Anyone do olympic lifts?

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    Jul 27, 2008 12:04 PM GMT
    Anyone here do olympic lifts and/or their variations, like power cleans, power snatches, overhead squats, stuff like that?
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    Jul 27, 2008 3:06 PM GMT
    I'm sure there are. I haven't done any in a while, but do know how and would advise that you get proper training if you're going to do them. Copying a video isn't enough and is a good way to disastrous injury.

    Anyone can Oly-lift. It's just that there are specific mechanics involved that need to be taught--and it's hard to see your own mechanics when you're doing the lift. I see guys in the gym trying them and it's often a wincer (i.e. I wince).
  • UncleverName

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    Jul 27, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    I've been doing them (on and off) for about 8 months now. I was worried about screwing up my back, so I hired a trainer who specializes in olympic lifts. We've spent months and months getting my weight up on hang cleans and back squats. We've just started doing some power cleans, and we're gonna start doing snatches soon. My catches on the cleans suck, but that's not really the tough part icon_smile.gif

    Are you just starting?
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    Jul 27, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    I know how to do them actually. I trained for a while with professional weightlifters here in China. That was fun.

    Here's yours truly doing some power snatches:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEXqYXG4msE
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    Jul 27, 2008 3:24 PM GMT
    Olympic lifts now account for about half of my weekly workouts. Love 'em for building real power and coordination, for hiking and maintaining my heart rate more than supersetting isolation exercises ever could, and for making me look much tougher than all the boys living exclusively off tricep kickbacks and curl machines.

    But lean_jock couldn't be more right. Improper form on most olympic lifts can be dangerous, and the mechanics are dependent on your specific body dimensions. You sure don't need a PhD or a six-week seminar, but a trainer or someone with experience can help.

    Too bad olympic lifts don't get more play here on RJ. Though I guess I'd be bummed if they got popular and all the poseurs got up off the machines and started hogging the barbell.
  • UncleverName

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    Jul 27, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    Yeah, I'm glad that there are very few Olympic lifters at the gyms I've been to. It also makes me feel cool to think that I can do some of the lifts and others can't.

    I'm actually fairly surprised that more guys don't do them; they are great way to put on mass quickly, and to increase testosterone. Probably because they cause injuries so easily.
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    Jul 29, 2008 1:43 PM GMT
    I've seen a few guys try to do them on the lifting platforms at the gym I go to. It's cringe-tastic.
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    Jul 31, 2008 2:04 AM GMT
    Powerlifting is different than Oly-lifting though. Powerlifting is restricted to the three power lifts: Dead, squat, bench (those are the events in the powerlifting comps). All valuable and definitely worth doing. Oly's are the snatch, the jerk, and the clean. Combos of these movements are the events in the Olympics: the snatch and the clean and jerk.

    There are variations on these movements--some people refer to a "power clean", where a full squat is not employed after the catch phase of the clean. There are also "pulls" like a clean pull, which is a progression movement to a clean as well as a snatch.
  • UncleverName

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    Jul 31, 2008 2:34 AM GMT
    I was told that Power implies that the lift is from the ground. So a power clean means that the lift starts on the ground. Is that not the case?
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    Jul 31, 2008 2:59 AM GMT
    UncleverName saidI was told that Power implies that the lift is from the ground. So a power clean means that the lift starts on the ground. Is that not the case?


    No. Common misconception.

    A "clean" is where you rack the bar on your shoulders. Now there are different ways you can do this. You can START from the hang ("hang clean") or from the floor ("clean from the floor"). You can CATCH the bar in a full squat ("squat clean") or a quarter/half-squat ("power clean").

    Hence the variations: squat clean from the floor, power clean from the floor, hang squat clean, hang power clean.

    So just saying "power clean" doesn't really tell you if it's from the floor or from the hang; however, most people would assume it's from the floor. Likewise, just saying "hang clean" doesn't really tell you if it's a hang squat clean or a hang power clean; however, most people assume it's a hang power clean.
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    Jul 31, 2008 5:53 AM GMT
    I used to do these things called "dead lifts" in high school, when I was part of their football team. Honestly, I never understood them, and have never attempted to do them since. But the movement looked similar.

    I wish I had something else to offer.. but there's SO much information out there, and I've barely started myself. Good luck! icon_razz.gif
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    Jul 31, 2008 10:02 AM GMT
    Coolrabbit saidI know how to do them actually. I trained for a while with professional weightlifters here in China. That was fun.

    Here's yours truly doing some power snatches:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEXqYXG4msE



    Wow, you have great timing, and a very quick third pull. I dunno if it was because of the frame rate of the video, but it looks like you could stand to have a little bit more of an extension with your hips on that third pull, but the layback is great.
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    Jul 31, 2008 12:43 PM GMT
    sdjoe214 said
    Coolrabbit saidI know how to do them actually. I trained for a while with professional weightlifters here in China. That was fun.

    Here's yours truly doing some power snatches:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEXqYXG4msE



    Wow, you have great timing, and a very quick third pull. I dunno if it was because of the frame rate of the video, but it looks like you could stand to have a little bit more of an extension with your hips on that third pull, but the layback is great.


    Someone who speaks my language icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 01, 2008 9:10 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidI'm no expert and it could be the angle but I can't recall seeing guys or anyone for that matter jump back that far in the process. That looks a bit exaggerated.


