Tag Archives: clean and jerk

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!

Eating Clean Jerky

Wait… that’s not right. Wearing a clean jerkin? No, that’s not it either. Clean & Jerks! That’s it!

VoicesAfter Tuesday’s losing mental battle with Fran, yesterday was a good chance to rest and recover to gather my wits. Really Tuesday came down to me not listening to my own inner coach telling me to turn away from the clock and take a breath. If I had listened when that voice popped up, maybe I could have moved past the sticking point.

So that’s something I’ll work on going forward. Little changes I can do to work around my own blocks. And boy do I have a few.

Today was a totally different ballgame. The clock didn’t enter my brain and suck the life out of me. πŸ™‚

Plus, the whole Fitzy crew was there, plus a bunch of other awesome folks. Coach Bill had the four of us, plus Drea, Connie, Dave, Dan, Caleb, and Maria this morning. Ten in all. Lots of barbells bouncing around when we got going.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiLike Tuesday, we did one round of each of the two warm-up series, and then started warming up our clean and jerks. PVC pipe, empty barbell, then putting some weight on the bar.

  • 3 cleans & 3 clean & jerks (warm-up)
  • 75#
  • 85#

I decided to go with 95# on the bar for the workout. I could have pushed it a bit further, but I knew grip was going to be a challenge on this one.

The workout was:

  • Gwen
  • Clean & Jerk, 15-12-9 reps (Performance)
  • Clean & Jerk, 6-6-6-6-6-6 reps, 75/45# (Fitness)
  • Touch and go at the floor only. Even a re-grip off the floor is a foul. No dumping. Same load for each set. Rest as needed between sets.

Essentially we were not allowed to set the bar down in the middle of a set. We could find other ways to “rest” and regrip a bit. Maybe tuck it in your hip, bending all the way over. Maybe put it on your back. Maybe just hang it at the knees.

1w399lI did attempt to hold even a PVC pipe in my hip crease while warming up and I couldn’t quite hang on in that way. So my plan was simple. Don’t stop. πŸ™‚

I paused a little here and there, but overall I just kept chugging through my clean & jerks pretty consistently. Bill said my last one looked about the same as the first one, so consistency was good, so he thought the weight was perfect. I might have pushed it to 105#, but 115# (way to go Dan!) and 135# (way to go Caleb!) was out of the realm of possibility.

All that said, I’m happy with my 95#. πŸ™‚ Ev did 70#. Mickey did 45# or 55#. AJ did 35#. Drea did 85#. I think everybody was throwing a lot of weight around. πŸ™‚

So great work 8:30 class!

Challenging Chipper

There are a bunch of terms and acronyms in Crossfit that get thrown around… Metcon. AMRAP. Chipper. Today was the last one. (For some good definitions, check out this page from Iron Hero Crossfit.) And we definitely chipped away at it a few reps at a time…


It was another crazy day at my house with half my family heading out on a trip, but I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Bill today. And we had a fun group – Logan, Todd & Melissa, Carrie, and Lara. So we started off with Nicole’s warm-up before doing a bit of box, barbell, and medicine ball work to get ready for the movements in today’s WOD.

We did quite a bit of work on pistols off the box today — and I have to say I definitely still struggle with them, but I’m starting to get a bit better — maybe. πŸ™‚ Beyond that, we did some work with deadlifts, cleans, and front squats — with a medicine ball at first, then an empty barbell eventually adding a bit more weight.

For some reason, I really struggled today with simply shrugging with the bar. Worked fine with a medicine ball, but as soon as I got a barbell in hand it went wonky. Pulling too soon most of the time. So though the workout called for 135# at the performance level, I tried 115# and didn’t look all that hot, so Bill had me shift back to 95#. No arguments from me.

1z3bh1So what was the workout? It was a chipper for time:

  • 40 single-leg squats, alternating
  • 35 wall balls (20/14# performance, 14/10# fitness)
  • 30 box jumps (24/20″ box performance, 16/12″ box fitness)
  • 20 deadlifts (135/95# performance, 95/65# fitness)
  • 15 power cleans
  • 5 front squats

I ended up doing somewhere between performance and fitness, so let’s just call it “fitness.”

