The cinematic classic Teen Wolf fits that description.
Here’s the clif notes version for those that have not watched the movie (shame on you btw).
High school athlete turns into a werewolf when “excited”, as opposed to normal stress responses, and rather than face almost assured shaming and humiliation, he uses this affliction to become the most popular kid in school and to do impossible dunks.
Simple premise: Werewolf movie.
Interesting twist: He is actually popular instead of being called the “hairy kid.”
It’s weird how things like that happen. All logic would indicate that this movie has too simple a premise and be a waste of time. As anyone that has ever watched Teen Wolf knows. This movie rocks..
Sometimes the most complex problems like movie scripts, require the simplest solutions.
Your Olympic lifts sometimes require Teen Wolf solutions. You don’t need to over-think it.
I get asked a lot of questions about clean technique and how to improve it.
They go something like this:
“I am cleaning so and so pounds, but can’t seem to break through this barrier.”
“Whenever I hit this weight my technique falls apart, what should I do?”
I often send back answers to the questioner that take 2 minutes to type up. It’s not that I am not trying or didn’t spend 20 minutes breaking down the video and looking for something flashier, but the technical problem and the solution is right in front of me.
What do I see on video?
Olympic lifts happen quickly and the results are all that we can base our corrections. You see, the platform is more like a vet’s office than an MD’s, Fido doesn’t know what’s wrong with him and neither do most lifters.
A human type doctor gets information from what you tell them: where you have been recently, what kind of activities you have been doing, and whom you have been around.
Like the vet’s office we don’t get a ton of feedback from individual lifters. Most lifters just do not have the experience or feel of the lifts to give you the feedback you need.
Lifters typically know what they should do: extend the hips forcefully to create as much bar speed as possible, but that is the symptom that I most often see when breaking down videos of athletes looking to go to the next level.
A shortened pull- where the bar doesn’t last make contact with your thighs at hip extension- is typically only a symptom of a deeper problem.
The platform is more like a vet’s office than an MD’s, Fido doesn’t know what’s wrong with him and neither do most lifters –Tweet this Bro!
So What’s the Big Clean Problem?
The problem is quite simple really, like a high school student that avoids the full moon. It hides itself behind high heeled weightlifting shoes, and big fat high top outsoles.
The most common cause of incomplete hip extension is a forward weight shift to your toes.
“Wait it’s that simple?”
Yes, a forward weight shift will allow the bar to gain space from the body and leave your hips without a chance to reach full extension. This problem is difficult to spot because so many of our athletes wear shoes with a substantial heel.
I am not blaming this on weightlifting shoes, because they are in fact designed to help you keep your weight balanced. The heel is so hard in weightlifting shoes, not just to make a lot of noise on a wooden platform, but to allow an efficient drive through the heels without a lot of energy leak.
To correct this issue we work with our athletes to develop the idea of a tripod foot position with equal balance through the heels and forefoot. Take it from a guy smarter than me, Mike Robertson, and learn how to coach the tripod foot.
I actually will coach my athletes to stay on their heels, knowing that the correction they make will not truly put them on their heels. Over-coaching towards past correct can make athletes correct to the right level faster than coaching to the middle.
There are 2 simple solutions to the problem that involve weightlifting fixes. Simple solutions.
Just a hint we’re going to make ourself a little light/heavy sandwich to fix this problem and we are going to start with the light stuff first.
You can pretty much guarantee that any problem you have with only a bar in your hand will be magnified by 100x when you start adding bumper plates. For that reason alone my athletes do imitation complexes with the bar to start off every training day.
Emphasize keeping the weight on the heels throughout each movement. In this complex below I am doing our warm-up imitation complex for the clean with a heavy emphasis on a flat footed pull. d
Now on to the heavy part of this solution.
Reducing the weight is one way to groove technique, the other is by reducing the range of motion in the lift. The clean pull fits this bill perfectly. The bar should be loaded with 110% of the weight used for the same number of reps in the full movement.
Again, the focus is on keeping the weight on the heels throughout the movement. By increasing the weight beyond what the athlete is normally capable, this is my plateau buster. When you have stagnated at a weight use clean pulls to bust through.
We use the same coaching points as our normal clean or hang clean, but try to finish with the traps heading towards the ears to finish this movement.
Here is a classic vid of me hitting up some clean pulls from a deficit before a set of clean pulls from the floor.
You don’t need a complicated script to correct common mistakes in the clean, you can have a simple 80’s classic and make huge strides. Use your bar work to refine technique and heavy clean pulls to bust through plateaus.