Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

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Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by JasonC » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:38 pm

First question: Are there some body types that really can't reach their iliac crest? 'Cause dammit, quite apart from reaching down far enough (which I'm told is just a matter of getting your hip flexors and traps more flexible), my arms are set much wider than my hips. They won't touch my waist without a lot of "pec deck" action. I've never been able to rest in the rack unless I'm digging my elbows into my belt (and cutting them up).

Second question: In your opinions, do you get a lot back from the 2AJ? I'm feeling the call of GS again and preparing to compete, but I question whether I'll train/compete the jerk anymore. For something painful that I'm not good at, I enjoy the jerk, but it's a "high cost" lift for me (in discomfort and sometimes getting headaches or irritation near the T-spine), and now that I'm in my mid-40s, I'm not going to blindly do painful contortionistic shit just because I once heard VF say that the only real GS is biathlon.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:11 pm

JasonC wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:38 pm
'Cause dammit, quite apart from reaching down far enough (which I'm told is just a matter of getting your hip flexors and traps more flexible), my arms are set much wider than my hips.
#humblebrag
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by JasonC » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:15 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:11 pm
JasonC wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:38 pm
'Cause dammit, quite apart from reaching down far enough (which I'm told is just a matter of getting your hip flexors and traps more flexible), my arms are set much wider than my hips.
#humblebrag
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:11 pm

Android work capacity? Hint of pecs?
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Sangoma » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:21 am

Frankly, double jerk is my favorite lift. It is also the hardest, in my opinion - there is no pause, you are always under the bells. I think it give a lot of bang for the buck.

Static holds are good for developing mobility for the jerk. Make sure the bells are heavy enough, and you will gradually relax into the position. You can also use a belt and lean your elbows on it - as far as I know it is permitted in competition in Russia.

You can also learn to rest (pause) in overhead position instead of rack. It is similar to a pause in snatch, the principles are the same - the saggital position of the hands and forearms, the insertion... :-" etc. Apparently it is used by some gireviks with problems similar to yours.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by JasonC » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:58 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:11 pm
Android work capacity? Hint of pecs?
Fats, if I'm describing GS rankings to somebody, is it reasonable to compare MS to black belt level in BJJ and 2nd class through CMS as blue through brown?
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:25 pm

Good enough I think.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Dunn » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:40 pm

VF stated that unless you are planning on competing then the average Joe would be better served doing one armed variants.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by newguy » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:12 pm

Dunn wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:40 pm
VF stated that unless you are planning on competing then the average Joe would be better served doing one armed variants.
I think VF is wrong here. The effect/impact you get from double bells in terms of strength and muscular definition is going to be much higher than with one bell. Double 24s are easily doable by anyone and you are moving 48kg of weight......

I think you are best served just putting the bells down, shaking out the arms, and picking them back up.

Just because you may never reach the fabled 10 minute mark doesn't mean working with double 24s or 32s needs be abandoned.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Sangoma » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:37 am

^ agree. Doubling the weight definitely has a serious effect. Also, reduced mobility of the trunk in two handed jerk makes the lift even more challenging. More muscles under tension for longer time - there is no rest, nowhere to go, you are always under the bells - more exercise in the same time.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Dunn » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:20 pm

I don’t fault the logic there. I can see the point of both. From VF, he felt that the mobility aspect of a good rack wasn’t always possible for some folks hence the notion of going heavier with a single bell. In a perfect world, I say do both. But for average folks that complain that the rack position is difficult to achieve using doubles, I think VF is fairly on the mark here for getting them started right away with lifting. Specific mobility can be worked on as the lifter progresses, if doubles are something they want to work on.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Sangoma » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:04 am

If the goal is not GS I think a rack less than perfect is ok. Plus, you can learn to "rest" overhead (good luck with that, but some guys actually do it). You can also train the rack specifically by stretches and static holds. The latter helps you find the sweet spot for your body structure.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by aussie luke » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:56 am

Is the double rack position really an ideal posture to want to develop though? ...particularly for average people with no goal of competing who probably spend most of their time sat at a desk or looking at phones etc

Iirc the original VF WKC fitness protocol was all single bell wasn't it?

