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chairohkey

The Training Yard: Where We Get Our Learn On

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The second version is better. Without knowing more context I really can't comment too much. Though integrating weightlifting into CF programming (that I don't control) is something I spend, frankly, too much time on haha.

 

What are your best snatch, c&j, squat, DL, and (if you have one) clean DL? Is the weightlifting program intended to be your main strength work too? As in, the two wods will be metcon only and not have strength pieces? What do you feel like are the biggest issues in your lifts?

 

I'm only going to be doing 2 wods per week in our competitors class (even though there is no way in hell i'll make it to regionals.) 

 

Best lifts:

snatch: 95lbs 

OHS: 120lbs (haven't tested this in over a year)

C&J = 125lbs

Power Jerk = 128lbs

HBBS: 190lbs (but i won't BS anymore b/c of back issues)

FS: 165lbs

DL: 235lbs

 

This cycle will be my main focus. I will probably add in a few strength things that i need work on (overhead press, bench press, somethin' for the lats) but that's it. maybe some rando conditioning finishers. (burpees, DU's, because i suck at them) Doing this cycle b/c I love WL and want to see what I can do to focus on it.

 

biggest issues: snatch, i hope forward. the bar gets out in front of me, because something is wonky in my first pull. i've been working to set up with my hips higher to fix that. 

 

clean, i still need to diagnose. 

jerk: just not comfortable splitting. i can, but my body defaults to power jerk. 

 

here's video of my 95lb snatch:

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Gotcha. The snatch isn't bad but it's definitely what I would consider pretty raw technique. I'd actually like to see your hips lower and a more dominant leg drive off the ground. At the instant the barbell separates from the ground your hips are already high and most of the load has shifted to your back. This causes you to tilt forward and remain too far out front for the rest of the lift. 

 

In light of that and your numbers I'll suggest another option, but first there are a couple things about your program I'd have reservations about. Namely, the inclusion of powers and pulls. I leave these alone for quite a while during a lifter's development for a few reasons.

 

I avoid powers for a while mostly because we want to develop the full (squat) lifts. Newbies need to learn to meet the bar and remain tight and all that but they also need to develop pulling under. CF'ers often have too many bad power habits coming in and can make good progress avoiding them too. Furthermore, most adults can easily pull way more than they can ever get under so the main utility of powers (developing a strong, explosive pull/finish) isn't really necessary until a lifter is more developed. 

 

Pulls I avoid until a lifter goes through significant position work and has a pretty consistent pull in the full lifts. Introducing them too early often leads to pulls that are not only inconsistent but also don't really mimic real pulls the way they should. And just like powers, most of the time pull strength isn't the issue anyway so I save them for later.

 

So that's mostly why I avoid cycles like the Catalyst cycle with pulls and powers for beginners or people trying to seriously remediate technique. I have a few different tracks I put people on depending on if they're newer dedicated lifters, new CF'ers or more experienced, competition minded CrossFitters. The first cycles I put most everyone on are all derived from Kyle Pierce's intermediate program he uses at LSUS.

 

I think this would be something you should consider given the state of your lifts. The program really focuses on developing the lifts from three primary directions. First, there is a ton of position work; 140 lifts a week from the hip position in the first three weeks (or four if doing three days a week, more on that later). This really develops positional awareness at the most important position and teaches us how to finish from the proper position and transition under actively and aggressively. Second, it includes a lot of purposeful dead lifting from the ground to develop proprioception and solid positional strength off the ground. Lastly, it integrates well into different strength and conditioning setups as long as someone has the time.

 

Here's an example implementation I use, note this was uploaded to Google Drive from a formatted Excel sheet and it passed my look test but it might be wonky:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am-NKgrnCptBdEpfYXQ0UEhxeW8yWTZkSmYzbmdlR2c&usp=drive_web#gid=0

 

There are two primary workouts: a jerk, squat, press day, and a pull day. Notice you're doing six sets of five on the jerks and main lifts.. lot's and lot's of practice. The pull days alternate between snatch and clean deadlifts and they should be performed exactly like a snatch and clean respectively from the floor to the knee. Once at the knee you simply finish the hip extension.

