If you’re going to train with Mike Burgener at his home nearly an hour north of San Diego, California, there are a few rules.
First, only one person lifts on a platform at a time. Second, move your bar to create space for others lifters. Third, clean the plates off the platform.
“Other than that, let’s lift some heavy weights. Let’s have some fun,” says Burgener, affectionately called Coach B.
When Leslie Graves jerks, Coach B asks for more explosion.
“All I want you to think about is ‘fast hands, fast feet.’ I don’t care what the dip does. I don’t give a shit about anything. I want to see some speed here,” he tells the athlete from CrossFit Centex, a Texas affiliate where two-time Olympian weightlifter Chad Vaughn coaches.
Graves’ jerk is less than ideal because the bar moves down her shoulders slightly when she dips. Coach B’s advice: Keep the bar in the same rack position; don’t allow it to slide.
Next up is Ashley Kressin of CrossFit Society in Solana Beach, California. The athlete makes a clean but fails the jerk.
“She lost it because of the dip. The dip sucked. Big time. Hell, it’s all over the damn place, plus it’s sliding down here—that’s why you missed it,” Coach B explains.
To demonstrate his point, he has Kressin rack a bar with training plates and then extend her arms like Frankenstein. Then he asks her to dip and has her note that the bar remained in the same position.
“Well shit, that’s the dip. You can’t be lettin’ that bar slide all over the place. That’s why you missed it. The dip is first before you jerk it. You gotta dip and you gotta drive, and then the arms come into play to push you down.”
Video by Jordan Gravatt.
Additional reading: A Day With Coach B. by Hilary Achauer, published Jan. 9, 2013.