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by JasonC » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:53 am

I've forced myself to work on the rack, and dammit, it's getting a lot better. And now I like the two-arm jerk better than the snatch.

Here's the new problem: I make my knee sore as fuck on the first dip. Something about the knee thrusting so far out over the foot with a lot of force on top of it.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by newguy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:14 pm

JasonC wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:53 am
I've forced myself to work on the rack, and dammit, it's getting a lot better. And now I like the two-arm jerk better than the snatch.

Here's the new problem: I make my knee sore as fuck on the first dip. Something about the knee thrusting so far out over the foot with a lot of force on top of it.
What kind of shoes are you using?

I've had that issue and switching from converse to weightlifting shoes helped.

Play around with foot placement and angle as well. Since you're not long cycling you have a lot of different options there.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by JasonC » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:04 pm

newguy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:14 pm
What kind of shoes are you using?

I've had that issue and switching from converse to weightlifting shoes helped.

Play around with foot placement and angle as well. Since you're not long cycling you have a lot of different options there.
Shit, now that you mention it, I could use taller heels. I'm wearing big fucking boots with a thick tread, but on close inspection, there's only a rise of about 1/2". Good call. Thanks.

Next step is take video of myself.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Dunn » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:22 pm

aussie luke wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:56 am
Is the double rack position really an ideal posture to want to develop though? ...particularly for average people with no goal of competing who probably spend most of their time sat at a desk or looking at phones etc

Iirc the original VF WKC fitness protocol was all single bell wasn't it?
Exactly. It’s an odd posture that, while useful for GS, really doesn’t do much for joe blow. This is especially so co soldering the prevalence towards that rounded back desk worker posture that many already have. In my opinion it’s needless specialization. If you want to work on progressively heavier weights then the barbell is far more reasonable to work with.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by newguy » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:41 am

Dunn wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:22 pm
aussie luke wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:56 am
Is the double rack position really an ideal posture to want to develop though? ...particularly for average people with no goal of competing who probably spend most of their time sat at a desk or looking at phones etc

Iirc the original VF WKC fitness protocol was all single bell wasn't it?
Exactly. It’s an odd posture that, while useful for GS, really doesn’t do much for joe blow. This is especially so co soldering the prevalence towards that rounded back desk worker posture that many already have. In my opinion it’s needless specialization. If you want to work on progressively heavier weights then the barbell is far more reasonable to work with.
I have not found this to be the case at all. The rounded/lat flexed rack position is outstanding for developing the back. Working the the lats in that position is a great muscle builder.

It is completely counteracted by the top position in the jerk/press when the chest is out, the shoulders are back, and the scapular region is flexed.

You don't round the back at the top.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Dunn » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:00 am

Each to their own. You and I are similar. I’m pretty much built for the sport and have had no issues with naturally hitting the positions. Then again, my upper arms are abnormally long and rest naturally on my iliac crests.

Lots of folks don’t have that reaction. In most cases nobody is aiming for a “flexed rack” as it expends more energy during a set in a position of rest. Combined with the fact that most folks are going to have a hard time getting into a solid rack position AND their OH position isn’t. Early as open as what you are talking, it just points to single bell work being optimal as a fundamental building block. If the person wants to go into extended double bell work then the time can be spent on the specialized positions but they can get just as much fitness effect from single bell work without the need for more specialized flexibility.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by newguy » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:57 pm

Dunn wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:00 am
Each to their own. You and I are similar. I’m pretty much built for the sport and have had no issues with naturally hitting the positions. Then again, my upper arms are abnormally long and rest naturally on my iliac crests.