 

This is what separates a sn/cln pull from a sn/cln deadlift. In a pull we try to replicate the DKB or repositioning of the hips to the power position and beyond whereas in a deadlift we simply finish by driving our hips through to stand up. Again, the main focus of the deadlifts is to develop strength and back proprioception off the ground. This is, IMO, more effective than trying to do it with pulls since we can go slower (eliminating timing issues for a while) and simplify the movement by not worrying about the upstream portion above the knee.

 

So you basically have an A and B day with some attendant strength work. This works fine on either three or four days a week but the original program is four days so if that works with your schedule I'd stick with that. This will bring both cycles down to six weeks worth of training after which you'll be ready to put the pieces back together and probably feel like an entirely new lifter, assuming your practice is correct of course. :)

 

The second cycle (last three weeks) drops the main lifts from 6x5 to 6x3 and we start going from the knee. Strength goes from tens to fives and threes for DLs. 

 

For squatting I'd be fine with subbing in front squats everywhere you see back squats but instead of 3x10 I'd probably front squat for 4x8 or 4-6x6. Front squat tens are not for the faint of heart. Not that you are a delicate flower or anything, I just consider them mostly unnecessary given all the other loading we're exposing you to.

 

The stuff under conditioning isn't meant to be done metcon style, it's just all the auxiliary stuff people need to get in whenever/however. Bodybuilding and core work of choice.

 

..food for thought anyway.

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Gotcha. The snatch isn't bad but it's definitely what I would consider pretty raw technique. I'd actually like to see your hips lower and a more dominant leg drive off the ground. At the instant the barbell separates from the ground your hips are already high and most of the load has shifted to your back. This causes you to tilt forward and remain too far out front for the rest of the lift. 

 

In light of that and your numbers I'll suggest another option, but first there are a couple things about your program I'd have reservations about. Namely, the inclusion of powers and pulls. I leave these alone for quite a while during a lifter's development for a few reasons.

 

I avoid powers for a while mostly because we want to develop the full (squat) lifts. Newbies need to learn to meet the bar and remain tight and all that but they also need to develop pulling under. CF'ers often have too many bad power habits coming in and can make good progress avoiding them too. Furthermore, most adults can easily pull way more than they can ever get under so the main utility of powers (developing a strong, explosive pull/finish) isn't really necessary until a lifter is more developed. 

 

Pulls I avoid until a lifter goes through significant position work and has a pretty consistent pull in the full lifts. Introducing them too early often leads to pulls that are not only inconsistent but also don't really mimic real pulls the way they should. And just like powers, most of the time pull strength isn't the issue anyway so I save them for later.

 

So that's mostly why I avoid cycles like the Catalyst cycle with pulls and powers for beginners or people trying to seriously remediate technique. I have a few different tracks I put people on depending on if they're newer dedicated lifters, new CF'ers or more experienced, competition minded CrossFitters. The first cycles I put most everyone on are all derived from Kyle Pierce's intermediate program he uses at LSUS.

 

I think this would be something you should consider given the state of your lifts. The program really focuses on developing the lifts from three primary directions. First, there is a ton of position work; 140 lifts a week from the hip position in the first three weeks (or four if doing three days a week, more on that later). This really develops positional awareness at the most important position and teaches us how to finish from the proper position and transition under actively and aggressively. Second, it includes a lot of purposeful dead lifting from the ground to develop proprioception and solid positional strength off the ground. Lastly, it integrates well into different strength and conditioning setups as long as someone has the time.

 

Here's an example implementation I use, note this was uploaded to Google Drive from a formatted Excel sheet and it passed my look test but it might be wonky:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am-NKgrnCptBdEpfYXQ0UEhxeW8yWTZkSmYzbmdlR2c&usp=drive_web#gid=0

 

There are two primary workouts: a jerk, squat, press day, and a pull day. Notice you're doing six sets of five on the jerks and main lifts.. lot's and lot's of practice. The pull days alternate between snatch and clean deadlifts and they should be performed exactly like a snatch and clean respectively from the floor to the knee. Once at the knee you simply finish the hip extension.

