My Best Squat Program I’ve received this question dozens if not 100’s of times since Instagram recently debuted their “questions” feature. “What is the best way to get my squat up?” I’m of the mind that power is the number one physical characteristic that an athlete and a weightlifter must chase, but strength isn’t too…
Whole Foot, Whole Time: Balance in Weightlifting Movements 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…
How Often Should you PR? Recently the following question was posed to me: How often should I PR? Specifically this was a masters lifter, running into some frustration on how he should gauge improvement. Weightlifting, in the first couple years, can set you up for a royal mind trick down the road. It’s as if…
On this episode I speak with the Jassim and Khaled, the guys behind Kinetik SC.
Kinetik is a Bahrain based company established for the purpose of providing quality strength and conditioning equipment and education to contribute to the development of the strength and conditioning field in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the MENA region.
The following post comes from Eric Cressey. Eric is world renowned as the “shoulder guy”, and in this post he gives you an assessment tool to see if you are ready to train overhead. Never have I seen such a simple assessment and simple corrections if you are found to be lacking. If you want to press, snatch, or jerk you must keep reading.
I get questions all the time about what I use to train for weightlifting. The shoes I wear, the bumpers and bar I use, or what I would recommend for training, or for home gym set up, etc. There are plenty of choices, but in my experience the best options when price and quality are considered are what I try to get.
If you are interested in Olympic lifting, there are only a few things that you MUST have.
Bumpers-Without rubber plates you are going to have a very tough time dropping the weights over and over. Not that the weights or the floors won’t be able to handle it, but the impact of metal weights hitting the bar when dropped will eat through bars quick!.
Bar– A good weightlifting bar will mean you can put more weight on the bar without sacrificing your wrists, shoulders, etc.
Shoes– Weightlifting shoes are more than just nice to have. They give you an essential base of support, and open up your ankles for squatting deeper. Plenty of problems that I see with athletes in the clean and snatch can easily be cleared up simply with some weightlifting shoes.
Platform– While not 100% necessary, they are really nice to have, so I shared with you the way to build a platform in about 10 minutes.
There are plenty of other things that I like to use all the time and keep in my weightlifting bag, but those are all listed as miscellaneous.
I have written several posts (both here and elsewhere) on complexes and combos. Lots of those have been absolutely murderous (5 and 6 exercise behemoth’s for up to 5 reps each) and each serves a purpose in my training.
Recently though I have found myself navigating towards simpler and simpler combos. Instead of 5-6 exercise slogs, I am focusing in on 2-3 movements and doing them at a fairly heavy weight, (similar to what I wrote in this article for T-Nation). These simple combos are more suited for developing strength and enhancing my technique.
They just so happen to be the types of combos that we use at my gym the MOST often for athletes. 2-3 movements done really well, not taxing on energy systems, but on strength. Athletes and olympic lifters get the most out of this type of combo or complex, short and to the point.
Below you will find 3 combos that I have been using in my own training a lot recently. The clean and jerk combo, and the jerk combo are really well suited to everyday athletes, and the snatch combo is perfect for the more weightlifting centric types.
On my travels to the junior national championships several months ago, I ran into one an awesome young man. I spotted him in the Dallas airport on a layover because he was doing snatches with a custodian’s broom (100% serious).
We struck up a conversation and I found out he was self taught and self trained in the Olympic lifts. The kid was rapidly becoming one of my favorite young people when he asked me how many years left I have as a junior (the answer is negative 11 years left). I asked him about his training program he said 3 words that no American weightlifter should say, “Straight Bulgarian homie.”
My favorite, age-mistaking, young Olympic lifter, just made me realize that he didn’t have a hope. Sooner or later, but likely sooner, he was going to break down, or burn out.
A better way to power clean is needed to make huge gains in this lift. Just pulling on the bar and finding a way to catch it isn’t going to cut it anymore.
A better way to catch the power clean is to take a cue from Olympic lifters and learn to catch low on every rep.
“But wait…I coach athletes, not Olympic lifters.”
“I don’t want to compete in Olympic lifting.”
“I don’t have the time to teach athletes to catch low on every rep”
While those have been my concerns in the past, they no longer are. The ability to catch the bar low is now a staple in my gym, and gone are the days of ugly lifts.
One thing I have done in the past couple years is really work to surround myself with great coaches. One of those great coaches is Rod Root. Rod has become more than my right hand guy, he has become my go to guy. When it comes to all things, I ask Rod for his opinion before I finalize my own.
Rod has led the charge in developing our programs for basketball players and has helped to create multiple division 1 prospects and was the strength coach for the Indiana State Champion Girls basketball team that trained in our gym all fall and winter.
If you know basketball players like I do then you know that there is one thing on their mind at all times, jumping higher and dunking. When it comes to jumping higher the king of movements is the depth jump.
Below is a post about everything depth jumps, from Rod, be careful though, this program of depth jumps has gotten one of our 7th grade basketball players dunking. This stuff works, almost too well….