In college I would beg and plead to lift from the blocks. If snatches were listed, I’d figure out a way to get the blocks out and lift. Cleans, same. All this work from the blocks didn’t go without reward, by the time college was out I got really good at it too.
During my college career, my finagling allowed me to snatch 145kg from the blocks and clean 182.5kg from the blocks.
On the other hand, all that lifting from the blocks had me especially good at lifting from the blocks, I would venture to say that my best from the floor at those times was more along the lines of 125/160, but I honestly haven’t a clue because I never did it.
I had developed technique all together dissimilar than the technique it takes to lift from the floor. I actually see this a lot, it seems that in American weightlifting there are a lot of instagram videos of massive lifts from the blocks but not the same lifts from the floor and definitely not on the competition platform.
I don’t think this needs to be the case, lifting from the blocks can be extremely valuable to developing position specific strength and technique in the weightlifting movements. The keys are all in the set up (this next line is important)
Your position on the block needs to be exactly like the position you would have achieved if pulling from the floor.
Although Dmitry Klokov once said “Americans lift from blocks, Russians lift from deficit” I think there is some value to training from the block when applied correctly.
In the video below I share some of my thoughts on how to correctly use the blocks.
Yasha Kahn on how to lift from a different type of blocks and the “Back Angle”
What a good bar path looks like: FirstPull.net
Originally Published 1/12/16