Why I Hate The Clean and Jerk

Mohamed Abdel Tawwab

That title is the truth.  I do really hate the clean and jerk and it certainly is not the lift I am best at.  However, it is the lift that carries the most weight.  The snatch can put you in the lead but the clean and jerk seals the deal.  Nothing is as painful as being ahead in a competition after the snatch portion only to have to sit and watch as your competitors put more the winning weight on the bar to beat you in the clean and jerk.

I am biologically a little better made for the snatch.  Long torso, short legs.  That’s why I love it.  Also the snatch is easy.  One movement.  Fast, light, and quick, the snatch takes very little time and much less effort than the clean and jerk.  The snatch is far more technical and thus more easily mastered by technicians not by strength.  It’s improved by technical movements and less by the squat.  It’s over faster and doesn’t take much extended effort.  I love snatching for all of these reasons.

However, snatches don’t win medals.  The clean and jerk does.  The common reality in the weightlifting world is that the competition for an athlete doesn’t really begin until they make their first clean and jerk.  Once they have gotten as much as they can from the snatch and sealed a total with a made clean and jerk, then trying to match or beat your competitors takes center stage.  Winning doesn’t happen in the snatch.  Winning happens with a PR clean and jerk, white lights, and a bar slam.

I hate the clean and jerk because so much rides on it.  All your hard work can come down to one’s ability to clean and jerk one weight.  The snatch doesn’t carry that same significance.  A competitor whose strength is the clean and jerk is always one to watch out for.  They can come from behind quickly and claim the title much better than a lifter can whose strength has already been played out in the snatch.  The clean and jerk matters most and requires the most work.  I hate it…

For the article that inspired it read this from Donny Shankle.

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2 responses to “Why I Hate The Clean and Jerk

    • Ha! As you can tell a lot has changed since I filled that out… namely I got rid of the Beiber haircut. But no the profile is still correct. By the nature that the CJ wins championships it will always be my favorite COMPETITION lift. If the IWF ever decides to do the CJ first then that will change.

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