The Burgener Warm Up
Coach Mike Burgener, former Marine and school teacher, has been coaching olympic weightlifting for over 40 years. He currently resides in California where he runs a training facility and CrossFit affiliate out his home garage. He travels world teaching Olympic Weightlifting to athletes and coaches as the subject matter expert for the CrossFit Weightlifting Seminar. We had the pleasure of welcoming him to SRCF for the seminar last year.
Coach Mike uses a system aptly named the Burgener Warm Up (BWU) to teach and drill the foundational movement patterns found in the olympic lifts. You can watch a 3 minute video of him doing an abbreviated version of the warm up with his daughter Sage Burgener at Mike’s Gym below.
When we’re working on the BWU in class, the goal is to keep the main thing the main thing. We’re trying to become more efficient snatchers! Keep it simple. Each step in the BWU builds upon the preceding movement so that we can drill important parts of the motion in isolation. We all know how difficult it is to single out one part of the snatch because it all happens so fast! At least it’s fast when we’re moving correctly…
So, when we’re saying “speed through the middle” or “keep the bar close” we want to actually be fast through the middle and keep a bar on our t-shirts. As the saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” The more times I practice the BWU, the more likely I am to start going through the motions and slowly sabotage my own progress by wasting valuable skill development time.
If you’d like a longer treatment of the BWU, you can find Coach Mike giving a more thorough (9 minute) explanation below.
If you have more questions on how to get better at the olympic lifts, ask a coach! We’re here to help!
When he’s not asking why or saying it depends, Brandon is trying to pick up progressively heavier things and recording the disruptivecast, a strength and conditioning podcast. He loves working with athletes 1 on 1 to teach and correct movement, helping them do things they didn’t even know were possible. Brandon is a Precision Nutrition certified nutrition coach who serves clients with a light touch understanding that making big life changes is tough and having someone in your corner makes a huge difference.