x8/legx4
Front Plank

“It is a mistake to think that moving fast is the same as actually going somewhere.” ― Steve Goodier


CFA’s Youth Fitness Program. Check it out!


Foundations – AM
Performance – AM
Maureen 1:18
Kara 1:22
Lia 1:20
Gabi 1:28
Sissy 1:44
Mitch 1:28
9AM 1:47
Janet 1:34
Carlos 1:30
Lee 1:30
Jeff 1:21
Ed 1:27
Roland 1:29
Brad 1:00
Greg 1:29
Matt 1:29
Brian 1:19
Gwar 1:27
Red 1:53
Jose 1:38
Jessie 1:30
Ballet 1:14
Mike 1:16
Nelly 2:02
Ladies Class
Jenny 1:32
Kristan 1:57
Josie 2:03
Mer 1:46
Stefani 1:57
Foundations – Noon
Performance – PM
Spencer 1:26
Gil 1:48
Jonathan 1:31
John 1:13
Andrew 1:32
Kristy 1:10
Kristin 1:15
Ryan 1:31
Kat 1:35
Can2 1:54
Nicholas 1:27
Darrell 1:22
Jason 1:15
Jillian 1:35
KJ 1:28
Mr.T 1:59
Nicole 1:29

WOD 7/15

A. RDL x6x3 @ 50X0 Rest :90
B1. BN Snatch Push Press x6x3 Rest :45
B2. DB Walking Lunge x8/leg x3 Rest :45
3 Rounds
10 Burpees
15 Russian KBS @ 24K, 16K
20 Step-ups @ 20” (Total)

Rest 3:00

3 Rounds
5 KB Push Press @ 24K, 16K (per arm)
10 Box Jumps @ 24, 20”
1 Gasser (50 YD x 4)

time allowing:
E. DB Hip Thrust x6-8×4 @ 30X0 Rest :30
*Record Times of B & C


20:00 AMRAP @ 80-90% of Aerobic Max, For Quality
500 M Row
:45 Front Plank
10 Tic Tacs
:30/:30 R/L Side Planks
100m Farmer Carries
*Total Rounds Recorded

The Impact of Body Piercings on Fat Loss and Body Composition
*Post thoughts to comments

“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” – Victor Kiam


Congratulations to Judy McElroy on dominating this weekends’ Panic Competition!

Foundations – AM
Monica 2
Humberto 3
John 2
Ashlee 3
Jordan 3
Courtney 3
Performance – AM
Ian 4:32 3:47
Ivan 5:10 4:47
Mitch 6:16 5:32
Jackie 7:16 6:04
Kristi 7:12 5:46
Gabi 5:33 5:14
Gage 4:47 4:38
Todd 4:32
Bradley 4:42 3:54
Tineke 6:15 5:40
Sissy 6:22 5:59
Janet 6:55 5:52
Red 6:38 5:15
Velvet 6:07 5:04
Tow Matt 5:57 4:52
Page 4:28 4:43
Gwar 5:30 5:00
Ryan 5:42 4:41
Michele 5:53 6:18
Silas 6:02 6:31
Jose 6:20 5:44
Ed 6:01 4:58
Ballet 5:47 5:32
Michael 6:28 5:22
Nelly 8:00 5:13
Jonathan 8:03 4:48
Performance – Noon
KT 8:40 3:56
Dayna 4:38 2:49
Beth 6:13 3:06
Wood 6:32 2:40
Mer 6:20 3:40
Evan 5:35 4:30
Jeff 5:09 2:24
Coco 7:30 4:30
Ginny 6:11 3:30
Gil 7:30 4:50
Foundations – PM
Mercy 2
TJ 3
Ed 3
Madison 3
Sean 3
Sheldon 3
LuLu 3
Paul 3
Cassie 3
David 3
Amanda 3
Lauren 3
Dipti 3
Max 3
Ana 3
Daniela 3
Krista 3
Amy 3
Performance – PM
Miller Time 6:12 5:23
Ryan 6:26 5:26
Coach B 5:02 4:05
MegO 6:22 5:35
Jake 6:02 4:57
Jason 5:30 4:21
David 5:45 4:40
ABC 7:27 6:16
Taylor 8:17 6:20
George 6:24 4:44
Michael 6:36 4:11
David 5:45 5:03
Kat 5:52 5:11
Missy 7:08 6:45
Can2 7:49 9:49
KJ 5:47 6:06
Denise 7:00 7:21
Jillian 5:54 5:40
Pat 7:05 5:51
Chris 6:45 6:35
Phillip 6:02 9:15
Evil dnr
Adrian 6:01 9:03

