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Arden Cogar Jr.
11-28-2007, 09:08 AM
Hello All,
I thank everyone in advance for their comments as I know there are several really knowledgable folk on this board.

My main impetus for getting into oly lifting is to get quicker for my sport. I have a serious explosive speed deficit. I can deadlift a lot. But as of 9 weeks ago, I tapped out at 275 on the power clean. Moreover, 9 weeks ago, i could not front squat with my hands on the bar.

My coach, Randy Hauer, has been very patient with me. I'm starting to go on a quest for knowledge so I can show him some progress. I've come a long way in 9 weeks, and I'm in this for the long term, but I want to get rid of the really bad stuff now. If that makes any sense.

Here's clips from today's session. All squat cleans or power cleans with front squats 225x2, 255x5, 225x5 hang clean, and 205x5 hang clean. Then clean pulls with 275 and 295.

here's the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWxdKyXCmHcWFS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWxdKyXCmHc)

Thanks in advance to guys like Lincoln, Greg, Veronica and anyone else who might want to comment. I'm trying to increase my knowledge. To do that, I need to talk about it more.

all the best,
Arden

Yoon Sohn
11-28-2007, 10:03 AM
Hey Arden,
Strong work! A bit hard to see, but it looks like the barbell is a bit far out in front during your 2nd pull (see pic). Do you ever experience thigh brush?

This was one of my biggest problems (keeping the bar close) for a long time. After a lot of frustration, my coach had me take a step back and, with an empty barbell, find the position I could apply the most power for the 2nd pull...I found that if I kept the barbell close, it would be brushing against my mid-thigh. Then it was a lot of drilling from the hang (40-60% of max clean) and then from the floor...each time trying to hit that particular position. It's really amazing the difference that keeping the bar close makes, as 100kg now feels like 80kg used to feel like (instead of the other way around). I also lost the early arm bend, which made a huge difference.

Others' experiences and advice may vary, but that's just one thing that worked for me.

Also, you're rocking/swinging on your hang cleans, but it looks like you're getting a good extension...just whip those elbows around FASTER and HIGHER!

Arden Cogar Jr.
11-28-2007, 10:29 AM
Yoon. thanks so much.

You are absolutely right. Thanks for pausing that clip. I don't have the technical ability. I do need to develop some thigh brush. That would enable me to keep my shoulders in front of the bar for longer which is something else I need to work on big time with second pull. That was the main reason for doing the hang cleans. I'm going to add more of them with the weights you've suggested.

I'll definitely whip those elbows a lot faster. Higher will take me longer. If you would have seen my rack 9 weeks ago, you would completely understand. Too many years of curls for girls. :D

Thanks again.

All the best,
Arden
Hey Arden,
Strong work! A bit hard to see, but it looks like the barbell is a bit far out in front during your 2nd pull (see pic). Do you ever experience thigh brush?

This was one of my biggest problems (keeping the bar close) for a long time. After a lot of frustration, my coach had me take a step back and, with an empty barbell, find the position I could apply the most power for the 2nd pull...I found that if I kept the barbell close, it would be brushing against my mid-thigh. Then it was a lot of drilling from the hang (40-60% of max clean) and then from the floor...each time trying to hit that particular position. It's really amazing the difference that keeping the bar close makes, as 100kg now feels like 80kg used to feel like (instead of the other way around). I also lost the early arm bend, which made a huge difference.

Others' experiences and advice may vary, but that's just one thing that worked for me.

Also, you're rocking/swinging on your hang cleans, but it looks like you're getting a good extension...just whip those elbows around FASTER and HIGHER!

Brandon Oto
11-28-2007, 10:46 AM
You're starting the bar too far forward. Your shins are angled forward sharply, which is putting the bar (as it rests against your shins) forward of the mid-foot. You seem to let it come backwards as your knees straighten, which brings it into line, but it'd be better to start in the right plane.

Some of your second pulls look like power shrugs more than anything -- i.e. not transferring the power from the triple extension so much as muscling it into place. This may be partially a result of catching it so high; it might be impossible to get under it without adding some more muscle.

Careful O-lifting with straps, I'm not sure how easily you could bail.

Out of curiosity, why are you doing power cleans? Do you just find that you can't get under it any deeper with your current speed?

Arden Cogar Jr.
11-28-2007, 11:37 AM
Thanks Brandon.

What's the triple extension?

I'm doing the power cleans until I get more comfortable pulling myself under the bar. It's the same reason I'm doing power snatches then OHS, instead of doing a true snatch. For some reason I have a mental block in regards to catching the weight at a low position or on the way down. It's much less than it was 9 weeks ago, but, as I said, I have a long way to go.

Gotcha on the set up. This is one of my first sessions where my hips weren't rising faster than my shoulders. Something finally clicked after all those years of deadlifting. As I understand it, the idea is to keep the bar on the same path from the time it leaves the ground until it gets to the shoulders or catch position, correct? You basically try to contort your body around that bar path?

Thanks so much.

All the best,
arden

You're starting the bar too far forward. Your shins are angled forward sharply, which is putting the bar (as it rests against your shins) forward of the mid-foot. You seem to let it come backwards as your knees straighten, which brings it into line, but it'd be better to start in the right plane.

Some of your second pulls look like power shrugs more than anything -- i.e. not transferring the power from the triple extension so much as muscling it into place. This may be partially a result of catching it so high; it might be impossible to get under it without adding some more muscle.

Careful O-lifting with straps, I'm not sure how easily you could bail.

Out of curiosity, why are you doing power cleans? Do you just find that you can't get under it any deeper with your current speed?

Brandon Oto
11-28-2007, 11:57 AM
What's the triple extension?

The dynamic of the second pull: knees, hips, ankles. For some reason they don't include the shoulders here (I guess because it's technically flexion rather than extension); that would make it a quadruple extension...

Some people, usually at the elite level, don't like the ankle extension, and stay on their heels. Either way, it's essentially a powerful jump perpendicular to the weight, and you should more or less know how to jump already.

I'm doing the power cleans until I get more comfortable pulling myself under the bar. It's the same reason I'm doing power snatches then OHS, instead of doing a true snatch. For some reason I have a mental block in regards to catching the weight at a low position or on the way down. It's much less than it was 9 weeks ago, but, as I said, I have a long way to go.

Interesting. Maybe one of the others here has a suggestion for breaking you through this. Actually, Yoon's suggestion of really drilling the elbow whip may help; if you're thinking about getting your elbows around fast and the bar into the full rack position, there will come a point when you can't do that without dropping your body, and if you're otherwise positioned properly it may happen automatically. Maybe.

Gotcha on the set up. This is one of my first sessions where my hips weren't rising faster than my shoulders. Something finally clicked after all those years of deadlifting. As I understand it, the idea is to keep the bar on the same path from the time it leaves the ground until it gets to the shoulders or catch position, correct? You basically try to contort your body around that bar path?

Basically. It usually dips toward you a little bit at the waist. The only "contorting" per se is when the knees extend to clear the bar, but you do that on a deadlift as well.

Obviously you can swing it out forward some on the second pull, if you're strong enough to pull it back in at the top of the arc. But not at a maximal weight. (I do this because my thighs bump the bar forward, and some people do it because they're reverse curling it. Either way it's not necessarily killer, but a bit of a drag.)

Arden Cogar Jr.
11-28-2007, 01:07 PM
Thanks Brandon.

I think you're right about pulling myself under the bar. It's going to take time. I'm finally building up my tolerance on front squatting with the clean grip. As of a few weeks ago, I couldn't hold 315 and go into the hole. i can do it for sets of 5 now. Slowly but surely.

I agree with you, it's best to keep the bar on the proper path all the way from the floor to the rack. I may be fairly strong, but as soon as I get a lot of weight on the bar, that bar path keeps me from getting under the weight. I end up catching it on my upper chest and jumping forward, and stopping the descent until I get the back popped onto my front delts.

In time.

Thanks for everything.

All the best,
Arden

The dynamic of the second pull: knees, hips, ankles. For some reason they don't include the shoulders here (I guess because it's technically flexion rather than extension); that would make it a quadruple extension...

Some people, usually at the elite level, don't like the ankle extension, and stay on their heels. Either way, it's essentially a powerful jump perpendicular to the weight, and you should more or less know how to jump already.



Interesting. Maybe one of the others here has a suggestion for breaking you through this. Actually, Yoon's suggestion of really drilling the elbow whip may help; if you're thinking about getting your elbows around fast and the bar into the full rack position, there will come a point when you can't do that without dropping your body, and if you're otherwise positioned properly it may happen automatically. Maybe.



Basically. It usually dips toward you a little bit at the waist. The only "contorting" per se is when the knees extend to clear the bar, but you do that on a deadlift as well.

Obviously you can swing it out forward some on the second pull, if you're strong enough to pull it back in at the top of the arc. But not at a maximal weight. (I do this because my thighs bump the bar forward, and some people do it because they're reverse curling it. Either way it's not necessarily killer, but a bit of a drag.)

Jason M Struck
11-28-2007, 01:47 PM
some of the reps you also appear to receive the clean 'leaning back'. ie torso is not upright or forward, but a little extended such that you're shoulders are moving behinds your hips.

I had the same problem as you as far as low catches. I did exactly what you are doing, the power versions followed quickly by a descent into front or overhead squats. I then transitioned in to high hang versions with light weights were I tried to whip under the bar as fast as possible. A lot of practice with this, and I started catching lower and lower.

Arden Cogar Jr.
11-28-2007, 01:49 PM
some of the reps you also appear to receive the clean 'leaning back'. ie torso is not upright or forward, but a little extended such that you're shoulders are moving behinds your hips.

Thanks so much. I never noticed that.

In essence, one must remained totally centered. I think I understand.

All the best,
Arden

David Aguasca
11-28-2007, 02:05 PM
i noticed the same thing that Yoon pointed out, the bar position.

for example, during the multiple reps of hang power cleans, your shoulders were above or even behind the bar...you should lower the bar down the thighs by sticking your butt back...

WFS link of casey burgener transitioning:
http://mikesgym.org/wod/images/pullcasey.jpg

look at where his shoulders are, and look at where the bar is...

Arden Cogar Jr.
11-28-2007, 02:26 PM
Absolutely correct. Druing the second pull, I need to get those shoulders in front of the bar and the bar closer to my body. I don't clean again until Sunday, but I'll make sure and post the link to my progress.

