I’m about to tell you what you want to hear…
But be advised…this is ONLY if you are NOT a rank beginner. I define a rank beginner in Oly lifting to be a person who can’t even lock out the bar correctly, etc.
But if you have gotten past most of that, like through the 1st phase of my Samurai Strength Program, then keep reading…
You’re A Beginner, Not A Beginner
For a rank beginner, adding weight to the bar almost always results in something bad happening.
They have to go through a period of using an empty bar and not much else to make sure they have the true basics DOWN, before being allowed to go up.
But as soon as you “get” this ultra basic technique …things change.
Where it used to be that adding weight made your form worse… Now, adding weight often makes your form BETTER.
Because of two reasons:
- You now DO have some understanding of how to do it right now for the first time.
- Correct form is maximally efficient by design.
It’s that 2nd point that I want to dive into.
Olympic Weightlifting Is Cheating
While you DO now have some understanding of how to do it right…you are NOT consistent yet. It is not second nature. It is not like riding a bike!
- STEP ONE in learning how to snatch (jerk, or clean) is being able to do even ONE rep correctly…ever.
- STEP TWO is making that consistent: something you do more often than not.
Step two is a lot harder than step one, LOL.
Thankfully for you, it turns out that the NATURE of the Olympic lifts will aid you in this process, because the Olympic lifts are “maximally efficient” (so far as we know) by design.
The Olympic Lifts are the most “cheated” exercises, ever!
When you are trying to do the heaviest barbell curl you have ever done, what will happen? You’ll start cheating.
You will start to swing and use your hips and back and anything else you can just to get that weight up. You will DEFAULT to what would be called good technique for moving that weight from point A to point B.
But with the Olympic lifts, your ONLY goal is to move the weight from point A to point B!
Any other thing that happens as a training effect to your body is SECONDARY to this primary goal of moving as much weight as you possibly can from the ground to overhead.
REMEMBER: Olympic weightlifting is a SPORT, not exercise.
So it has totally different goals…and because of that, the form has been adapted over time to reach that ONE goal: heavy weight lifted overhead at all costs.
This is GREAT news for you!
It means that your desire to add weight to the bar will often help you in learning proper technique!! Wow…when has a coach ever told you THAT before?
Like I said above, this is ONLY true if you are not a “rank” beginner any more. (That is, you can show me that with an empty bar you can do things correctly.)
But once you are past that, by adding weight, you put yourself into a position where the ONLY way to get that bar where you want it…is to do it right.
Any other technique will result in a fail.
When you are in this “phase two” of beginner training, that might be just adding 10 pounds to the empty bar.
But as you become more and more advanced this will be true up to 80 or even 90% of your true max.
Many lifters who are in that (long long long) intermediate phase look the prettiest at about 90% of their max.
Don’t misunderstand what I am saying.
There is a breaking point. Not even world champions always have perfect technique at their true maxes (though it’s shockingly close).
That isn’t the point.
The point is that staying TOO light for too long will actually harm your progress. You MUST add weight and put yourself into a “make or break” situation where the only way you can make it is by using proper form. THAT is your ideal training zone most of the time.
Again…that may not ACTUALLY be heavy. It may only be 25 kilos!
But that extra weight now forced you to do it right or not make it at all…
Get Your Binary Learn On
In other words, your situation now became BINARY: Either you make it, or you miss it…nothing in between.
Anytime you can make your learning time (practice time) binary…it’s good.
That way, you KNOW if you did it right or wrong. There is no guess work.
Do what you have been wanting to.
Add weight to the bar.
Lift it over your head.
And when you’re ready to take the next step, and fast-track your progress, join my new coaching group:
Now go lift something heavy,