Through my almost 33 years of life on this earth I have realized that there are only 2 kinds of people in this world:
Those that know they will make the jerk, and those that don’t know if they will make the jerk.
We almost have a joke in our gym. I say almost, because it might be true in most cases, but we say this phrase so much that it makes us laugh almost every time one of our coaches blurts it out.
“It’s all comes back to breathing”
Staring at your program and looking at what’s on tap for the day, you’re likely to see one of two things.
Option 1: A hard and fast percentage of your best lift. Written in blood, on a tablet of stone, you have to hit this number or you’re a total loser.
Option 2: Some rep max, and some back off sets at 5% or 10% less than that rep max. This should account for your daily state of rea
In my 20 years in weightlifting (first as a junior athlete and progressing to old man weightlifting and coaching) I have spent more time working on my jerk than anything else. It never felt right to me from day 1 over 20 years ago. I tried everything, every technical cue I read from books, everything I picked up from watching national and international meets. I even went so far as to actually switch my lead foot in an effort to re-work my jerk.
A true beginner would be my dream scenario, a young talented athlete that wants to pursue weightlifting, one with very little training, but untapped athleticism. I don’t get many of those. In the US we don’t get many of those at all.
Instead, i get a lot of “technical” beginners. I get athletes and individuals that know what the lifts are, have done them, and have done them with sub-standard technique. That was exactly the stage from which I began weightlifting over 18 years ago. I had done a power clean, but it wasn’t particularly good.
I recently read an article by a performance coach talking about how he coaches the Olympic lifts. His argument was that it is not correct to “jump your feet” in weightlifting. He didn’t go so far as to say it was out and out wrong, but in pretty strong terms he suggested that doing so wasn’t exactly the right thing to do.
Back with another Free Program and this is all for the people who can’t reliably put a bar over their heads to save their lives.
Don’t worry, it’s common enough that I’ve used a version of this program with dozens of athletes.
Here I am teaching a course on weightlifting looking across the room at a giant poster on the wall with depictions of how the athlete should snatch and clean and jerk. Nothing overtly wrong with it, until I look at the little diagram on the poster of with an infographic of how the athlete should balance their weight during the pull.
Much to my utter horror, this giant poster teaches the athlete to rock back and forth from their heels to their toes throughout the movement. If you asked me to explain it to you, I couldn’t, because it didn’t make any sense.
When I talk about weightlifting or teach weightlifting there are a couple guiding light principles that make everything else function more smoothly.
Over the last 6 weeks or so I’ve started getting into my training personally again, and took a slightly different approach, but this program has yielded incredible results.
My lifts are up, waaay up, and I’m hitting PR’s without a belt which is a huge win for me. (My wife also says I’m leaner than I’ve been in years, which is good too 🙂 ).