 

This is what separates a sn/cln pull from a sn/cln deadlift. In a pull we try to replicate the DKB or repositioning of the hips to the power position and beyond whereas in a deadlift we simply finish by driving our hips through to stand up. Again, the main focus of the deadlifts is to develop strength and back proprioception off the ground. This is, IMO, more effective than trying to do it with pulls since we can go slower (eliminating timing issues for a while) and simplify the movement by not worrying about the upstream portion above the knee.

 

So you basically have an A and B day with some attendant strength work. This works fine on either three or four days a week but the original program is four days so if that works with your schedule I'd stick with that. This will bring both cycles down to six weeks worth of training after which you'll be ready to put the pieces back together and probably feel like an entirely new lifter, assuming your practice is correct of course. :)

 

The second cycle (last three weeks) drops the main lifts from 6x5 to 6x3 and we start going from the knee. Strength goes from tens to fives and threes for DLs. 

 

For squatting I'd be fine with subbing in front squats everywhere you see back squats but instead of 3x10 I'd probably front squat for 4x8 or 4-6x6. Front squat tens are not for the faint of heart. Not that you are a delicate flower or anything, I just consider them mostly unnecessary given all the other loading we're exposing you to.

 

The stuff under conditioning isn't meant to be done metcon style, it's just all the auxiliary stuff people need to get in whenever/however. Bodybuilding and core work of choice.

 

..food for thought anyway.

this is exactly what I needed to hear. 

I'm gonna reply a little later with thoughts, questions. I appreciate the help so much. 

