Ryan’s 325# Clean and Jerk Analysis

Ryan aka “Rye Bread” is a member at CF KoP and comes from a football background, playing college and semi-professional ball. At one point his bench was 600+! Tonight he successfully clean and jerked (more like push pressed) 315#, a goal of his since starting CrossFit last year. We told him to go for 325# because well, when the pan is hot, you have to keep cooking!  Below is my analysis of his attempt at 325#. 

Video of Ryan’s 325# attempt

The website I uploaded to is Improved Athletics run by Tim O’Hare. One of the problem with Youtube is that you can’t watch videos in slow motion. With Improved Athletics, not only can you watch videos in slow motion, but you can also draw on the video to analyze movement. Another useful feature is to capture a frame from the video and provide comments about that frame, which I did for some key frames. Here are some key frames with relevant comments below each one:

1. Ryan’s first and second pulls are solid. He keeps his back straight on the way up and manages to keep his arms fairly straight into triple extension although he shorts that extension just a hair. Luckily this guy is so strong that he can get away with it. 


2. He catches it and lands in a rock bottom squat. This is EXACTLY why I say to do front squats and back squats ass to grass.  


3. Ryan’s rack position before the jerk is pretty good. He could get his elbows out a bit wider, but that will come with time as flexibility increases. The most important part is that the bar rests on his front deltoids in order to transfer the energy through his body to the bar.  


4. As you can see in the video, Ryan makes the clean, but fails on the jerk. The reason can be seen in slow motion as you notice the bar float for a split second as Ryan drops in a quick dip. The bar comes crashing down on his body as he’s about to jump the now non-existent bar off his front delts. The force of the bar crashing down on him either causes him to go lower than intended or stunts the explosive jump up (probably a little bit of both).  


5. Amazingly, even with 325# crashing down on him, Ryan is able to throw it up over his head. Except it’s not exactly over his head. He keeps the bar out front and his head back, which eventually leads to dropping the bar. As I said in the comment section, he could do well with a drill such as a jerk push press to practice getting his head through. And although the video doesn’t show his lower half, he could probably get lower and push himself under the bar faster. 

No doubt this was an incredibly strong effort and most guys are envious that he can even clean 325#. In addition to being a ridiculously nice guy, Ryan is also a ridiculously hard worker and I know he will practice this form over and over. Did I mention that he hasn’t done any strength/heavy lifts in a few weeks due to working on bodyweight movements?



Shoulder Update: L-Muscle Ups

This past Sunday was exactly one year since I had dislocated my shoulder doing a stupid movement at the CrossFit ACT Garage Games. (surgery was five months later after PT and rehab efforts) The past two months have shown a good deal of progress:  benching, ring dips, pull ups from a dead hang, handstand push ups, pressing overhead….I even did handstand push ups last week for the first time in over a year. Things have been feeling pretty good, but still no snatching or heavy jerks overhead. 

Yesterday I was coaching strength class and had given some of the athletes a ring dip workout. After they were finished, I was standing at the rings and wondered if I could do a muscle up. The rings were set lower than I would normally have for muscle ups, but that was fine since I didn’t want to kip for fear of my shoulder popping out again. I lifted my feet off the ground into an L and did a strict L-muscle up. I was shocked! I suppose I could have tested it earlier, but I never thought about it. After that I did another. And another. Once I got home, I just had to video tape it because I didn’t believe it myself.  


If there is any silver lining to an injury, it’s that it makes you appreciate what you could do prior to the injury. It makes you not take things for granted in hopes that one day you can get back to pre-injury abilities and movement. I still have a ways to go, but I’m pumped that six months ago I couldn’t raise my arm above my head and yesterday I did muscle ups for the first time in awhile.  


CrossFit ACT Garage Games recap

Shoulder Update – Surgery needed

Surgery Details and Pictures


BarBelles Testimony: Gina

I am still gathering data from the second group of BarBelles, but I wanted to share Gina’s testimony and emphasize some conventional thoughts that many (women) have. But first, her numbers! (check out those pull ups!)

To go from zero to eight kipping pull ups in eight weeks is incredible! It goes to show that Gina worked on her progressions and her upper body strength showed it. Amazing work. And now for her testimony. The bold is mine, since I think a lot of women think similarly and should know that the truth of strength training is very different than conventional wisdom: 

“Before Barbelles, I would have never thought to come to a strength class, EVER.  I thought metcons was the way to go and I would become stronger naturally.  Well this was not the case.  I joined Barbelles because I was plateauing.  The first thing I had to get used to was coming in the afternoons since I am a 6 am’er.  It was definitely a change but I adapted easier than I initially expected.  I also quickly learned how important rest was, which I would beat myself up over before if I missed a WOD.  Next thing I learned which was my favorite thing, eating more!!!!  Since I was now doing strength classes my hunger levels reached a new level and I had no problem supplementing my body with more food :).  Lastly, and certainly not least, I met a group of females, and even though most of us had different goals for ourselves, we were all there for the same reason. And week after week we continued to learn more and more about each other and helped push each other through the hard times.  Each one of us completely different then the next, but we went through something together that created a friendship.  

I really enjoyed our weekly meetings, going over our successes and also even our failures (which acutally was more important!).  Over the 8 weeks, one thing I had to get used to was the number on the scale.  As someone who has struggled with their weight growing up, it was hard to see that number go up, however, my clothes have never fit better, so it was GOOD weight.  

I improved on every thing, and feel proud of all my accomplishments, but the biggest accomplishments to me was my box jump, kipping pull-ups!!!!, and clean and jerk (which I was stuck at for months!!).  

I learned a lot about myself, through trial and error, and gained a new perspective about strength.  It will definitely be a part of my workout routine from now on.

Thank you Chris, for all of you hard work and help, I would recommend this program for every one.  It takes a lot of dedication, but the end results are so worth it!”

Do women avoid strength? Why or why not? (Men should feel free to give your thoughts too)