WOD 7/13

All Levels
7 Rounds
7 Walking Lunges/leg @ 35 lb, 20 lb
7 Burpees
7 Box Jumps
7 KB Swings
7 Push-ups
7 Step-ups/leg
7 Double Unders
*Done individually or as a team
*Teams work one person at a time, split reps
*Total time recorded

“If you fall, I’ll be there.” – Floor

All Levels -AM
Lane & Boone 17:06
Kara & Jillian 19:04
Maryhelen & Jackie 23:35
Michael & Eric 19:55
Janice 29:33
Ryan 24:11
Jennifer 25:51
Jake & Mer 20:39
Shug 29:31
MegO 28:33
Dayna 20:03
KT 23:40 (5)
Chandler 20:32
Jenny 24:50
KJ & Nicole 31:30 (8 reps/1000)

WOD 7/12

All Levels
EMOM alternating for 12:00
even: 2 Back Squat @ 80%
odd: 3 CTB Kip Pull-up
5K Run
*30:00 Cap, time recorded
Time allowing:
C. Hollow Rocks/Hold x10x3

Not Quite Enough: The Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.” – Maurice Greene


All Levels – AM
Kara 23:51
Joe Dan 26:03
Suzi 28:00
Lee 29:16
Janice 33:50
MegO 35:00
Alex 35:00
Tow Matt 24:55
Roland 25:43
Ed 26:35
Jose 26:22
Nelly 37:00
Ian 23:29
Bradley 21:17
Kiehler 26:49
Ruth 30:00 – 400
Tineke 29:58
Raquel 30:16

Coach of the Quarter: Adrienne Rampaul


We’re proud to announce  CFA’s Coach of the Quarter: Adrienne Patterson! Adrienne is one of our newest coaches, and is spearheading the CrossFit Austin Youth Fitness Program.  Adrienne has worked relentlessly to provide an incredible experience for all of the future athletes at CFA. She constantly finds new and creative ways to give her kids confidence, and build a lasting love for fitness. Taking an idea and building it into a program is no small task, and something we respect tremendously!  Which is why we’ve chosen Adrienne as the CFA Coach of the Quarter! Please help the CrossFit Austin team in congratulating and celebrating all of Adrienne’s hard work! 


Using Your Fitness Outside Of The Gym

A common mistake with coaches and athletes is making our training restrictive. We get so caught up in all the things we think we can’t do because it will negatively affect our training. In doing so, we forget that the whole purpose of fitness is liberation! Improving your physical condition allows you the freedom to do more activities.  If you’re going to spend your time, money, and effort building a better physical you, ya darn well better use it!

Get Outside & Take Some Cloths Off
It’s widely accepted that Vitamin D is essential to life. Unfortunately, many of us are deficient. The best way to get this delicious nectar of the gods is to get outside and in the sun. Sure, you can supplement Vitamin D, but what’s more enjoyable? Taking a pill every morning, or laying by a pool during your lunch break? Which brings me to my next point, as you may know, I’m a huge proponent of shirtless training.  I’m a 260 lb man, NOT chiseled out of stone, but I am proud of the work I’ve done over the years and I frankly don’t give shi*$ about other people’s negative perception of my chest and back hair (just kidding, I know everyone loves my back hair). My motto is to embrace what Jon North calls the “shirts off lifestyle”! Whatever you’ve got, flaunt and be proud of it!

Play New Sports
We are quick to forget that the tip of the CrossFit pyramid is “regularly learn and play new sports”. This is important specifically because we all tend to forget that physical activity should be fun. As life evolves from childhood to adulthood “fun” goes from playing outside to partying all night in the club. Now, this isn’t the case for everyone, but, as a generalization, it catches most of us. We forget that physically playing games is the foundation of having fun. So, get out there, join an intramural league, hit up the volleyball courts or ultimate frisbee games at Zilker, play 3 on 3 hoops in the parking lot at the gym (seriously guys, can we actually do this?), or play golf on Sundays.  The list goes on and on. In short, play sports, try something new, show off those new athletic skills.

Finally, it is time to compete, and I’m not talking about competing in the gym. I’m talking about a legit, under the lights, in front of an audience, officially official competition. I’ve heard it a thousand times from a thousand people “I’m not ready to compete!”. But what I really hear is “I’m scared”. It’s commonly cited that snakes, spiders, and public speaking elicit the most fear in human beings.  While I definitely agree with snakes (and to a lesser extent spiders), I love public speaking. To me, public speaking and competing are one in the same, you’re simply performing in front of an audience.  The only way to overcome the fear of performing is to do it, and do it often. It’s also  important  to be unattached to the results of a competition or performance. Do it because you need to step out of your comfort zone, and learn that if you want to succeed you have to be willing to fail.

Its important for us to realize that training and fitness is always about the journey and the personal growth that it elicits.   Results and achieving goals are great, but even if you achieve your goals you’ll always have something new, something a little loftier to pursue. So, enjoy the journey while you can, because none of us get out of this thing alive!

