Barbell Cycling Strategies (Isabel)

By: Stewie Leave a Comment

How can someone complete the workout ISABEL under 2 minutes?  


This may sound simple but there is a lot to factor in! Just looking at the core of CrossFit, on should master the 10 general skills in order to become the fittest possible.

General Skills:

  • Cardio respiratory endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Accuracy
  • Agility
  • Power
  • Speed

Do you need to be strong to power snatch 135 pounds? YES. What about having the ability to accurately take that barbel from ground to overhead? YES, it is just as important! How about flexibility? Keeping your back in a safe and proper position will help move that weight even faster! Once you can say you’ve master all those skills… then barbell cycling foundation is probably pretty solid!

Barbell cycling  the method of moving the barbell through the prescribed range of motion as quickly and efficiently as possible. The techniques used to perform heavy lifts or one rep max may not be exactly the same as the technique to maximize our efforts for 30 snatches for time.

What do consider when learning how to cycle the barbell?

  1. Grip – HOOKGRIP, HOOKGRIP, HOOKGRIP!!! I couldn’t emphasize that any more… your grip will be fried if you don’t utilize it!
  2. Positioning – Your back is the most important part here! KEEP IT TIGHT! Rounding when the barbell is either on the ground or overhead will decrease power and increase an injury and nobody wants that!


  1. Feet shoulder width, keeping heels grounded as much as possible! *Remember less movement with your feet will help conserve energy!
  2. Keep that bar as close to the body as possible for every rep!  *Conserves more energy!
  3. A quick descent – pulling that barbell down. *Yes, you guessed it… conserves even more energy!
    • Option 1: hitting your mid thigh before the ground
    • Option 2: going right back to the ground
    • Option 1 should be mastered before moving on to Option 2

As you cycle the barbell more, you’ll start to feel the difference! Moving better (conserving energy) helps a lot! Like everything in CrossFit… focus on form and positioning first! Every workout you do will help in mastering those 10 general skills. As time goes on and your abilities increase you’ll move that barbell faster and see that time drop!




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