The power of position

by carney on April 17, 2014


Alaina aggresively pulls herself under the bar to “catch” it in an overhead squat.

There are 3 key positions in the barbell clean: The starting position, the “hang position” when the bar is level with the knees, and the landing where the athlete is at the bottom of a front squat. There are other positions that are also important (i.e. “explosion point” or high hang position, and full extension at the end of second pull), but we like to nail down these three first.

There are 3 key positions for the jerk: The rack, the bottom of the “dip”, and the finish when the arms are locked out overhead.

You have to be able to get into these positions correctly and effortlessly, if you are going to express your strength dynamically. Adding weight will not help. And any progress you hope to achieve will be severely limited until you do.

Any day you can add more weight to the barbell is a good day, but one of our milestone benchmarks for the clean & jerk is 125% body weight. The only chance you have of getting that amount of weight overhead is by staying in position.

Workout of the Day

Clean & jerk, 1 rep max and total volume

We’re looking for the max load lifted, as well as total volume lifted throughout the session. Take your time with technical lifts (e.g. snatch, clean & jerk, Turkish get-ups). Increase the load incrementally. When you get to a sticking point, or miss a lift early in the progression, immediately lighten the load by 5% – 10% and tighten up your position and technique.

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