Wednesday 10.09.13

Mike "The Jet" Piispanen

Mike “The Jet” Piispanen

Snatch Balance


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Conor don't! We moved the slip and slide!

Conor don’t! We moved the slip and slide!

Hello Crossfit New Englanders! We are still collecting money for T-shirts to send to Kenya. Remember they only cost $10 and will mean so much to the students. Click HERE for more information.

Coaches Corner with Coach Geoff

Just Breathe

How many of you have been in the middle of a workout or maybe even that first round gasping for air, wondering to yourself maybe I came out of the gate too hard or thinking how on earth I’m going to finish this? I’m sure we all have, myself included. Lets first look at what is happening to our muscles when we inhale and exhale during a WOD.

First off, ATP is our fuel for fire, it’s what the cells in our muscles use to create energy. It’s what allows us to CrossFit and execute functional movements at high intensity. Our main ingredient in that recipe is oxygen, which is needed to breakdown glucose and create ATP. When our muscles use up the readily available oxygen in our bodies they go into a state called “oxygen debt,” where they begin to convert glucose to lactic acid and start to fatigue. However, if they have sufficient amounts of oxygen, our muscles will not produce lactic acid as rapidly and therefore will not fatigue as quickly.

The glucose that we consume gets stored in our muscles as glycogen. Typically, our muscles have more glycogen than oxygen, so oxygen becomes the limiting factor in creating ATP, which by now we know is essential to provide energy during a workout. Our muscles also store oxygen within them using a protein called myoglobin. It allows our muscles to have more available oxygen on tap than in other cells in our body, and in our line of training our muscles require all the oxygen they can get.

The next question becomes, how do we control this feeling like we’re suffocating? Whether we’re doing a 200-meter sprint, Fran, or a longer Hero workout, my advice to you is the same. Try to regulate your breathing cycle and think more about getting a generous amount of oxygen into your body rather than counting how many rounds you have left.

During a workout, the minute we begin to start gasping for air is the minute we have to rest and recover. It’s all we can think about, not the next rep or next round but ONLY that next breath of air. I know all of us have been in this situation, we push our bodies to their threshold then we try and push further. At that point it’s too late, we either have to drop the bar or start to slow down and rest, in order to control our breathing and get our heart rate back down.

Tips & things that have worked for me:

1) Control your breathing in rhythm with your reps or movement

2) Hear yourself breath out loud

3) When running try to exhale on different foot strikes to prevent cramping on one side

4) Practice a deep diaphragmatic breathing pattern called Box Breathing. Click HERE.


  1. Big Mike

    A very special shout out to Sara for employing her 15-22 wide angle L series lens to highlight the fact that I was so far ahead of the rest of the field.

  2. ECizzle

    I can’t relate at all to Geoff’s article. Not once have I ever gasped.

  3. “Asian Fusion”: 10 RFT of 10 push-ups, 15 sit-ups, 20 squats: 13:49 (PR)

    Hotel WOD in Singapore

    Hotel gym attendant loves CrossFit. Once he figured out what I was doing, he ran over and started counting reps/rounds and cheering me on. #community #global

    • wait…you actually did sit-ups without being told to??

    • travel wod (similar to yours); 10RFT – 10 air squats, 10 burpees, 10 sit ups

      my PR – 13:41

    • that’s awesome!

    • I have been on vacation in the California north west. No gym or crossfit affiliate for miles and miles. Have not moved an unnecessary muscle for days now. If the thought to do so occurs to me I immediately wash it away with chocolate and a good
      alcohol pairing. Your post inspired me to a better way of life. 10 rft: 10 pushups, 15 sit ups, 20 air squats. And as prescribed by coach Geoff focused on my breath the whole time. That did help. Thanks cfne community.

  4. Andy M.

    Snatch Balance: worked up to 135# (PR)

    Snatch: worked up to 115# (PR) Failed at 115# when jumped from 105# to 115#. Went back to #110 and then got #115 on next attempt. Small increments are the way to go.

  5. Mike R.

    Snatch balance: 95
    Snatch: 125

    A lot of great PRs in there this morning!

  6. Snatch Balance: worked up to 135#

    Snatch: Worked up to 145# (5# PR)

    5 C2Bs OTM x 10

  7. Snatch Balance up to 95

    Snatch 135 (5#PR) 140 was right there, just need to work more on landing. fun times with mike, Greg, & Adam who accurately described the snatch as feeling like you’re throwing your body into peril.

  8. Colleen (OC)

    Snatch Balance: worked up to 30# (failed once with 30#, dropped back to 25# and finally got the 30#)

    Snatch: 40#. I just really tried not to do a power snatch followed by an overhead squat.

    No PRs today, but I really, really needed to work on form today. It felt solid at these weights. Super solid. I should be doing this way more often. Drop back the weight, and really nail down the form.

