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?



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