Thanks everyone.

All the best,
Arden

i noticed the same thing that Yoon pointed out, the bar position.

for example, during the multiple reps of hang power cleans, your shoulders were above or even behind the bar...you should lower the bar down the thighs by sticking your butt back...

WFS link of casey burgener transitioning:
http://mikesgym.org/wod/images/pullcasey.jpg

look at where his shoulders are, and look at where the bar is...

Yoon Sohn
11-30-2007, 09:18 AM
Hey Arden,
Regarding body/barbell positioning (keeping it close), check out Kendrick Farris' 2nd attempt C&J at 190, among others:

http://web.mac.com/kirkwood.wl/2006%20American%20Open/page6/page6.html (work and family safe link to Oly vids)

The vids on this site are great because they're very easy to pause. Check out his positions...you'll notice that the bar actually makes contact with his legs at one point in the 2nd pull and stretches his singlet a bit.

Brandon Oto
11-30-2007, 09:37 AM
Very cool resource, Yoon. I'm used to doing frame-by-frame analysis to learn about form and I can't do that with YouTube.

Arden Cogar Jr.
11-30-2007, 01:28 PM
Hey Arden,
Regarding body/barbell positioning (keeping it close), check out Kendrick Farris' 2nd attempt C&J at 190, among others:

http://web.mac.com/kirkwood.wl/2006%20American%20Open/page6/page6.html (work and family safe link to Oly vids)

The vids on this site are great because they're very easy to pause. Check out his positions...you'll notice that the bar actually makes contact with his legs at one point in the 2nd pull and stretches his singlet a bit.

wow!!! Stay close, shoulders in front of the bar, then drive up (almost back a little because of my thickness) with triple extension, then catch. I've always found his jerk a bit odd, but it works unreal. Not quite a power jerk, not quite a split jerk; something in between. Unreal athlete.

I have a long way to go. But I'm better now than I was 9 weeks ago, so I'm pleased nonetheless.

I've got a power clean session planned for Sunday. I just did power snatches/OHS amongst other things today with my little buddy (Mr. Pfister). I put the video on my log, but I'm going to stay focused on the cleans for now and work on them and I'll post the progress.

Thanks so much for everything.

All the best,
Arden

Joe Cavazos
11-30-2007, 02:51 PM
If I may, again, link to my boy Pocket Hercules:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wVH0H0Dbpro (wfs)

It's a YouTube video, but it's slow and short enough that you can get some decent analysis out of it. It really demonstrates what the Clean and Jerk is all about. It's also a very ridiculous amount of weight.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-02-2007, 07:07 PM
pocket hercules is out of this world....unreal.. thanks for the link.

Here's what I did today after my power snatches

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r_4Y0VZmvo

starts out with me doing my first sets of drop snatches ever with 95lbs. Man, I've got a long way to go.

Then after that I did 225x5 hpc - this was actually done after my work sets. For some reason when I posted the video, it got out of order.

My work sets went 135x2, 185x2 (recorded), 225x2 (recorded), 265x2 (recorded), 225x5 above, and 225x3 (recorded).

I don't think I'm driving my hips enough, but I think I'm getting the bar closer to my body after I get it above my knees.

I worked on getting my shoulders in front of the bar with the hpc, but I've still got a way to go. It's like I've got my weight on my heels and it needs to be on the middle of my feet. If that make any sense?

I'm all ears for those that are willing to put the time in posting anyway it could help improve my form.

Thanks in advance.

All the best,
Arden

Lincoln Brigham
12-02-2007, 07:49 PM
You're swinging the bar badly when you do hang cleans. You're doing them more like a Continental than a hang clean. Watch the end of the bar take on a path that looks like a "C". Oddly enough you are a little better when going from the floor than from the hang. (Most people have a better second pull when they start from the hang than the floor.) I'd want to see more of a vertical jumping motion, less of a back swing. Jump vertically, bring the bar with you.

The Drop Snatch is not secure and solid, as you know. Do more of these; they'll help. Make sure you get into a full squat - bottom out even if you have to use less weight.

Elbows are not getting high enough on the power cleans. You can get away with that on power cleans but you'll pay for it on squat cleans and front squats.

From the floor on a least a couple of the lifts your shoulders were behind the bar instead of over/in front of the bar. See Rips video comments on deadlift start position in the "Exercise Examples" page.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-03-2007, 06:52 AM
You're swinging the bar badly when you do hang cleans. You're doing them more like a Continental than a hang clean. Watch the end of the bar take on a path that looks like a "C". Oddly enough you are a little better when going from the floor than from the hang. (Most people have a better second pull when they start from the hang than the floor.) I'd want to see more of a vertical jumping motion, less of a back swing. Jump vertically, bring the bar with you.

The Drop Snatch is not secure and solid, as you know. Do more of these; they'll help. Make sure you get into a full squat - bottom out even if you have to use less weight.

Elbows are not getting high enough on the power cleans. You can get away with that on power cleans but you'll pay for it on squat cleans and front squats.

From the floor on a least a couple of the lifts your shoulders were behind the bar instead of over/in front of the bar. See Rips video comments on deadlift start position in the "Exercise Examples" page.

Lincoln,
Thanks so much.

On those Drop snatches - I'm going to start with a pressing snatch balance, then a heaving snatch balance then the snatch balance. I have a big fear of the third pull (pulling under) and I've got to lose it.

I'll really work hard on getting my chest ups and my arms straight at the top of that pull. More of a vertical jump.

I'm doing squat cleans tomorrow, so I'll tape them and try and put all of this together. I'm going to get those hang power cleans looking right if I have to three or four sets. I'm sticking with the 100 kilos for those hang power cleans because anything lighter than that doesn't cause my form to break down. It's a mental thing for me. I'm not kidding, one year ago, I could barely clean 225 even though I could deadlift well over three times that amount.

Thanks so much for taking the time. I see myself as a work in progress.

All the best,
Arden

Torbjörn Tapani
12-03-2007, 12:03 PM
In this last video. The set second to last starting from the floor was the best. The second pull was with more upright torso and was looking good. The last set you went heavier and your bad form from the hang cleans came back. All those years deadlifting playing tricks with your mind when it gets heavy. You are trying to pull everything with your back when you need to be using those powerful legs. It works to a point for you because you are crazy strong but on a max load you will just dissipate power from your legs meant to act vertically on the bar. Torso more upright, use that drive from the legs.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-03-2007, 12:49 PM
In this last video. The set second to last starting from the floor was the best. The second pull was with more upright torso and was looking good. The last set you went heavier and your bad form from the hang cleans came back. All those years deadlifting playing tricks with your mind when it gets heavy. You are trying to pull everything with your back when you need to be using those powerful legs. It works to a point for you because you are crazy strong but on a max load you will just dissipate power from your legs meant to act vertically on the bar. Torso more upright, use that drive from the legs.


Gotcha!!!

Awesome advice and thanks so much. I sincerely appreciate it. For me, I'll have to find a way to get my legs involved. But you are absolutely right, when the weight gets past my knees, I'm all back.

That's where the vertical extension and driving the legs comes, correct? Also, I know I need to keep my shoulders and hips moving at the same rate/speed. I really need to work on that.

I'm so new to this, and I hope i'm not misquoting something.

Thanks again for everything.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-04-2007, 01:15 PM
Okay, I'm back at it again. I'm trying really hard, but for some reason, I'm having a real hard time keeping the bar path straight.

Did Squat cleans - or power cleans into front squat. This was week of high intensity, low volume. Did 95x3, 135x3, 185x1 (recorded), 225x1 (recorded), 255x1 (recorded), 285x1 (recorded), 245x1 (recorded), and 225x5 hang pc (recorded).

Really tried to work on using my legs, keeping my shoulders in front of the bar, and getting triple extenstion. All the while keeping the bar close to my legs during the second pull. I've still got a long ways to go, but I'm starting to get the idea.

Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrM2hFu5Jh0

After that, did front squats. 135x5, 225x2, 315x2, 335x2, 275x2, 225x2. kept the bar on my front delts and my hands on the bar. I was pretty stoked about that.

After that did Push Press, 95x5, 135x5, 185x2, 225x2, 285x2 (recorded), 255x2, 225x2

After that did some clean pulls: 135x2, 225x2 (recorded), 315x2 (recorded), 365x2 (recorded), 405x3 (recorded), 315x2

here's the link of the push press and the pulls:

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

I really need to work on keeping the bar close to my quads on the second pull. It really shows in these movments. Particularly with the bar path. I need to lighten up and really focus on the path. Moreover, I'm not quite grasping how I'm to use my legs on the second pull. Something just isn't clicking for me right now. If anyone can help with that, I'm completely game.

I'm all ears for anyone willing to advise.

All the best,
Arden

Allen Yeh
12-05-2007, 06:36 AM
Long time no "see" Arden, hope things have been going well. I've been watching this thread and figured I might as well throw my 2 cents in.

Okay, I'm back at it again. I'm trying really hard, but for some reason, I'm having a real hard time keeping the bar path straight.


It's not supposed to be straight, more of an S if anything.


Did Squat cleans - or power cleans into front squat. This was week of high intensity, low volume. Did 95x3, 135x3, 185x1 (recorded), 225x1 (recorded), 255x1 (recorded), 285x1 (recorded), 245x1 (recorded), and 225x5 hang pc (recorded).

Really tried to work on using my legs, keeping my shoulders in front of the bar, and getting triple extenstion. All the while keeping the bar close to my legs during the second pull. I've still got a long ways to go, but I'm starting to get the idea.

Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrM2hFu5Jh0


Um...get weaker? Seriously though, watching you power curl weights that are heavier than my PR makes me feel very bad about myself! So cut it out! Ok seriously for real this time. You are power curling the weight once you reach knee height on your cleans. On the other video with the clean pulls that is what you should be striving for on the clean. Try not to bend your arms early. On the clean once you get to a certain height you should be striving to pull under not pulling it up. Does that make sense?

