This week in the world of weightlifting:
Riley Charlish, a talented High School Basketball Player that I’m strength coaching, was mentioned in a couple articles in the local papers here and here, because of his performance with his High School B-ball team, the Roughriders. He also got a shoutout at Oregonlive.com.
The Iron Samurai made the list of the Top 30 Weightlifting Blogs. Makes me feel all warm and gushy inside. There really are some great ones on there that aren’t the normal “fitness” type sites. In other words, if you want to get stronger, for real, these are some of the best blogs to hit up. For instance Weightlifting Epiphanies, Doctor Hartman, Mighty Kat, Sean Waxman, and Bob Takano, to name a few are all Olympic weightlifting focused. Between all of us, you’ll be filling your head with some great usable info that will increase your lifts and help turn you into a super human! (Hyperbole? Maybe, but only slightly …)
Pat Mendez, of Average Broz Gym, hits a 207k snatch in training. This is the heaviest snatch on record of any American lifter, ever! And it is an unofficial Jr. World record (Unofficial because it wasn’t done under contest conditions). This is a fantastic feat of strength and athleticism.
Strength+ Magazine. Don’t forget to sign up for a subscription for the English speaking worlds ONLY serious Olympic weightlifting focused magazine. There are other good mags out there that cover weightlifting (Performance One and MILO come to mind), but this one is centered around it, and edited none other than Rachel Crass, who is stronger than you:
Pretty Strong Blog gives us an interview with the Athlete of the Year: Chioma Amaechi of Hassel Free Barbell.
Alwyn Cosgrove gives us his 5 rules for meeting your New Years Resolutions. The best one is #5: Hire a Coach 😉
The Iron Samurai gives you his own strategy for meeting them resolutions. (It’s funny writing in the 3rd person)
Naim Suleymanoglu is the focus of this old-school article from Sports Illustrated 1984, when he was only 16, before he became the greatest weightlifter of all time. In the article they still use his “old” name, Suleimanov. He changed it when he defected to Turkey, the country of his ancestry. (BTW, my step dad, who was in the Bulgarian gymnastics sports school, and a friend of Naim as they were growing up, still calls him Suleimanov … I think most Bulgarians took offense when Naim left, my Step Dad being no exception. But really, can you blame the dude. The country was under Soviet rule at the time!)
If you think you can only lift in the gym to heavy metal to be successful, think again:
"U.S.country music is good for training," Spasov explains to a flabbergasted visitor. "The boys are loving Mr. Nelson, and Mr. Cash also." Actually, the visitor would have been more astonished had he not heard, only minutes before in the lobby of the hotel. Muddy Waters moaning over the speaker system about a "jack out with his jennet, waaaaay on over the hill."
And here’s a sample of the training they did on Friday, May 4th, 1984:
10—10:45: Snatch—10 to 12 sets of one or two repetitions, working up in increments to approximately 90% of the lifter’s best competitive lift.
11:15—12: Clean and jerk—10 to 12 sets of one or two repetitions, working up to 90% of best competitive lift.
12:15—12:45: Eight to 10 sets of front squats with either one or two repetitions, working up to 90% of the lifter’s best training poundage.
12:45—1: Walk to hotel.
1:30—3:45: Rest, nap, Mr. Cash,Mr. Nelson.
3:45—4: Dress and walk to training hall for afternoon sessions.
4—4:45: Clean and jerk—10 to 12 sets of one or two repetitions, working up to approximately 100% of lifter’s previous best.
5—5:45: 10 to 12 sets of one or two repetitions, working up to 95% of previous best in clean and jerk.
6:15—7: Snatch—10 to 12 sets of one or two repetitions, working up to approximately 100% of previous best.
7:15—7:45: Regular or back squats—10 to 12 sets of one or two repetitions, working up to 90% or 95% of previous training best.
The article says they’re doing about 7 sessions a day, but I think that’s a bit odd. I’d call this two long sessions a day. One from 10 to noon, and the other from 4 till 8. Each with long rest periods after each lift.
One more quote from the article:
When Suleimanov actually approached the bar and lifted, though, every one of his 152 centimeters and 56 kilos was dead serious. Like wolf. He would tighten his tiny belt, chalk his stubby fingers, which are so short he must let his thumbnails grow so he can take a properly secure "hook" grip on the bar, approach the weight with short steps, bend slowly at the waist and hips to grasp the bar, flatten his relatively long back so it became slightly concave and close his heavily lidded eyes for a moment. Then, with a slight preparatory shudder, he would begin to pull the bar at what seemed at first to be too slow a speed but which became, once the bar reached a position five or six inches above his thighs, a blur of plate-rattling speed as he extended his body fully and then dropped under the bar to fix it either at his chest or at arms’ length overhead.
Caleb Ward first Jerks, then Overhead Squats 190k!
The Daily Telegraph ponders whether Yoga is bad for your knees. I used to do a lot of Yoga, and there’s a case to be made that many Yoga stretches are good to do. But, never forget that Yoga is a system that has come to us via tradition not via science. There’s much dogma to it, and dogma is nearly always bad in my book. Here’s Mike Boyle’s take on the article.
Zach Krych has an inspirational video showing his wrist injury and then his subsequent recovery and return to weightlifting – winning nationals in the process. Two things to be learned here: Never give up and don’t wear straps while doing cleans!
Catalyst Athletics has a great dynamic warmup vid for weightlifters.
Finally, there is something to be said for a squat rack: