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Olympic Weightlifting Articles, Video and More
Updated: 18 hours 30 min ago

Are Masters Weightlifting Programs Gimmicks?

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 04:00
Stacy Asks: Do you think there is a valuable or significant difference between regular lifting programs and ones targeted for masters? I’ve been following the catalyst athletic programs for years and had great progress and success with them. I’m noticing more and more Barbell clubs offering specific “Masters” programming, though. So, I’m wondering if there is something different to those programs that I should be paying attention to or if they are just a gimmick. Yo
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Ask Greg: Rocking to Heels in Pull and Staying Flat-Footed

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 04:00
Ashley Asks: I have been weightlifting for 5 years and cannot seem to break the habit of rocking back on my heels between the first and second pull, especially on the clean. I see it every lift I record: my toes come completely off the ground. This subsequently results in me having to bring my heels off the floor in order to have contact with the bar.... instead of the desired chain of reaction: heels come off the floor BECAUSE of the bar contact. (I hope this makes sense...) I’ve
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Medial Elbow Pain From Weightlifting?

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 04:00
If you have medial elbow pain, give this exercise a shot 3 days a week for 3 sets of 10-12 reps at the end of your workout. Use both hands to pull down, then one hand to return to the top with a 5-second eccentric. Be sure to curl your wrist in and keep the elbow in along your midline. If you don’t have access to a lat pulldown machine and rope handle, just thread a towel through a band to create a similarly thick vertical grip. You’ll probably feel the painful area as you p
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Joint Angles For The Olympic Lifts?

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 04:00
Marko Asks: I have a question that bothers me for a couple of weeks now:  Some coaches like to prescribe numbers for the angle in the first pull.  Like 40 degree back angle from the floor until above the knee in the  clean. Do you think that's useful? If so, what angles do you like to  see? How does this approach take body types into account?
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Why Wear Weightlifting Shoes?

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 04:00
There are 3 reasons to wear weightlifting shoes: The lifted heel effectively increases ankle range of motion, allowing a deeper and more upright squat position. The thin, hard soles absorb very little force, which means more of the force you produce goes into moving the bar. The relatively wide, square-edged and hard soles create a more stable base. These things mean lifting more weight and less risk of injury. The primary argument against wearing shoes is that they’ll limit
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Grip Training for Weightlifters and Beyond

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 04:00
Specificity is king—that will never change in regards to strength sport. However, in recent years I have consistently found myself championing the importance of general physical strength and its positive effects for the competitive Olympic weightlifter. This is perhaps due to the fact that I primarily work with novice and intermediate trainees who have no past experience with weight training outside of functional fitness classes or individuals who have jumped directly into Olympic weightli
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Too Far Back To The Heels In The Snatch and Clean

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 04:00
A common mistake in the snatch and clean is shifting too far back onto the heels in the pull. There are 3 basic potential problems with this: First it can create a tendency to rock forward in reaction, creating a forward imbalance directly and indirectly by encouraging forward hip extension and the bar swinging forward. Second, it can direct the bar and body backward, limiting bar elevation and reducing stability with added horizontal bar motion, and/or causing the feet to sweep backward o
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How To Time Warm-ups In Weightlifting Competition - Counting Attempts

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 04:00
Warming up for Olympic weightlifting competition requires carefully timing your lifts to prepare you to open on the platform when called. This video provides the basics of how to count attempts and time warm-ups in competition. Video by Will Breault
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Are the Olympic Lifts Helpful for ALL Athletes?

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 04:00
Almost all of my articles are about competitive Olympic weightlifting. Training, competition, mental development, etc. At this point, I think I’ve written around 300 articles about the sport.   However, I recently realized I’ve never written an article about athletes from other sports using the Olympic lifts in their training. This is an extremely well-covered topic in the strength world, obviously. Greg Everett wrote a book about it. Organizations like the NSCA are entirely d
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Find Your Snatch Grip Width

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 04:00
There are quite a few complex methods of determining snatch grip width, and I’ll argue that none is worth the time or effort. Any method that relies on measurements of the upper body is essentially pointless. The 2 points that actually matter are first, ensuring the bar actually clears your head when overhead, and second, where the bar contacts your body in the pull. The length of your arms is irrelevant except in its relationship to the length of your trunk, which is why measuring t
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Slow Lockout In Jerk Or Snatch?

