Oly Analysis: Chad Vaughn Clean and Jerk

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ByCrossFit May 5, 2022

Alongside CrossFit Media’s Carey Peterson, two-time Olympian Chad Vaughn dissects his 315-lb. clean and jerk via slow-motion footage.

“Really the same for the snatch,” he says of his set-up. “I’ve just locked myself in here. I’m looking at the tension in the back, the back-angle maintenance, the shins coming back out of the way.”

With the shins vertical as the bar passes the knees, the clean becomes easier, says Vaughn, part owner of CrossFit CenTex in Belton, Texas. In the receiving position, he meets the bar at about parallel and rides it down to the very bottom of the front-squat position.

“Now I can catch a good bounce out of the bottom,” he notes. “Since I met it a little bit higher and (rode) it down, I can get that better recoil out of my legs.”

He stands up with the barbell and takes a couple of seconds to gather himself, as well as to ensure his grip is comfortable and his feet are in the correct position.

“I’ve pulled my feet back in slightly,” Vaughn says. “First thing I’m going to feel is upward pressure at the end of the elbow.”

He takes a deep breath to fill his lungs as much as he can and maintains his shoulder and hip alignment for a slow, short dip with a vertical torso.

“I’m gonna change directions as aggressively as I can,” Vaughn adds. “What’s gonna help me do that, what my personal preference (is), is really throwing that head back to help me get more power and more extension, and it also creates space for that bar to go straight.”


Originally published – April 2013.

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