Things I'd look into
-A drill for whipping the elbows under the bar on the clean to try to get out of the power curling habit. You are supposed to whip your elbows under rather than bringing the bar up, I can't find a video for it so I'll try to explain as best I can.
1. Feet in pull position, hands are clean grip width
2. Bring the bar up to your sternum (like you would look in an upright row), keep the bar touching your chest
3. Now jump your feet into the receiving position and whip your elbows under and around the bar.
4. The end position should result with your feet in the receiving position and the bar racked up. w/ elbows up.
-Tall cleans - These may help with the getting under part check out the video link for a description and a video.
-2 + 3 position cleans - for you you should go from the top down rather than the top up meaning, high hang, hang(above or below knee) and floor - Greg told us that going from the top down drills technique more.
-Feet positioning drills - You are not moving your feet into the receiving position on your power cleans. Jumping your feet from the pulling to the receiving position is suppose to be really fast w/ as little vertical elevation as possible (I'm struggling with this too). A good way to check this is to use chalk or tape on the outsides of your feet in the 2 positions and drill the heck out of it.

A good resource for weightlifting videos:(WFS)
http://www.performancemenu.com/resources/exercises/index.php?show=section&sectionID=2

Push presses looked solid from behind, next time a side shot?

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-05-2007, 11:14 AM
Allen,
Great to hear from you. Thanks so much!!! I know...I know....I've got a long way to go and you're absoltuely right, I really need to work on that second pull. I'm finally starting to get it with the clean pulls.

Pulling my body under the bar has always been a problem for me. It's a comfort level fear thing. I'm getting better and I'm going to drill the crap out of it with 135 until it becomes second nature. All from a high hang. I think I'm doing much better during my first pull, it's during the second pull that I'm losing it and turning it into a power curl.

I also really like the other drills you've suggested:

1. keep arms as straight for as long as I can. When the arm bends the power ends.
2. high pull fast elbows drill with bar on sternum.
3. jump into receiving position

I'm a serious work in progress and I really appreciate your thoughts and time.

All the best,
Arden

Long time no "see" Arden, hope things have been going well. I've been watching this thread and figured I might as well throw my 2 cents in.



It's not supposed to be straight, more of an S if anything.



Um...get weaker? Seriously though, watching you power curl weights that are heavier than my PR makes me feel very bad about myself! So cut it out! Ok seriously for real this time. You are power curling the weight once you reach knee height on your cleans. On the other video with the clean pulls that is what you should be striving for on the clean. Try not to bend your arms early. On the clean once you get to a certain height you should be striving to pull under not pulling it up. Does that make sense?

Things I'd look into
-A drill for whipping the elbows under the bar on the clean to try to get out of the power curling habit. You are supposed to whip your elbows under rather than bringing the bar up, I can't find a video for it so I'll try to explain as best I can.
1. Feet in pull position, hands are clean grip width
2. Bring the bar up to your sternum (like you would look in an upright row), keep the bar touching your chest
3. Now jump your feet into the receiving position and whip your elbows under and around the bar.
4. The end position should result with your feet in the receiving position and the bar racked up. w/ elbows up.
-Tall cleans - These may help with the getting under part check out the video link for a description and a video.
-2 + 3 position cleans - for you you should go from the top down rather than the top up meaning, high hang, hang(above or below knee) and floor - Greg told us that going from the top down drills technique more.
-Feet positioning drills - You are not moving your feet into the receiving position on your power cleans. Jumping your feet from the pulling to the receiving position is suppose to be really fast w/ as little vertical elevation as possible (I'm struggling with this too). A good way to check this is to use chalk or tape on the outsides of your feet in the 2 positions and drill the heck out of it.

A good resource for weightlifting videos:(WFS)
http://www.performancemenu.com/resources/exercises/index.php?show=section&sectionID=2

Push presses looked solid from behind, next time a side shot?

Allen Yeh
12-06-2007, 05:10 AM
I'm a serious work in progress

Says the guy whose learning weights are more than my PR's!

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-06-2007, 06:49 AM
Says the guy whose learning weights are more than my PR's!

sorry :o ...... lots of years of serious strength training under my belt and a really big bone structure. But, very much unlike you, I'm far from chiseled and "easy" on the ladys' eyes.

All the best,
Arden

David Aguasca
12-06-2007, 08:06 AM
sorry :o ...... lots of years of serious strength training under my belt and a really big bone structure. But, very much unlike you, I'm far from chiseled and "easy" on the ladys' eyes.

All the best,
Arden

awww...arden, did you just call allen pretty? :rofl:

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-07-2007, 10:44 AM
awww...arden, did you just call allen pretty? :rofl:


Allen's put together really well. I'm just sorta scary lookin' :yikes:

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-13-2007, 02:07 PM
Okay, I didn't have a great session today. I think I'm getting worse. I'm trying to drop weight and I think it's sapping me pretty good.

Today after power snatching, I did some power cleans. I did tall cleans with 95 and 135. Then did some squat snatches with 185, then 235. I then did a nice, as Allen calls it, power curl with 265. After that, I dropped back down and did some more Tall cleans with 135.

there's also an obligatory "cheat meal set" of sumo deads of me playing with 585. My grip started failing so I had to cut the set short.

here's the wfs link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCOzxTsr9PQ

Oh, the little guy coaching me on in the videos won the 2006 WSM. I'm so lucky to have him as a training partner. Very inspirational.

All the best,
Arden

Jason M Struck
12-13-2007, 03:17 PM
well or no, you're working on it and you are amongst friends. between that and a gym with the equipment, you are light years ahead of most!

Brandon Oto
12-13-2007, 05:06 PM
Arden, this may or may not help, but you could give it a shot.

Your cleans seem to be predominantly hip involvement, which is contributing to the arcing, "cheat curl" nature of the movement. Try starting the second pull from a more upright position, with a more open hip and more bent knees, and driving more from the legs (jumping "up" more than snapping "back"). Perhaps that will help you.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-13-2007, 06:07 PM
Arden, this may or may not help, but you could give it a shot.

Your cleans seem to be predominantly hip involvement, which is contributing to the arcing, "cheat curl" nature of the movement. Try starting the second pull from a more upright position, with a more open hip and more bent knees, and driving more from the legs (jumping "up" more than snapping "back"). Perhaps that will help you.


thanks so much. That makes sense to me. I'm simply not getting enough leg in the movement right now.

I'm very seriously considering doing two weeks of drills working on jumping/driving/standing tall, and getting under the bar.

That second pull is really where I'm losing it. I'll try the more upright torso with my next session. And it will be lighter. I want to get this right.

All the best,
Arden

Torbjörn Tapani
12-13-2007, 08:25 PM
You start your hang cleans with your legs, pushing the bar forward away from the body, effectively into a cheat curl. The reason is simply because when you start a hang pull you dip your knees a little to get into the proper pulling position, this is just how it is. Remember that the force should act vertically on the bar. So my suggestion then is to start the hang with the bar an inch or so in front of your knee, not touching the thighs. When you start your pull the bar will move towards you instead of away from you. The knees will dip under the bar and you will be in a better position for the pull.

Dale F. Saran
12-13-2007, 11:48 PM
Arden - one other thing. It seems to me you're still in "weight-centric" mode. By that I mean, why are you working on technique with weights that high?? The videos should be of technique with no more than 40-60kg. That's plenty and will help you in getting your technique solid. If you're trying to get "stronger" by cleaning the heavier weights, I'm not sure you're helping yourself. You're just reinforcing your habits with heavy weights. I know this all too well because I've been yelled at by Coach B. for doing this. Casey drills and drills with something like 40 or 50 kg - and I mean he is really pulling under the bar and working on tiny nuances to his technique. When you get to high weights, it's really hard to focus on technique with 85% of your 1RM on the bar.

I would start there.

Next, I think you should do a ***** ton of high hang cleans. By that I mean start with a bar only at the hang. Just relax with the bar hanging in your hands. Now get on your toes. Now shrug until the bar has dragged up and you've shrugged as much as you can. You are now where you would be (mostly) at the end of your "pulling phase" in a clean - minus the momentum you've been using to reverse curl that sick amount of weight. Now, you've got no more "energy" and no place to go...but down AND UNDER that da*n bar. So, drop under it and catch the bar in a good receiving position.

You can add weight slowly and work up to a 1 rep max and you will find yourself learning very quickly, as you approach that limit, figuring out how to "pull yourself down" rather than reverse curl big weights. IMO, that's the best way to build the proprioception to get your butt to figure out how to go back down under the weight, rather than bringing the weight up to you. It will also force you, er I mean, allow you to work at low weights where you can focus on technique.

I hope that helps some. We love ya, big man.

And by the way, I'll be posting my own cleans soon so you can watch and see some critique of my form. After all, fair's fair. ;-)

Allen Yeh
12-14-2007, 06:47 AM
Okay, I didn't have a great session today. I think I'm getting worse. I'm trying to drop weight and I think it's sapping me pretty good.

Today after power snatching, I did some power cleans. I did tall cleans with 95 and 135. Then did some squat snatches with 185, then 235. I then did a nice, as Allen calls it, power curl with 265. After that, I dropped back down and did some more Tall cleans with 135.

there's also an obligatory "cheat meal set" of sumo deads of me playing with 585. My grip started failing so I had to cut the set short.

here's the wfs link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCOzxTsr9PQ

Oh, the little guy coaching me on in the videos won the 2006 WSM. I'm so lucky to have him as a training partner. Very inspirational.

All the best,
Arden

Arden,

Everyone has good and bad days right? I had a day a few weeks ago where I couldn't even snatch 155 just wasn't a good day, ****ed me the heck off though. You just happen to have bad days with what most would wish were PR's!

I took a look at all your videos from 12/13.

1. Not getting full hip extension on both your power snatches and your power cleans.
2. Tall cleans - it's a violent shrug, quickly movingyour feet to receiving position and the pull under. If you are dipping your doing a high hang clean.

Like I said last time your clean pulls look great so we know you have up to the 2nd pull down pat, it's the transition from the 2nd to the 3rd that is getting mixed up. The full clean can be looked at like this. Clean pull but at the top of the clean pull you are quickly moving your feet and pulling under.

Peter Terry Haas
12-14-2007, 07:47 AM
Arden,
You've gotten a lot of good advice so far. I hate to chime in when this many people are commenting b/c I think too many coaches are confusing, but I would like to add my opinion. I'm going to agree and disagree slightly w/ some of the advice. I'm going to be blunt and only try to nail down those things I think you need to work on NOW.

I'll start from the ground up.