    Ideally, you shouldn't by getting any air at all. If you're starting out, then jumping is a good aproximation of the motion you need to do for the olympic lifts, but it's actually wrong if you want to progress to competition.

    Jumping wastes a lot of energy that could have been transferred to the bar/weight. That's why I said he should throw his hips to the bar a little more. Also, if your feet leave the ground, then you may lose your balance when you land and drop the bar. As well, the movement of the bar should be only be vertically (and perhaps slightly in the xz-plane, ie front/back), so any translation of your center of gravity away from the starting position may cause you to drop the bar as you're catching it. Especially when you get up towards your max, you do not want to have to readjust yourself or the bar to make the clean/snatch.

    It's all in that third pull, which is the hardest to develop. A good lifter should be able to gauge the weight and adjust his pulls accordingly, so he won't be going all out during the warm-up lifts and throwing the bar so much that it ends up behind him.
  • UncleverName

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    Aug 01, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    sdjoe214 said
    It's all in that third pull, which is the hardest to develop. A good lifter should be able to gauge the weight and adjust his pulls accordingly, so he won't be going all out during the warm-up lifts and throwing the bar so much that it ends up behind him.


    By third pull, do you mean the shrug part?
    The first pull is the dead lift, the second pull is the hang part, and the third is the shrug?

    I just started to work on the shrug part yesterday (consciously) and am finding it quite difficult to time right.
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    Aug 01, 2008 7:17 PM GMT
    UncleverName said

    By third pull, do you mean the shrug part?
    The first pull is the dead lift, the second pull is the hang part, and the third is the shrug?

    I just started to work on the shrug part yesterday (consciously) and am finding it quite difficult to time right.



    The shrug is only half of the third pull, the end of it. The transition between the hang/second pull and the shrug is the start of the third pull. This makes the difference between maxing out and crapping out. For the third pull, you want to achieve full extension of your legs and back such that your body line in profile is slightly concave. After the second pull, where you give the bar a jerk (increase in acceleration) and just before you shrug, you want to follow through with your hips and squeeze your ass to keep that body position. That sets up your back position to fully utilize the power generated by the shrug and translate it to the vertical motion of the bar. Without a good start to the third pull, you will have a greater chance of giving horizontal motion to the bar, which is a complete waste of energy, and may set you off balance and out of line for the catch.
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    Aug 03, 2008 9:36 AM GMT
    UncleverName said
    sdjoe214 said
    It's all in that third pull, which is the hardest to develop. A good lifter should be able to gauge the weight and adjust his pulls accordingly, so he won't be going all out during the warm-up lifts and throwing the bar so much that it ends up behind him.


    By third pull, do you mean the shrug part?
    The first pull is the dead lift, the second pull is the hang part, and the third is the shrug?

    I just started to work on the shrug part yesterday (consciously) and am finding it quite difficult to time right.


    The shrug is at the very end of the "body-extension" (i.e. hip and knee extension). The shrug should extremely quick and explosive, like a pop or yank. And then immediately whip your elbows up to rack the bar.


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    Aug 03, 2008 9:38 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidI'm no expert and it could be the angle but I can't recall seeing guys or anyone for that matter jump back that far in the process. That looks a bit exaggerated.

    Many of the greatest lifters in the world jump have a very pronounced backwards jump. Examples:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP2kXtlaWkk

    By the end of the body-extension, you want to be applying force on the bar that is straight up. To do so, you have to apply force on the athlete-barbell system that is up and a little backward. Hence the backward displacement.
  • dionysus

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    Aug 04, 2008 1:20 AM GMT
    i fear the clean and press, other than that, bring it on.
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    Aug 04, 2008 5:14 AM GMT
    Coolrabbit said
    muchmorethanmuscle saidI'm no expert and it could be the angle but I can't recall seeing guys or anyone for that matter jump back that far in the process. That looks a bit exaggerated.

    Many of the greatest lifters in the world jump have a very pronounced backwards jump. Examples:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP2kXtlaWkk

    By the end of the body-extension, you want to be applying force on the bar that is straight up. To do so, you have to apply force on the athlete-barbell system that is up and a little backward. Hence the backward displacement.


    That's very true, but I wouldn't recommend or teach the backwards jump to anyone but the most experienced lifters who can lift more than their body weight and have a very precise sense of their body positioning as it's moving. That form is another school of thought altogether than what I was referring to.

    Many beginners are taught that the olympic lifts approximate a vertical jump in place. While that may help to acquaint the new lifter with the basic motions required for the lifts with smooth transitions throughout, it's not something you want to get into the habit of doing.

    There are two distinct ways to approach the olympic lifts. In the first form, you keep the bar in a single vertical plane as it ascends by keeping your shrug in the same plane, only slightly move the bar backwards as it reaches its peak, and then position your center of mass underneath to catch it while keeping your feet in place. For the clean you just sit back a little more than normal, and for the snatch, you catch the bar behind your head. In the second form, you can give the bar more of a backwards translation (shrugging backards) to give it a parabolic motion and quickly follow it's motion by repositioning your whole body including your feet to catch it.

    When you're maxing out and/or lifting more than twice your body weight, it's advisable to do it the second way because you can't give the bar as much height and the horizontal translation gives you time to position yourself properly to catch the weight. As well, the first form requires you to have the back and arm strength to be able to control the horizontal motion of the bar so it doesn't go too far backwards because your body is planted firmly in place. This is extremely hard to do when you're getting to your max weights.