In Coaching, HD Videos, Olympic Lifts

May 05, 2013

Video Article

Alongside CrossFit Media’s Carey Peterson, two-time Olympian Chad Vaughn dissects his 315-lb. clean and jerk via slow-motion footage.

“Really the same for the snatch,” he says of his set-up. “I’ve just locked myself in here. I’m looking at the tension in the back, the back-angle maintenance, the shins coming back out of the way.”

With the shins vertical as the bar passes the knees, the clean becomes easier, says Vaughn, part owner of CrossFit CenTex in Belton, Texas. In the receiving position, he meets the bar at about parallel and rides it down to the very bottom of the front-squat position.

“Now I can catch a good bounce out of the bottom,” he notes. “Since I met it a little bit higher and (rode) it down, I can get that better recoil out of my legs.”

He stands up with the barbell and takes a couple of seconds to gather himself, as well as to ensure his grip is comfortable and his feet are in the correct position.

“I’ve pulled my feet back in slightly,” Vaughn says. “First thing I’m going to feel is upward pressure at the end of the elbow.”

He takes a deep breath to fill his lungs as much as he can and maintains his shoulder and hip alignment for a slow, short dip with a vertical torso.

“I’m gonna change directions as aggressively as I can,” Vaughn adds. “What’s gonna help me do that, what my personal preference (is), is really throwing that head back to help me get more power and more extension, and it also creates space for that bar to go straight.”

Video by Heber Cannon.

5min 57sec

HD file size: 214 MB
SD wmv file size: 71 MB
SD mov file size: 78 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: The Split Jerk: Start to Finish by Chad Vaughn, published Dec. 20, 2012.

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5 Comments on “Oly Analysis: Chad Vaughn Clean and Jerk”


wrote …

Just wondering, what camera was used for these slo-mo videos? Love the commentary, it's very helpful to those of us just starting to learn the o-lifts. Thanks!


wrote …

Awesome video and breakdown of the lift. Thanks Chad and crew for
providing this detailed C&J resource.


wrote …

Great analysis from which I learn how to jerk efficiently myself.

In the jerk portion, biceps brachii originated in scapula and inserted to fascia of forearm are stretched and shortened(SSC: stretch shorten cycle). In the same moment, Psoas Major,semitendisosus, biceps femoris are going through SSC. Extensor Digitorum longus are stretched and shortened in jerk portion.

Crucial timing is between stretched and shortening.
Judging from Chad's video, Chad has characteristic frequency (proportional to Chad's muscle tension) is 1/(3 seconds) approximately. By coinciding with characteristic frequency of stretched muscle with external applied force(shortening muscles in jerk's up motion), maximum upward force is generated.

By looking upward in jerk, Chad uses proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation which I find extremely useful to me personally.
Thanks for great analysis of complex body movement.


replied to comment from ingyu koh

In stretching psoas major in the jerk portion, I found contraction of diaphragm(breathing in) stabilizes by
1. lumbar attachment of diaphragm plays balancing psoas major,
2. liver and stomach and visceral organs are put in compacted state producing rigid body


wrote …

Nice job chad. 315 is a beast!!

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