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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Technique Tuesday: Making Jerks

 We can't all be as awesome as the Burgener kids at making jerks. I trained with Sage for a semester at NMU and I never saw her miss a Jerk.
 I also trained with Casey for a good while when I was a resident at the OTC and I never saw him miss a jerk. I think he has missed maybe 2 jerks in competition in his entire career. What did I learn from them? I need better genetics. Lol.

For the majority of my weightlifting career I rarely missed jerks. When I switched over to weightlifting full time, I started pushing my limits more and actually lifting heavy weights. I started missing more jerks. There was a point before Collegiate Nationals this year, I didn't make any jerks at my top weights for like 2 weeks. Maybe more.  The most I clean AND jerked was like 130 or 135. I was fearful of how my performance would turn out. There was a lot on the line. We wanted to be #1 on both the Pan Am and World Teams, break the collegiate record, and get the #1 overall ranking.

My  two biggest reasons for missing jerks are fatigue, and rushing the jerk.
When I am fatigued, either from a hard clean, doing other exercises before heavy clean and jerks, or just from being beat up from training, I feel like I have nothing in the tank. I have no vertical drive. Which is silly since I did just cleaned it.  One of my goals is to overcome that mental block I get when I feel this way.

Sometimes if a clean feels really good, I  think I'm going to nail the jerk. Then I don't. Sometimes I'll drive the heck out of the bar, and still miss it. What's up with that? Well, I rush my dip and drive and push the weights forward resulting in me having to chase the bar. I've done this time and time again.

I spent a great deal of time and journaling trying to figure out how to make my jerks. Part of my rushing came from fatigue. I would think, "Just drive it hard and hope for the best." Instead of thinking of a way to fix the problem. I think of two things now when I jerk, which has led me to a much higher success rate.
Feel comfortable under the bar and punch hard under the bar.

Before I even initiate the dip and drive for the jerk. I just chill out under the bar. I catch my breath, and make sure I don't feel the weight is pushing too hard into my chest, then I make sure all my weight is correctly distributed throughout my body. After I go through this check list,  I take a good controlled dip and punch myself hard under the bar.

After I started practicing this with my light and medium weight lifts, I was feeling more confident going into collegiate nationals. Like I said earlier, I didn't even attempt anything over 135 before heading into the meet. Thanks to learning these new cues and being a competition lifter, I pulled it together and accomplished all of my goals.

Although, I still have technical flaws and still chase the bar, I didn't miss any of the jerks at collegiates and have not missed many since. 

I hope these cues can help some of you out there. What cues have you guys used to help  your jerks?


1 comment:

BBA SPORTS said...

I am sooooooo happy that we have strong women out there. Every day I have to deal with crazy individuals who think that lifting more than 10lbs will bulk them up lol. Best of luck (well you guys dont need luck you got mental and physical strength on your side) Keep up the great work. The olympics are waiting for you both. YH BBA SPORTS