Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jerk Breakthrough

In my short GS journey, I have gone from favoring the snatch and struggling with the jerk to now enjoying the jerk more than the snatch.  This transition has been purely related to improved jerk technique.  My first major breakthrough in the jerk came when I discovered how to rest in the rack....supporting the weight of the bells on my skeletal system with my elbows on the anterior superior iliac spine.  Being able to truly rest in the rack provided my first jump in jerk numbers.  This improvement allowed me to hit 92 reps with the 24kg bells at the Arnold Classic.
Now I have transitioned to the 28kg bells with a new goal of reaching CMS numbers.  I have struggled with my lockouts and have had difficulty figuring out how to improve them. Catherine Imes suggested that my weak lockouts were likely a symptom of one of the following problems: i) disconnecting at the hips and elbows during the first bump leading to a power leak or ii) not dropping under the bells quickly enough during the second dip.  She has recently written an excellent article on the AKC Blog concerning this specific issue.  This week, I have had my second major breakthrough in the jerk.  Like Catherine mentioned, I have discovered how to overcome a power leak during the first bump.  I am now consistently launching my elbows off my pelvis on the first bump and the bells are flying overhead into a crisp lockout!!!  I have hit two eight minute sets at 6 rpm and I feel I will hit 10 minutes very soon.  Using this new technique, I am now doing one arm jerks with the 40kg with ease, where previously I struggled to get 2-3 reps per side.  I am looking forward to my jerk days and am excited about the upcoming improvements in my numbers.
Today's workout went like this:

Warm Up
Jerk(20kg) 10
Jerk(24kg) 15
Jerk(28kg) 6 rpm x 8 minutes
Jerk(28kg) 8 rpm x 4 minutes
Swing(40kg) 20/20

I will post some new video of my jerks soon.


Howie Brewer said...

8 minutes already!?!!? That's quick progress! Now I'm intent on hitting at least 5 minutes tomorrow! (maybe six)

MKSchinabeck said...

Thanks. My progress has come in large chunks based on improvements in my jerk technique. I am amazed myself at how fast things are progressing. Keep up the strong work yourself. You ever considered breaking up your jerk and snatch days like I do? Would eliminate your grip fatigue for snatches and make your workouts shorter and therefore easier to fit into your lunchtime, underground garage workouts.


Howie Brewer said...

I've thought about training on separate days and actually used to. I figured training together might be tougher but would pay off in the long run.

After today's crappy session, I just make take up your idea.

MKSchinabeck said...

The one caveat about splitting workouts is that you need to begin working them together as you competition date gets closer. I also learned that my jerk numbers in my basement were higher than what I did at the Arnold. Likely because I trained on seperate days. In my dungeon I was hitting 180 with the 24kg, in comp I did just over 140 and my forearms and grip were extra fried.