Olympic Lifters and Jumping: Pat Mendes

Back when I started CrossFit at CrossFit King of Prussia, we had an oly lifting seminar with some guest coaches from NY. Although I had previously experience with CrossFit, it was done in a typical school gym where there were only metal plates. Thus, I did not have a ton of experience (let alone good coaching) to refine my olympic lifting. When I started at KoP, my clean and jerk was around 135 and snatch was practically non-existent (not that there’s much existence of it today…hm, gotta work on that) Anyway, one of these guest coaches had us box jump and I was wondering, “What the heck does jumping have to do with oly lifting?” Well, it has EVERYTHING to do with oly lifting! You are essentially JUMPING that bar off the ground. Granted, your feet won’t much as much as an unloaded jump, but the ability to push through that ground and accelerate the bar is essential. (as is hip extension, etc). Based off my jumping ability, his coach told me he saw my clean and jerk up at 185#; I told him he was nuts. That was summer of 2009. Today, my clean and jerk is 215# and my clean is 225# at a bodyweight of 150# (same as in 2009).
Check out these clips of Pat Mendes for more proof about oly lifters and jumping. This guy is 21 years old (many videos feature him at 20yo) and 285lbs. Incredible. (all videos safe for work)

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2 thoughts on “Olympic Lifters and Jumping: Pat Mendes

  1. So I just talked to Aimee about confusion that I had over this very thing. For a push press, I was yelled at (not angrily or anything) for my heels coming off the ground. I don't get why this is an issue since when you jump, you jump from the balls of your feet, with the heal coming off of the ground first. Isn't it just natural that at lighter weights, your heels will be coming off of the ground?I'd guess that having your feet coming off of the ground would be wasting the momentum you built up in a way that isn't directly getting more weight overhead, and that if you are truly at your max, all of your effort goes towards getting that weight overhead without any of the waste seen in your heels coming off the ground…

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