1. Your start position is a little off. Your hips start out too low. If you watch, your hips rise slightly before the bar comes off of the ground. Start with them just a touch higher, but with your weight still on your heels.
2. Your bar speed off of the ground looks fine. Anything in the 200lb range looks light for you, so if anything be careful about ripping it off of the floor too fast.
3. Once you get above the knees is where you run into big problems. I think your are initiating your 2nd pull (the jump) too soon. You are jumping as soon as the bar gets past the knees. This is what people meant when they said to be more upright when you jump. You are not in a favorable pulling position, so the bar (and your body) actually slow down considerably. It probably feels like you are trying to move fast but you can't. Solution: Wait a little bit and don't start your second pull until you get to about mid-thigh. Your thighs will contact the bar at the mid to upper thigh. You will have to play around w/ this a little bit. Whatever feels better and faster is better for you.

This should solve a couple of problems. It will make your 2nd pull faster and more explosive. It will also keep the bar closer to your body, reducing your need to do that power curl.

Watch this WFS vid of Rezazedah doing a C&J. Watch the slow-mo at about 1:35 in an see where he starts his 2nd pull.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FwIDwBDcnA

4. Once you feel comfortable w/ your second pull, try doing some clean pulls and emphasize getting tall so that you get full hip extension.
5. Practice this using the weights from the 1st and 2nd attempts in the video. Anything lighter and I think you will mess up your 1st pull, which will screw up everything downstream.
6. Once you feel comfortable w/ all of this you, then you can work on receiving the bar.

Once you get this down you'll be able to start putting up some really good numbers. Hope this helps. Keep us posted.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-14-2007, 02:19 PM
You start your hang cleans with your legs, pushing the bar forward away from the body, effectively into a cheat curl. The reason is simply because when you start a hang pull you dip your knees a little to get into the proper pulling position, this is just how it is. Remember that the force should act vertically on the bar. So my suggestion then is to start the hang with the bar an inch or so in front of your knee, not touching the thighs. When you start your pull the bar will move towards you instead of away from you. The knees will dip under the bar and you will be in a better position for the pull.

Thank you so much. I'm trying hard and I will get it.

1) Force Vertically on the bar
2) stand tall


I'm writing all these comments down in my journal so I don't forget them when I go for my next session.

I'm to a point, that I'm considering doing very light (40 to 50kg) drills to learn to do these movements properly.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-14-2007, 02:22 PM
Dale,
this makes perfect sense. I agree I'm very "weight centric" at this stage. I do need to back off and drill it as you've suggested. I"m going to do just that.

I love you the way you described it
1) stand tall
2) get on toes
3) shurg high
4) jump under the bar.

I'm very excited that I can actually catch the weight in the rack. If you would have asked me to hold the weight in the rack 10 weeks ago, I would have have been like Stallone in "Rocky Balboa." My wife made a comment about how "he must have really strong wrists to hold that much weight (it looked like 315 on the bar)." But he had no rack. My guess is that they had to be plastic. But that's the movies. At least he was doing dead kettlebell snatches with what looked to be a 16kg. :D

thank again.

All the best,
Arden

Arden - one other thing. It seems to me you're still in "weight-centric" mode. By that I mean, why are you working on technique with weights that high?? The videos should be of technique with no more than 40-60kg. That's plenty and will help you in getting your technique solid. If you're trying to get "stronger" by cleaning the heavier weights, I'm not sure you're helping yourself. You're just reinforcing your habits with heavy weights. I know this all too well because I've been yelled at by Coach B. for doing this. Casey drills and drills with something like 40 or 50 kg - and I mean he is really pulling under the bar and working on tiny nuances to his technique. When you get to high weights, it's really hard to focus on technique with 85% of your 1RM on the bar.

I would start there.

Next, I think you should do a ***** ton of high hang cleans. By that I mean start with a bar only at the hang. Just relax with the bar hanging in your hands. Now get on your toes. Now shrug until the bar has dragged up and you've shrugged as much as you can. You are now where you would be (mostly) at the end of your "pulling phase" in a clean - minus the momentum you've been using to reverse curl that sick amount of weight. Now, you've got no more "energy" and no place to go...but down AND UNDER that da*n bar. So, drop under it and catch the bar in a good receiving position.

You can add weight slowly and work up to a 1 rep max and you will find yourself learning very quickly, as you approach that limit, figuring out how to "pull yourself down" rather than reverse curl big weights. IMO, that's the best way to build the proprioception to get your butt to figure out how to go back down under the weight, rather than bringing the weight up to you. It will also force you, er I mean, allow you to work at low weights where you can focus on technique.

I hope that helps some. We love ya, big man.

And by the way, I'll be posting my own cleans soon so you can watch and see some critique of my form. After all, fair's fair. ;-)

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-14-2007, 02:30 PM
Allen,
That makes sense. I've got to find a way to pull under to receive the weight.

I think the Tall cleans as Dale's suggested is a good start:
1. stand tall
2. on toes
3. shurg tall
4. Jump under

That would get me to at least have some semblance of a third pull.

But you are absolutely right. In looking at the videos, I see myself doing the clean pulls the way they need to be done. But when I actually go to receive the bar, I don't get full hip extension and I cut the 2nd pull wayyyyyy short. That's the first time I ever noticed it. Thanks to you, Peter and everyone for pointing that out. I'm, in essence, heaving the bar and trying to get it as high as I can. And in doing so, I can't get my hips and legs in to movement because I've already got the bar out and away from me.

Thanks again. I'm taking notes and studying. And learning. My main goal in doing all these movements is to become quicker and become a better lumberjack sports athlete.

Training more like an athlete is so much better for your body than training like a bodybuilder. I love this stuff.

All the best,
Arden

Arden,

Everyone has good and bad days right? I had a day a few weeks ago where I couldn't even snatch 155 just wasn't a good day, ****ed me the heck off though. You just happen to have bad days with what most would wish were PR's!

I took a look at all your videos from 12/13.

1. Not getting full hip extension on both your power snatches and your power cleans.
2. Tall cleans - it's a violent shrug, quickly movingyour feet to receiving position and the pull under. If you are dipping your doing a high hang clean.

Like I said last time your clean pulls look great so we know you have up to the 2nd pull down pat, it's the transition from the 2nd to the 3rd that is getting mixed up. The full clean can be looked at like this. Clean pull but at the top of the clean pull you are quickly moving your feet and pulling under.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-14-2007, 02:35 PM
Peter,
Excellent comments and thanks so much for you encouragement.

1. agreed on the start position of my hips. I need to get them a little higher so my shoulders and hips rise at the same time.
2. Thanks so much for pointing out that I'm cutting the 2nd pull short. It didn't don on me at all until you and the others pointed it out.
3. You are right, when I'm using 95 or 135, when I recieve the bar, it bounces around. The 1st and second weights I videoed, I think, was 185 and 235. The 235 is probably a little heavy to be dropping under initially. I'll play it by ear and work on this as much as I can.

Again, great advice and thanks to everyone.

All the best,
Arden

Arden,
You've gotten a lot of good advice so far. I hate to chime in when this many people are commenting b/c I think too many coaches are confusing, but I would like to add my opinion. I'm going to agree and disagree slightly w/ some of the advice. I'm going to be blunt and only try to nail down those things I think you need to work on NOW.

I'll start from the ground up.

1. Your start position is a little off. Your hips start out too low. If you watch, your hips rise slightly before the bar comes off of the ground. Start with them just a touch higher, but with your weight still on your heels.
2. Your bar speed off of the ground looks fine. Anything in the 200lb range looks light for you, so if anything be careful about ripping it off of the floor too fast.
3. Once you get above the knees is where you run into big problems. I think your are initiating your 2nd pull (the jump) too soon. You are jumping as soon as the bar gets past the knees. This is what people meant when they said to be more upright when you jump. You are not in a favorable pulling position, so the bar (and your body) actually slow down considerably. It probably feels like you are trying to move fast but you can't. Solution: Wait a little bit and don't start your second pull until you get to about mid-thigh. Your thighs will contact the bar at the mid to upper thigh. You will have to play around w/ this a little bit. Whatever feels better and faster is better for you.

This should solve a couple of problems. It will make your 2nd pull faster and more explosive. It will also keep the bar closer to your body, reducing your need to do that power curl.

Watch this WFS vid of Rezazedah doing a C&J. Watch the slow-mo at about 1:35 in an see where he starts his 2nd pull.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FwIDwBDcnA

4. Once you feel comfortable w/ your second pull, try doing some clean pulls and emphasize getting tall so that you get full hip extension.
5. Practice this using the weights from the 1st and 2nd attempts in the video. Anything lighter and I think you will mess up your 1st pull, which will screw up everything downstream.
6. Once you feel comfortable w/ all of this you, then you can work on receiving the bar.

Once you get this down you'll be able to start putting up some really good numbers. Hope this helps. Keep us posted.

Tom Corrigan
12-14-2007, 08:34 PM
Arden,

one thing I noticed from the side view was that you shoulders were directly over the bar, and I've taken a few Oly seminars with Coach Burgener and he always stresses your shoulders in front.

Also, I agree with the cutting the second pull short, and you seem to drop your elbows and do a sort of "cheating reverse curl" to rack the weight - maybe because you are so GD strong that you can curl more than I can clean.... Have you tried the "Burgener Warm up" ? Search the CF site for a full description, but I think the first few pulls with your elbows "high and outside" will help your muscle memory. Coach B had us do this multiple times during his clinics, and most CFers who want to improve in the Oly lifts practice it daily, before every WOD.

I have a video which may help you a bit on your snatch technique. I watched the video you posted a few days ago, and it looks like you're working with the 32kg. First you are folding nicely, turning the hand well and your back swing motion and pull are solid, except for the trajectory. You need to keep it closed to the mid line, not let it drift out to the side. The bell flies a bit sideways around your wrist, pulling your shoulder open. You want to pull the Kb so it travels infront of your chest as it comes up, not let it come out to your shoulder.

This trajectory will make it easier to lockout. The spin around your wrist will be crisper and more compact. Also, you need to have your hand and shoulder at a 45 degree angle (1/2 way between palms forward and palms facing each other) when you lock it out. When you look at the "bell" in the lockout position, it should be behind your forearm, and be seen equally on each side. Do you see how most of the bell is on the inside (i.e. over your head) when you lock out? Locking out at 45 also makes the drop easier, and that need to be more inline.

