Tag Archives: clean and jerk

Clean & Jerks and Nutrition Chats

Second workout of the week… a metcon involving strength? Okay…

Went in for the 8:30 class with Coach Lara and we had a fun mix of folks — Bill, Dave, Bri, Janiece, Melissa, and Andrew. I think that’s all of us. πŸ™‚

rower5We started with a good warm-up (good because there were no lunges in it!):

  • Two rounds of:
    • 90 second row or bike (I rowed – tried to sprint for 30s of it)
    • 45 second banded front rack stretch on the rig, each side
    • 30 second hollow body hold
    • 15 good mornings with an empty barbell
    • 10 muscle cleans to strict press with empty barbell

After that, we stayed with the empty barbell to work on clean and jerk progressions, working through the various parts of those movements.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiOnce we were suitably warmed up, we did a little 5 minute EMOM to warm up to our working weight for the WOD. Two reps each minute, with increasing weight:

  • 95# x2
  • 115# x2
  • 135# x2
  • 155# x2
  • 165# x1 (this was very ugly and I’m not really sure I locked all the way out, but it definitely told me what I needed to know for the workout)

The workout itself was simple. 20 Clean & Jerks for time. We were shooting for 6-9 minutes at a pretty heavy weight. I guessed that competitors would be done under 5 and mortals like myself would be around 10 minutes.

So how’d it go? Well, the first 5 reps were done in a minute. At that point, I said — out loud — that I needed to slow down a bit. πŸ™‚ I ended up with:

  • 13 reps at 155#
  • 7 reps at 145#
  • Finished in 7:35

image-WEIGHT_375Not too bad. That’s about 3,000 pounds I moved in 7 and a half minutes.

I wanted to put that into perspective though, so I looked back at some old numbers:

  • Push Jerk – I did 185# in July 2017
  • Clean & Jerk – I did 205# back in November 2017

That puts my 155# at about 75% of my 1RM and 145# at 71% or so.Β I honestly am not sure I could clean 205# today a single time if my life depended on it. And that’s ok. πŸ™‚

Thanks Lara and great work everybody!!

A Little Nutrition and Goals Work

After that I headed over to talk about some nutrition goals with Coach Drea. My diet hasn’t exactly been on point since July, so there’s some work to be done there. Beyond that though, I haven’t been great about setting longer term goals either.

I think we came up with some good long term goals this time. Long term meaning working on these over the next 6 months.

1524659067First, I want to improve my performance in the CrossFit Open in 2019 if possible. Looking back at previous years, I was:

  • 6235th (out of ??) in the Masters Men (45-49) in 2016
  • 10450th (out of 13371) in the Men’s (45-49) division in 2017 (bottom 25%)
  • 10494th (out of 15969) in the Men’s (45-49) division in 2018 (bottom 35%)

That’s progress in my book, slow and steady. We’ll try and continue.

Second, and this is really shallow, but I would like to work on my muscle definition a bit. Or, as I put it to Drea, “I’d like to have ‘an’ ab” – I’m not looking for “abs” – but some better definition would be nice for a change.

And third, I’d like to move the scale a bit back down to around 200# again. Maybe 195-205# is my sweet spot.

How do we get there? By dialing in nutrition and working on some of the areas I’m not great in — like double unders. They’re a goat. I have quite a few, but that’s a pretty big one these days since it shows up every year in the Open.

So I’ll be doing some work on those — first, just getting one consistently, then getting two consistently, and so on… If you see me muttering under my breath while whipping myself with a jump rope, you’ll know why. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for the sit-down today. We’ll see if we can move the needle a bit closer to where I hope to be. πŸ™‚


What!?! More Cleans!

Apparently a memo went out in the last few days about cleans. The universe responded with power cleans and 1 rep max cleans on Friday night and then today with clean and jerks. Message received!

Made it in for the Monday 8:30 workout with Coach Drea. We had Dave, KB, Logan, and Bri, so a fun group ready for a good sweat to start the week.

Squat Therapy: 4 Drills That Will Improve Your Squat [Great article at Breaking Muscle]
Started with a new warm-up:

  • 2 rounds of
    • 1 minute of single-unders
    • 10 slow PVC pass-thrus with shrugs
    • 10 reverse grip PVC strict presses (interesting, definitely tested wrist mobility in a way similar to reverse grip hangs on the rig)
    • 5 reps of “squat therapy” on the wall – each rep was standing close to the wall but not touching with arms over head, do a quarter squat, a half squat, and a full squat, hold for 3 seconds, and then go up

From there we grabbed an empty barbell for some clean & jerk refresher, then added some weight to work up to our working weight. Each warm-up set was 5 air squats and three C&J until we found the right weight. I jumped pretty quickly to 115# and Drea and I both agreed I needed to go up to 135#. πŸ™‚ (I didn’t want to believe it, but 115# felt too easy.)