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Gotcha. The snatch isn't bad but it's definitely what I would consider pretty raw technique. I'd actually like to see your hips lower and a more dominant leg drive off the ground. At the instant the barbell separates from the ground your hips are already high and most of the load has shifted to your back. This causes you to tilt forward and remain too far out front for the rest of the lift.
interesting. my coach told me a few months ago to start with my hips higher, because i was doing a stripper pole pull when i started with my hips low. do you have any suggestions about how to mentally cue myself to get that leg drive? I know i don't really do that, and i think that's why my back ends up with so much tension.
In light of that and your numbers I'll suggest another option, but first there are a couple things about your program I'd have reservations about. Namely, the inclusion of powers and pulls. I leave these alone for quite a while during a lifter's development for a few reasons.I avoid powers for a while mostly because we want to develop the full (squat) lifts. Newbies need to learn to meet the bar and remain tight and all that but they also need to develop pulling under. CF'ers often have too many bad power habits coming in and can make good progress avoiding them too. Furthermore, most adults can easily pull way more than they can ever get under so the main utility of powers (developing a strong, explosive pull/finish) isn't really necessary until a lifter is more developed. Pulls I avoid until a lifter goes through significant position work and has a pretty consistent pull in the full lifts. Introducing them too early often leads to pulls that are not only inconsistent but also don't really mimic real pulls the way they should. And just like powers, most of the time pull strength isn't the issue anyway so I save them for later.So that's mostly why I avoid cycles like the Catalyst cycle with pulls and powers for beginners or people trying to seriously remediate technique. I have a few different tracks I put people on depending on if they're newer dedicated lifters, new CF'ers or more experienced, competition minded CrossFitters. The first cycles I put most everyone on are all derived from Kyle Pierce's intermediate program he uses at LSUS.
this makes sense. my pulls are inconsistent. they've gotten a lot more consistent, but still not where i want them to be. i mostly chose this cycle blind. i liked the movements, and i knew i needed to work on the pulls -- but doing pulls alone might not do that. thanks for enlightening that bit.
I think this would be something you should consider given the state of your lifts. The program really focuses on developing the lifts from three primary directions. First, there is a ton of position work; 140 lifts a week from the hip position in the first three weeks (or four if doing three days a week, more on that later). This really develops positional awareness at the most important position and teaches us how to finish from the proper position and transition under actively and aggressively. Second, it includes a lot of purposeful dead lifting from the ground to develop proprioception and solid positional strength off the ground. Lastly, it integrates well into different strength and conditioning setups as long as someone has the time.Here's an example implementation I use, note this was uploaded to Google Drive from a formatted Excel sheet and it passed my look test but it might be wonky:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am-NKgrnCptBdEpfYXQ0UEhxeW8yWTZkSmYzbmdlR2c&usp=drive_web#gid=0There are two primary workouts: a jerk, squat, press day, and a pull day. Notice you're doing six sets of five on the jerks and main lifts.. lot's and lot's of practice. The pull days alternate between snatch and clean deadlifts and they should be performed exactly like a snatch and clean respectively from the floor to the knee. Once at the knee you simply finish the hip extension.This is what separates a sn/cln pull from a sn/cln deadlift. In a pull we try to replicate the DKB or repositioning of the hips to the power position and beyond whereas in a deadlift we simply finish by driving our hips through to stand up. Again, the main focus of the deadlifts is to develop strength and back proprioception off the ground. This is, IMO, more effective than trying to do it with pulls since we can go slower (eliminating timing issues for a while) and simplify the movement by not worrying about the upstream portion above the knee.So you basically have an A and B day with some attendant strength work. This works fine on either three or four days a week but the original program is four days so if that works with your schedule I'd stick with that. This will bring both cycles down to six weeks worth of training after which you'll be ready to put the pieces back together and probably feel like an entirely new lifter, assuming your practice is correct of course. :)The second cycle (last three weeks) drops the main lifts from 6x5 to 6x3 and we start going from the knee. Strength goes from tens to fives and threes for DLs. For squatting I'd be fine with subbing in front squats everywhere you see back squats but instead of 3x10 I'd probably front squat for 4x8 or 4-6x6. Front squat tens are not for the faint of heart. Not that you are a delicate flower or anything, I just consider them mostly unnecessary given all the other loading we're exposing you to.The stuff under conditioning isn't meant to be done metcon style, it's just all the auxiliary stuff people need to get in whenever/however. Bodybuilding and core work of choice...food for thought anyway.
ok. so i like this. i just get scared that i'm not working the full lifts. (patience grasshopper... i know.) questions: just so i understand this: sn/clean deadlift = pull to the knee is the same as first pull, once you pass the knee it's a regular dead lift, hips to bar. NOT a "pull" where you end in the power position? i think i get this, i just want to make sure i'm visualizing it correctly. re: front squats....i've done sets of 10 before but yeah, that's a lot :) i did smolov jr. front squats. that was fun. (i'm serious.) i will try 4x8 in place of the back squats. when it says hip clean/snatch is that starting from the power position? (vertical spine?) when it says knee is it from above or below the knee? i'm assuming above.what's a bb sit up? is it like a garza get up? but only half? snatch grip lunges? overhead with a barbell? (that sounds fun.) i see there is no skill work in weeks 1-3, is that for a reason? can i add a skill that will assist with the lifts if i wanted to/had time? so for example, maybe some behind the neck jerks/drop snatches/etc? got any suggestions for GH raise scaling? every time i get on the GHD and start trying to do GH raises, my hamstrings cramp up right away. i do them assisted with a broomstick, but after 1-2 they just cramp. again, THANK YOU :) i'll post some video and progress in my thread once i get up to starting. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk. Damn you, auto correct!

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interesting. my coach told me a few months ago to start with my hips higher, because i was doing a stripper pole pull when i started with my hips low. do you have any suggestions about how to mentally cue myself to get that leg drive? I know i don't really do that, and i think that's why my back ends up with so much tension.

 

Practice really. Really visualize pushing through the ground rather than pulling the bar up, a lot like a squat. I'll touch on this more under your questions.

 

this makes sense. my pulls are inconsistent. they've gotten a lot more consistent, but still not where i want them to be. i mostly chose this cycle blind. i liked the movements, and i knew i needed to work on the pulls -- but doing pulls alone might not do that. thanks for enlightening that bit.

 

ok. so i like this. i just get scared that i'm not working the full lifts. (patience grasshopper... i know.)

 

Lack of full lifts was an original concern of mine too but the more I watched people the more I came to the realization that most can't hit the positions correctly for a while anyway so doing the full lifts just to do them was a bit cheeky. In more advanced people this is maybe a concern but for newbies or people trying to remediate technique, no way. I use the metaphor that learning the lifts is more like learning to play the piano than it is learning to do anything else with a barbell. No one expects to sit down at the piano and play a Beethoven symphony the first time they touch it. Heck they'd be lucky to learn how to place their fingers on the keys and play a scale, let alone chords and everything else that goes into actual music. As you say, patience and careful, consistent practice is the only way.

