Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Reminder! Olympic Lifting with John has moved to Wednesdays at 5:30pm! register in mindbody. 10 person cap.





– 10 Min Power Clean Progression

– 18 Min to a Heavy Power Clean Triple

– 8 Min to a Power Clean Triple






– 25 DU’s or 15 LBH

– 50 DU’s
– 10 Power Cleans

– 10 Power Cleans @ 70% of A

Will going BIG make you slow?
Written by Zach Erick

There seems to be a belief in the olympic lifting community that if you stress technique – and only technique – you will become a stronger lifter. While this is inevitably true, many lifters, especially novices, fall into the trap of focusing so much on technique that they let their absolute strength fall by the wayside.

Absolute strength is defined as “the maximum force that a muscle can produce in a single voluntary effort, regardless of the rate of production.”

In other words – what is the most amount of weight you can move? There is no better way to measure your absolute strength than powerlifting, specifically the deadlift.

Now, when I say deadlift, I’m talking about a clean style deadlift; not the sumo or conventional powerlifting deadlift. With the clean style deadlift, you will start with your shoulders slightly over, or in front of the bar, hips more in a half squat position rather than quarter squat, and the chest up. This should be identical to the starting position of your clean.

When you look at olympic lifting style programs, there is hardly any emphasis on this extremely important lift. You will see clean and snatch pulls, which, many will argue, are far more important to the olympic lifter because of the explosiveness of the pull and the recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers needed through the second pull and the “finish”. However, if I’m neglecting the deadlift completely, and ONLY doing clean pulls at 110% of my 1-RM clean, yet my 110% clean pull is only 75% of my 1-RM deadlift, there is a massive hole in my program (i.e. – not deadlifting) that would greatly benefit my olympic lifting.

Why do you never see deadlifts in a olympic style program? The belief is that the deadlift makes you slow. While a heavy deadlift can sometimes take anywhere from 5-10 seconds to finish the lift, it does not mean it will make you slow. If you can deadlift 500 lbs., pulling 315 lbs. from the floor for a clean is going to feel easy, and the last time I checked, 315 lbs. is still a very respectable clean. Deadlifts will make you strong, not slow.

The clean and snatch pull is a great exercise to build speed from the ground, BUT it has one major flaw; they are hardly ever done correctly. The lifter will be pulling anywhere from 105%-120% of their 1-RM clean/snatch as fast as they can from the ground. All it takes is a profile view to see that the second they rip the bar from the ground, the lifter’s weight shifts to their toes, the bar is traveling away from the body, unable to keep the lats engaged and the bar close, and the shrug at the top is really the lifter banging the bar off of their hips.

When done correctly, the clean/snatch pull is beneficial to the lifter; but as I stated earlier, the deadlift should not be neglected. The deadlift, done correctly, will build far more strength than the pull and will ensure proper mechanics due to the speed that the lift is executed.

In conclusion, I urge everyone practicing the sport of olympic lifting to not fear accessory work. There are many other ways to become a better lifter besides practicing the two main lifts (Clean & Jerk and Snatch). Deadlifts, good mornings, pendlay rows, strict presses, push presses, bulgarian split squats, lunges, and back squats are all (and just a few) great exercises to increase your strength on the platform, and should be part of your program.