Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

My first crossfit 3 rounds for time 15 hang cleans and burpees

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 1, 2015 12:48:23 AM


My first crossfit 3 rounds for time 15 power hang cleans and burpess

RFT stands in crossfit for rounds for time. In this workout you go for three rounds of 15 hang cleans and 15 burpees by three and boy how I underestimated this workout. I finished my first attempt at this at 11:01 which puts me in the lower half of the people who have done it at based on the numbers they provide.

Click for Instagram

How can you do this workout ?

You need a barbell and as a guy you need 135 pounds or 61.5 kilograms of weight on it. The ladies will work with 95lbs which transfers into 43kg. Use a stop watch to clock your overall time. You can have a judge around checking on your reps, but for training this is optional. If you want to be a top dog / lady you do this workout in3:30, midfielders check out at 5:34 and loser like me finish in over 10 minutes, but I’ll come to that at a later point in this post.


How do you do a hang power clean ?

As I have not mastered the Olympic weightlifts yet I shy away from doing the full range lifts. There are four versions of the clean, the squat clean, power clean, hang squat clean and the hang power clean.

If you should be able to lift more for a one rep max with the Squat and power clean then with the hanging variations and more with the squat version then with the power version. This is due to the longer acceleration path for the non-hanging versions and the fact that you have to lift the bar less high when you squat beneath it rather moving it all the way up to your standing position.

The squat and the power clean start with the barbell on the ground whereas the hanging alternatives start with the weight already lifted to the hips. For the squat versions you get your body deep beneath the barbell. With the hanging variation the movement comes more out of your back and arm strength.


What does this workout feel like ?

This is another example of a workout of the day (WOD) which had me in for a surprise. On paper it did not look too hard and I was more worried about the burpees as supposed to the hang cleans which came in at 61.5kg. With a bench press max of 125kg and a deadlift of 165kg I thought these would be a piece of cake. I was very wrong about this.

Already in the first round I had to break the fifteen repetitions rather than doing them unbroken. The burpees were actually fine for the first round and I did not have to stop. The second round brought me down to triplets for the hang cleans. Instalment two of the burpees had me to take a breather after 8 reps. Pushing onwards I considerably slowed down for round three. I do not have the splits per round, but I definitely was a lot slower in round three than in round two. 

After my first attempt at Fran this was the second WOD which had me in bits once I was finished. Took me about 3 minutes to get back off the ground again, because I was so exhausted.

What do you like about this WOD?

A great, short WOD given that your gym is just around the corner you can easily fit it in before work or after when you stayed longer in the office. It gives you everything you need working arms and legs. Explosiveness is trained to with the burpees and clean. A solid overall workout (if you scale it), which you can also do if you do not have the technique for the clean down 100% yet.

What do you not like about this WOD?

As so often I personally think that the weight it has to be done with is completely blown out of proportion for mere mortals. This is promoted as a “light” WOD on beyond the whiteboard. Now call me a weakling or the gyms I have been to sub par, but when I have seen someone move around 60kg on a bar for a clean they were not the average gym Joe. This is where I see the danger in most crossfit prescriptions. You are exposed to too much weight for too complex movements too soon. People usually go with the recommendations they see on a website or whiteboard or strive towards the standards too quickly (me included).


If you do not have a lot of time, know how to scale your workouts and like to get your butt kicked by a workout in ten minutes or less this is for you. If you cannot work with a barbell yet, stay away from this WOD and first timers should consider to do it with less weight then prescribed.  

Further reading

On the deadlift

On the squat

On the bench press