How To Shave One Minute Off Your Nancy Time

While this programming may not work for everyone, it may be a way to shave one minute off your Nancy time. At least it did for me.

Following 8 weeks of programming, I was able to improve my overhead strength in various exercises. The programming was something that I created with specific personal goals in mind, which is why it may not be for everyone.

After the 8 week program, I performed 3 tests to see how they compared to my previous results. I saw big improvement in two of the tests while one of them actually tested worse. Below I dive in to the results.

To see the 8 week program, click here.

The Results

Strict Hand Stand Push Ups Max Set

  • Previous: 0
  • Current: 2 (October 18, 2016)

While 2 is not a lot, it felt awesome to get 2 of them. I attempted this twice on Tuesday morning and got 2 both times, failing each time on my third attempt.

AMRAP 7 mins: Snatches and Clean & Jerks at 135 lbs

  • Previous: 11 full rounds (44 reps), 125.6 (ft*lb)/sec (August 9, 2016)
  • Current: 9 full rounds + 2 reps (38 reps), 107.5 (ft*lb)/sec (October 18, 2016)
Shave One Minute Off Your Nancy Time

Comparing 7 minute AMRAPs

Obviously you never want your production to go down. I’m not exactly sure what happened here. The snatch felt heavier than it usually does and the clean & jerk was definitely not smooth.

The snatch technique progress I had been working did help. Going in to round 3 I started failing on the snatch attempts. But a quick self assessment showed me that I wasn’t dropping under it like I should and got me back on track. The failed attempts were new – I hadn’t failed any attempts on my previous go.

Nancy – 5 Rounds of 400m run and 15 overhead squats @ 95 lbs

  • Previous: 14:40, 104.9 (ft*lbs)/sec (August 26, 2016)
  • Current: 13:44, 111.9 (ft*lbs)/sec (October 19, 2016)
Shave One Minute Off Your Nancy Time

Comparing Nancy times

Definitely a big improvement here. Shaving off nearly a minute was incredible! There is no doubt the 8 week program helped on this one.

Things I would do differently next time

Lift heavier

I definitely went conservative with the amount of weight that I was using. By being more aggressive, I think the 7 AMRAP would have been better.

Lift before the WOD

My routine was to do my daily WOD and then go straight to the strength training program with no rest. While there wasn’t much I could do about the back-to-backs (I have a job to tend to), switching the order so the WOD comes second would have helped.

Trade a WOD for a lift

To really develop strength, adding a second day of training each week would have been big. Given my schedule that means giving up a WOD day. But some creative programming could have minimized any negative effects.

Technique and more technique

While my technique definitely got better, a good evaluation is almost impossible without help. That should have come in the form of a coach or partner that can make adjustments on the fly or through video that can be seen later.

Let thy body heal

Probably the hardest one to do. I could really tell that by the end of the week I was beat up. Unfortunately most of us 9 to 5ers, Monday through Fridayers don’t have the ability to completely arrange our schedules around our workouts. We workout when we can. But it would be interesting to see how much difference it would have made to force an extra rest day mid-week.

And acknowledge an injury! Prior to my Week 4 workout I really messed up my right wrist doing ring muscle ups. So frustrating because I was actually stringing those babies together! Then POP POP POP the top of my wrist felt like it had fire crackers attached to it. But did I give it some time off? Nope. Did I have it looked at? Nope. Did I try and finish the damn workout? Yep.


My pride got in the way and I tried to fight through it. Over 5 weeks later I’m still dealing with it. Should have just avoided heavy stress on the wrist for at least a week and let it get better. I would have only set my testing back a week without drastically effecting the results.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Take aways

You can improve your overhead strength slightly in 8 weeks, but a dedicated multi-day approach would definitely do it faster.

The approach I took was very cautious. I didn’t want to lose anything from my anaerobic or aerobic systems which is why there was a lot more focus on technique, mobility and mid-level weight with more volume. Though I didn’t test for it, my 1RM snatch did go up, as I was able to hit 165 lbs during an EMOM in the last week. But better programming and preparation would have really helped.

Training by yourself, after being in a group setting for a year and a half is also tough when you are trying to improve (not just maintain). Without someone there to push me and provide input, I wasn’t sure if I was actually breaking through my comfort zone or not. Which probably means I wasn’t.

Overall, I’m glad I tried this. I made a few improvements and I’ve learned some things that are going to help on my next project.