Squat More / Squat Less
By Donny Shankle
You may be missing your Jerks because your legs are not strong. Consider how strong the legs must be to complete a C&J. First you have to use your legs to pull the weight from the floor. Then you have to stand up with the weight out of the bottom of the Clean. Now you have to relax with the bar across your shoulders and then Jerk the weight overhead. You spend years in the squat rack building the leg strength necessary to Snatch and C&J. Two exercises which take seconds to complete. When you combine all of your competitions in a year, and add up the amount of time you actually spend on the platform lifting, your performances equal to no more than probably a minute. If you are short of lockout on your Jerk or your conditioning is so poor that you do not even attempt to “Dip and Drive,” you may need to evaluate your training and spend more time in the squat rack.
Maybe your legs are strong and you can front squat significantly more weight than you can C&J. If this is the case (aside from your timing being off in the Clean) then there may be an error in your weekly standard. You could structure your training better and allow for your legs to rest in preparation for a controlled or heavy training session. If your hips and legs are so fatigued from maximal squatting you are unable to complete the Jerk after a Clean then make a change. The day before you C&J to maximum, take your squats up to a percentage you can move the weights fast or remove squats from the training all together. The sport is Snatching and Clean and Jerking. Performance should not suffer for any variation including one as important as squatting. The squats are included in training to help you lift more weight and not impede you.