Lots of folks don’t have that reaction. In most cases nobody is aiming for a “flexed rack” as it expends more energy during a set in a position of rest. Combined with the fact that most folks are going to have a hard time getting into a solid rack position AND their OH position isn’t. Early as open as what you are talking, it just points to single bell work being optimal as a fundamental building block. If the person wants to go into extended double bell work then the time can be spent on the specialized positions but they can get just as much fitness effect from single bell work without the need for more specialized flexibility.
I agree with you 110 percent here. At this point and time, unless you are into it, I don't think extended sets with double bells are needed. I think when working with doubles you are better served with ladders....fast 10s or 20s...those types of things.

For all round fitness, one bell for longer sets is the best bang for your buck. My all time favorite exercise is the one arm long cycle switching on the minute, for 20 to 30 minutes. I also really like circuit work without setting the bell down.

What I have been trying to advocate is that seeing double bells solely through a GS lens is limiting. Double bell work in sets, ladders, etc. is a great way to build functional strength (whatever that means), add muscle, lose fat, build endurance.

I hate seeing people not use two bells because they think they need to have GS level technique and positioning required for 10 minute sets.

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Ericc » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:29 pm

consider a half rack to extend the set as you work on flexibility. Steve Cotter had a YouTube clip demonstrating this which is still probably floating around. I used it to help me reach 10:00 set with the 28s a few years ago, although not to the extreme that Cotter and others show and I know VF frowned upon it

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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Sangoma » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:46 am

Double jerk is the lift worth doing, and so time spent on learning the technique is not a waste. Ask a question on any forum on deadlift or squat technique, and you will get lots of advice and detailed explanations on the most minute detail, as well as scores of assistance exercises to improve said technique. Nobody ever argues: don't worry about learning back squat unless you are going to compete in PL, do... one arm overhead dumbbell lounge instead.

You need near perfect rack if you want to compete in GS. You can settle for ok rack if all you are going to do is sets of 10-20 reps. In fact, you will get more exercise with less than the most economical technique.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by JasonC » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:34 pm

Ericc wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:29 pm
consider a half rack to extend the set as you work on flexibility. Steve Cotter had a YouTube clip demonstrating this which is still probably floating around. I used it to help me reach 10:00 set with the 28s a few years ago, although not to the extreme that Cotter and others show and I know VF frowned upon it
Holy fuck, is Cotter suffering some kind of wasting disease? I just saw a recent video and he looks like he aged 25 years: thin neck, loose skin, and (relatively) gaunt and drawn looking.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by JasonC » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:36 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:46 am
Double jerk is the lift worth doing
Yep, I'm a convert to the double jerk. It just makes me feel like a fucking boss, in a way that the snatch doesn't. And the jerk is easier on my cardio: in long snatch and jerk sets at the same level of performance, my heart rate in the jerk is routinely 20 bpm lower than the snatch. Psychologically, that makes it a much "friendlier" lift to me.

The next question for my teenage-girl-like "dear diary" training angst is, what GS discipline will I choose as my New Big Goal? I'm 46, and I'm hungry to MS in something in the open division (i.e. not veterans) while I might still have a chance. The choices look like this:
  • Biathlon is cool
  • LC is easier to recover from, with its lower volume (Dunn pointed this out to me)
  • Snatch is where I have the most experience and the best form (and in the AKA they give you a snatch-only option. That makes it seem like the "smart" choice, though not the coolest.
  • Shit, now they even have "kettlebell marathons" where you do 30- or 60-minute sets with unlimited hand switches. Not quite so glamorous, but if that turns out to be more realistic for scoring an MS at my age, I'd seriously consider it.
Input welcome.
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Re: Two-Arm Jerk in GS: Really Worth It?

Post by Dunn » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:31 am

As I noted, I prefer LC to anything since it’s more economic on time. I’ve hit just shy of MS numbers in training and CMS in a comp multiple times. My goal is to hit 60 reps this year, possibly in a comp.

For fun, half marathon is a welcome distraction but I’ve only focused on the non-comp lift of clean and pushpress for GPP. MS in OAJ half marathon seems doable.

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