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All Black in Bonsall: Max Effort Clean and Jerk by Mike Burgener - CrossFit Journal
Video Article

In a continuation of our series with Owen Franks, a rugby player for the New Zealand All Blacks, Mike Burgener takes the powerful athlete through a series of cues to push him toward a max-effort clean and jerk.

Beginning with sub-maximal loads, Burgener identifies three main elements Franks needs to get very heavy loads overhead: proper hip and foot placement, speed, and rhythm.

Progressing through a range of weights starting at 80 kg and working toward a battle with max weights over 140 kg, Franks finds himself walking the narrow line between actual capacity and future potential.

Burg, of course, has evaluated his athlete and believes Franks can reach his potential with just a little motivation.

“If I’m giving you the opportunity to do 143, we’re not giving it a go. We’re going to frickin’ make the weight. So get your ass ready to go, and I really need fast hands, and I want you to drive that son of a gun like you’re playing Australia in South Africa!”

12min 46sec

Additional reading: Supplemental Olympic Lifting for CrossFitters by Mike Burgener and Tony Budding, published Dec. 1, 2007.

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11 Comments on “All Black in Bonsall: Max Effort Clean and Jerk”


wrote …

Jeez- Have the old guy go bounce the ball in the driveway!!


wrote …

"I want you to drive that son of a gun like you’re playing Australia in South Africa!” LOL


wrote …

Great vid!


wrote …

Owen is a man of few words.


wrote …

James, I think the term "old man" is tremendously derogatory. May you be more robust than that gentleman, and working as hard, when you are older. In any event, I think Coach Bergener is in total control of his gym, so I'd leave it to him. Own is a remarkably powerful young man. His cleans are incredible. Good luck to him.


wrote …

Man, I cheer any time I watch Coach push someone to make a new personal best!


wrote …

That guy is a beast and you gotta love coach Burgener, great series of videos and man does he have a gorgeous place to train.


wrote …

Michael- I am nothing but an old man myself- which allows a little bit of latitude in comment-it was meant to be funny -lighten up!


wrote …

When was this video shot? Owen Franks and his brother Ben have been going well for the Crusaders in this season's Super 14 competition.

I'd like to have seen more of the technique work Mike Burgener was doing with him on the jerk. Looked like he missed the ones he missed because he got too far forward with his front knee and lost the weight behind. Or am I seeing it wrong?

Not sure I'd agree that for rugby jerks are less important than cleans and snatches. I suppose it depends on your overall take on it. I think the jerk is a great way to train that split receiving position. We alternate sides. I know that weightlifters always go to their strongest side but for sports training I think it's best to learn to use both. We do stuff like power clean + 2 jerks (or 4) and push jerks from behing the neck taking the bar from the rack. If you look at Kelly Starret's video on how to save your knees, he demonstrates how to catch the right shape using the hamstring and glute of the front leg keeping the knee back. Jerks are a great way to train strength in that shape for deceleration / change of direction. Split snatches are good too.

Another good one from Mike Burgener




Jeremy Stecker wrote …

This video showed things I have NEVER seen in a Crossfit Journal video:

1. Owen didn't complete the jerk, but Coach B still gave it to him. Obviously, if he was a weight lifter, Coach wouldn't have counted it... In this case, it wasn't about 'officially' getting the weight up.

2. Even one of the best coaches in the world has athletes that fail a lift three times in a row. Coach emptied his tool bag to help Owen.

3. Coaches reaction after 3 failed attempts. I'd recommend every coach watch the last 30 seconds of this video a few times.

Great job to whomever made this, and thanks to whoever approved it.

Jeremy Stecker
Eugene Crossfit


wrote …

Great video. I love watching Coach B work with an athlete.

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