Some exercises are just plain awkward. For me, today it was the jerk.

WOD for Tuesday 081412
AMRAP in 12 minutes:
12 DB Clean and Jerks (25/15)
Run 400m

Spent qiute a bit of time practicing clean and jerks at various weights, ultimately working up to 115#. Probably did close to 20 reps in all across the various weights.

Jerks were all over the place today. The most consistent thing that needs to be corrected is that I’m not landing with my weight evenly distributed between my two feet. I’m landing very squarely on the right foot which I consistently use as the front foot.

Jack contends that landing when we’re landing this way the weight it also coming forward and at some point there’s going to be weight where the upper body won’t be able to stop that forward momentum. If we (and I say ‘we’ because this seemed to be a common problem around the gym today) can land with our weight evenly distributed between our two feet, that minimizes the bar traveling forward or back and leads to bigger successful lifts.

In principle, I understand it. In execution, I have three challenges that I need to overcome. First, because the front foot lands flat and the back foot lands at most on the ball of the foot (more frequently on the toes) it seems instinctive to place more weight on the front foot. Second, my right side is my strong side. I naturally rely on that side of my body more. Finally, my left leg is sore. I don’t know that it’s deliberate, but I think somewhere in the back of my head, I’m favoring that leg because I don’t trust it to be stable. Even doing air squats in warm ups, I found it very difficult to engage and use both legs simultaneously and keep my weight evenly distributed left to right. There seemed to be a lot of one leg catching up to the other.

At one point during the clean and jerks, I thought I’d experiment with landing left foot forward right foot back. My logic was “well, if I’m right side dominant, BUT I’m consistently more dependent on sticking that front foot, maybe by reversing the feet I can force some balance.” I tried one or two reps, but mentally I couldn’t seem to commit to really extending both feet outward front to back or laterally to create a solid landing. The whole thing just felt very unstable. Ah well.

METCON –– Dumb Bell Clean and Jerks are awkward. There’s no other word for it. Just found the progression of doing the clean, then standing it up, pausing to make the jerk a distinct separate motion to be clumsy. It took a lot of concentration to avoid going straight from the squat of the clean into a press. That would have been a thruster though not a clean and jerk. Jack was very clear that these were not to be thrusters. While I never did any thrusters. I believe I ended up doing cleans and presses. At least until midway through the second round when I started split jerking the dumb bells.

The cleans were awkward in their own right. Dumb bells sit so much lower to the ground. So that I found myself way far forward on the balls of my feet or even my toes when squatting to start each rep. That also felt very wrong. Ah well. I just need a boat load more practice with dumb bells.

Runs were consistent, all right around 2 minutes. In fact, the last run was just a shade over 2 minutes and it was the difference between completing an even three rounds or not. When I say “the difference” I’m talking about roughly 3 or 4 strides.

Kristin and I were on very similar paces today. Each round we were within a rep or two of each other on the dumb bell work or within a stride or two of each other on the runs. That was a lot of fun. As we completed the third round of dumb bell work and went off on the run Jack let us know that 10 minutes had just passed. We were going to be hard pressed to complete the third round. I called out to Kristin, “We gotta go. This is gonna be close.” I believe I lead the run out and part way back. Shortly after the turn around Kristin found an extra kick that I tried, but was unable, to match. I can’t speak for her, but I know I was maxed out as we approached the gym and we could hear Jack counting down “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, TIME!” I had half the width of the gym still to traverse between me and the finish line. Kristin was a good two full strides ahead of me. She called it, “Gah. Just missed it.” Call it 2 rounds, 12 clean and jerks and 395M! Ouch.

Community Project — My double unders are becoming a community effort and I love it. There was plenty of time to do some extra work after the METCON so I grabbed a jump rope and settled into some double unders. Rachel came by and offered some observations and tips. My challenge du jour was that I was jumping higher than necessary when speeding up my hands. She encouraged me to settle in and concentrate on maintaining just a marginally higher jump than the one I use for single unders. As I was trying to apply that, she and Renee were discussing my form. Just couldn’t seem to find the rhythm for it today. My hands and feet just did not want to work at different paces. I do appreciate the help though, so, thank you.

Actually, there seemed to be a lot of side work going on today after the METCON. Renee also grabbed a jump rope for some double under work. Ryan was practicing kipping. Lexy was leading some folks through some post-WOD stretching. Pretty sure some one was on the GHD rack. I’m sure there were others. Those happened to be the ones I noticed. It just struck me as a very cool moment and another great example of the community at CFD. Not only were folks looking for opportunities to supplement the day’s workout, but others were right there to step in offer some encouragement and direction. Heck of a way to finish off the workout.