Whenever you step into the box, take a moment to think about what you want to accomplish. At its core, every BHAG is just a collection of small achievements that we accumulate over time. Each training session is an opportunity to tick an item off the list (no matter how small) that will bring us closer to our endgame, and training with intention will make every session count.

Knowing what you want to accomplish in a WOD is paramount to how you approach the movements. For example, the hook grip is critical to Olympic lifts in terms of grip strength and transferring momentum from your body to the barbell. If you are going for a 1RM snatch, you’ll pull more weight with a hook grip than without one, plain and simple. If you’re doing a WOD with high-rep power snatches, a hook grip is still your best bet–not only will it preserve your grip, but the strong connection will allow you to cycle the bar faster.

Now, if you’re going to hook grip either way, does the reason why really matter? The answer is a resounding YES! Despite what Yours Truly may have told you in class, the truth is that while you should almost always hook olympic lifts, there are exceptions. If your grip strength is lacking, for example, heavy snatch pulls with a conventional grip could do your body good, even if it feels like blasphemy (which it should). The point is that your choice is a deliberate one based on your training goals rather than a sheer force of habit or aversion to discomfort.

Last month Coach JJ asked us, “What is your why,” and I cannot stress how important it is that we answer this question. It is something we should ask ourselves in every aspect of our lives, from that big picture, overall purpose that gets us out of bed in the morning to the grittiest of details that drive our day-to-day progress. So the next time you go to the box, take a moment to define your intention. Whether you’re there to work toward your goals or just to get your sweat on and have a good time, do it deliberately.


50 thoughts on “Training with Intention and the Hook Grip Nitty-Gritty

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