  • 40 pistols off the box, starting with a 20″ box for the first 20 and shifting to a 24″ box to emphasize control of the leg on the downward path
  • 35 wall balls (20# medicine ball)
  • 30 box jumps on a 20″ box (combination of a handful of box jumps and mostly step-ups)
  • 205 deadlifts @ 95#
  • 15 power cleans @ 95#
  • 5 front squats @ 95#
  • Time– 11:05

This particular combination of movements — pistols and wall balls — really creamed my knees to the point where box jumps were awkward and dangerous. I nearly fell on my first one and really only did about 5 before I shifted back to step-ups. Deadlifts weren’t bad, but power cleans were a struggle with the shrug again, and the front squats weren’t awful.


I did break up the wall balls more than i wanted, though had a couple of sets of 10 mixed in with some sets of 3-5. I’m a little gun shy of having the ball smack me in the face again, so I was way too far away from the wall. But other than that I kept moving pretty well. I did break most of it up, but in decent sets without a ton of rest between them.

Long story short, my knees are ticked, but I did ok. πŸ™‚

We’ll see what tomorrow’s workout is before I determine whether I’m going or not. πŸ™‚ But I will be there Saturday for the gymnastics class ahead of doing an online event for an online gaming convention I’m participating in.

Great work today folks – you all moved right along! And thanks for the encouragement Bill!

Running in the Rain

Thank goodness for keeping to a schedule for my workouts or I would have definitely cherry picked today and stayed home. I didn’t even swear all that much last night about it, just decided I’d do what I could and prepare for it as best I could. Weird, huh?

1yyndkHow did I prepare? Running shoes. Two layers of shirts. Shorts and sweats. And a mindset that I’d just keep chugging. Very different than last week when I didn’t prepare at all and rowed. As I told Melissa, it was a case of “dress for the part” today. And I think it helped… a little anyway.

So I arrived this morning in the drizzle for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea. We had Dallen (sp?), Melissa, Sarah, and Logan today. Started with Nicole’s warm-up and then went through a lot of skill review for cleans, push jerks, clean & jerks, kips, and kipping pull-ups. Some with a PVC pipe. Some with an unloaded barbell. Some at the rig.

While doing some of the push jerks, I noticed that my right shoulder (not my left, which is more normal) was clicking a bit on the push out overhead, so I decided to go a bit lighter on the weight when we started adding it.Β By the time we added some weight, I had done two sets of 3 reps at 95# and 105# and decided to stay at 105# rather than push to 115#.

Goofy is way happier here than I was in this run. πŸ™‚

The workout was a doozy of a metcon for 15 minutes. Interesting way to stress the system for sure.

  • On a 15-minute clock, for max reps each round:
  • From 0:00-3:00, run (400m performance/200m fitness) then do pull-ups,Β Rest 1 minute
  • From 4:00-7:00, run then do clean and jerks (115/75# performance, probably 95/55# fitness),Β Rest 1 minute
  • From 8:00-11:00, run then do pull-ups,Β Rest 1 minute
  • From 12:00-15:00, run then do clean and jerks

I did a slightly modified Fitness level:

  • 300m runs (not to the first dumpster, which is 200m, but to the second, which I guessed was roughly 300m)
  • kipping pull-ups on the rig
  • 105# clean & jerks from the floor

20171107_093239So how’d I do? Well, I finished. And I pushed. To the point where I definitely suffered from “crossfit cough” for the better part of an hour or more after the workout.

  • 300m (1:21) – ran whole thing
  • 17 pull-ups
  • 300m (1:35) – ran all but about 50m
  • 5 clean & jerks
  • 300m (2:11) – ran 150m, walked 150m
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 300m (1:55) – ran 200m, walked 100m
  • 7 clean & jerks
  • Total reps: 39

Anybody who knows me knows I’m not a runner, but I did what I could. Breathing was a huge problem as we ran in the drizzle and cold. I think it was right around 32 degrees F outside, so it was a shock to the system moving in and out.Β Those 1 minute rests between rounds were not my friend either. Maybe 2 or 3 minutes would have helped, but I don’t recover that quickly.

“Crossfit cough” is definitely a thing on this one. Between the headache immediately following (likely due to the temperature) and the cough (due to the running), I was a mess for about 30 minutes afterwards. But I got it together. πŸ™‚

Great work, 8:30 class. This was an interesting metcon today.

Being a Jerk on Monday

My weekends aren’t really weekends. They’re extra Mondays it seems. So today I woke up exhausted and not really ready to take on the world. Go figure. Waaaa.

rogue-black-med-ball-web6_1Whining aside, I headed into CrossFit Continuum for our 8:30 class to get the blood flowing and start my week on the right note. Coach Bill was doing some foam roller mobility work along with Nic & Nichole when I got there and Jenny, Sarah, and Clara joined us as well. Good crew.

