Work on your strength, conditioning and efficiency with ‘DT’: a Hero WOD and the go-to session for the ‘UK’s Fittest Man’ Zack George.
“This is one of my all-time favourite CrossFit workouts,” says George – who was the top-ranked UK representative, and 26th in the world, at the 2020 CrossFit Open.
Hero WODs are ‘workouts of the day’, each of them in tribute to a fallen first responder or member of the military who died in the line of duty. DT is in honour of US Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy P. Davis, who was killed in Afghanistan on 20 February 2009.
“It’s a fun (you can be the judge of that) barbell cycling workout that tests your strength, your conditioning and your efficiency. There’s a lot going on, and you’re definitely going to feel it.”
The theory – 3 moves, 5 rounds, as fast as you can – is nice and simple, but putting it into practice is a different kettle of fish.
“The aim,” says George, “is to perform the workout unbroken – or putting the bar down as few times as possible. However, most people will need to break the workout up. All the movements will tax your legs and lower back, so unless you’re an elite athlete with a huge engine, look to break up the reps.”
Here’s what to do:
– 12 x deadlift
– 9 x hang power clean
– 6 x push jerk
George racks up his reps with a hefty 70kg, but you can scale back the weight as necessary – proper form and technique are crucial.
If you can beat George’s PB of 3 mins 56 seconds, give the CrossFit Games a call.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, directly under the barbell.
- Pick up the bar by first hinging at your hips and knees.
- Bend over and grip the bar, just outside of your shins.
- Find a neutral spine position, pull your shoulders back and engage your core, back, legs and feet.
- Next, using the strength of your hamstrings, quads and glutes (never your back) pull the bar from the floor, keeping it close to your body at all times.
- It’s important that you do not round your back in the movement, and do not pull the bar using your back – if you feel this happen, stop.
- Bring the barbell all the way up so you’re standing straight, and fully extend your hips and knees.
- Carefully lower the barbell back to the ground – do not round your back.
- It’s easiest to think of it as a reverse movement to what you’ve just done, so send your hips back and lower the bar down following the same path you just used to pick it up.
1b. Hang Power Clean
- Stand with feet around hip-distance apart and place your hands on the bar, just outside your knees using a hook grip (fingers over your thumbs).
- Pick the bar up from the floor to the top of the deadlift position you’ve just been in.
- Once you’re at the top of the deadlift position, bend your knees slightly and dip forward by hinging at the hips so your shoulders come in front of the bar. You can lower the bar to your preferred hang position – usually this is around mid-thigh or just above the knee.
- Engage your back and core so you’re nice and tight, and remember to keep the bar close to your body at all times
- Next, drive your legs against the floor and use the power from your legs to thrust the hips forward into extension and pull/jump the bar upwards, pulling your elbows high to get the bar towards your chest.
- Quickly jump under the bar, landing in a quarter squat as your elbows snap through under the bar, catching it in a nice front-rack position where the bar is resting on your shoulders.
- Fully stand the bar up so you’re standing tall, then carefully lower the bar back to that hang position
1c. Push Jerk
- Start with the bar in that front rack position, with feet hip-distance apart.
- Bend slightly at the knees, dipping your body but keeping your upper body straight and your core tight and engaged.
- Once you reach the bottom of the dip, aggressively use the power of your legs to push against the floor and drive the bar up towards the ceiling.
- Use the power from your legs as much as possible; don’t leave all the pressing to your arms alone as you might pay for that later!
- As you finish the extension of the legs, punch your arms overhead until they are locked out, while simultaneously dropping into a quarter squat position to get under the bar.
- Secure and stabilise the bar overhead, then stand up tall, keeping the bar overhead to finish the movement
- Lower the bar back into your front rack position by dropping the bar back to your shoulders – to help safely receive it, bend your knees slightly at the same time you lower, so that it doesn’t come crashing down hard onto your shoulders.
Zack George, professional CrossFit Athlete and ‘UK’s Fittest Man’, has partnered with MP to release their first clothing collaboration – available to buy now from mp.com for £26, limited edition.