I heart Jerks, but I don’t do them…

Last night I read the workout and I was so pumped! Clean and jerks! I haven’t done those in a workout in so long.

The workout, as written was:

Power Clean + Jerk
15min to work to a tough single

and then

10 C+J
20 DU’s

Then, I got to Craic and it was an old school 6:30AM crew, including long-term absentees Anthony, Laura, and Elizabeth! We did a mobility warm up and then skill work. And then the workout. I even wore my I ❤ Jerk t-shirt. And then reality hit me and I said to Jarrod “So, for weight for the jerks… I should just go until it hurts, right?” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew how absurd that proposition was and the look on Jarrod’s face confirmed this. As much as I wanted to do jerks, until I’m done rehabbing my shoulder – there is no way I should be throwing that much weight over my head. No jerks for me. This made me sad. Or as Jarrod says “It Tastes Like Sad.”


But I rebounded quickly from this disappointment and we devised a plan. I would build to a heavy 2 rep power clean for the first part and then do the following modified workout for the AMRAP:

  • 10 power cleans
  • 10 dumb bell push press
  • 20 single unders

I managed to work up to 130# for 2 reps and then I did the power cleans in the AMRAP at the Rx weight of 105# and used 15# dumb bells for the push press. Overall great workout. I was toast by the time it was done. Jarrod kept on trying to coach me on my cleans, I’m leaning too far back too early and jumping back … and doing all sorts of things wrong. Added it to the list of things to work on during our weekend sessions.

Final score: 4+2

My first REAL Rx Workout

Today was a killer of a workout.  I think Jarrod’s goal was to not let people rest on Labor Day.  He had to work on Labor Day, so we had to WORK OUT.  The warm up itself was a full workout in itself.  We had to partner up with a 25# plate and run a mile or if we were getting lapped, turnaround (obviously, there were faster runners, so we got to turn around and ran a total of about .75 miles).  If the plate switched partners, you had to do 5 burpees (or, in my case, 5 air squats because burpees aren’t so great on my lower back).  We ended up switching at the turnaround and also art the courthouse.  Bryan was a great partner, but I was toast when we got back.  Also, wearing the crossfit sneakers wreaked havoc on my calves. And that was just the beginning.  Ugh.

The WoD was:

10min AMRAP
2 Power Cleans
2 Fronts Squats
2 Shoulder to Overhead

I was really tempted to do the Rx weight (95#) but the voice in my head was telling me not do.  Luckily, I had Jarrod to that that voice to shut the eff up and he encouraged me to do 95#.  I thought that I was going to puke beforehand, I was so nervous.  This was my first workout doing the Rx weight.  I just hoped that I would get through 5 rounds.  It was really tough.  The cleans felt good, my form just keeps getting better and better. The front squats were hard to get through especially as I finished up my 2nd front squat and transitioned to the jerks part.  I had been working with Jarrod on split jerks, so that’s the form that I decided to go with.  I tried to do all the movements unbroken, because if I didn’t, that means you would have to clean all over again to do the 2nd two of the triplet.  I took about a 30-45 second break in between each triplet and tried to just do proper form and pace myself since I was going so heavy.  I also have to remember when I’m doing jerks to push my head through as I’m going to overhead. It definitely enables you to really finish out the movement and stay strong. On the last round, just as time was running out, I ended up dropping the bar because my grip was all messed up as I tried to jerk it up.   That meant I had to clean it all over again and then bang those jerks out before time ran out.  I did it!  My final score was 9 rounds even.  I was super happy and super exhausted.

Swim and Jarrod

Swam on Saturday, definitely a great idea. Was a good recovery workout. Got some metcon in while also stretching and using my arm, shoulder, and back muscles. Loved it. We did triathalon training, after some drills for the warm up did 6 rounds of 4 lengths (1 moderate, 1 fast, 1 easy, 1 fast) and jumped out of the pool, ran to the other end and then dove in and did 1 length sprint. Great workout and I think it definitely helped my back.