 

Answers to your Q's bolded.

questions:

just so i understand this: sn/clean deadlift = pull to the knee is the same as first pull, once you pass the knee it's a regular dead lift, hips to bar. NOT a "pull" where you end in the power position? i think i get this, i just want to make sure i'm visualizing it correctly.

 

Yep, you've got it. Again, the main function of these is to work on mechanics off the ground. Often we're fighting against a lot of ingrained habits from deadlifting (and less than good deadlifting) so it really takes a while to get used to. Chest up, knees back is probably near the top of the phrases I use most list right behind tight back and, later on, bar close. We may not be doing the full lifts but we are building the foundations both from the top down and the ground up.. sort of the best of both worlds IMO. 

 

re: front squats....i've done sets of 10 before but yeah, that's a lot :) i did smolov jr. front squats. that was fun. (i'm serious.) i will try 4x8 in place of the back squats.

 

I once did a front squat Smolov so I'm well versed in these things haha. Total annihilation. When it drops down to 5's you could to that or 3's or 4's. Preference really, no magic in numbers that close.

 

when it says hip clean/snatch is that starting from the power position? (vertical spine?)

 

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Once set up in the proper grip, stance, and posture I cue it as pushing the knees out and sliding your back down a wall. Bar should stay in your hips at all times until the lift is performed. Here's a good version. There's also a video of Kendrick doing it but he's using a lot of English and I don't really recommend this for beginners. Pauses are too valuable a tool for learning positions. This is also basically Pendlay's position 1.

 

when it says knee is it from above or below the knee? i'm assuming above.

 

I stick to above the knee for all of this. Later on we make a distinction if necessary and do below the knee work but not for a while.

 

what's a bb sit up? is it like a garza get up? but only half?

 

I wasn't able to find a video of the Garza get up but maybe? It's basically this. Only I specify jerk grip and a full situp. Finish should be with head through just like a good jerk. I'm curious about the get up if you have a link.

snatch grip lunges? overhead with a barbell? (that sounds fun.)

 

Yeah.. they are. :)

 

i see there is no skill work in weeks 1-3, is that for a reason? can i add a skill that will assist with the lifts if i wanted to/had time? so for example, maybe some behind the neck jerks/drop snatches/etc?

 

A mistake on my part. I deleted them out of the first sheet and probably forgot to on the second one. Those were for someone specific so yeah, do whatever you think helps if you have time. The pull days especially however take a pretty long time so I wouldn't spend too much time on other stuff beyond a good warmup.

 

got any suggestions for GH raise scaling? every time i get on the GHD and start trying to do GH raises, my hamstrings cramp up right away. i do them assisted with a broomstick, but after 1-2 they just cramp.

 

You could try to use more assistance from the stick to avoid that and just use less and less help as you get better at them. They are a pain to get used to for sure, but valuable.  You can also try hamstring slides. I didn't spend a ton of time looking for a great video but that's the idea, bridge harder when doing it ha. Use a towel, furniture movers, anything that slides. If you can progress to doing these with one leg (the other straight out) GH raises won't be so hard. They even work as good activation for them. Try doing them before attempting GH raises and see if it reduces the cramping. Also doing the raises "pushup" style on the ground with someone holding your ankles down is generally easier as you can use the pushup to help a lot.

 

again, THANK YOU :) i'll post some video and progress in my thread once i get up to starting.

Happy to help. I look forward to seeing your progress. Just last night I watched one of my lifters hit a 10kg snatch PR and 7kg C&J PR after peaking off this cycle.. A few more are within a week or so of their testing too and hitting doubles at 95% of their old maxes without much trouble (and much better technique) so I think this iteration has value.

 

Edit: missed the bb situp question so added an answer.

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Practice really. Really visualize pushing through the ground rather than pulling the bar up, a lot like a squat. I'll touch on this more under your questions.

