Friday, December 31, 2010

This week in Training and My Thoughts on Olympic-Style Lifitng

I've been really switching up my training to help ready myself for the Highland Games season coming up. I hope to compete in at least six games this year. I already have five planned out and need to find which one I want to be the sixth.

Everything has been geared toward explosion, so I've added Dynamic Effort-style Box Squats, Power Snatches, Power Cleans, Box Jumps and the like. I feel really strong even though I'm about 10lbs lighter than when I threw the last time. I just need to get quicker and more flexible in my midsection. As a result of my accident my body freaked out trying to protect my lower back, so my Internal and External Obliques as well as my Quadrator Lumborum are all basically locked in place. Now, this is great for my Deadlift and my Squat, but not good for powerful rotational movements, like those in the Highland Games.

I've also started throwing again. I've thrown a few practice PRs in the 28 Weight for Distance and hit a 5 foot practice PR on the Hammer and that is without the spikes. I've really been concentrating on the footwork for the Weights For Distance as I feel I leave a TON of power out of my throws. I probably just need a coach to pick apart my throws.

I believe that the Olympic Lifts should be a part of most people's strength training regimen. DO NOT read this as me saying I think everyone should do barbell Snatches. Quite the opposite. Quick, powerful movements are integral in overall development. I think a lot of trainers are afraid to give a lot of their clients any powerful movements because of the risk of injury or lack of exercise experience.

Why not think outside of the box. Have them do single arm work starting off with dumbbells. Teach a proper single arm Deadlift, then progress to single arm High Pulls, then Cleans, then Clean and Press, then Clean and Jerk, then Snatch. Once they have become proficient at that then switch implements on them. Move onto a Kettlebell or a Barbell from there.

Now when it comes to learning the moves you do not have to be a stickler for perfect form. Remember that there are athletes out there that train there entire life to attempt to perfect the form on the the Clean and Jerk or the Snatch. I'm not saying let them round their back and protract their cervical spine, but don't worry so much about hitting that ass to grass Overhead Squat after the pulling motion of the Snatch. I would much rather be able to Power Clean 225 lbs with no drop phase of the lift than Clean 315 with Olympic form.

WHY??? If you want to be an Olympic Lifter then practice the form and get good at it. If your goal it to create bone crushing power, don't worry so much about creating a two phase curvilinear pull on your Snatch. Just grab the bar keep your spine neutral and pull the sonofabitch over your head. That will help you generate more power.

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