-Coach Wes

WOD 7/11

Performance – Week 1 of 8 – Strength and Aerobic Base
A1. Front Squat x5x4 @ 60-70% Rest :60
A2. WTD Pull-ups x2-4×4 @ 50X0 Rest 2:00
B1. Snatch RDL x5x5 work to a challenging weight, great mechanic Rest :60
B2. Ring Push-ups x3-5 x5 @ 50X0 Rest :60
C1. Bent Over Lateral Raises x6-8×4 @ 30X0 Rest :30
C2. Kneeling Founders w/ plates :30 hold x4 Rest :30
C3. DB Hip Thrust x6-8×4 @ 30X0 Rest :30

Hip Clean Progression

Strength (Remainder of Class):
EMOM for 10:00
Even: 1-3 Hip Clean
Odd: 8 Ring Rows
B.  Clean Deadlift + RDL x2+2×5
*work to a challenging weight, weight recorded

“The only way to maximize potential for performance is to be calm in the mind.” -Brian Sipe


Last night’s Friends & Family class was packed!! Let’s do it again this Thursday (7/12) at 6:30am and 6:30pm!


Foundations – AM
Lia 85
Lisa 75
Steve 135
Kevin 135
Jannica 55
Toanna 55
Courtney 35
Jordan 35
Kendal 55
Junior 65
Performance – AM
Big Spoon
Tow Matt
Ladies Class
Foundations – Noon
Mercy 125
Emily 55
Elorra 105
Raquel 100
Brandy 125
Brennan 205
Foundations – PM
Amanda 85
Ed 95
Crystal 105
Cassie 105
Paul 215
Lauren 85
Emily 100
Madison 95
Simon 165
Ben 135

WOD 7/10

Performance Week 1 of 8 – Strength and Aerobic Base
A. Build to a challenging 2 in the Hang Clean in 15 Minutes
B. 1 Rep Max Weighted Chin up in 5 Minutes
4 Rounds
10 OHS @ 95, 65
15 Burpees
500 M Row
:30 Rest

A1. DL x3x10 Rest :30
A2. Push -up x2-5×10 Rest :30
*DL Weight Recorded

For Time:
50 Wall Balls
800m Run
*Time Recorded

“And, when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.” ― Paulo Coelho


Wes & his maraca tackle MURPH!

Foundations – AM
Toanna 6:58
Laila 8:56
Emily 9:00
Niraj 6:28
Kevin 10:44
Performance – AM
Mike 115 bw
JV 70 10
Kristi 86 10
Sissy 70 bw
Gage 130 40
Ivan 165 40
Pam 75 blue
Lee 125 20
Ryan 155 55
Jose 75 blue+red
Jillian 85 red
Staci 55 red
Jason 245 100
Jill 89 Hand assistance
Nelly 60 Blue
Alex 195 80
Performance – Noon
Tineke 55 mod green
Kevin 145 40
Kiehler 145 40
Dayna 125 45
KT 80 blue
Avtar 105 50
E-Rod 135 40
Kinchen 125 power 30
Josie 75 green
Foundations – PM
TJ 7:44
Sean 5:43
Amanda 8:12
Grant 9:08
Brandon 9:50
Jillian 10:47
Mercy 12:03
Madison 12:03
Paul 6:22
Lassie 7:05
Ben 9:20
Melanie 10:00
Chase 4:59
Simon 9:58
Josh 8:52
Melissa 6:03
Performance – PM
Miller Time 135 bw
Chow 165 45
David 185 5
Jeri 95 25
Gabriel 155 55
Can2 195
Jen 105 5
Shug 105 red+blue
Mr. T 185 10
Desiree 110 red
Kerry 88 blue
Keith 135 25
PJ 200 32

Beyond The Bar Podcast Episode 4 – Chad Vaughn

Click to listen

Chad Vaughn Clean Jerk Snatch

With a sleek new name (thanks Mego!) and a new day, the Beyond the Bar podcast chats with 2 time Olympian, and 8 time National Champion Olympic weightlifter Chad Vaughn! Chad digs into his long history as one the the United States best Olympic Weightlifters. He also gives us a peak into the evolution of his training as an athlete and now as a coach. Chad doles out tons of incredible wisdom for all the coaches and athletes out there.

Chad Vaughn is an Olympic-Style Weightlifting Specialist. He is a 2-time Olympian competing in both the Athens, and Beijing Olympiad. He’s also  8-time National Champion, and the American Record Holder in Clean and Jerk for 77K class. Chad owns CrossFit Centex, teaches Olympic Weightlifting Class at CrossFit Austin, and tours the world teaching Vaughn Weightlifting Seminars.