Lack of full lifts was an original concern of mine too but the more I watched people the more I came to the realization that most can't hit the positions correctly for a while anyway so doing the full lifts just to do them was a bit cheeky. In more advanced people this is maybe a concern but for newbies or people trying to remediate technique, no way. I use the metaphor that learning the lifts is more like learning to play the piano than it is learning to do anything else with a barbell. No one expects to sit down at the piano and play a Beethoven symphony the first time they touch it. Heck they'd be lucky to learn how to place their fingers on the keys and play a scale, let alone chords and everything else that goes into actual music. As you say, patience and careful, consistent practice is the only way.

Answers to your Q's bolded.

Edit: missed the bb situp question so added an answer.

*....takes down notes to add to his collection of coaching related material....*

Sent from a phonical device. Please excuse the shortness

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jdanger, was wondering if I could get your opinion on something. Today I missed a PR attempt 3 times in exactly the same way on the Snatch. Unfortunately I don't have video so hopefully my description is sufficient.  The first pull was good, positions were fine, I fully extended but not overly so, I got under the bar just fine, timing was good, bar was in the right place on the catch. But when catching the bar, my chest fell forward and I lost the bar in front. Every single time. 

 

My coach was totally happy with everything up to this point and actually said after the third rep "I don't know how you keep missing this weight because you're doing almost everything right". He doesn't think it's a strength or flexibility issue and thinks that it may be a confidence thing or just not enough practice with 90%+ weights. For what it's worth I hit my current PR and 5kg below that just fine immediately before these attempts.

 

Any suggestions for what might be causing this or how to improve it? We were thinking Snatch balances at close to maximal weights and sitting at the bottom for a bit. Reasoning for choosing this rather than something like paused OH squats is to get me more confident about catching a moving weight and making sure positions are right all through the exercise. 

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Question:  What is the best way for a beginner (me and my son) to get our PR numbers?

 

Start at 50% and work our way up? Three reps per, to start? Two? One?  How much of a break between new weights?

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Question:  What is the best way for a beginner (me and my son) to get our PR numbers?

 

Start at 50% and work our way up? Three reps per, to start? Two? One?  How much of a break between new weights?

 

Most coaches would recommend against trying to find a 1RM for beginners during the course of initial linear progress and especially very early on. The reason for this is that your strength is increasing so rapidly that any max you set is all but meaningless  - you'll be able to do more next session and more again after that.

 

With this in mind, you can use one of the various 1 rep max calculators to give you a projected 1RM (for most men 1RM is usually about 10-15% of 5RM, for women it is often a lower percentage than this as women are better able to handle volume at higher intensities than most men). I've found these to be fairly accurate in the past and it gives you a good sense for what you're theoretically capable of at any given time without actually having to test it.

 

If you are determined to do a 1RM test regardless, work up to a single for your current 5RM with 3 or 4 warm-up sets. This weight will be about 85% of your projected 1RM. For the first warm-up, do a set of five, for the second, do a set of three, after that cut to singles. Take 3 minutes or so to rest between these sets. After the single with your 5RM weight, rest for 5 minutes or so. What you do next is up to you but if you're not experienced with max testing I would play it conservative and go for halfway between 5RM and projected 1RM (92.5% pr so), then rest as long as you need to and attempt the 100% if you feel good. If you make the rep, take small jumps and see how far you can go (I usually do 5kg/10lbs but depending on your numbers, 2.5kg/5lbs might be more appropriate). If you make a rep and feel like there's no chance you'll get the next one, just leave it there - as a novice you're improving so fast that you'll hit that weight in no time anyway.

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First off, we've made a lot of progress over the last several months, and we're both slowing considerably in our gains... and we are both very curious, just for our own edification, what our 1RM PR is.  Our self-esteem could use it. :)

 

We can probably go with 5lb incremements. That sounds good, thanks!

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First off, we've made a lot of progress over the last several months, and we're both slowing considerably in our gains... and we are both very curious, just for our own edification, what our 1RM PR is.  Our self-esteem could use it. :)

 

We can probably go with 5lb incremements. That sounds good, thanks!

