Failing! So Hot Right Now, Failing.


This might not be a snatch video but I remember the first time I saw this video and was mesmerized. I for one was convinced by this video that weightlifters from countries in eastern Europe and countries with harsh sounding languages are inherently better at weightlifting due to the intensity yelling in their language creates. I also to this day have never seen a more intense squat session in any sport at any level. I wish the stupid techno lazer music wasn’t overdubbed and just the raw emotion and motivation screams off camera were what we heard. Oh well. There are at least 5 different times I was convinced he was done with the session, either due to passing out in the next moment or breaking himself in half. Yet it never happens. He keeps lifting, and lifting, and lifting as the bar keeps bouncing, and bouncing, and bouncing, and he and his comrades scream, keep screaming, and keep screaming. It is the most primitive, raw, ripe for poking fun of by anyone looking to shame macho lifting culture who also happen to be those who can go f**k themselves, because this video is everything. I showed it to my mother who while understands the deeper parts of lifting more than most 64 year old musician moms, she isn’t exactly a pro weightlifter, and she was fired up if not scared when she watched.


If you are into weightlifting at all you surely have spent an hour or 35 in YouTube rabbit holes watching videos of lifters epically missing lifts or absurdly celebrating making a lift. It’s all part of the love hate of weightlifting as a sport. Similar to baseball, lifting is a sport that has many more failures than successes in all times you are partaking. This means you have 2 choices, the first being go insane and commit Hari Kari by cutting your head off with a squat snatch, or second accept that failing is the best time to learn and embrace failing and the bounty it showers upon you every session you have. This is not easy, in fact impossible for some and truly the biggest impediment to really developing in any true sense as a weightlifter.

Failing is so valuable in a sport like weightlifting. We train so many repetitions that the opportunity to learn from each failure are on a constant basis. Honestly there might not be a sport with such a narrow scope of what we practice and how it relates to how we perform. It’s nearly the same from a movement perspective. We snatch, clean, and jerk in practice, and we do the same in competition. Practice differs only by the lack of structure and obvious other additional accessory work and whatnot.

Today we snatch. I know this made many of you immediately stop reading and decide not to come. My hope here, however, is to get you to start seeing the frustrating sessions filled with failed lifts merely as chances to get better. Anyone who knows me knows I am not some eternal optimist so this is as real as it gets. Like a hitter in the greatest sport in existence (baseball) missing a certain pitch in 2 straight at bats but analyzing where they made contact and the flight of the ball to determine what corrections had to be made for at bat #3, when snatching this glorious Wednesday we can take the feedback in our missed lifts and make corrections each and every time. The goal for any session is to build upon each lift to ultimately reach the epic achievement of hitting that one special lift for that session. Whether it is an epic PR, or just a goal for that day, all the failures are worth it 10 fold for that one make.

We learn from where our misses happen. If we drop the bar in front of us, straight down on our head, or behind us we are being told something different each time. Hitting our knees on the way up, not getting under the bar in time, feeling like we are chasing the bar down, similarly all mean something different. A miss is simply feedback, failure now our catalyst to the success we strive for each session.

If we are going to start accepting failure as a good and necessary evil, we have to also accept that good lifts, our made efforts, are simply what we are supposed to do. Only those special makes are worth celebrating over. Routine is a big part of weightlifting, and this is true in how we react to each result of our effort. As we build our memory bank with lessons learned and routine positives, the epic wins will shine brighter and brighter. As we get more and more comfortable with this new routine, oh baby will we celebrate when we earn it.

This means bar slams must become an important part of our routine as anything else, and practice makes perfect.


NOTES ON TODAY: Today is another lifting session where you are pressed into increasing your attempts faster than usual and adapting your focus accordingly. 9 Minutes is all you have to get to your max for the day, EMOM style. This is similar to something we did a few weeks ago. Instead of seeing it as only 9 minutes, look at it as 9 attempts, all of which are chances to get better and learn from your efforts.

Then the 3 minute AMRAP is about building work capacity in a very specific element of our sport, in this case the snatch. While 3 minutes isn’t a massive workload, we rarely have the opportunity to perform this level of intensity from the weight we are lifting with any volume beyond sets of 1-5. So get after it and have some fun!




Strength : Snatch
EMOM 9m, 1 Squat Snatch
– increase as able

Rest 3 minutes, then 3m AMRAP : Snatch @ 85% max above


WOD : For Time
35 KB Swing 53/35
12 Overhead Squat 155/105
20 CTB Pull-Ups
12 Hang Power Snatch
45 Wall Ball 20/14
40 Burpees
12 Squat Clean Thruster

18m Time Cap

S : Russian Swings, 75/55 OHS or FS, 25 Jumping Pull-Ups
L1 : OH Swing 35/26, 95/65, Banded Chin Over Pull-Ups

Rx+: 70/53, 185/135, 10 Bar Muscle Up



Core : Turkish Getup Practice, then
10-8-6-4-2 Turkish Getup (alt) 53/35
5-10-15-20-25 Banded Good Morning
10-20-30-40-50 Russian KB Swing 53/35

Conditioning : 3 Rounds
35 Situps with MB Toss (against wall)
35 Wall Ball
35 Burpees
35 Jumping Pull-Ups
5 Wall Climbs


The Program

1. Strength and WOD

2. For Time
5-4-3-2-1 Rope Climns, 15′
5-10-15-20-25 Thruster 95/65
immediately into
3 Rounds
35 GHD Situps
10 Muscle Ups
immediately into
7 Rounds
7 Front Squat 205/135
7 Power Clean
7 Lunges, front rack

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