The Clean & Jerk Ladder






























The clean and jerk ladder will begin with an empty bar and two stacks of plates and clips on either end.

  • Athletes cannot load their bar until the clock starts.

  • Once the clock starts, athletes may load the bar to the first weight on their ladder.

  • Teams will have 90 seconds for each athlete to complete one clean and jerk

  • All athletes must lift facing the front of the gym toward the score table

  • If the athletes both complete their clean and jerk in the 90 second window, and they have time to spare, they may change their weights to the next weight on the ladder.

  • Once the 90 seconds has elapsed, a new 90 second window will begin, in which each athlete must perform one clean and jerk.

  • If an athlete misses a clean and jerk, his or her score will be the heaviest weight completed. There is no limit on the amount of attempts an athlete may take.

  • If an athlete fails a clean and jerk, he or she may choose to do deadlifts in the remaining time of the 90 second window. Each deadlift will count as an additional 0.1 pounds added to the heaviest weight lifted.

  • If one athlete misses a lift, his or her partner may still proceed up the ladder upon completing a repetition.

  • If athletes fail a repetition, once the 90 second window has elapsed, they are finished. They may continue to help their partner switch weights if the partner continues to progress up the ladder.

  • If an athlete clears the ladder by completing all of weights, he or she may choose to do deadlifts with the final weight, each deadlift will add 0.1 pounds to the heaviest weight lifted.


Movement Standards


Clean and Jerk


  • The clean and jerk is a ground-to-overhead in any way, but it must include two distinct movements; snatches are not allowed. A muscle clean, power clean, squat clean, or split clean may be used to get the bar to the shoulders, and a shoulder press, push press, push jerk, or split jerk may be used to get the weight overhead. The barbell begins on the ground.

  • A deadlift to a hang clean is not allowed.

  • The barbell must come to full lockout overhead with the hips, knees, and arms fully extended, and the bar directly over the middle of the body.

  • If the athlete successfully cleans the bar, attempts a jerk, misses the jerk, and the bar comes back down to the shoulders, he or she may attempt another jerk without returning the bar to the floor.

  • If the athlete cleans the bar, and for some reason the bar comes back down to the hips, the rep will not count.




  • This is a traditional deadlift with hands outside the knees. Sumo deadlifts are not allowed.

  • Starting with the barbell on the floor, the athlete lifts the bar until the hips and knees reach full extension, and the head and shoulders are behind the bar. The arms must be straight throughout. No bouncing.




  • The final score will be the total weight lifted by each athlete, including any tie breaking deadlifts.


Safety Notes


  • Clips must be on the bar at all times. If you lift without clips, the rep will not count.

  • Everything must stay inside your lane, including the weights and your own bodies.

  • If any part of your body or weights, including the weights on the ground or your feet are outside of your lane when you are lifting, the rep will not count.

  • No weights can be directly under your bar when you are lifting, they must be to the side or in the front or back of you to avoid dropping the bar on the weights.

  • Please be careful when dropping the bar from the top as to avoid the bar bouncing into another lane.

  • At the conclusion of each heat, the athletes must re-stack the weights and clips exactly as they were before. Heaviest weights on the bottom and lightest weights on the top. If athletes do not re-stack their plates, their scores will not be counted.