  9. Snatch Balance: worked up to 75# really just wanted to get weight over my head and focus on getting down.
    Snatch: 75-150# the more weight I added the better my form felt. Pulled the plug at a comfortable weight.

    5:30AM was “PR City” nice work all!

  10. Snatch Balance – 65#
    Snatch – 95#
    21-15-9 T2B (make up from yesterday)
    2 x 1000m row

  11. Ronda Rockstar

    Masters WOD 3×3: 3, 2+7, 3+4
    Snatch balance at 65#
    Fabulous sunny day. Gonna watch Shane play football and help Bobbi sell Popsicles for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Life is Good.

  12. Patti Jeanne

    Strict Press for Snatch Balance (left knee) – up to 80# 5lb PR
    Power Snatch – up to 80# fun working with Krystal and Trina!

    Great article Geoff!

  13. marissa

    snatch balance (first timer): up to 75#
    squat snatch: up to 90# (10# PR)

    super fun day at CFNE!

  14. Patrick

    Back Squat – 3×5 @ 245
    Bench – 5,5,4 @ 195
    Deadlift – worked up to 3x 345, 2×355.

  15. Brian L

    snatch Balance- 115,135×2,145×2
    snatch- 135, 155,185×2, 205(F), 195(F)

  16. Snatch Balance: 65#, 75#, 85#, 95# & 95#

    Snatch: 115#, 125#, 130#, 135# & 140# (5# PR from 07/17/13)

  17. Front Squat 5×1 – 65, 85, 95, 115, 125
    Squat Clean 5×1 – 80, 85, 90, 95, 100 PR

  18. Ashley R

    Snatch Balance: 60# we did 2x by 5. The first rep always seemed a bit shaky so we did 2 instead.

    Squat Snatch: 75# I think this is a PR. Felt good.

    Great working with Cary and Jen!

  19. Krystle

    Snatch balance worked up to 65#
    Squat snatch worked up to 80#

  20. John S.

    Snatch Balance – 45#
    Snatch – 55#

  21. Jonathan

    Snatch Balance: 145#
    Snatch: 135#

  22. SusanKD

    Still don’t have an OH Snatch but I’m a lot closer thanks to Coach Kev.
    Good to be back at CFNE

  23. Active Recovery Day
    1000 M Row
    7 X 400’s 2:00–2:15 (have to start somewhere) :)
    1000 M Row

  24. Amy Brooks

    Slept in again today. Playoff baseball is killing me!
    @ HS:
    snatch balance – 65# – struggled on form
    Squat snatch – 65# – again struggling on getting down in the squat.
    Worked a power squat to 80#

  25. Casey T

    Snatch balance: 75, 85, 95, 105, 115 (PR first time)
    Snatch: 95, 115, 135, 145, 150, (finally got 155 after a few failed reps PR)

    Butterfly work. Watch out Steve!

  26. Sarah W

    45 minute run

  27. Snatch Balance: 155#
    Snatch: 155# (10# Pr)

    post wod:
    38 unborken bench 115#
    20 HPC 115#

    • Nice job!

      • Thanks Eugene

        Great article Geoff about the importance of breathing. For what it’s worth, as a former collegiate swimmer (admittedly, it was a long time ago). The nature of swimming means athletes spend much of their time holding their breath. Over the past few years there has been much education and change in racing strategy as your message conveys.
        Sprint swimmers used to hold their breath during races because it was believed to be faster and more efficient to not breathe. This lead to failure in the final meters of the races. Now the best sprinters breathe more often and have figured out ways to be faster/efficient with their breathing strokes. The next time you watch Olympic swimming, watch how some of the butterfliers breathe to the side, and how the 50 & 100 meter (ie sprint) event athletes breathe during the races. The bottom line, proper breathing will maximum effort, speed, and times.

        Now if i can just remember that during the next Fran workout. :)

  28. Kristin B.

    1 mile run: 10:10 — 30 sec PR. Goal for next month is sub-10:00.

    Snatch Balance: 95#
    Squat snatch: 90# PR. Been mentally stuck at 85 for.ever.

  29. Snatch balance: 110
    Snatch: 115 (pr)

    Never done a snatch balance so that was fun/interesting.

    And 5# PR on the snatch I’ve been chasing.

  30. Maureen B.

    Snatch balance: 75#
    Snatch: 80# failed @ 85#, need to work on technique, thanks for the tips Max!

  31. Snatch Balance: 4×1 @ 115; 1 @ 125
    Snatch: 105, 115, 125, 130 (failed), 125

  32. Back Squat: 10×2 Building -Thanks Geoff!


  33. Balance: 85#, Squat Snatch 105#

  34. Snatch Balance – 85# / Snatch – 65#


  1. #WODsohard | Wednesday 10.09.13 - […] October 8, 2013 Categories: CrossFit New England […]

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