YouTuber Will Tennyson Learns the Clean & Jerk the Hard Way From CrossFit Games Champion Mat Fraser

“You’re just gonna leave me to it?” Will Tennyson says, his voice quivering gently, as he approaches an unloaded barbell. Scoffing a bit, five-time Fittest Man on Earth® Mat Fraser offers encouragement, “Just do a few reps. We’ll see what your starting point is.” 

On Jan. 18, 2024, YouTuber Tennyson published a training vlog alongside CrossFit legend Fraser as the two hit a workout at the Hard Work Pays Off (HWPO) gym, Fraser’s training facility. As part of a larger CrossFit-styled workout meant to test Tennyson on every aspect of his fitness, the duo also worked through the fundamentals of the clean & jerk — one of the two competitive events in Olympic lifting and a common exercise found in high-level CrossFit. Check out the vlog below:

[Related: What Colten Mertens Thinks Is Wrong With CrossFit Programming]

How the Fittest Man on Earth® Teaches the Clean & Jerk

“I don’t even know what the starting point is,” Tennyson replied to Fraser regarding clean & jerk position. Fraser set about explaining the fundamentals of the clean & jerk to a rank beginner.

They began by covering the “power position,” the default posture of Olympic lifting that will allow Tennyson to send his barbell soaring through the air:

Replicate your jumping position by placing your feet under your hips as though you were going to perform a box jump.

Think of a deadlift, then attempt to shrug dramatically at the top while driving your legs into the floor

Extend “tall and long,” Fraser says, and catch the barbell with your feet in your most comfortable squatting stance.

While explaining the movement, Fraser remarked that Tennyson’s technique was actually improving as he added weight, likely since Tennyson already possessed the strength and needed more plates to apply it to. 

Fraser paused his instruction to recount his best lifts while he was a full-time weightlifter. At a body weight of 77 kilograms (169.7 pounds), Fraser reportedly snatched 133 kilograms (293.2 pounds) and clean & jerked 154 kilograms (339.5 pounds).

Fraser and Tennyson did not include the split jerk portion of the lift. They instead proceeded toward the remainder of the workout they’d set out for the day. 

Mat Fraser & Will Tennyson: The Workouts

After spending time honing in Tennyson’s weightlifting technique, Fraser took Tennyson through a more standardized strength training workout with a CrossFit flair:

Workout 1

Back Squat: 4 x 10,8,6,4

Tennyson began with 335 pounds and ended with a set of four at 445 pounds.

Front Squat: 4 x 5

Rowing Machine: 9 rounds of 1min 40sec on, 20sec off

After wrapping their first session, Tennyson and Fraser grabbed lunch and prepared for the next workout. While eating, Tennyson interviewed Fraser on his history as an athlete.

[Related: The Ultimate Guide to Body Composition]

When I was training for the Games, I would eat 9,000 calories a day,” Fraser revealed. Tennyson laughed and joked that he’d want to try eating at that level temporarily, but Fraser rebuffed him: “You don’t. You don’t want food to be a chore.” Fraser once gained 33 pounds in a single month

Workout 2

Handstand practice

Assault Bike: 8 rounds of 20sec on, 10sec off

Five rounds of:

8 sandbag clears

10 burpeesoverbag

20calorie Assault Bike

EMOM (every minute on the minute) 20:

15 calories on the Assault Bike

15 wall balls

Towards the end of their conditioning session, Tennyson quickly evacuated the building for some fresh air. After a few minutes of rest, Tennyson regained his composure, surviving a CrossFit Games Champion’s workout by the skin of his teeth. 

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Featured Image: @mathewfras on Instagram

The post YouTuber Will Tennyson Learns the Clean & Jerk the Hard Way From CrossFit Games Champion Mat Fraser appeared first on BarBend.


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