Foot placement for the jerk

Work to a heavy back squat single, then back off to 80% for 2 sets of 3 reps

Work to heavy clean and jerk

Post back squat loads and clean and jerk loads to comments.


Zombie Cody sent me a challenge last week. There are four fundamentals of basic rifle marksmanship (BRM) in the Army, and every soldier commits them to memory. Cody challenged me to come up with four fundamentals of Olympic Lifting….now we’re talking!! Challenge accepted…

I thought about it for a few minutes and realized Coach B has this challenge already nailed down. And, he’s so awesome, he only needed THREE fundamentals: STANCE, GRIP, and POSITION. Coach B and I chatted on Sunday about this very topic, and he added a fourth fundamental: EXPLOSION.

Footwork is critical in lifting – 90% of all missed lifts are missed because of footwork. Keep in mind, there are only two places your feet will go: jumping position (under your hips) to landing position (slightly outside of your shoulders.)

Jumping position (check out their feet):

Landing position:

These positions are crucial, and if you commit to drilling footwork every day, your feet will learn to hit those spots with consistency.

Hook grip is the only way to go. It’s safe. It’s secure. It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Use it.

Just like with footwork, there are only two places your hands can go: clean grip (about a thumb width away from your hips) and snatch grip (wider grip so that when you put the bar overhead, the bar about 8-12 inches above your head). The key to gripping the bar correctly is consistency in placing your hands in the same two spots each time. ALWAYS check to make sure your hands are placed correctly before moving the barbell – i.e., DO NOT GRIP AND RIP.

Visualize this:

The hardest thing to do in all of Olympic lifting is to hit these positions consistently and being patient enough to hit them with accuracy. If you get excited and jump early, you miss the finish. If you jump too late, you miss the lift. You get too far forward or too far back, you miss the lift.

Olympic lifting is HARD because you have to feel these positions and hit them without thinking about it. And the difference in making the lift and not making the lift is so subtle that it can be incredibly frustrating at times…it takes practice and patience. And, when you hit the perfect lift….well, there are no words.

The big secret to getting to this position: STAY BACK. Be smooth off of the ground, and when the bar passes the knees, that’s when you begin to speed up. If you stay back and do not allow the bar to pull you forward, you will automatically hit this position.

“Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”

Watch these videos. Both athletes are training to compete in the next Olympics…they are smooth off of the ground, and once the bar passes their knees, it’s like a rocket taking off – EXPLOSION!!! Speed through the middle…

So now that I’ve given you all of the secrets to Olympic lifting, here is my challenge to you. DO THE BURGENER WARM UP EVERY SINGLE DAY, whether you lift or not. It is the one thing you can do every day to drill footwork, practice grip, solidify the positions and develop speed through the middle. Drill to enhance the skill.

Post thoughts to comments.

Thursday WOD, October 13, 2011

5 thoughts on “Thursday WOD, October 13, 2011

  • October 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    If you are planning on going to the Marine CFT on Saturday, there is a new location: NEW LOCATION — UPDATED 10/12/11
    W.S. Stripling Middle School
    2100 Clover Lane
    Fort Worth 76107

  • October 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Looking forward to the evening classes! Lets hit some PR’s!

  • October 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Back Squat single: 245# *PR*

    Back Squat 2×3: 205#

    Clean & Jerk: stayed with 135#, trying to work on technique

  • October 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Another C & J PR! thanks coach Amie! Hit 245#!

  • October 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Great classes this afternoon! Lots of PRs all around – congratulations to everyone who came out today to work technique and/or hit a PR!! Super fun day!!!

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