 

 

Just checked your numbers/experience in your challenge - you should definitely be good to make a 1RM attempt. Good luck!

 

I believe we still have a thread on how to ramp up to a 1RM day in our knowledge base... though I can't seem to find it. Corey or Mick, do you guys remember that thread we did about 6 months ago on this?

 

The basic link that I hand out is.. How to warm up for a 1 rep max.

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jdanger, was wondering if I could get your opinion on something. Today I missed a PR attempt 3 times in exactly the same way on the Snatch. Unfortunately I don't have video so hopefully my description is sufficient.  The first pull was good, positions were fine, I fully extended but not overly so, I got under the bar just fine, timing was good, bar was in the right place on the catch. But when catching the bar, my chest fell forward and I lost the bar in front. Every single time. 

 

My coach was totally happy with everything up to this point and actually said after the third rep "I don't know how you keep missing this weight because you're doing almost everything right". He doesn't think it's a strength or flexibility issue and thinks that it may be a confidence thing or just not enough practice with 90%+ weights. For what it's worth I hit my current PR and 5kg below that just fine immediately before these attempts.

 

Any suggestions for what might be causing this or how to improve it? We were thinking Snatch balances at close to maximal weights and sitting at the bottom for a bit. Reasoning for choosing this rather than something like paused OH squats is to get me more confident about catching a moving weight and making sure positions are right all through the exercise. 

 

Yeah sounds like you just need to keep getting under heavier weights. If the timing and positioning is solid it really might just be a coordination or confidence issue. Given your strength reserve I'd agree that it's probably not general weakness, but it could be more specific and OHS and balances will help with this. What are your best OHS and balance numbers compared to your snatch? Are both your shoulders getting into position or is one or both not stacking correctly?

 

For real time coaching in this scenario, depending on what I was seeing, I would try a few different cues all really intended to assist with being very active and aggressive under the bar. They are:

  • Stay tight - Pretty self explanatory. Getting back into or keeping good tension after the turnover isn't always automatic and sometimes simply focusing on getting tight can work wonders.
  • Pull with fast hands/snap wrists under - really directing focus on an active turnover and remaining in contact with, and control of, the bar into the catch.
  • Head through/squeeze the bar - Directing focus to getting the head through like a jerk, and/or squeezing the bar really helps get the bar into the slot and allows you to "feel" the back and posterior shoulder musculature assist in securing the catch. Squeeze should normally be towards the midline, like you're trying to crush the bar like a can but sometimes the opposite (stretch) works. Individuality and all that.. whatever works.
  • Reach/stay tall/show your armpits - Reach isn't shrug just more of a variation of squeeze with more focus on thinking up. Staying tall and/or showing your pits helps focus on good receiving posture.
  • Hips/heels down/catch vertical - If there's a bit of excessive forward lean in the catch think about getting those hips back down and keep the weight from getting too far onto the forefoot.

Besides that if you can't balance around or more than your best snatch it would probably be worthwhile to get that up. Prioritizing balance is probably the way to go as it encapsulates the catch but paused OHS and snatch + OHS complexes will also probably be effective and add some variation. But yeah.. more 90%+ weights.

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A question: Deadlifts before pullups? Or after pullups?

 

Asking because I've been doing deadlifts first, but I haven't seen progress in the number of pullups I can do for several weeks - depending on the day, I can get anywhere from 2-4 unassisted. I've been doing assisted pullups (foot on an exercise ball) after I reach failure on one set of unassisted pullups.

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Belts for squats and deadlifts :- 

 

Who here uses them? And when would you suggest considering the use of one? Since I have only been lifting a couple of months I dont use one (yet), but pretty much everyone else at my powerlifting gym do on their heavy sets. As i am thinking about competing either late this year, or early next i was curious as to whether i should start using one in training ...

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I started when I was closing in on 1.5 BW squats, when my core was becoming the weak link toward the end of my novice progression.

The belt helps get a harder squeeze and higher intra abdominal pressure, making the trunk a better supporter of load. Some say use the belt right away as that higher pressure helps build core strength faster. Some say use it like a mixed grip, going beltless until you hit the working weights where you need the belt to lift safely. I haven't seen a hard and fast solid argument either way, but I go with the later myself, only using a belt once I hit 75% 1RM.

