I have pulled data from 1,935 athletes who competed in the CrossFit Open to see what the normal distribution looks like for CrossFitters doing classic CrossFit workouts, one-rep maxes, sprints and other stuff listed on a CrossFit Games athlete profile page.
(I discuss the methodology in getting that data in my blog here.)
In this post, we’ll take a look at one-rep max clean and jerks for both men and women who entered into the CrossFit Open, and what averages show and how you fit into that picture. While the goal in working out is to improve your own self, it’s still nice to know how you stack up compared to the rest of the world.
Keep in mind that this data is from the Open, not Regionals or the Games, so the idea is that these statistics are pulled from an average pool of CrossFit athletes, not Rich Froning-types.
For men, in a sample of 1,066 men, the mean self-reported one-rep max clean and jerk is 226.1 lbs, with a standard deviation of 44.6 lbs. This means that approximately 68% of CrossFit men have a one-rep max clean and jerk in the range of 181.5-270.7 lbs, and 95% of CrossFit men have a one-rep max clean and jerk in the range of 136.9-315.3 lbs.
Predictably, age is a factor in how much men can clean and jerk. If you are in your twenties, the average one-rep max clean and jerk is 238.7 lbs. This drops a little to 226 lbs in your thirties and then starts decreasing dramatically in your forties, fifties and beyond.
For women, in a sample of 485 women, the mean self-reported one-rep max clean and jerk is 136.8 lbs, with a much smaller standard deviation of 28.5 lbs. This means that approximately 68% of CrossFit women have a one-rep max clean and jerk in the range of 108.3-165.3 lbs, and 95% of CrossFit women have a one-rep max clean and jerk in the range of 79.8-193.8 lbs.
Age is also a factor in how much women can clean and jerk. If you are in your twenties, the average one-rep max clean and jerk is 142 lbs. In same fashion as in men, we see a small drop off in the thirties and then a more dramatic drop off after that. It will be interesting to see if these trends change at all in ten to twenty years as the CrossFit community matures and becomes older.
How crucial is a heavy one-rep max clean and jerk to being successful in CrossFit? Probably pretty important.
Rich Froning is 3 standard deviations higher than the mean, with a mark of 370 lbs. Of the men that competed in the Games, the lowest mark was by Frederik Aegidius with a lift of 286 lbs, still above the 90th percentile. A majority of the competitors had marks above the 97.5 percentile of 309.4 lbs.
On the women’s side, Lindsey Valenzuela, second place in last years’ Games, has a max clean and jerk of 245 lbs, more than 3.5 standard deviations from the mean. The lowest self-reported mark from women who competed in the 2013 Games was from Ashley Carriveau, with a one-rep max clean and jerk of 160 lbs, right at the 80th percentile. However, nearly all other women competing in the Games had maxes well above the 90th percentile.