Sots Press !#@?! NO!!!! HELP!!!!

Hello Friends,

How is everyone? Did you have a good summer? I spent this last summer down at the lab with Justin Thacker & Team Lab. A couple of basic things that have proved to be reason for my improvement:

1. 3 tall clean + 3 sots press x10 before lifting

2. Strive for correct exact position at every moment in every position (floor, knees, above knees, high hang, extension, pull under, receiving, finish).

We all have different issues when we lift, but, many of us share some of the same problems. One problem is CURLED BACK!!!!!!!! Dang it!! That blasted thoracic spine that just gives and we not only come up from the clean with “hunched over back”, but we are NOT completely upright in start position going all the way up the lift. At the knees, we must be able to hold tight back with lats pushed back and in to get the leg power. Happens to so many of us…. I am afraid so & I sympathize with you, my friends. Greatly.

If you share this problem, try the two things above consistently to get you on track! *(But, be careful of putting undo shoulder pain by going too heavy on sots press. Go light on lbs)

Miss seeing you all in my Wednesday night class, but, I am learning an ocean of knowledge spending all my time at the lab. Feeling extremely grateful for the talented individuals who have taught me lifting along the way.

Tracy she brought the split style lifting out of me! Go to her website. It’s an educational experience. She is one bright individual and feel grateful for her friendship.

Anne Lehman & Derrick Crass, DC Blocks!!! Two very accomplished individuals. Anne is a 9 time National level lifter & Masters Weightlifting record holder. She is my friend and is the reason I made it to Nationals last year. Derrick is a two time Olympian, Creator & Owner of DC Blocks. Friend DC Blocks on Facebook. There is great information on their page and learn about DC Blocks. Incredible Weightlifting tools that can be used for box jumps!

Justin Thacker, The lab Gym & Team lab. A thriving business and two unique & talented brothers with team Lab instructors who are knowledgeable. To learn about who they are & what they do: Click on: “about us” and read about them . Justin is a National champion lifter with a long list of competition experience including Olympic lifting, Powerlifting, & Strongman. He is a completely CERTIFIED in many areas. He’s intense & I don’t want to screw up on his watch! Chris runs the entire business and a huge business it is. Naturally he is a strong dude himself. Business includes: Olympic Lifting, Heavy Metal Crossfit, Strongman, Powerlifting, nutrition, group fitness, massage therapy, and much much more.

Just can’t say enough about these sources of knowledge that are here in St. Louis. Click on their webpages to learn and view demonstration video’s of proper positioning, articles, etc.. and much much more. Here are the website’s again:

DC Blocks on Facebook

I’ll tune in on the blog & volunteer at your events to keep in touch with you wonderful peeps! I’ll eventually start my class back up at some point in the future.

Best of luck to you at Garage Games & HOA.USA-W

~Authored by
Kara Funk
CF STL Coach
USAW Sports Performance Coach


USA Weightlifting Seminar Coming Up!

USA Weightlifting Seminars   


Justin Thacker is now teaching seminars for USA Weightlifting. These seminars prepare & qualify participants for the USAW LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATION.

The next certification course will be held on August 24 & 25 at CrossFit St. Charles.

Register here!

Justin Thacker from The Lab is an outstanding Olympic Lifting Coach!

Kara Funk
Olympic Lifting Coach
CrossFit St. Louis

Oly – working “at the knees”… Why do we do this?

Why do we work from the knees? Well, if we don’t FEEL the power in the our legs, the weightlessness of the bar, we will never be able to overcome what it takes to have a successful lift off, approaching & passing the knees.   How do we STOP using our arms and back??   See Amy & Lauren’s  work in the attached video’s.

Their goal of class last night is to NOT let the upper body (back, arms, shoulders, etc….) takeover.  They both demonstrate much improvement in keeping the bar close, no bend in arms until after extension, and then receiving the bar.  Quick elbows!!   They have been fighting this class after class to get this right!!!!!  Now, if we picked at these video’s we would see some errors, but lets not forget to celebrate the success we see.   It’s the little steps along the way that lay the groundwork.  Without the groundwork, goals cannot be achieved.  It sometimes takes years to get to your ultimate goal.  Let’s enjoy the work and each other along the way!!

Using  the  “stacked up” weights or boxes (blocks) as training tools helps in “keeping tight”, shoulders pulled back, lats down and in,  and allowing the legs to get the barbell up high enough to pull under.   It’s good practice and time well spent before moving to the floor and dealing with the technical positions:  Start, lift off, below knees, at the knees.

Yours in lifting,

Kara Funk