We started with the mobility (foam roller, lacrosse ball, some couch stretch) and then did a little 3 round warm-up:

  • 20 seconds of medicine ball cleans (20/14#)
  • 20 seconds of medicine ball burpees
  • 20 seconds of hip extensions on the floor

Then we did a little skill work with a PVC pipe, working on cleans and jerks, before grabbing a barbell and putting some weight on it for a little 3 minute EMOM with 1 clean & jerk. I managed to do a few sets, scrambling to add weight:

  • 95#
  • 115#
  • 135#

145# is about 85% of my 1RM of 175# and it quickly became apparent that my wrists and hips were going to be the limiting factor today. Squat cleans from the floor leading to split jerks were a challenge.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiWe then worked through 5 rounds of 3 clean & jerks, supposedly adding weight as we went. That didn’t work so hot for me.

  • 135# x3 (ugly squat cleans and split jerks)
  • 145# x1 x3 (ugly squat cleans and split jerks, three singles)
  • 135# x1 x3 (ugly squat cleans and split jerks, three singles)
  • 135# x1 x3 (mix of ugly squat cleans and power cleans and split jerks, three singles)
  • 135# x1 x3 (mix of ugly squat cleans and power cleans and split jerks, three singles)

Meanwhile I watched Nic work up to 185/225# and do awesome squat cleans even if he struggled to hit the split jerks, but he did awesome.

So again, I need to work on mobility and figure out how to get past some of the physical roadblocks I’m hitting. Yay. πŸ™‚

Good work 8:30 class and thanks for the encouragement, Bill! Have a great day folks!

20 Minutes of Fun?

This morning didn’t quite go as planned, but I did make it in for a 9:30 workout at Continuum. Ev and the rest of the 8:30 class were finishing up – and Drea had a big class! Lori, Emily, Ev, Jenny, Danielle, Connie, and Lisa and I feel like I’m missing someone. 9:30 wasn’t quite as busy – we had Nick, Larry, Andrea, and Sam. Small, but mighty – yeah right!

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We started with some mobility work – couch stretch and banded hamstring stretching – before doing a run, row, or assault bike. For some reason I chose the assault bike and did a minute plus there. Then we did some plank, marching bridges, and V-ups (or knee tucks) before doing a whole bunch of wide-grip clean & jerk practice, followed by some time on the rig to figure out our toes-to-bar progressions.

Every step of the way I think my shoulders were debating which one was going to quit first. I sounded a bit like a Rice Krispies commercial.

But we kept on moving.

The workout was a 20 minute AMRAP:

  • 5 clean and jerks
  • 10 toes-to-bars (T2B)
  • Rest 30 seconds

Rx weights were 185/135. Level II was 135/95. Level I was 95/65.

Been a while since we’ve done heavy clean & jerks. The last number I had was 175# from 2014. I have done as heavy as a 195# clean and a 195# push press, but after the warm-up I was wondering how light I should go. Today I went with 135#. Larry went with the same weight, so I figured it was ok. That was the level II weight anyway.

knees-to-elbows2And my T2B are not pretty. I can do them, but it’s one and done usually. We did a little work on them a few weeks ago but even after that it’s a matter of getting in the rhythm. Today I could do one or two every ten reps and just tried to kip and keep moving through knees-to-elbows for the rest.

In the earlier class, Ev used 95# and knees-to-elbows and made it through 5+ rounds. Connie and Drea were giving me a hard time before we started when I asked what I should shoot for. Connie made it through 9 rounds or close to it. She said to go for 7.

After 20 minutes I ended up getting through 6 rounds plus 4 clean & jerks. None of it was pretty. And I am pretty sure I added a rep or two here or there when I lost count a couple of times. But I kept on moving.

I had two big issues. My split jerk is awful, though better than it has been. And I kept losing my grip on the bar during the knees to elbows. So I could do 4 or 5 but that was it. And my C&J’s (push jerks or split jerks) were all singles. I didn’ t string much together.

I think both Larry & Nick got through 8 rounds. And Andrea did 7. Not sure how Sam did, but she was chugging right along too. Everybody did awesome. πŸ™‚

Thanks for the encouragement Drea – and great work everybody!

Hope you all have a great day!