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Muscleups in daily programming. Get some!

June 25, 2013

It’s a busy day on the training board with Snatching in the strength skill and Muscleups (MU) in the conditioning portion, so have your “game face” on.  These are 2 of the more technically challenging movements in CrossFit,  but the speed, power and mobility requirements are similar.

I have rarely put MU in WODs.  I have not included them for a few reasons, but the 2 main ones are we didn’t have enough rings and we didn’t have enough athletes that had MU.  Well, now we have 4 sets of rings ready for MU, so that excuse is out.

Second, and probably more importantly, I want to put them in WODs to “demystify” them.  We have over a dozen athletes with MU.  If you have the ability to do, say, 3 Chest to Bar Pullups, you likely have the pulling power required to perform a MU.  You just have yet to actually do it.

Much like rope climbs or handstand pushups, I find when we demand that you do the movements, you surprise the hell out of us and yourselves.  I’ve seen so many “first” handstand pushups this year and first time rope climbs in recent weeks, I feel like if I put it on the board, most of you will figure out a way to perform it.


I’m not foolish enough to think just by putting MU on the board, everyone will get them.  Understand what a MU is and what a MU is not.  An MU is NOT A PULLUP.  I cannot stress this enough.  It is the deepest pull-up you can do with a transition.  If you try to pull to your chin like a pull-up, then you will be waiting a long time for your first MU.

Most important for developing the MU is the transition an understanding the Catch.  The Catch is the dip portion of the MU.  In the Catch, you will find your biceps and deltoids resting on the top of the rings as your forearm is perpendicular to the ground.  The Catch is basically the bottom of the dip position.  To master the MU, you must be able to get int o the Catch/ring dip position exhausted, drunk or blindfolded.  Or any mix of the 3.

Quick note:  Butterfly pullups are, pardon my language, a shitty way to develop the MU.  Butterfly are fast because they shorten the movement.  If you are only doing butterfly pullups and don’t have a MU, you may want to focus on full kipping pullups to develop that full pull you will need to get to the catch position.  You must think of butterfly as a skill to be trained, not the only way to do pullups.

You can practice the Catch with low hanging rings – Ring Dips are a skill transition exercise for the MU.  Ring Dips will be our scaling option for athletes that do not have MU.  If you cannot perform a Rind Dip, try jumping Ring Dips.  Many women struggle with the upper body pressing strength to perform multiple, or even 1, ring dips.  This must be trained.

You can coach the hell out of the MU, and we won’t have time for that on Tuesday.  I find teaching the MU clinic exhausts me like no other class.  If you have MU, be ready and do them on Tuesday.  If not, review MU videos and do Ring Dips.  But pay attention to how CFO athletes are performing the MU, and work on them in the future.


Workout of the Day


3 Position Snatch

From High, Low then the Ground.

Take 20 minutes to build to a heavy, yet technically perfect, 3 Position Snatch.




Rest 1 minute


50 Doubleunders

15 Burpees

Rest 1 minute



*Ring Dip is the scaling option if you don’t have Muscleups.

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