Shankle Complex then Pistol Ladder

Wednesday 11.06.14

Strength – “Donny Shankle Barbell Complex”

  • 3 x hang pulls
  • 1 x hang clean
  • 2 x jerks


8min ladder:

  • 5 x KB snatches each arm (24/16kg)
  • 4 x pistols (alternating legs)
  • 5 x KB snatches
  • 8 x pistols

* add 4 pistols each time

Post loads, reps to comments or TotalWod.

From Glenn Pendlay about the Shankle Complex:

As far as the details, we do the 3 pulls with a “rythm” and no pause to make sure that the athlete is not getting pulled off balance. We use a shrug at the top because it fatigues the upper back, making the jerks more difficult.

Those that have trouble succeeding on jerks after a difficult clean, or those who have good jerk technique with moderate weights which breaks down with heavy weights seem to get the most from this exercise. And of course, those who are trying to put on muscle or move up a weight class.

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  • Sharon Simonsen says:

    A. New !RM up from 45 to 50kgs
    B. Reduced my pistol scale from 16 inch box with 10kg plate to just the 16 inch box. Rx weight for kettlebell snatches but they were tough today. Just finished my 16 pistols.

  • Jason says:

    A. Got 60kg after a lot of time spent practicing the hang pull. Rhythm is definitely the key.
    B. 8/16 pistols
    C. Tasty espresso. Get on it.

  • Ivan L says:

    A. Up to 60kg. I do feel the cleans are a little more “crisp” from this complex. Not so sure how it’ll translate when I go heavier.
    B. 6 pistols out of the round of 20. Really pretty pleased with that. Used lifting shoes and also a 5kg plate under the heel on left leg. Still failed dismally once or twice on the left leg, but better all round.

  • Elaine says:

    A: This was a bit weird to start with (ended up in dead fly position) but once I got the gist I really liked it. I think it made me clean and jerk better. Highest recorded clean and jerk I have is 42Kg (about a month ago), made my way to 40kg comfortably with this complex.
    B: Think I did the 16 inch box with Betty. Will need to go lower as once I got into the swing of things I was doing this a bit easy. Did the snatches at 12kg will need to go up next time as something clicked technique wise or I got stronger. Either way I remember not too long ago I struggled with 12 and today it seemed a lot easier. Got to 2/18 pistols.

  • Steve-o says:

    First session back after a few days locked away. Thanks to all the Adapt people that helped out over the past week, greatly appreciated 🙂 Very hard to come back and have to “take it light, easy and slow”… but I did.

    A) Stayed at 50kg doing just a power clean and a few push jerks
    B) Changed to 5 KB snatches with 8 push-ups. After 2 rds at 24kg I dropped down to 20kg snatches – Finished 5 Rds? and a few snatches.

  • TarrynC says:

    Had a really good night tonight, felt good, moved well and feel great now!

    A: worked up to 50kg, wasn’t going to try for it, but then Sean called last lifts so I just went for it, elbows could have been higher on the clean but overall the complex felt really good.

    B: first time working without a box or another person assisting me today, had to touch the ground to get back up, and did it in lifting shoes, but it’s still an improvement, so I am stoked! Finished the round of 12 pistols and then 3 snatches at 12kg. Thanks Ellyse for keeping me going!

  • KJ says:

    A: complex @60 was solid. Went to 65kg – did it, but knees came in a bit on clean and arms were not quite quick enough in locking out in the double jerk. Fatigued at this stage.
    B: 11 out of the set of 24 pistols.

    Finished with a few laps of the block – thanks for joining me Annie, Liv and Ben M.
    Welcome back Amelia!

  • john parr says:

    A: worked to 85kg. Getting tge rythem on the hang pulls was a different thing.

    B: I don’t mind pistols
    Got 12 of 24 pistols

  • TessaW says:

    A: My jerks definitely were not on point tonight. After failing a a jerk at only 35kg (about 50% of my 1RM), I knew that they wouldnt be very good tonight. Worked up to 50kg, Definitely could have gone heavier for the pulls and clean, but the jerks were pretty dirty by this stage and then we ran out of time.
    B: Super happy to be work Rx for this after I got pistols last week! Learning the bounce out of the bottom is the main focus for me now so I can get the right depth easier. Got to 15/16 pistols.

  • Olivia says:

    A: Worked up to 55kg – pretty happy with that. Jerk dip is quite slow so loose a bit of momentum on the drive.
    B: 17/20 pistols – 16kg KB, pistols are getting much more fluid, I did have to put my hand on the ground to help get out of the bottom for about 10 reps on my left leg – but expected that to happen on my weak leg when accumulating over 25 pistols 😉
    C: A few runs around the block to flush out the legs 😛

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