How To Clean & Jerk

HOW TO CLEAN AND JERK. The clean and jerk is the second lift performed in competitive weightlifting. It is a total body, multiple joint lift allowing the most weight to be lifted from the ground to overhead. Properly executed, portions of the clean and of the jerk produce 2,500 – 4,500 watts of power. A couple of years ago a national survey reported that more than 90% of high school strength coaches consider the clean one of the two most important exercises (the other being the squat) for athletes. The term "clean" comes from an original technical rule that required the barbell to be lifted from the ground to the shoulders without any bar contact on the body. That rule changed in the 1960s, so we now see contact of the bar against the thighs, resulting in greater power and improved records. For instructional purposes we separate the lift into two learning segments. A lifter may employ one of three clean styles (squat, split, power) during the clean. We will cover only the split jerk style, although the power jerk will be used in the learning process for the jerk. The C&J is tiring, so high repetitions are inappropriate. Elite lifters normally training no more than 3 repetitions. Lifters can mix it up, doing all cleans, then all jerks or maybe a clean & jerk, clean & jerk, clean & jerk or clean, 3 jerks, and finish with the final two cleans. Variety in the workout makes sense, and this also allows the lifter to prioritize that part of the lift on which the most emphasis needs to occur. With proper technique the clean is safe and effective. Of course, poor technique or using too much weight may lead to injury. A great video for competitive weightlifters, Crossfit participants and strength coaches.