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A number of us use them (both men and women).  As to when...I'd say you should be way above body weight before you should start.  There is a bit of technique to using one, and a new one takes a bit of breaking in...so if you want to use one in a competition, get it at least a month or two before hand.  Also check with whatever federation you will be lifting in to make sure you get one that qualifies.

 

I use a 10MM Inzer single tang belt   I use it when I go over about 80% of my max, or when I'm doing high volume at lower weights.

 

Mods...did we ever put together a write up on belts??

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A question: Deadlifts before pullups? Or after pullups?

 

Asking because I've been doing deadlifts first, but I haven't seen progress in the number of pullups I can do for several weeks - depending on the day, I can get anywhere from 2-4 unassisted. I've been doing assisted pullups (foot on an exercise ball) after I reach failure on one set of unassisted pullups.

Depends which is more important to you.  Whichever it is, do it first.

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Question: in order to do my squats, I have to do bear complex (no squat rack).  Every single time, getting THAT much weight over my head, behind my head and onto my shoulders, I twinge something on the left side of my neck.  It doesn't HURT, but it's sore and it gets re-twinged 3x a week.  

 

Advice? Will it eventually go away as I get stronger?

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Practice really. Really visualize pushing through the ground rather than pulling the bar up, a lot like a squat. I'll touch on this more under your questions.

 

 

Lack of full lifts was an original concern of mine too but the more I watched people the more I came to the realization that most can't hit the positions correctly for a while anyway so doing the full lifts just to do them was a bit cheeky. In more advanced people this is maybe a concern but for newbies or people trying to remediate technique, no way. I use the metaphor that learning the lifts is more like learning to play the piano than it is learning to do anything else with a barbell. No one expects to sit down at the piano and play a Beethoven symphony the first time they touch it. Heck they'd be lucky to learn how to place their fingers on the keys and play a scale, let alone chords and everything else that goes into actual music. As you say, patience and careful, consistent practice is the only way.

 

Answers to your Q's bolded.

 

Edit: missed the bb situp question so added an answer.

edit because i figured out my original question.

 

i need to work on my lat strength specifically. you think i should slot in pendlay rows (was thinking they would be good for that) on the pull day? any rep scheme you'd suggest?

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A number of us use them (both men and women).  As to when...I'd say you should be way above body weight before you should start.  There is a bit of technique to using one, and a new one takes a bit of breaking in...so if you want to use one in a competition, get it at least a month or two before hand.  Also check with whatever federation you will be lifting in to make sure you get one that qualifies.

 

I use a 10MM Inzer single tang belt   I use it when I go over about 80% of my max, or when I'm doing high volume at lower weights.

 

Mods...did we ever put together a write up on belts?

just a random aside -- i belt below body weight, but that's because of an injury. however, i don't typically tighten it a lot till maximal attempts.

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A number of us use them (both men and women).  As to when...I'd say you should be way above body weight before you should start.  There is a bit of technique to using one, and a new one takes a bit of breaking in...so if you want to use one in a competition, get it at least a month or two before hand.  Also check with whatever federation you will be lifting in to make sure you get one that qualifies.

 

I use a 10MM Inzer single tang belt   I use it when I go over about 80% of my max, or when I'm doing high volume at lower weights.

 

Mods...did we ever put together a write up on belts??

Like this, only mine is black They have a clearance section as well.

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We do need to do a belt write-up for the knowledge base.

 

Here's where I got mine. I believe other people here have used this company before as well. They've got the best customer service of any company I've ever dealt with for anything, and I'll never go anywhere else for belts. Nice things about these guys is the belts come pre-broken in. Mine is red double prong athlete model.

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We do need to do a belt write-up for the knowledge base.

 

Here's where I got mine. I believe other people here have used this company before as well. They've got the best customer service of any company I've ever dealt with for anything, and I'll never go anywhere else for belts. Nice things about these guys is the belts come pre-broken in. Mine is red double prong athlete model.

 

 

Seconded. I have a blue single prong from Best Belts. Absolutely great. It was at my door in like 4 days. And the custom sizing is nice. 

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