Monday jerks & squats

Monday 120130

Jerk – 73% x 3 x 4
Back squat – 70% x 3 x 2, 75% x 2 x 3

NOTE: Tonight’s NYC Endurance running class meets at 6:30pm at our 25 W. 26th St. location.

What’s better than one lumberjack? Two lumberjacks! (Greg and Gerard)

Chocolate cashew butter / Maple macadamia nut butter
Good lard, bad lard: What do you get when you cross a pig and a coconut?
How to get sh*tfaced with impunity
Chicken & butternut squash pesto / Mexican hash egg bake

Keys to success: Learn, aspire, believe
Improve body image, improve your body
When it’s not right

* * * * *
Here’s what’s on tap for Tuesday’s WOD classes:

A: Snatch balance – 65% x 3 x 5

B: In 10 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of the following
5 Cleans @ 135#/95#, every minute on the minute
As many reps as possible of ring dips for remainder of the minute.


  • Anonymous

    Jerk:  2 x 135, 1 x 155
    BS: 3 x 225, 2 x 245

    Good workout this AM, with Dan, Dan and Andrew…

  • Anonymous

    A: 135
    B: 225

    Wall Balls yesterday, Back Squats today… Quads asking me why I am mad at them.

    • Anonymous

      You’d get back in good favor with your quads if you occasionally explore the low-bar back squat.  Much more posterior-centric…takes the load off the quads.  Might be a better choice next time if you’re recovering from 150 wall balls…

      Mark Rippetoe on the low-bar squat:

      There seem to be varying schools of thought though.  Greg Everett touches on his argument in favor of the quad-dominant high-bar squat at around 22:40 in this interview:

      There seems to be no right answer, depending on what you’re going for.  I favor low-bar because you can go heavier, and when I squat heavy I tend to eat more bacon.

      • Dickie

        It’s as if you’re the keeper of the Jedi Archives for CrossFit…

      • Sean M.

        “There seems to be no right answer, depending on what you’re going for.”
        The bar position for the squat should match what best mimics the athletic movements in your sport or your goal.  If you don’t play a sport – it doesn’t matter.  

        If you consider CrossFit your sport, then high-bar might be a better choice as almost all Squat type movements are quad-centric (wall ball, OHS, Thruster, etc) and you get enough posterior work from your DL, Clean, KB swings, and Snatch.  

      • Anonymous

        love the Mark Rippetoe vids! 

    • Sara

      Justin can comment better on this, but I use his method of “put the bar where it works”.  I find most people, when starting CrossFit, can’t even do an air squat properly much less get into a true low-bar position.  I usually teach “high bar” and then as they get better and more mobile have them start experimenting with the bar position.  

      Greg:  I think because of your squat position and need to improve your clean a high bar squat is going to be more beneficial.  Others can comment and give you their opinions as well.  

      • Mike K

        I completely agree with the “Put the bar where it works” philosophy.  Actually getting under a bar and squating is a lot more important than arguing about where you place the bar and why.
        Personally, I have almost always used the low bar position, but that just felt natural and more comfortable to me when I started lifting.
        I also find that most people don’t have the proper shoulder and thoracic mobility to use the low bar position without rounding through the upper back.  I agree with Sara that if that is the case, you are better off using the high bar position.
        Once you get your mobility sorted out, you can use whatever is more comfortable and what fits in best with your training goals.

        • Brian D.

          Regarding the upper body rounding. This is because the vast majority of people are. Of keeping their elbows/humerus under the bar/in line with his or her torso. If the arms are not in this position you end up with the scapula elevated and the shoulder forward, most likely the middle back hyperextended. To compensate the thoracic spine collapses.

          Also a high bar squat puts the barbell on the trapezius at highest and posterior delts at lowest. If you maintain stability and hamstring tension in a high bar squat the hamstrings and glutes will be equally taxed as the quads. No matter how you cut it, a squat will be more quad dominant. If you want posterior chain work do good mornings or dead lifts.

      • I’m glad someone else brought this up but am a little frustrated by the whole “low bar” versus “high bar” back squat conversations I hear all the time at the gym.  Most people are too weak and immobile to be able to even “choose” a squat variant when they start Crossfit (myself included).

        This probably doesn’t apply to you if:
        a) you are a former Division 1 athlete with multiple years of strength training with a good S&C coach
        b) you are a former competitive Olympic Weightlifter
        c) you are a former competitive Powerlifter

        Do I think that teaching people that can’t get into that position safely or comfortably a smart idea? No.  Do I wish that I hadn’t worried so much about low bar position even when it caused me shoulder pain? Yes.  I would have been better off squatting with the “what works right now” method versus trying to get myself into a position I did not have the strength or mobility to do so.

        I think a better solution is just focusing on the fundamental criteria of a basic squat and build strength and confidence under the bar, by spending more time under the bar.  Can you say that every rep you:

        Keep your back and spine are in a good position, that you achieve proper depth relative to your mobility (not too high and not too low), that you maintain tension during the entire lift (i.e. not getting soft dumpy butt in the bottom), that your weight is balanced throughout the foot/towards the heel the entire movement, that you do not let the chest and upper back collapse during the ascent or descent, that your wrists, shoulders and elbows are in a relatively good position relative to the bar, and your knees do not cave in either from the start or in the holes as you try to stand up.  Is the tempo good?  Do you drop into the hole and take 10 seconds to stand up?  Or the reverse?  It’s not just positions that we need for a good squat, but the movement as a whole should be smooth, connected and have a consistent tempo. 

