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January 2023 Programming Update

In this upcoming strength cycle we be focusing on:

1) Pause Front Squat (Mondays)

2) Push Jerk (Wednesdays)

3) Power Clean Complex (Fridays)

Pause Front Squat

Although the front squat is often associated with the clean, it is amazing squat variation that actually allows members to keep a more upright torso and target the core and quadricep muscles more fully. 

We are adding the additional pause at the bottom to help:

  • Create kinesthetic awareness by remaining in a good upright position
  • Develop strength in the legs by increasing the time under tension
  • Open up the upper back to help those of us who are in a constant extended position
  • Develop core strength by loading the front side of our body

Beginners (less than 6 months with us)

Try to focus on motor control, proper depth in the squat, and breathing mechanics. If the flexed position on our wrists does not feel comfortable, we can incorporate towels to act as handles on the bar, cross our arms, or move to a completely different implement.

  • Dual KB Front Rack Front Squats
  • Safety Bar Squat (slightly different loading, but beneficial nonetheless)

Intermediate to Advanced (greater than 6 months)

Building on top of motor control, proper depth, and breathing mechanics, we can really push our strength numbers by keeping constant tension in our torso throughout the lift as well as focusing on a strong leg drive out of the bottom of the lift.

Push Jerk

The focus on developing the push jerk movement is power development going from shoulder to overhead. We are building on the leg strength that we developed during our push presses and adding athleticism by working on our timing of the transfer of the leg drive to re-bending underneath the bar to receive it.

Beginners (less than 6 months)

The key here is developing the timing of transition from leg drive to receiving the bar overhead. Start off light and work on the mechanics and timing of the movement. Once you start to feel more comfortable, we can then start adding load. If for whatever reason we are having aches and pains in our shoulders moving from shoulder to overhead, think of finding different correctives if possible (pec, lat, and deltoid stretches with bands) or moving to a set of dumbbells. If you continue to feel an impingement, make sure to consult Dustin to see if there is necessary rotator cuff work to bring full range of motion back to your shoulder.

Intermediate to Advanced (greater than 6 months)

This is a great opportunity to refine the dip and drive mechanics of the lift. We want to replicate the same hip drive as our push press to ensure the maximal amount of force is imparted on the barbell. During your warm-up sets, be intentional about feeling the weight in your legs and feet during the dip phase of the lift.

Power Clean Complex

The goal of utilizing the Olympic lifts in our gym is power develop. As we age, the first thing we lose is our power, then our strength. We will start with light weight and positional work so that you can get used to moving the barbell from the floor (position 1), past the knee (position 2), to the hip (position 3) for the final leg drive. Remember, all of the action in the power clean is at the hips (think vertical jump). Everything else before that is just setting you up for the finale.

Beginners (less than 6 months)

Get more comfortable with the overall movement. Don’t worry about the weight on the bar until we have developed enough consistency getting into the right positions and getting comfortable with the movement. We love to see light weight moved beautifully versus a lot of weight move ugly. 

Intermediate to Advanced (greater than 6 months)

Continue to build your consistency with the lift but also refine some of the sticking points you are experiencing. Most members could improve the transition from moving the bar from the knee to the hip for the final leg drive. Spend some time working on that transition throughout the complex to better refine your overall technique. 

Remember, we want beautifully executed reps each time. We aren’t concerned with how fast you can complete the complex.


We will continue to work the short (anaerobic), intermediate (threshold), and longer (aerobic) energy systems to ensure you are developing a well-rounded engine for overall health and performance. For those of us who have great aerobic engines and want to focus on power development, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are going to be your best bet. For those of us who need to develop more aerobic capacity, Thursdays and Saturdays are going to work best for you. 

As always, don’t forget your functional body building on Fridays. This is your chance to even out your strength imbalances, target your supportive muscle groups, build resiliency in your connective tissue, smooth out asymmetries, and just get a good pump. 

The overall goal is to have you develop an active lifestyle as part of your identity so that you are moving everyday and spending 3-5 days with us every single week depending on your goals. 

Let’s start off the year strong and get after it!



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