After all the 135# cleans on Friday, I wasn’t sure I was ready to tackle them again – but I did them.

The workout was 10 one minute rounds with 2 minutes between each:

  • Competitor – 25 air squats, Max reps of C&J 155/105#
  • Performance – 20 air squats, max reps of C&J 135/95#
  • Fitness – 10 air squats, max reps of C&J 95/65#

The goal was to be done with your air squats by 40 seconds and get in 4 reps of C&J in the remaining time. It was a good goal. πŸ™‚ I decided to shoot for the performance level for weight and reps, simply because I know I can’t keep good form at 155# for too long and air squats for speed has never been a strength.

Air_SquatsWell, today I warmed up pretty quickly – but I was still happy I didn’t try for 25 squats right off the bat.

  • 20 squats, 4 C&J @ 135#
  • 23 squats (30 seconds), 3 C&J
  • 23 & 3
  • 23 & 3
  • 24 & 3
  • 24 & 4
  • 24 & 3
  • 25 & 4
  • 25 & 4
  • 25 & 4
  • Total – 35 C&J, 236 air squats

I was happy with that. It was right in the time domain Drea was looking for, and I got stronger as I went on. I was still sweating like a beast, but I was pushing the whole time — soΒ  a good workout for me. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class!!

All the Calories

So today I was the sole representative of Clan Fitzpatrick at Team WOD. Made it in about 9:45 for a 10am workout and was joined by a number of folks. Coach Drea kept us in line. We had Lisa & Nick & Katie, Marino, Caleb, Steve, Jonathan, Shaun & Stacy & Stacy’s sister, Kelli, and maybe a few others. It was a good crew.

We started with a similar warm-up to earlier in the week, with a 200m jog and thenΒ Cossack squats, inchworms with a push-up, and Spider-man crawls, with a few PVC pass-thrus. At the end we added some warm-ups with a bar for the movements we’d be doing during the workout itself.

keep-calm-and-amrapI partnered with Jonathan and Steve today, which had an entertaining consequence I’ll get to in a minute.

What was the workout? In teams of 3, we tackled a series of three AMRAPs:

  • AMRAP 7:
    • 100/70 Calorie Assault Bike
    • Max Clean and Jerks (155/105/115/75)
  • Rest 3 Minutes
  • AMRAP 6:
    • 80/60 Calorie Assault Bike
    • Max Power Snatches (135/95/95/65)
  • Rest 3 Minutes
  • AMRAP 5:
    • 60/40 Calorie Assault Bike
    • Max Thrusters (115/75/75/55)
Pure Evil

So our team of 3 had a fun mix of heights. Steve is a runner, tall and lanky. I’m middle of the road. And Jonathan is a bit shorter than I am. We decided early on that Steve should take the bike and Jonathan and I would split the other calories on the rower. As a result, our workout changed a little.

  • AMRAP 7 – 80 calories (Steve did 30 on bike, we did 25 each on rower)
  • AMRAP 6 – 60 calories (everybody did 20)
  • AMRAP 5 – same as AMRAP 6

We grabbed two separate bars and warmed up. Jonathan and I used one bar and Steve went with a little lighter bar. I think he did 65# for the whole workout. Jonathan and I varied it a little:

  • AMRAP 7 – 135# clean & jerks
  • AMRAP 6 – 115# power snatches
  • AMRAP 5 – 115# thrusters

And we were off to the races with everybody else.

In the first row, I burned through 25 calories in about 55 seconds. That got Jonathan’s attention and we started racing in the next two rounds. I did 20 calories in about 43 seconds in the second round. He responded by doing 20 in about 36 seconds. And in the last one, I tried to keep up with him and did 20 calories in about 37 seconds. He STILL beat me about 36 seconds.

Jonathan pointed out that he’s younger than I am by about 10 years, but hey… that didn’t stop me. πŸ™‚


So as far as reps we did pretty well – we alternated a few each and went until time went out.

  • AMRAP 7 – 23 clean & jerks total
  • AMRAP 6 – 32 power snatches total
  • AMRAP 5 – 35 thrusters total (because Jonathan did 20 of them!)

Not too shabby. We made it to 80 reps across the three AMRAPs and never really stopped moving. It was a fun workout.

Thanks Jonathan & Steve for being my teammates and great work everybody!