        Honestly as long as the bar is not sitting on top of your neck or sliding down your back, you are going to naturally find a position that is comfortable in relation to your mobility and strength.  Your coach’s job is to help you refine that technique each time, but most people gravitate towards a certain squat dependent on all of the above and their body type.

        Once you have these things figured out and your strength and mobility increases, refining your technique and choosing a “squat” becomes more important and will be in line with whatever your goals might be.  Until then, the answer simply lies with doing more squats.  And in some cases, drinking more milk.

        • Sean M.

          “And in some cases, drinking more milk.”
          And eating more cookies.

        • Anonymous

          well put!  thanks coach!

        • Thanks for this info. I honestly thought you were supposed to “rest” for a second at the bottom of the squat, like “resting” at the bottom of of a pull up with your arms locked out. I would allow my glutes to relax at the bottom of the squat for a second, and then re-engage them to bring the weight back up. You’re saying I should keep it tight throughout the whole movement. 

          • Avery W

            Yes at no time under a load should your lower back/butt/glutes be soft or turned off.  Trying to tighten back up in that position under a heavy weight is very difficult – near impossible.  Also, the same applies with pull ups as well – while you do have the arms locked out you should ideally be maintaining a hollow position/active shoulder position.  If you have any questions about this please find a coach! 

            Also K. Starrett ( has some great videos with Carl Paoli ( on proper positioning and maintaining tension in push ups, pull ups, dips, etc. 

          • Avery W

            I think my comment may have gotten lost in the filter so apologies if this pops up twice.  Yes, you absolutely want to stay tight at the bottom of the squat – at no time should your butt/glutes or back be “soft”.  The same thing goes for the pull up – in the bottom you should not be hanging out relaxed instead have an active shoulder and hollow body position.  If you’re not sure what that looks like, please pull a coach aside and we will happily show you.

            Also a really good reference for maintaining tension and body position in basic movements there is a great series online in the Crossfit Journal by K. Starrett ( and Carl Paoli ( – they go over ideal body positions for lots of basic gymnastics movements like push ups, dips, and pull ups.

          • Mike K

            You definitely want to stay tight throughout the movement and not allow any muscles to relax.  Letting something relax at the bottom is an easy way to injure yourself.  In a pullup (especially kipping), you still need to maintain some tension to prevent you from ripping your shoulder apart.

            Even in the case of doing reps with a pause at the bottom, which is a more advanced technique that is probably not yet appropriate for the vast majority of our members, you need to keep everything tight and engaged at the bottom.

            Ideally you want to get a “bounce” out of the bottom by using the tension that builds up as the muscle stretches on the decent to drive you out of the hole.

            Here is one of my sets from a month ago or so.  That weight isn’t gonna go up if I relax and lose tension at the bottom.  And yes I am sure there are a few tweaks that could be made there, but it was set 3, and eventually things get heavy 😉


  • Dickie

    If only you had solicited comments for the lumberjack photo! 

  • split jerk: 4x (95, 135,155,165,170)
    back squat: 2x(155, 185, 205), 3x(215,215)


  • Anonymous

    spilt: 4x 155#
    back squat 2x 255# 
                     3x 285#

  • Naveen

    Jerks: 135, 145, 155.  Back Squats: 185, 195, 205, 215, 225

  • Anonymous

    Split Jerk 3 x 4: 155 – 165 – 165
    Back Squat 3 x 2 & 2 x 3:  315#

  • Split Jerk: 95×3, 115×3, 125×3, 135×2, 

    Wendler Deads:

  • Asegal04

    3 at 135 1 at 145

    3×2 at 205 205 215
    2×3 at 225

  • jerks:
    95 x 4, 115 x 4, 125 x 3, 135 x 1

    back squat: 
    115 x 4, 135 x 4, 145 x 3, 155 x 2

    “Barbara” 28:16
    damn pull ups. 
    thx Stan!

    • Asegal04

      nice work

  • Anonymous

    Wendler Backsquat

    5 x 195
    5 x 225
    13 x 255

    Finally almost able to calculate from me real 1RM which has to have gone wayyyyyyyy up by now

  • Michael North

    A: 95
    B: 255/275

  • Matt M.

    Volkswagon: 21-15-9
    BW Bench Press (175)
    Pull ups
    Way to slow, but there seems to be a decent amount of bench press work in my future

    Cash out: 60 Ring dips

  • Steve Lynch

    Jerk: 4 x 95, 4 x 135, 4 x 155, 2 x 185
    5/3/1 Squat:  235 x 5, 265 x 3, 295 x 7 – 8th rep rolled up on me in the bottom – frustrating
    BBB Squat 175 x 5 x 10 – needed to go heavier

  • Steve Lynch

    Thought I posted this earlier, so apologies if it appears twice:
    Jerks:  95 x 4, 135 x 4, 155 x 4, 185 x 2
    5/3/1 Squat 235 x 5, 265 x 3, 295 x 7 – 8th rep rolled up in the bottom – frustrating
    BBB Squat 175 x 5 x 10 – needed to go heavier

    • Sam Gaberal

      Very few people know what bbb stands for lol, that’s because half the people doing 5/3/1 don’t read the book. We got to get those reps up. Nice work.

  • Anonymous

    Great video on Split jerks

  • Steve Slo

    A) 155
    Form was bad. It was more like a push press than a jerk. I need to practice the split-jerk with lighter weights as a refresher. Also… I need to work on the mobility necessary to get my head through at the top.

    B) 225, 245
    Note for next time: The 225 for 3 was fairly easy, but the 245 for 3 reps was challenging.