EP.72 | Jerk Blocks: Proper Use & Etiquette
Do you use or own Jerk Blocks? If you are on the Olympic Weightlifting side of the spectrum (and have been for awhile), chances are that you have used jerk blocks at some point.
What are they used for?
In short, they are used to bring the bar back down to the starting position without having to re-clean and re-rack. They also are used to work on various phases of the clean and snatch, depending on the athletes' weaknesses. This is a very brief overview.
*Please see Episode 34 with Danny Camargo from Team Oly Concepts for a FULL BREAKDOWN of block use*
Proper Use (so you don't destroy them)
#1 Dropping from overhead
If you are using wooden jerk blocks and dropping from overhead, you MUST use the reinforcement block that goes on the very top. This reinforcement block is made to help withstand the impact of the bar being dropped from overhead. If you drop from overhead without this crucial piece you risk CRACKING/BREAKING the boxes. I've seen this happen at least 2-3 times!!!
#2 Adjust the width
Adjusting the width of your blocks is important for a few reasons. If you have the blocks adjusted too wide for instance, you stand the risk of missing the blocks and the shaft and/or sleeve of the bar slamming directly into the block. This creates EXTREME unnecessary force on the bar... and it could potentially damage or bend your bar!!
#3 Use the appropriate plates
You wouldn't want to use steel plates on wood would you? For instance, if you have a powerlifter using low blocks for deadlifts, doing sets for volume, those plates are going to begin to damage the wood.
A Few Options...
#1 - Wooden Blocks (read more about them)
#2 - Metal Blocks (read more about them)
To wrap it up...
Make sure to treat these carefully! They are very expensive pieces of equipment that are valuable training tools. These SHOULD last you a lifetime. If not properly cared for, you will have to replace these costly pieces of equipment.
Quick video of Sir Donny Shankle (aka the Lion Killer) smashing some Jerks. Enjoy!
If you are wanting to take care of your barbells, look no further... We began Bar Shield in 2016 with the goal being to save the gym/barbell owner money! Prevent Rust & Restore/Maintain Spin. See HERE