THIS is the video to watch - I took it at the KB Worlds in Miami. This 200# guy snatched a 70# over 80 times each hand, and that was after jerking a pair of 32s for 141 reps. This view is head on, so you can see what I am talking about.

Work and family safe link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhuXMFYBq28

My suggestion to you is to drop down a size and hone your technique with a 53# (or even a 44#) KB, and get your KB conditioning from doing 1 am swings for high reps. Sure you could muscle thru it with a 70#er, but you don't need KBs to get strong - you are already so freakin' strong it's scary - the improved technique will allow you to lower the stress on your joints, and will eventually lead to better cardio because you will be able to push yourself to do more reps without the downside of unneeded torque on your joints.

Hope this helps,

Tom

Tony Stock
12-14-2007, 09:14 PM
This is great thread.
You are strong as a mule, great work.

Concentrate on two things

- Flexing your lats on your cleans. This will help keep the bar closer to you.

- Make sure the bar grazes your thighs, then your shirt on the way up. By flexing your lats this will happen.

You will have alot more control when this happens and be able to feel much more comfortable with these lifts. It will take the danger aspect out of them.

Go down a few pounds to get the feel of it then hit it hard, like you do.

Remember that technique means alot. I like to feel that cheating on reps is like cheating in a foot race. I can run that mile a lot faster if I cut across the field on the last lap but is that what I train for?

Lincoln Brigham
12-16-2007, 12:58 PM
Arden,
I'm not sure you've got the "tall" part of tall cleans right in your head. You're doing them more like a continental from the hang, or a hang clean. The purpose of the tall clean is to teach the lifter how to get under the bar after the triple extension has finished - so that's where the tall clean starts. You are starting at the last half of the second pull. A tall clean starts at the extreme END of the second pull, even higher:

Tall Clean (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HqPs6G0IuY)

(In this example I'd prefer to see even less dip. But this particular model's fees were reasonable...)

You should be starting so high - on your toes, hips and knees extended, shoulders shrugged - that the pull is not much more than a flicker. Most of the emphasis is on the speed getting to the bottom of the front squat. You have to get there before the bar does. The tall clean is meant to install motor memory of starting the third pull AFTER the hip extension and to instill confidence and speed of the pull under into the full squat. The bar should hardly move.

Jay Cohen
12-16-2007, 01:10 PM
Lincoln;

Great video.
Thanks.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-16-2007, 04:02 PM
Tom,
Thanks so much. That makes perfect sense to me. I'll keep the bell on the midline. I was going to do some stuff tonight and up load it, but I'm exhausted after a weekend of traveling, christmas stuff, and kids galore....if you know what I mean?

I'll videotape my lunchtime session tomorrow and see if I do any better. I'll do my darndest to keep the bell on the midline.

And I've got a lot of work to do on that second to third pull. I'm finally starting to figure something out - when the elbows bend is when the feet move and you start the third pull. I think that's the way I'd describe it?

all the best,
Arden

Arden,

one thing I noticed from the side view was that you shoulders were directly over the bar, and I've taken a few Oly seminars with Coach Burgener and he always stresses your shoulders in front.

Also, I agree with the cutting the second pull short, and you seem to drop your elbows and do a sort of "cheating reverse curl" to rack the weight - maybe because you are so GD strong that you can curl more than I can clean.... Have you tried the "Burgener Warm up" ? Search the CF site for a full description, but I think the first few pulls with your elbows "high and outside" will help your muscle memory. Coach B had us do this multiple times during his clinics, and most CFers who want to improve in the Oly lifts practice it daily, before every WOD.

I have a video which may help you a bit on your snatch technique. I watched the video you posted a few days ago, and it looks like you're working with the 32kg. First you are folding nicely, turning the hand well and your back swing motion and pull are solid, except for the trajectory. You need to keep it closed to the mid line, not let it drift out to the side. The bell flies a bit sideways around your wrist, pulling your shoulder open. You want to pull the Kb so it travels infront of your chest as it comes up, not let it come out to your shoulder.

This trajectory will make it easier to lockout. The spin around your wrist will be crisper and more compact. Also, you need to have your hand and shoulder at a 45 degree angle (1/2 way between palms forward and palms facing each other) when you lock it out. When you look at the "bell" in the lockout position, it should be behind your forearm, and be seen equally on each side. Do you see how most of the bell is on the inside (i.e. over your head) when you lock out? Locking out at 45 also makes the drop easier, and that need to be more inline.

THIS is the video to watch - I took it at the KB Worlds in Miami. This 200# guy snatched a 70# over 80 times each hand, and that was after jerking a pair of 32s for 141 reps. This view is head on, so you can see what I am talking about.

Work and family safe link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhuXMFYBq28

My suggestion to you is to drop down a size and hone your technique with a 53# (or even a 44#) KB, and get your KB conditioning from doing 1 am swings for high reps. Sure you could muscle thru it with a 70#er, but you don't need KBs to get strong - you are already so freakin' strong it's scary - the improved technique will allow you to lower the stress on your joints, and will eventually lead to better cardio because you will be able to push yourself to do more reps without the downside of unneeded torque on your joints.

Hope this helps,

Tom

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-16-2007, 04:06 PM
Tony,
That makes complete sense. Keeping my lats tight has always been hard for me. When I do it right, I feel like I've been doing tricep pushdowns and nautilus pull overs, or dumbell pullovers, for several sets of 20 to 30. I'm wicked pumped up. I did NOT feel like that during my last session - which was one I was very disappointed with in regards to how I was moving and how I was moving the weights.

I'm completely backing off this week and working on the transition from the 2nd 3rd pull and the third pull.

Thanks to everyone for your assistance.

All the best,
Arden

This is great thread.
You are strong as a mule, great work.

Concentrate on two things

- Flexing your lats on your cleans. This will help keep the bar closer to you.

- Make sure the bar grazes your thighs, then your shirt on the way up. By flexing your lats this will happen.

You will have alot more control when this happens and be able to feel much more comfortable with these lifts. It will take the danger aspect out of them.

Go down a few pounds to get the feel of it then hit it hard, like you do.

Remember that technique means alot. I like to feel that cheating on reps is like cheating in a foot race. I can run that mile a lot faster if I cut across the field on the last lap but is that what I train for?

Brandon Oto
12-16-2007, 04:10 PM
In one instant, you should be fully extended at knees, hips, ankles, and shoulders. This is the end of the second pull.

In the next instant, you should be off the ground, with your feet moving outward, your knees should be bending, your shoulders are back down, your hips are flexing, and your arms are bending and elbows whipping round as you pull yourself under. This is the start of the third pull.

It's ALL synched. There's no guitar solo in the background here.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-16-2007, 04:11 PM
Lincoln,
You are absolutely right. I didn't have the "tall" part of tall cleans right in my head until you explained it and posted the link. I finally got quicktime on my computer at home so I could watch the video links that Allen posted last week. I've since put that on my favorites list. I've added your video to my favorites as well. I plan on doing some real "tall cleans" tomorrow and hope I have a better go it now that I have a much better understanding. I must add that getting my body to do the movement as depicted in the video is a lot easier said than done.

Wish me luck on this one. I'm boldly going where I've never gone before......:D

All the best,
Arden



Arden,
I'm not sure you've got the "tall" part of tall cleans right in your head. You're doing them more like a continental from the hang, or a hang clean. The purpose of the tall clean is to teach the lifter how to get under the bar after the triple extension has finished - so that's where the tall clean starts. You are starting at the last half of the second pull. A tall clean starts at the extreme END of the second pull, even higher:

Tall Clean (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HqPs6G0IuY)

(In this example I'd prefer to see even less dip. But this particular model's fees were reasonable...)

You should be starting so high - on your toes, hips and knees extended, shoulders shrugged - that the pull is not much more than a flicker. Most of the emphasis is on the speed getting to the bottom of the front squat. You have to get there before the bar does. The tall clean is meant to install motor memory of starting the third pull AFTER the hip extension and to instill confidence and speed of the pull under into the full squat. The bar should hardly move.

Peter Terry Haas
12-17-2007, 06:29 AM
Um, I'm going to go ahead and respectfully disagree w/ some of the advice given on the tall clean and specifically the aspect of coming up on the toes.

I practice and teach jumping from a flat footed position. I feel like you get better hip extension. To do this, you have to actively dorsiflex w/ the anterior tibialis when you "jump" (use your shin muscles to pull your toes toward your shin). Try it out. With PVC or an empty bar, come up to the top of your second pull on flat feet. Pay attention to how your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and low back feel. Now do the same thing while coming up onto the toes. When I do this, I feel like I'm not getting full engagement of the musculature, especially the quads. I also feel slightly off balance.

When I started incorporating jumping from flat feet, the power of my pulls immediately shot up. Not only that, but your feet move from jumping to landing faster since you don't have to worry about coming "up" with the feet.

WFS of Shane Hamman doing a C&J. You can only see his left foot, but you'll notice minimal if any extension at the ankle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqgGh_fOTCM

I also prefer to do tall cleans more like this (http://www.performancemenu.com/resources/exercises/index.php?show=exercise&sectionID=2&exerciseID=150). This WFS link to the Performance Menu has you start standing tall but flat footed, and you initiate the movement with a powerful shrug.

Give it a shot. See what feels better to you. If it works for you, great. If not, don't worry about it.

PS. I also disagree with a full upward shrug of the shoulders into the ears. I don't think its efficient nor does it really happen in an actual clean. If you want me to elaborate I will, but I mainly wanted to address the points about coming up on the toe and the tall clean.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-17-2007, 07:39 AM
Thanks Brandon,
I'm getting the idea. Now if I can only do it? Today, I'm going to give it a go after I do some crazy kettlebell stuff.

All the best,
Arden

In one instant, you should be fully extended at knees, hips, ankles, and shoulders. This is the end of the second pull.

In the next instant, you should be off the ground, with your feet moving outward, your knees should be bending, your shoulders are back down, your hips are flexing, and your arms are bending and elbows whipping round as you pull yourself under. This is the start of the third pull.

It's ALL synched. There's no guitar solo in the background here.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-17-2007, 07:41 AM
Thanks Peter,
Randy Hauer has told me the same thing. I'm going to try it today. I'll get some video footage up shortly. I'm not going over my bodyweight today. I may do more sets than I normally do, but I really think I need to do this at this point.

