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The Power Jerk: Yes, It Has Uses
Greg Everett

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I've always hated power jerks, like most people who split jerk as their prefered jerk method. It's awkward, uncomfortable and difficult. But I have a grudging respect and appreciation for the exercise because it can be immensely valuable as a training exercise for split jerkers. The power jerk forces a solid, strong dip and strong drive, and possibly more importantly, a balanced and correctly oriented drive. With the split jerk, a lifter can get away with a certain amount of imbalance or forward push of the bar; the power jerk allows virtually none of this margin for error. Accordingly, it's a great exercise for training a vertical dip and drive and a correct punch of the bar not just up, but slightly back.

The power jerk does't need to be performed with heavy weights. In fact, I generally prefer using relatively light weights that allow the lifter to not just do the lift extremely well, but with great speed. This is what carries over to the split jerk to help dial it in. Focus on a vertical and high drive. Try them out for doubles and triples on your lighter training days for a few weeks and see how much better your split jerks feel.

Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the national-medalist Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, publisher of The Performance Menu, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting, fifth-place finisher at the USAW National Championships, masters national champion and masters American record holder in the clean & jerk. Follow him on Facebook here and and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches by Greg Everett

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