Rope Climbs and Clean & Jerks FTW

Today was the first day of spring break for AJ, so I had an opportunity to work out with both her and my wife during the week for the first time in a while. Coach Drea had the three of us, plus Melissa & KB to deal with today.

Infinity_Legless_Rope_Climb_WEBWe started with a bit different of a warm-up today that involved some banded stretches, 90 seconds of rowing or biking, empty barbell good mornings, and empty barbell muscle cleans and strict presses. Made for a good way to get going and I was definitely warm by the time we were done.

After that it was some rope work (ring rows on the rope, knee tucks, and foot locking practice) and some more barbell warm-up for cleans and jerks. But we didn’t waste much time after that, diving into warming up for the workout.

My warm-up on the C&J was: 75# x2, 95# x2, and 115# x2

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiAnd then it was time to start the workout itself!

  • For time:
  • 5 clean and jerks
  • 4 rope climbs, 15 ft.
  • 4 clean and jerks
  • 3 rope climbs, 15 ft.
  • 3 clean and jerks
  • 2 rope climbs, 15 ft.
  • 2 clean and jerks
  • 1 rope climb, 15 ft.
  • 1 clean and jerk
  • Increase weight on the clean and jerk each round.
  • Men: 135-145-155-165-185 lb.
  • Women: 95-105-115-120-125 lb.

185# is getting dangerously close to my 1RM these days, so I decided to drop the weight a bit. Instead I went for 115#, 135#, 145#, 155#, and 165#. In hindsight I should have had another 20# hop somewhere in there and at least attempted 175# because 165# felt decent.

But I had more fun with the rope climbs. My first two rounds were simple attempts – jump and try and wrap my feet with the J-hook to be stable. And then Drea asked me to try to pull myself up on the round of 2 climbs. I made it almost to the top, but couldn’t figure out how to plant my feet and feel comfortable letting go long enough to touch the ceiling. I didn’t quite get that far on my single attempt, but I was still much further than I have been.

Unfortunately I think I “burned” off some skin on one of my fingers during the round of 2 — and began bleeding a bit. Oops. That slowed that last climb down a bit and I had to clean off the bar when I was done with my last C&J.

But I wasn’t the only one who had some successes today. AJ looked phenomenal with her split jerks and made it to the top of the rope for her last rope climb! Very proud of her!

Really it was a fun day at the box, but most of them are when I think about it. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea and thank you Bill for the pics!!

Monday Metcon

Monday. Ugh. Monday after pretty much being useless for three days with a cold. Double ugh. But it was time to get my butt in gear.Β Got the girls to school, checked in at work, and got ready for today’s workout.

b04c6ed2970ac4c861a63625f42d9532Really I was hoping we didn’t have to run today and when I saw how slushy the parking lot was, it was pretty much guaranteed I was just going to row. πŸ™‚ But I was not alone for Coach Drea in the 8:30 class. Melissa & Todd and Matt & Abigail were there (though their little one wasn’t cooperating with Matt getting a workout in). And we had a new warm-up from Nicole today with many new movements after a 2 minute row or bike.

  • cat/cows
  • hip presses and hip circles
  • cat/cows on forearms
  • trunk rotations
  • shoulder weaves
  • holds in three different positions
  • active and passive hangs

Mostly weΒ  hung out on the floor talking about how tight our hips and shoulders were. πŸ™‚

From there, we grabbed an empty barbell and did some clean & jerk warm-up as well as working through some variations on a kipping L-pull-up. Jumping. Knee tucks. All sorts of interesting things. I quickly decided to go with a kipping knee tuck where you use the kip on the way up to tuck your knees to your chest and hold them there all the way back down. Not pretty, but effective.

rower5Drea mentioned that we could do a 500m row or a 1:45 stint on the assault bike instead of the 400m run, but that she might recommend the bike over the rower since we have a long row tomorrow. Guess we’ll see how that goes tomorrow, but I decided to save my knees and row today.

The workout was:

  • Metcon, for total time
  • 5 rounds
  • 400m run (performance), 200m run (fitness)
  • 7 kipping L pull-ups (performance) or jumping, hanging knee raises (fitness)
  • 4 clean & jerks (135/95# performance, 75/55# fitness)

In my case, it became:

  • 5 rounds for time
  • 500m row
  • 7 kipping knee tuck pull-ups
  • 4 clean & jerks @ 115#

I think I could have done the 135#, but decided to try and keep my time closer to the 20 minute goal. Turned out to be a wise choice.

Took me 22:54 to complete it. Rows were all in the 1:55 to 2:30 range. Pull-ups took the longest. And the C&Js were consistent. I was definitely last, but I finished even if it was a little slower than I’d like. I felt like I was fast in that first round, but consistent after that.