All the best,
Arden

Um, I'm going to go ahead and respectfully disagree w/ some of the advice given on the tall clean and specifically the aspect of coming up on the toes.

I practice and teach jumping from a flat footed position. I feel like you get better hip extension. To do this, you have to actively dorsiflex w/ the anterior tibialis when you "jump" (use your shin muscles to pull your toes toward your shin). Try it out. With PVC or an empty bar, come up to the top of your second pull on flat feet. Pay attention to how your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and low back feel. Now do the same thing while coming up onto the toes. When I do this, I feel like I'm not getting full engagement of the musculature, especially the quads. I also feel slightly off balance.

When I started incorporating jumping from flat feet, the power of my pulls immediately shot up. Not only that, but your feet move from jumping to landing faster since you don't have to worry about coming "up" with the feet.

WFS of Shane Hamman doing a C&J. You can only see his left foot, but you'll notice minimal if any extension at the ankle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqgGh_fOTCM

I also prefer to do tall cleans more like this (http://www.performancemenu.com/resources/exercises/index.php?show=exercise&sectionID=2&exerciseID=150). This WFS link to the Performance Menu has you start standing tall but flat footed, and you initiate the movement with a powerful shrug.

Give it a shot. See what feels better to you. If it works for you, great. If not, don't worry about it.

PS. I also disagree with a full upward shrug of the shoulders into the ears. I don't think its efficient nor does it really happen in an actual clean. If you want me to elaborate I will, but I mainly wanted to address the points about coming up on the toe and the tall clean.

Joe Celso
12-17-2007, 11:35 AM
Arden - Not sure if Chris told you or not, but I'm going to FL this March (for the Burgerner Oly Cert as a matter of fact). Anyways, I'm planning on stopping by on the way down/back and choppin something!

I can't watch the videos here at work (blocked) and I'm sure you wanna get your cleans figured before then- but I'll plan on some oly lifts then too. Sound good?

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-17-2007, 12:56 PM
Arden - Not sure if Chris told you or not, but I'm going to FL this March (for the Burgerner Oly Cert as a matter of fact). Anyways, I'm planning on stopping by on the way down/back and choppin something!

I can't watch the videos here at work (blocked) and I'm sure you wanna get your cleans figured before then- but I'll plan on some oly lifts then too. Sound good?

Joe,
If you can stop by we'll definitely make a point of getting you in the barn to do something with an axe, saw, or whatever. I need all the help I can get on the oly lifts.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-17-2007, 01:00 PM
Okay, I just had another session.

I did some silly kettlebell stuff before my cleans, so I was pretty spent going into it. I attempted "tall cleans" for my warms ups. Recorded them all. Went 75x2, 95x2, 115x2, 135x2, 165x2, 185x1. After that I think I did regular squat cleans with 185x2, 225x2, 245x2, then tall cleans with 135x2x3. All I think are recorded.

I'm still missing the third pull bad. I'm not getting full hip extension. I'm going to keep doing this drill until my hips get all the way forward before my elbows bend. Does that make sense? I hope so?

Here's the links to the cleans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyq2qbfI2Bw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCIfEyBD3GE

I think it's this drill that will get me to get full hip extension and keep the bar as close to me as possible. But I noticed on the side view that I'm still doing a little sideways "C."

I really need to drag the bar up my torso, don't I?

I'm all ears. I hope I'm getting a little better?

I know i'm getting frustrated. But I can't let that deter me.

All the best,
Arden

Brandon Oto
12-17-2007, 01:11 PM
I think the bearings in that bar have seen better days...

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-17-2007, 01:25 PM
I think the bearings in that bar have seen better days...


yeah, you're right about that.

However, I don't dare bring my good bar to the Y to let others abuse. If you know what I mean.

but would that have some impact on me doing my drills? If so, I can probably get them to lock it up for me. It's a york training bar. When I win the lotto, I'm going to buy myself a york or werksan comp bar. :D

All the best,
Arden

Torbjörn Tapani
12-17-2007, 05:50 PM
*ahem* Eleiko...

swedish steel ;)

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-17-2007, 06:02 PM
*ahem* Eleiko...

swedish steel ;)

Sorry, you are absolutely correct. Just so you know, Swedes also make some keen axes.

Corrected******When I win the lotto, I'll get sm Eleiko Bar*****:D


All the best,
Arden

Allen Yeh
12-18-2007, 08:13 AM
Okay, I just had another session.

I did some silly kettlebell stuff before my cleans, so I was pretty spent going into it. I attempted "tall cleans" for my warms ups. Recorded them all. Went 75x2, 95x2, 115x2, 135x2, 165x2, 185x1. After that I think I did regular squat cleans with 185x2, 225x2, 245x2, then tall cleans with 135x2x3. All I think are recorded.

I'm still missing the third pull bad. I'm not getting full hip extension. I'm going to keep doing this drill until my hips get all the way forward before my elbows bend. Does that make sense? I hope so?

Here's the links to the cleans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyq2qbfI2Bw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCIfEyBD3GE

I think it's this drill that will get me to get full hip extension and keep the bar as close to me as possible. But I noticed on the side view that I'm still doing a little sideways "C."

I really need to drag the bar up my torso, don't I?

I'm all ears. I hope I'm getting a little better?

I know i'm getting frustrated. But I can't let that deter me.

All the best,
Arden

Your last few tall cleans looked good in the first link, the tall cleans in the end of your other video not so much.

Shrug and a pull under.

Question: how different is your pulling and receiving stance? It looks like sometimes your feet move wider than other times.

Glad you were able to watch the Catalyst Athletics videos. If you get a chance the Performance Menu articles with Olympic lifting are well worth the read.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-18-2007, 08:29 AM
The difference between my pulling and recieving stance, at this stage, is varied. I go a little wider, but not much. Sometimes, I just sort of rotate my toes outward to receive in a toe pointing outward stance.

My background has always had me squatting from different stances every set of every workout I've ever had in my life. The only time I ever used a similar stance was when I was power lifting several moons ago. But even then, I had a second workout during the same week with varied stance position. Just to make sure I didn't instill too much of static pathway or stimulated the muscles differently. If that makes sense?

Should I work more on being more consistent with my foot spacing?

Thanks for pointing out the articles in the performance menu. I'll print those out and read them.

Thanks so much for your time and effort.

All the best,
Arden

Your last few tall cleans looked good in the first link, the tall cleans in the end of your other video not so much.

Shrug and a pull under.

Question: how different is your pulling and receiving stance? It looks like sometimes your feet move wider than other times.

Glad you were able to watch the Catalyst Athletics videos. If you get a chance the Performance Menu articles with Olympic lifting are well worth the read.

Allen Yeh
12-18-2007, 10:56 AM
Should I work more on being more consistent with my foot spacing?

I'd definitely think about it for Oly. Those foot drills that I described a few posts ago can help with that.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-18-2007, 11:05 AM
I'd definitely think about it for Oly. Those foot drills that I described a few posts ago can help with that.

Thanks Allen,

Here's what I have in my journal:
1. Jumping your feet from the pulling to the receiving position is suppose to be really fast w/ as little vertical elevation as possible - Think Shuffle fast - when elbows bend feet shuffle.
2. use chalk or tape on the outsides of your feet in the 2 positions and drill the heck out of it.


I've got a snatch session tomorrow that I'm going to do this drill for as well. I think if I can program myself to do one I can do them both.

I really appreciate all the help.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-22-2007, 10:22 AM
Okay, this was me trying to do some Tall cleans after doing my regular snatch workout. This was just to work on drills, form, etc. How am I doing?

The weights are 95, 135, 185, and 205. I'm not getting hung up on weights, I'm really trying hard to pull myself under the bar.

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


My own observations are - could get hips into it more (further forward) and still not shuffling my feet enough.

I'm all ears.

all the best,
Arden

Lincoln Brigham
12-22-2007, 12:42 PM
You're pulling the bar up to your armpits, which is really not doing a tall clean at all. Total bar elevation should be about 6" at most, you're getting at least 18" AND you're still doing the hip swing into the bar thing. Try these with just the empty bar to start.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-22-2007, 04:11 PM
You're pulling the bar up to your armpits, which is really not doing a tall clean at all. Total bar elevation should be about 6" at most, you're getting at least 18" AND you're still doing the hip swing into the bar thing. Try these with just the empty bar to start.

Thanks Lincoln. I thought as much. i'll keep trying.

Hip swing into the bar - causing it to move forward?

I've got a long way to go. Thanks so much.

All the best,
Arden

Brandon Oto
12-22-2007, 04:55 PM
Really just work on imagining the bar as a stationary object, and you dropping under it without moving it.

I wonder if you could actually use an immobile bar for this... in a power rack or something...

Dale F. Saran
12-22-2007, 06:59 PM
Coach B has said that in some extreme cases, he has a lifter get themselves to triple extension (he uses on their toes, with respect to previous poster about staying flat-footed for the jump: in my opinion, you jump flat-footed through the heels but may wind up on your toes a bit from momentum) - and then set two sets of pins on a power rack so that you can't pull the bar up any more. Then you just prform "tall cleans" with the bar pinned and THAT will certainly force you to "pull under" the bar. You can't curl it or move it up - it's pinned at the height of your triple extension. If you don't have 2 sets of pins, you can find your triple extension height with an empty bar, set the pins at that height, and then pile on the weight (like your max DL) so that you CAN'T lift it any higher - then do the same. You'll have to pull under and that will help teach you the body mechanics, presuming that you maintain the good form and foot positioning from the jump and land.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-22-2007, 07:04 PM
Dale and Brandon,
YOu guys have given me something to do tomorrow morning. I'm going to woody band a bar to power cage and jump under until I'm tired of it.

I do have to admit something, I'm getting much more comfortable in the bottom position. I'm feeling more stable than before. I was squatting on Friday with 315 and I was actually pausing several seconds at the bottom. That was refreshing. I've never felt like that before.

One step at a time.

Thanks to everyone.

All the best,
Arden

Dale F. Saran
12-22-2007, 09:42 PM
Hey, Big man, you can check a new thread in about 5 minutes with links to me doing CnJ triples from about a month ago. Feel free to take what you can from it (or offer critiques). :-)

Glad to help in some small way.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-25-2007, 05:39 PM
Did an hour and half walk with the misses and the inlaws to warm up for the weights. Before going on the walk, I rolled and stretched.

