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by Ben Bergeron

“Big Clean Complex”


CrossFit New England Benchmark WOD

65.3K 362
  • 6 Sets for Max Load
  • High Hang Clean + Hang Clean + Clean + Push Press
  • High Hang Clean + Hang Clean + Clean + Push Jerk
  • High Hang Clean + Hang Clean + Clean + Split Jerk
  • One set consists of all 12 reps

Each set consists of 12 reps, without dropping the bar (if you must drop after the overhead movements, it’s allowed – just be quick to get back on the bar). Complete 6 total sets. Rest as needed between sets and try to increase weight after each set. All cleans must be full/squat cleans (power cleans are not allowed).

Score is the maximum load successfully lifted during one set from the 6 total sets.

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namesake photo

Background: “Big Clean Complex” is one of CrossFit New England’s official benchmarks, first posted on their website October 22, 2012. Though CFNE names their daily WODs “for fun,” this WOD is from a short list provided to us by CFNE’s Director of Operations, Eamon Coyne. Eamon called this workout “Death Race,” but we couldn’t find it published by that name.

CrossFit New England is famous for being the training ground for multiple CrossFit Games champions, under the expert eye of head coach and owner, Ben Bergeron.

Strategy: The limiting factor of the “Big Clean Complex” will be holding onto the barbell and the overhead movements. First and foremost, establishing the hook grip for the cleans will be vital and maintaining control of the barbell. In terms of duration of holding onto the barbell, we want to find a balance between speed and moving well. With 12 reps total, time under tension is a factor. The faster athletes move, the quicker they can get the barbell back to the ground. However, we don’t want to sacrifice positioning for speed.

Once athletes are past the push press, the most difficult of the three (due to no re-bend), they are more likely to complete the full complex. Another challenge will be bringing the barbell down from overhead. Bringing it from all way overhead is a lot of weight and momentum to control. Bringing the bar from overhead, to the front rack, and then back to the hip allows for better control. The name of the game: Move Fast, Move Well, Control the Weight.

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