Question of the day is whether 2 different people (like training partners) should do the exact same workout.
I mean … you are both really similar, same age, the weights you lift are similar, and even your lifestyles are pretty similar … so you SHOULD be able to both make progress at the SAME rate on the same routine … right?
Here’s my video explaining myself:
Got Questions, Comments, or Free Random Advice About Chicken Farming? Leave it in comments section below and I’ll holla back!
This is the last of a 3-part series on how to snatch – more specifically on how to move from one position to the next during the snatch. (See part 1 here, and part 2 here.)
Todays lesson has you moving from the Floor/Start Position to the Knee Position.
This movement is probably the easiest for most people, but it still can present a problem, particularly if you’re not all that flexible yet.
You’ll begin at the Start Position:
Bar starts at the base of the toe (toe joint, where the shoelaces start)
Shoulders are back behind the bar
Your weight is on your heels or as close to it as you can get them!
What this means in practice is that your hips will be no higher than your knees. This is why what I’m describing is sometimes referred to as the “low hip start” position. If the only thing you get right at first is keeping your hips lower than your knees (like the bottom of a front squat), then you’ll automatically get all of the above things right most of the time.
Set up your lower body as though you are at the bottom of a deep squat: hips below the knees, knees far forward, weight on the heels. Grab the bar and voila! You’re doing pretty well.
And you’ll end at the Knee Position, which (again) requires that your …
Knees are back far enough that your shins are perpendicular to the platform (get your butt up high!)
Shoulders are forward over the bar
Weight is HARD on your heels!
Throughout all of this, your lats should be tight as all hell. Squeeze your lats and stick you chest up like you’re showing off at the beach.
As you begin to move, think of shifting your hips from being low at the Start to high at the Knee.
Have an Olympic Weightlifting Question? Leave it below in the comments section and I’ll make a video answering it!
You’ll be doing an exercise that is very similar to a Romanian Deadlift (RDL), but just a touch different. So … I’ve given it a new name: The Romanian Snatch Deadlift (RSDL). They start out the same, but the way that you end the new one ain’t the same.
Instead of just standing up straight as you would in a Normal RDL, in the RSDL you will shift back into the Hip Position.
The main points are this:
Start at the CORRECT Knee Position (shins perpendicular to the ground, shoulders over the bar, weight on the heels, lats tight, hips up)
End at the CORRECT Hip Position (shoulders behind the bar, weight on heels, legs in quarter-squat, bar in the hip)
Move your hips from being HIGH to being LOW as the bar slides up your thigh.
This is the first of three episodes of Samurai Strength on how to snatch. See Part 2 here.
The way I teach the snatch is by using what you could call the “key frames” concept.
In computer animation, you don’t bother drawing out every single frame. You draw only the most important frames, the ones that represent the movement of your characters the most.
I wrote an article over at Breaking Muscle a while ago on How to Power Clean using this concept and wrote the following:
I used to have a lot of fun messing around with computer animation programs. In those programs you can quickly create a moving image by only drawing 2 or 3 frames. In animation they call these “key frames”. You tell the computer the most important positions you want your character to be in during your “movie” and the program will do the work of drawing all the intermediate steps for you.
Key Frame Bias
If you pick the WRONG keyframes then you end up with the wrong story, or at the very least movements that look weirdly unnatural. For instance, look again at those two frames of the Garfield comic above. If all you saw was those, then your impression would likely be that Garfield is just up to his usual “no good”.
But, take a look at the full comic below. In this one it becomes clear that Garfield was just having fun, licking his pop, and got stuck. His owner gave him a rather smug look, and Garfield was simply responding the way a cat would.
The point is that picking the right keyframes DEFINES your story – and your snatch.
So, you’d better pick the right ones!
In the book, Samurai Strength, and in many articles around the web I’ve outlined what those Keyframes are. But, today you’re going to go to Step Two. You are now going to become the animation program and fill in the blanks between the keyframes.
Episode 7 Summary
In this first of three episodes teaching you how to move from one position (keyframe) to the next in the snatch we’re going to focus on the most important one: going from the Hip Position to the Catch Position.
The most important thing to be sure of is that you start and end in the right positions! That may seem obvious, but it isn’t for your body. Start out in the perfect Hip Position (shoulders behind the bar, weight on the heels, legs in quarter squat position, chest up nice and high, etc), and end in the right Catch Position (legs right back in a quarter squat, arms locked, head forward, shrug up, etc).
To get the bar above your head you’ve GOT to use your legs NOT your arms. Again, this might seem obvious, but nearly everyone screws this up at first.
Whenever I teach someone to snatch the very first thing I have them do after practicing holding the position at the hip is to “jump” the bar over their head … inevitably they curl the bar over their head. To be fair, it’s not a bar, it’s a PVC pipe. But, we adults find it hard at first to honestly use the legs and hips as our prime movers for almost anything, let alone for something this complicated.
To get this point across I default quite a bit to the old snatch lie and tell them to jump. An Olympic lift is NOT a jump. But, it is closer to being a jump than a curl!
The last point in the video is a big one, as it is essentially what makes this a drill.
On every lift, I want you to “Catch it and Ride it Down”. What I mean by that is that you are going to catch the bar in a (roughly) quarter squat position (remember, we’re using light weights here – even just a stick), STOP exactly where you are, and then squat down fully.
Do NOT catch it at the quarter squat, stand, adjust yourself, THEN squat down. That is wrong.
Ride it Down
OK … enough blabbing. Here’s the video (where I do more blabbing!)
Vasily Alexeev (or Alekseyev) was a member of that elite club of people who can honestly be called “One of the greatest weightlifters of all time”. We live in a culture where the overuse of words like “genius” and “classic” and “legend” is ubiquitous. Something is not a classic just because it is five years old.
Alexeev is a legend.
He died yesterday at the age of 69 in Germany.
Alexeev broke over 80 World Records during his career and won two gold medals in 1972 and 1976. So, I ain’t gonna list all of them (see the Wikipedia list). But, one of them that he will certainly be remembered for was being the first ever person to Clean and Jerk over 500 pounds.
Best Ever Lifts
HIs best ever snatch was 190k.
His best ever Clean and Jerk was 256k.
His best ever Clean and Press (they did that still in the early part of his career) was 236.5k!
Below are a bunch of videos of him. There are even more out there, but this is a pretty good sampling.
Documentaries of Alexeev
A documentary showing him in and out of competition:
Documentary from France – Part 1:
France Documentary – Part 2:
If you speak Russian then maybe you can translate the important bits of this 45 minute documentary here for the rest of us:
Alexeev in Competition
The first ever 500 pound clean and jerk:
507 pound clean and press:
At the Olympic Games along with another favorite, David Rigert (There are some serious monsters in this video!):
Clean and Jerks at the 1975 World Weightlifting Championships