When we got back to the barn, started out with the Corrigon Warm up. Then into some power cleans. I didn't have much go, so I ended up not doing the push presses and clean pulls. i'll do those tomorrow a.m.

The misses did a ton of event training about 200 strokes on the single and probably 100 hits on the underhand.

But I did do a ton of drills today. After ever set, I tried to do tall cleans off my York blocks.

Did 95x3/95x3, 115x3/95x3, 135x3/115x3, 185x3/135x3, 225x3/155x3, 255x1/175x3, 275x1/175x3, 295x1/175x3, 255x1/175x3, 225x3hpc/175x2

Here's the links:

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQymmpSf5K4


After that I did some front squats 135x2, 225x2, 275x2, 325x2, 275x2, 225x2

I was done after that. So got a shake, some stretching and called it a night.

My observations are I'm still not getting the transition between the second and third pull good enough. I think doing my drills like this might help me if I keep it up. I'm learning. I also think I need to get more extension on my 2nd pull. I think I could also keep my hips a little lower with the first pull (my hips might be getting in front of my shoulders).

I'm all ears.

Do you guys like the drills? It's better than the band stuff I tried a few days ago even though I'm still pulling to high as Lincoln noted before.

All the best,
Arden

Charles Garrett
12-26-2007, 10:16 PM
No, actually you need to start with your hips a little higher. Your hips are too low at the beginning for your build. It appears to force you to move the bar around your knees instead of moving your knees out of the way of the bar. The latter stretches your hamstring and helps you to get your knees under the bar faster.

Critique no. 2; you are not reaching full extension. Try this drill: start with an empty bar at mid thigh and just extend to full extension. Don't go full speed on this part. You should move slow and deliberate and hold the top position for a second. Don't worry about go up on you toes for this part either. It if you are extending up and slightly back, as you should, going up on your toes will just cause you to fall back. It will be easy to add ankle extension later. Do 2-3 reps then power clean it from mid thigh. repeat the whole thing up to 3 times, maybe only once as weight is increased. once you have the movement down, then you can start with the bar just above, the knee or mix and match starting points (ie. full extension from mid thigh + power clean from mid thigh + full extension from above knee + power clean from above knee or full extension from mid thigh + full extension from above knee + power clean from mid thigh + power clean from above knee)

Critique no. 3; stay tight and keep you chest up.

Oh and one more. Try filming from either slightly in front or slightly behind to better see you relationship to the bar.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-27-2007, 08:23 AM
Charles, thanks so much!!!

I want to make sure I understand your comments.

In regards to starting with my hips higher, are you referring to my initial start position (from the floor), or my start position during the drills? I think you're talking about my initial starting position and I agree. I've gotten in a habit of starting all my floor movements from that position and moving from there. Very very good point. I'm going to try it today with my snatches.

I like your drill suggestion. I'm going to do that during my next clean session (I'm hoping for Saturday, but that will depend upon my daughters) Basically think stand tall. Then eventually jump with the weight. I'm finally starting to see where I'm cutting the second pull short. I'm doing it right about every third rep. It's like I can see my hips move or thrust forward and up. I think. Took me long enough, but I'm finally starting to see it.

"Check" on staying tight and chest up.

Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions.

All the best,
Arden

No, actually you need to start with your hips a little higher. Your hips are too low at the beginning for your build. It appears to force you to move the bar around your knees instead of moving your knees out of the way of the bar. The latter stretches your hamstring and helps you to get your knees under the bar faster.

Critique no. 2; you are not reaching full extension. Try this drill: start with an empty bar at mid thigh and just extend to full extension. Don't go full speed on this part. You should move slow and deliberate and hold the top position for a second. Don't worry about go up on you toes for this part either. It if you are extending up and slightly back, as you should, going up on your toes will just cause you to fall back. It will be easy to add ankle extension later. Do 2-3 reps then power clean it from mid thigh. repeat the whole thing up to 3 times, maybe only once as weight is increased. once you have the movement down, then you can start with the bar just above, the knee or mix and match starting points (ie. full extension from mid thigh + power clean from mid thigh + full extension from above knee + power clean from above knee or full extension from mid thigh + full extension from above knee + power clean from mid thigh + power clean from above knee)

Critique no. 3; stay tight and keep you chest up.

Oh and one more. Try filming from either slightly in front or slightly behind to better see you relationship to the bar.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-27-2007, 01:57 PM
i did some more "attempts" at tall cleans from a more upright position today. Working on getting tall and driving my hips/legs/ankles from the power position with a full extension of my shoulders at the top. Well, at least I tried. I think if I keep on doing drills I'll eventually get it.

I do have one question. Do I need to keep the bar closer to my, as I call him, alien and chest once I bend the elbows. I'm still trying to figure that part out.

I went 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 135x3, 115x2.

Here's the link for the tall cleans: it's wfs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5-dwKFXl4w


Thanks in advance.

All the best,
Arden

Torbjörn Tapani
12-27-2007, 04:53 PM
You are still pushing the bar away with your hips. The bar then travels in a C shaped trajectory. Work on pulling it straight up.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-27-2007, 08:29 PM
You are still pushing the bar away with your hips. The bar then travels in a C shaped trajectory. Work on pulling it straight up.

Thank you for confirming my thoughts. Should the bar brush against my body my upper thighs, alien, and chest? Or just be a heckuva lot closer than it is now?

All the best,
Arden

Dale F. Saran
12-27-2007, 10:19 PM
You're still reverse-curling it, essentially. Two thoughts:
1 - Try doing medicine ball cleans to get the body mechanics down. You don't seem to have the idea of "getting under" the object. Do this - get a med-ball or slam ball and hold it as if you've just deadlifted it (given your strongman stuff, this should be easy). Now, jump and shrug, while keeping your arms straight (at a hang). The ball will travel up with you and reach its apogee. Do this a few times just to feel it. Now, at the point when it reaches its apogee, you go down under it, rotating our hands so that they cup under the ball - NOTE WELL - the laces on the ball or label or whatever, should be in the exact same position as when you started. If you started with the label facing the mirror, when you finish your "clean" the laces had better still be facing the mirror/wall and not facing you. If the laces are facing you, you curled it.
2 - Once you've done the above about a 100 times so that you understand how to drop down, rather than pulling the weight up, try doing the same exact thing with a bar. Try to think about whipping down under the bar when it reaches its apogee - the height where it rides up to as a result of your jump - concentrate on keeping elbows high and outside, like a scarecrow - that will help prevent the reverse curl somewhat.

Hope that helps. Keep at it, you're getting better with each try.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2007, 04:30 AM
Thanks Dale,
You are absolutely correct, I'm not grasping the "jump under" or third pull at all. It's an apprehension thing for me.

I think I understand your slam ball drill. I think, for me, the thing is I need to go from full extension to full drop squat with no fear. I have to find a way to do that. Then reintroduce the barbell. Or at least do it with very light barbells until I get comfortable. I've tried to do this with dowels and empty bars, but I'm finding that the weight is absolutely essential for me because I do worse with less weight.

Lots of years of bad sslllllllooowwwww habits to over come, so in time.

Thanks so much for the time and advice. Makes great sense and I'm going to come up with this and other drills to get under the bar.

All the best,
Arden

You're still reverse-curling it, essentially. Two thoughts:
1 - Try doing medicine ball cleans to get the body mechanics down. You don't seem to have the idea of "getting under" the object. Do this - get a med-ball or slam ball and hold it as if you've just deadlifted it (given your strongman stuff, this should be easy). Now, jump and shrug, while keeping your arms straight (at a hang). The ball will travel up with you and reach its apogee. Do this a few times just to feel it. Now, at the point when it reaches its apogee, you go down under it, rotating our hands so that they cup under the ball - NOTE WELL - the laces on the ball or label or whatever, should be in the exact same position as when you started. If you started with the label facing the mirror, when you finish your "clean" the laces had better still be facing the mirror/wall and not facing you. If the laces are facing you, you curled it.
2 - Once you've done the above about a 100 times so that you understand how to drop down, rather than pulling the weight up, try doing the same exact thing with a bar. Try to think about whipping down under the bar when it reaches its apogee - the height where it rides up to as a result of your jump - concentrate on keeping elbows high and outside, like a scarecrow - that will help prevent the reverse curl somewhat.

Hope that helps. Keep at it, you're getting better with each try.

Susie Rosenberg
12-28-2007, 05:41 AM
I just recently "got" this lift, so I understand where you're coming from! It's like trying to teach your body a foreign language.

A couple of things I noticed on the day I "got" it. First, when I did the shrug, I concentrated on actually getting my feet to leave the floor. It's a
jump, and the weights just come along for the ride---you don't
lift them. It helps to use the right weight--enough weight so that can't easily curl the bar, but not so much that you can really acccelerate it with a jump.

If you jump fast enough, there's a moment when the weights feel almost suspended in air. It feels as if the bar is getting lighter, almost weightless, and that's the moment you jump down underneath it and catch it on its way down.

It helped me to do a lot of jumping and shrugging---over and over, until I could make the weight feel light.

Susie

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2007, 08:19 AM
Great Tip Susie!!!!

I'm far from getting it at this stage. I just want to get away from "doing power curls." Or I guess i want to get to where I can actually "power clean." :o

Thanks so much.

All the best,
Arden

I just recently "got" this lift, so I understand where you're coming from! It's like trying to teach your body a foreign language.

A couple of things I noticed on the day I "got" it. First, when I did the shrug, I concentrated on actually getting my feet to leave the floor. It's a
jump, and the weights just come along for the ride---you don't
lift them. It helps to use the right weight--enough weight so that can't easily curl the bar, but not so much that you can really acccelerate it with a jump.

If you jump fast enough, there's a moment when the weights feel almost suspended in air. It feels as if the bar is getting lighter, almost weightless, and that's the moment you jump down underneath it and catch it on its way down.

It helped me to do a lot of jumping and shrugging---over and over, until I could make the weight feel light.

Susie

Jason Lollar
12-28-2007, 09:05 AM
Arden,

I think Susie is onto it. Do you remember Coach B's example of a 5lb weight on a string. He "jerks" up on the string and the weight jumps straight up. Another good example is the second part of the Burgener Warmup where you practice the portion of the second pull that starts at the hang and finishes with the shrug and WIDE elbows jumping the bar to chest level. Can we get a vid of you this movement from the side? I think it would pay huge dividends to force a pure vertical jump with the bar. I don't think you will fix the reverse curl problem by focusing on the 3rd pull until you get the second pull down right. It appears that your elbows stay relatively close to your body. This prevents the bar from jumping close to the body. Just my rookie observations.

