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Receiving the Bar by Mike Burgener - CrossFit Journal

Receiving the Bar

By Mike Burgener

In Olympic Lifts, Videos

August 17, 2009

Video Article

Coach Mike Burgener of Mike’s Gym provides more examples of individual variation, a topic he also explored in a video entitled “Who Should Split.” This time, the subject is receiving the bar. The footage was captured by CrossFit Again Faster at an Olympic weightlifting certification seminar held March 7-8 at CrossFit Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia.

Coach Burgener begins by having his daughter, Sage, jump her body through a range of motion from the high hang position and land in a front squat. Natalie Woolfolk follows, but uses distinctly different form. She first receives the bar, then squats. Coach Burgneer then directs Natalie to receive the bar at a variety of different heights. The coaching point is to get athletes to meet the bar and then go down.

The goal is to avoid crashing the bar. As the weight gets heavier, athletes will have to meet the bar lower. They also have to ensure they get their elbows around the bar quickly.

4min 34sec

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11 Comments on “Receiving the Bar”


wrote …

I'm not sure I caught what Coach B was referring to in the 2,4,6 inch parts as I didn't spot much difference except that each lift the bar started further down the thigh. Was I missing something?


wrote …

he was saying that dependent on how heavy the load is should determine where the bar is received to keep the weight from crashing down on you... 135lb could be recieve @ the height of a power clean and squatted where 235lbs might be received in the full front squat position


wrote …

I understand it as follows:
The 2-4-6 inch progression highlights that you have to contact/receive the bar before you drop under it--or it crashes on you to an ever increasing degree. The 2-inch version in particular forces you to get your elbows around faster (less momentum created over distance) so you are almost immediately in contact, then drop or split. The 4-and 6-inch versions then build on that movement. As the weights get heavier, the bar and gravity will close the gap fast, but if you have done the progression enough you will know to contact the bar in the first part of the drop/pull under. I think....


wrote …

Can never get enough Burgener.

I have had a tendency to get too low - rather than catching the bar at the moment of weightlessness

Thanks for this.


wrote …

I could watch coach Burgener all day. The way he explains thing just click!


Cody Limbaugh wrote …

What a treasure. Thank you for sharing Coach B!


wrote …

Your a saint coach.


wrote …

Regarding the 2,4,6 inch progression, I had a little different take on it than the other comments. I fully agree with the comments and want to take no emphasis from them, because they were valid interpretations and make perfect sense. I looked at it from a more instructional perspective. Probably because my catch needs a lot of work! Until this video, I caught the bar at 2 inches because that is what I always did. Naturally, you can only get so much weight by basically shrugging into the 2 inch catch. Needless to say, I plateaued on my clean even though I was getting stronger. If you have an athlete experiencing this you can have them work with a 45# bar to catch at 2, then at 4, then at 6...full front squat to build muscle memory and ability to receive a greater weight in a deeper catch (see previous comments). I worked this today and increased my max clean by 20#'s with the sky (or my front squat max) as my new goal!!! Couldn't keep the smile off my face. Yup, still smiling.

Awesome instruction!


wrote …

congratulations jared! you are right on!


wrote …

I was also a little confused with the 2,4,6 inch drill. What exactly is this measuring? distance to drop into squat? less max height on the pull? Feels like im missing something really obvious here!


replied to comment from Vince Borgogno

Also just noticed that this video and comments are 3 years old.

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