Today, I worked out with Jarrod. We used the jerk boxes and did high hang cleans to work on “fast elbows.” I really need to ease up on the death grip that I use sometimes. We did a couple rounds of 2 high hang reps. 90% of the time I did a shitty 1st rep and improved on the 2nd rep. I did those at 75#. The next set of reps we did 85# and on the 2nd rep I did split jerks. I just need to do a bunch of reps at a light weight over and over again practicing my elbows and grip at the top of the clean. We then went inside and worked on some kipping gymnastics.

After, I spent some time working by myself in stretching and mobility. I need to make a habit of this…

Tomorrow’s workout is perfect. Only prob is I don’t know what weight I should use considered I’m just coming off an injury. I hate using light weights.

Saturday Strength

Today, John coached the class.  Usually Saturday classes are a metcon WoD – you basically come in, very little thought is involved and just plow through the WoD.  Today, the WoD was a strength WoD.  Last week, I posted about rest days and how Susie reminded me that the body needs rest in order for it to recover and for you to get stronger.  I think it paid off!

The WoD was simple: 1RM clean and jerk

I have never down the clean and jerk for 1RM.  The only time I did jerks was in college…(heh, see what I did there?).  Anyway, the only times I’ve done them in Craic were for quality and also with Jarrod – working on technique.  The highest wait that I’ve done a jerk is 75#, so I don’t really consider that a PR.  I was really nervous for some reason, but John is a really good lifter and Jarrod armed me with some good technique training.  I really, really, really wanted a clean PR today.  I started out at 75# to get the body warmed up.  It was no problem.  Not knowing what I could lift overhead, I thought I would build slowly – so I went 85#, 95#, 100#, 105#, 110# and then to my personal record so far, 115#.  115# was a messy clean, but I managed to get it up and the jerk was no problem at all.  So I decided to go for it.  I at least wanted to see if I could clean 120#.  I DID IT!  Yay!  The jerk was a bit of a hot mess, but I’ll take it!  I still have trouble having fast elbows and letting go of the bar as I’m pushing my elbows through on the clean.  That’s where I fall apart every time.  I then did three attempts at 125#, but failed to clean it each time.  

But it was a PR today for the books at 120#.  Yippee!

Weekend Swim, Cleans, and Jerks

Went swimming yesterday again with the Infantry Swimming team in Norwood.  What a great compliment to Crossfit.  I’m definitely going to be making it a regular thing.    Can’t remember exactly what we did, but it was a lot of swimming – distance – with very little rest.  I didn’t use my fins swimming this time.  That was Saturday.

Sunday, did my session with Jarrod.  We used the jerk boxes and practiced cleans.  The two things that I need to focus on at this point are really opening up my hips and then fast elbows.  John McEvoy, the owner and head trainer at Craic was just there by coincidence and I did a clean and he just walked by mumbling “elbows, elbows, elbows…” after one of my clean sets.  I did a 5×2 of cleans off the jerk box at 90#.

After that, we moved to split jerks.  This takes a decent amount of coordination.  It’s like a dance move!  Extend your elbows, push the weight up, split your legs (one in front of the other).  Okay, and then step back with your front foot and then step forward with your back foot.  And do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around… (okay, I added that last part).  I did a couple of these at 65#.  They were a lot of fun and I look forward to working on them in future sessions with Jarrod.

Jarrod is also the morning coach, so he sees what I’m doing during the week.  I think that this is insanely helpful for our 1-1 sessions, as he remembers what I need to work on and is on my ass during the week workouts to remember my form.  He also noticed that pull-ups are my nemesis that I so desperately want to be-friend.  We closed out our session practicing kipping, knees to chest.  He also gave me a bunch of things to work on as progressions to pull-ups.  Ring rows, kipping toes to bar / knees to chest, kipping motions, negatives … hopefully I can work these next couple of months to get myself to at least 1 dead hang pull up and a couple of kipping pull ups.

After we were done, I stayed at the gym and worked on pull-up progressions and did some mobility / stretching while the Kettlebell class was going on.  I hopped in the end of the KB class to do the ab work (which I also need to do more of).  People started migrating in for the open gym section and I ended up staying, socializing a bit and also I got the opportunity to see my friend, Susie, get THREE PR’s in a row for her back squats.  After three hours at the gym, I moseyed on home.  Onwards to tomorrow!