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 04:00
If your elbow lockout overhead in the snatch or jerk tends to be slow and incomplete, consider your grip tension. An excessively tight grip on the bar will limit the speed at which you can extend the elbow and make complete extension of the joint more difficult. This is confusing to many new lifters because of the common recommendation to squeeze the bar hard when bench pressing or pressing. Remember that in these two lifts, the goal is to produce as much force as possible, and a tight gri
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Laura Alexander - 94/118 At 76 - AO Series 2

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 04:00
Laura hits 94/118 in the 76 class in her second big meet. More to come. Video by William Breault
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Fixing Patellar Tendinitis for Weightlifters

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 04:00
Let me preface this by reminding you that I’m not a medical professional—I’m just a guy with well-used knees who’s coached a lot of athletes with well-used knees. If you have a serious injury or severe tendinopathy, go see a professional.   Don’t sit around and wait for your tendinitis to get worse—start taking care of it the day you notice it. Prevention is always best, but immediate correction will save you a lot of time, pain and lost training. and nbs
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Fix Patellar Tendinitis For Olympic Weightlifting

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 04:00
Let me preface this by reminding you that I’m not a medical professional—I’m just a guy with well-used knees who’s coached a lot of athletes with well-used knees. If you have a serious injury or severe tendinopathy, go see a professional. Don’t sit around and wait for your tendinitis to get worse—start taking care of it the day you notice it. Prevention is always best, but immediate correction will save you a lot of time, pain and lost training. The firs
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Sarabeth Jumper - 91/115kg At 59kg - AO2 2019

Fri, 08/02/2019 - 04:00
Sarabeth McClendon Jumper hits 91/115 in the 59 class at the American Open Series 2 in Albuquerque July 2019. This total put her on the world team, but she was bumped to an alternate spot by another lifter at Pan Am Games 2 days later. Video by William Breault
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Weightlifting Weight Classes: Tweeners Should Go Up (Mostly)

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 04:00
Over the years, lots of weightlifters have asked me for advice about which weight class they should compete in. They tell me their bodyweight status, the class they’re currently in, the class they’re thinking about going to, etc., and they want input about the best choice.   Sometimes, it’s extremely obvious which weight class you should be in. Many of you are probably in that situation because you walk around at a normal bodyweight that’s close to the limit of a s
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Motivation vs Discipline... and Weightlifting

Tue, 07/23/2019 - 04:00
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really know what’s going on out there. I don’t follow people on Instagram or YouTube or anything else, so I’m not usually up to speed on what’s the coolest at any given moment. That said, some of it does eventually trickle down to me unavoidably, and then I walk into the party in the middle of the conversation and tell you what I think even though you haven’t asked.   This topic has been bothering me for a while
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Which Leg Forward In The Split Jerk?

Mon, 07/22/2019 - 04:00
Which leg to lead with in the split jerk is the world’s simplest question but has managed to inspire stunningly complicated solutions. For example, sneaking up behind your athlete and shoving them with the idea that the foot they catch themselves with should be the lead leg. Cool. That’s battery, and now your lifter can’t jerk because of a neck injury. Also, they’re going to step with the foot closer to the side they’re falling toward because you’re unli
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Snatch Overhead Stability In The Bottom

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 04:00
The most reliable position to establish stability in the snatch is in the bottom. There’s no need to bounce out to recover like in the clean, so don’t be in a hurry to stand up before you’re stable. Unless you unquestionably receive the bar perfectly, settle in and stabilize at least briefly before standing. Magnifying instability by unnecessarily rushing the recovery is a stupid way to miss a lift. If you feel the bar abruptly move forward or backward significantly, you
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Learn and Train The Bounce In The Clean For Better Recoveries

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 04:00
To maximize your ability to recover, learn to use and train the bounce out of the clean and front squat. The bounce is the combination of 3 elements: the stretch-shortening reflex of the leg musculature, the elastic rebound of the bar, and to a lesser extent, the literal bounce of the upper legs off the lower legs. This allows greater speed and less effort in the recovery, which means more energy and confidence for the jerk. To learn the bounce, sit into the bottom of an unloaded squat
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