Friday, December 18, 2009

I woke up this morning and immediately thought "The world is a better place since the invention of the breakfast burrito".  Like seriously.. if I ever meet the mystical being who one day decided that he/she was going to put eggs, bacon, ham, (I add carna asada as well) all inside a warm delicious tortilla, I will get on one knee and propose to her/him.  I guess, to me, it just seems like that would be the only logical thing to do in that exact moment.

Hokay So...second day of the jerk. We only have 3 more things to think about.  So simple, right? 

 If you're feeling stressed, go break off a square of Trader Joe's one pound milk chocolate bar, take a deep breath, and remember.. olympic lifting is just a sport that allows you to have fun, get buff, and work on your multi tasking skills due to the requirement of remembering approx 230984209348 technical things all at once. Oh, and you also become a better person. It's a win-win situation, really. 

So, we already know where the bar should be up on our shoulders, we know that our dip MUST be straight with our weight back on our heels to keep the bar from pulling us forward, and we know that we have to be "Tupac tough" when driving that bar off our shoulders with our legs. Now, the final three things:
4) keep the bar close to the face
5) fast hands fast feet
6) foot position

Let us, yet again, embark on this journey..

Some of you have heard me exclaim that while the majority of society only uses 10% of their brains, I believe that I possess the capability of using at least 87% of mine.  Let me prove that to ya'll today with the following statement: 
**the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.**   BOOM!!! ...(it's physics)

Now that I have your attention, let's use that little piece of information to start us off on point #4.  When we are driving that bar up with our legs, the bar path needs to be going straight up and then finishing slightly back behind the ears.  So, you need to be thinking, "keep that bar close to my face" as it is traveling upwards.  The first automatic concern is: "my mama gave me this chin for reasons other than hitting it with a barbell". Alls I have to say is... your mama will also tell you to move your chin out of the way, so you wont hit it.  
You know when you are trying to give yourself a double chin and your head moves back? That's all you have to do when going to jerk and you wont get hit. And if you do get hit, just consider it a right of passage and move on with your life.  So you knock out a couple teeth.. who cares!? That only means that you get to eat ice cream for the rest of your life.  The main thing to think about is not pushing that bar forward/out in front of you.  Sometimes we get scared and we dont want to commit to getting that bar back so we drive the bar away from us to a place where we can see it because that makes us feel more comfortable.  Being comfortable is not gonna happen when youre dealing with heavy weight.  So get pissed, drive the bar up keeping it as close to you as possible, and commit to it by getting it back behind your ears. 


I am going to try REALLY hard to talk about these next two points with out getting sidetracked and bringing up unnecessary topics such as ice cream(even though I truly believe it to be one of the most necessary topics ever). *sigh* there I go again. Ok serious...

#5) really simple.  You want to think about your arms locking out the same time that your feet hit the ground. I want you to be thinking aggressive leg drive, but don't forget that you have arms.  You get that bar up to a certain height with your legs and then you want to finish by punching up with the arms fast and hard. If you do that, like I said, you will be locking out your arms the same time that your feet are landing. This will make the movement fast and snappy.  Because it will be so fast, it will be easy to loosen up as you receive it.  Remember to tighten up that core IMMEDIATELY so that you can support that heavy heavy weight!

#6) foot position is critical.  If you look at the photo above you will see that hips are facing 12 o'clock and my feet are planted at about one o'clock and 7 o'clock.  This is to make sure I am not moving all over the place while walking the tight rope.  You can also see that I have a pretty long stance.  I HAVE to have that, because I want to have a good base underneath me.  If my feet are too close together (aka short stepping it) I wont be stable.  Get a good base under you.  Dont be afraid to really get that front foot out in front of you.
* A couple things to remember for your front leg: weight back on the heel, knee in line with or slightly behind the ankle.  You do NOT want to have the weight too far forward on the front foot.
* A couple things to remember for your back leg: leg is SLIGHTLY bent and heel is slightly off the ground.  You dont want to have the back leg too bent because when the weight gets heavy, its easier for it to drive you down because too much pressure is on the back quad.  
*Most important thing to remember: all of your weight should be centered on your hips. 
* Always recover half step back with the front foot, full step forward with the back foot.  If you recover with the back foot first, it means that the weight is forward. And if it wasn't forward before you recovered with the back foot first, it will be.  

Sorry these blogs are so long.. Just goes to show how technical these movements are.  They're challenging.  But if they weren't, we wouldn't love em so much.  

keep it sassy


  1. I also find it helpful to get "Tiger's wife mad" before the dip and drive...

  2. Just found your blog (on my birthday, yay, what a gift!) and I love it...I just got into olylifting a few months ago and I'm hooked. Your technical expertise and humor is appreciated, I hope you do another seminar at Team Crossfit Academy in Monrovia so I can attend. Keep it sassy, Sage B!

    Saskya B.
    TCFA Monrovia, CA

  3. Looking real good -Spit-

    Move those feet -spit-

    speed through the middle -spit-

  4. Sage, thanks for the informative posts. Question: what about folks who aren't flexible enough to get their whole hand under the bar AND they don't have big enough chest/shoulders to rest the bar on. Should they go with elevating the elbows so the bar is resting on their fingertips and newly created shoulder shelf (almost like a front squat)or should they still keep hands under the bar but forcing them to use mostly their arms for the drive?

  5. everyone has enough chest/shoulders to rest the bar on.. its all about "puffing up the chest" and almost rolling the shoulder down and around and then up to create that shelf. if you cant get the bar in those hands you need to start stretching those wrists out! One stretch is putting the bar on your back, holding a clean grip/hook grip and having someone pull your elbows forward. That will stretch out the shoulders and the wrists.

  6. good point about stretching the wrists, thanks!

  7. Oh, you're the girl from the Crossfit vidoes. I was wondering where you came from or your background. And now it makes sense, your whole family are lifters!