Not bad for my first workout in a few days. Hacking up a few things now, but that’s good. πŸ™‚Β  Great work everybody!!


Who’s the jerk?

Ah yes, Monday. It was one of those days where the bed was warm and I didn’t want to rise. Three smacks of the snooze button later, I did eventually get up — reluctantly. And I even ate breakfast. But it was like moving in slow motion. Maybe it’s Monday. Maybe it’s the entire gluten free pepperoni & mushroom pizza from Domino’s I consumed last night. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I stumbled into the 8:30 class. Logan, Todd & Melissa, and newcomer Jake, from Salt Lake. We were all there with a sleepy Coach Drea (little Noah has had a rough few days) and made the best of it.

always-warm-up-thoroughlyStarted with a new warm-up from Coach Nicole today…

  • 3 rounds of 20 seconds of jumping jacks and air squats, then a 20 second rest (much better than 1 minute each!)
  • 10 squat-to-stand
  • 20 knee pulses/hamstring flosses
  • 10 interesting hip rotations — lie on back, feet in a wide squat stance flat on the floor and knees up, then squeeze knees inward for a second, pulse out, repeat
  • 30 second puppy dog shoulder stretch
  • 30 second lat smash on each side with a lacrosse ball
  • 10 table “circles”
  • 10 prone scorpion stretches
  • 10 “ATYT” (not YMCA) arm/shoulder positions with 2.5# plates

From there it was empty barbells and warming up our clean & jerk movements… shrug, high elbows, fast elbows under the bar, keeping the bar close, and fast overhead.

My squat cleans have never been good, though they have improved over the last few years. My squat clean 1RM is 165# set back in 2016 and I was able to do a 205# clean & jerk last year at one point. Something tells me that wasn’t a squat clean, but hey.

KendrickClean_zpsea22d368And a couple of weeks ago we did some C&J work… I was all over the place, but may have done 165# at the end.

Today went like this:

  • (warm-up)
  • 95# x2
  • 115# x2
  • (7×1)
  • 135# x1
  • 145# x1
  • 155# x1
  • 175# fail
  • 175# fail
  • 165# x1 ugly
  • 170# fail

Not my best strength day, but not a horrible one. I felt more connected between the squat clean and the push jerk in most of the reps where I succeeded. And even the 175# and 170# attempts, I was able to power clean them — just not convince myself to get under them. If not for the squat aspect, I probably would have been able to go higher.

But that’s fine – today is what it is. And I’ll worry about next time when it gets here.

Thanks Drea and great work 8:30 class!


Weaker Strength Day

Some days are better than others. That’s a fact. And in the gym, I’ve had to do my best to listen to my body more often. Today, it was telling me to go lighter because everything felt heavy and my form wasn’t great. πŸ™‚

0d955d5350d9ac0bb7be7f04b8e20fd4We had the whole Fitzy family in this morning, along with one of Mickey’s friends, Shannon, plus Connie, Bri, Larry, and Melissa. Coach Drea had a full house for the 8:30 class. We all worked our way through the warm-up of the week and then began tackling some Olympic snatch mechanics.

Starting with an empty barbell, we worked through quite a few different elements before we even added any weight to the bar. And that was definitely a good thing. After doing 150 kettlebell swings last night (plus 150 sit-ups), my hamstrings were a little sore and my lower back was also starting to say hello before long.

Eventually we started adding weight to the bar. The workout was 5×1 for snatches and then we did 5×1 for (squat) clean & jerks.

snatch5I warmed up to 95# and then added 20# more pounds for the first round… I was all over the place:

  • 95# (warm-up)
  • 115# (warm-up)
  • 115# (first round)
  • 105# (second round)
  • 105# (third round)
  • 115# (fourth round)
  • 125# (fifth round)

This wasn’t awful, considering my old 1RM is STILL 135# after nearly 2.5 years. Was it pretty? Um, no — especially since only about half of these were actually squat snatches. Most of them were pretty upright power snatches, but it was what my body was allowing today.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiThen we worked on clean & jerks. They were supposed to be squat cleans, but again I ended up with a mix of squat and power cleans.

  • 95# (warm-up)
  • 115# (warm-up)
  • 135#
  • 135#
  • 155#
  • 155#
  • 165#

Even with the mix of squat and power cleans, this was way under what I was shooting for. Was kind of hoping for 185# since I set my old 1RM at 205# back in November. But hey, listening to the body was good and we’ll have an opportunity to work more on this in the coming weeks.

So good work everybody! And I hope the 9:30 class had fun too!