But it's always motivating to come back to your thread. It just makes me want to run out and work on my form as well. Keep it up!

Best,

wilson

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2007, 09:13 AM
Wilson,
You just made me realize that I'm not getting wide elbows at all. I've only been thinking about quick elbows. I think I've been missing an essential part of that 2nd pull. I know the power ends when the elbows bend, but if you look at all the top lifters, they have wide elbows when they're up on their toes and as tall as possible. My mind is telling me that you need the wide elbows after you've reached triple extension. I could be completely wrong about this. But I'm a complete work in progress.

More drills for me. But it will need to wait until tomorrow morning. I'm reallllllllly tired today. After abusing myself yesterday, I went home and built my new platform. The hard part wasn't building it, it was lugging all the crap I've forced into my home gym over the past 8 months. Then this morning I got up and admired my handwork and had to do some event training to justify being there. :kicking0:

Thanks so much for the input. It really helps.

All the best,
Arden

Arden,

I think Susie is onto it. Do you remember Coach B's example of a 5lb weight on a string. He "jerks" up on the string and the weight jumps straight up. Another good example is the second part of the Burgener Warmup where you practice the portion of the second pull that starts at the hang and finishes with the shrug and WIDE elbows jumping the bar to chest level. Can we get a vid of you this movement from the side? I think it would pay huge dividends to force a pure vertical jump with the bar. I don't think you will fix the reverse curl problem by focusing on the 3rd pull until you get the second pull down right. It appears that your elbows stay relatively close to your body. This prevents the bar from jumping close to the body. Just my rookie observations.

But it's always motivating to come back to your thread. It just makes me want to run out and work on my form as well. Keep it up!

Best,

wilson

Jason Lollar
12-28-2007, 09:20 AM
Also...the WIDE elbows is more of a coaching "cue" (as Rip calls it). It is very hard to catch visually because it is so subtle and quick. But if you pause a Hang Power Clean vid you will probably can see that the athlete is already done pulling the bar up, hips fully open, feet in the air before the bar even hits the nipple level...already into the third pull under the bar. Just adding to what Susie already described. Glad the observations are at least getting the juices flowing.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2007, 12:07 PM
Gotcha.

Basicly, Wide elbows is, in essence, already part of the third pull or pulling your body under the bar or part of the descent.

I've got a lot to work on. If I wasn't so worn out, I'd be in there tonight. But I'll try and start fresh tomorrow a.m.

All the best,
Arden

Also...the WIDE elbows is more of a coaching "cue" (as Rip calls it). It is very hard to catch visually because it is so subtle and quick. But if you pause a Hang Power Clean vid you will probably can see that the athlete is already done pulling the bar up, hips fully open, feet in the air before the bar even hits the nipple level...already into the third pull under the bar. Just adding to what Susie already described. Glad the observations are at least getting the juices flowing.

Charles Garrett
12-28-2007, 01:24 PM
I don't like the starting position on this one either. I'm trying get my hands on a digital camera so that I can take some pics for you so you that you can get a visual of what I'm saying. They should be up by tomorrow. Basically what I see wrong on this on is that you starting with the bar too high up your thighs, your legs are too straight and and you need to lean over the bar more. The safety bars on that rack are to high to allow you to get to the correct position. I would recommend stepping out of the rack or taking the bar off the floor to your starting position. Here is an excellent picture of where this lift should start & (unless you are trying to do a barski clean) and an excellent example of the full extension that I was referring to in my previous (I actually like a slight lean back at the top) post wfs:



i did some more "attempts" at tall cleans from a more upright position today. Working on getting tall and driving my hips/legs/ankles from the power position with a full extension of my shoulders at the top. Well, at least I tried. I think if I keep on doing drills I'll eventually get it.

I do have one question. Do I need to keep the bar closer to my, as I call him, alien and chest once I bend the elbows. I'm still trying to figure that part out.

I went 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 135x3, 115x2.

Here's the link for the tall cleans: it's wfs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5-dwKFXl4w


Thanks in advance.

All the best,
Arden

Charles Garrett
12-28-2007, 01:50 PM
Yeah this is a good point. I would just like to add one thing: Stomp your feet. Alot of people say that noise is a sign of inefficient technique. I would kind of disagree. A big foot stomp is just a sign that are not at you maximum. Some coaches have their lifter try to lift as quiet as possible thinking that this is effecient and it is. They are using just enough power to complete the lift, but this is just an imitation of one characteristic of an effecient max effort lift and it doesn't lend itself very well to increasing power output. I've seen lifters sling shot the bar away from their bodies and have to dive forward 4 inches or more in order to catch the bar. The whole lift was quiet, but not effecient. One way to get stronger is to move a weight as fast as possible. If you are moving a weight as fast as possible, then all but you heaviest attempts will have excess power lost (just like engines have some energy lost in the form of heat). So jump and stomp those feet. You can only think of so many things while performing a complex skill, so I would say just think about stomping and pulling under.


I just recently "got" this lift, so I understand where you're coming from! It's like trying to teach your body a foreign language.

A couple of things I noticed on the day I "got" it. First, when I did the shrug, I concentrated on actually getting my feet to leave the floor. It's a
jump, and the weights just come along for the ride---you don't
lift them. It helps to use the right weight--enough weight so that can't easily curl the bar, but not so much that you can really acccelerate it with a jump.

If you jump fast enough, there's a moment when the weights feel almost suspended in air. It feels as if the bar is getting lighter, almost weightless, and that's the moment you jump down underneath it and catch it on its way down.

It helped me to do a lot of jumping and shrugging---over and over, until I could make the weight feel light.

Susie

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2007, 02:07 PM
Charles,
gotcha. Those are awesome photos and thanks so much for attaching them. Basicly get myself into "the strong position." Knees bent, bar on upper thigh, shoulders in front of the bar, feet flat. Like a snake waiting to strike.

My point in doing the drills is to condition myself to do several things
1) finish the second pull
2) learn how to do the third pull
3) just get faster/quicker.

I think I'm getting better with the form, but as the title to the thread states, I've got a long way to go.

All the best,
Arden

I don't like the starting position on this one either. I'm trying get my hands on a digital camera so that I can take some pics for you so you that you can get a visual of what I'm saying. They should be up by tomorrow. Basically what I see wrong on this on is that you starting with the bar too high up your thighs, your legs are too straight and and you need to lean over the bar more. The safety bars on that rack are to high to allow you to get to the correct position. I would recommend stepping out of the rack or taking the bar off the floor to your starting position. Here is an excellent picture of where this lift should start & (unless you are trying to do a barski clean) and an excellent example of the full extension that I was referring to in my previous (I actually like a slight lean back at the top) post wfs:

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2007, 02:11 PM
Thanks Charles. I hope to make some noise when I go for gusto tomorrow. But you make a very good point.

I've noticed that when I get close to 300 or over when I clean, I have a real hard time getting up on my toes. I end up arching my back to catch the weight. In otherwords, my form gets worse the heavier I go. It's one of the reasons I've dialed down the weights I'm moving considerably until I feel more comfortable with everything - then eventually move my way back up only using proper technique. If I can't use the proper technique, or at least better technique, I'm not moving up. As frustrating as that may sound, I think it's the most prudent course of action with these movements, especially given my age (37).

All the best,
Arden

Yeah this is a good point. I would just like to add one thing: Stomp your feet. Alot of people say that noise is a sign of inefficient technique. I would kind of disagree. A big foot stomp is just a sign that are not at you maximum. Some coaches have their lifter try to lift as quiet as possible thinking that this is effecient and it is. They are using just enough power to complete the lift, but this is just an imitation of one characteristic of an effecient max effort lift and it doesn't lend itself very well to increasing power output. I've seen lifters sling shot the bar away from their bodies and have to dive forward 4 inches or more in order to catch the bar. The whole lift was quiet, but not effecient. One way to get stronger is to move a weight as fast as possible. If you are moving a weight as fast as possible, then all but you heaviest attempts will have excess power lost (just like engines have some energy lost in the form of heat). So jump and stomp those feet. You can only think of so many things while performing a complex skill, so I would say just think about stomping and pulling under.

Charles Garrett
12-28-2007, 02:20 PM
You don't have as far to go as you might think. You just have some positions to learn. Most of the other stuff that others have mentioned are direct results of not knowing your key positions. Where are you learning the lifts? Do you have a coach or are you using videos or are you just watching on the internet and trying to do them?

Charles,
gotcha. Those are awesome photos and thanks so much for attaching them. Basicly get myself into "the strong position." Knees bent, bar on upper thigh, shoulders in front of the bar, feet flat. Like a snake waiting to strike.

My point in doing the drills is to condition myself to do several things
1) finish the second pull
2) learn how to do the third pull
3) just get faster/quicker.

I think I'm getting better with the form, but as the title to the thread states, I've got a long way to go.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2007, 02:44 PM
You don't have as far to go as you might think. You just have some positions to learn. Most of the other stuff that others have mentioned are direct results of not knowing your key positions. Where are you learning the lifts? Do you have a coach or are you using videos or are you just watching on the internet and trying to do them?


I do have a coach - Randy Hauer. But he's 8 hours away and I send him videos and he critiques me. I've only been able to train with him once in the past 3 months. I went to a oly lifting workshop at Crossfit Philly during November. No one in my area does Olympic lifting, so I'm sorta trying to observe, learn, self critique, and go as far as can until I get back in front of Randy again (which I hope to happen during February).

What's amazing about all of this, is that some of the things he's told me didn't quite make sense at the time and it's since been reinforced by someone here and explained in a manner that I'm finally starting to get it.

For example, you use the phrase getting into key positions. I'm finally starting to see that.

My wife also got me Tommy Kono's weightlifting Olympic Style and Harvey Newton's Explosive Lifting for Sport (I think that's the name) for Christmas. And I'm working my way through both books at the same time. I really like the Newton book. I haven't watched the DVR yet, but I plan to tonight if one of my daughters will let me have a computer. :-d

I'm very OCD when it comes to physical performance.

My main impetus in learning these movements is to do something different with my training to continue to improve in my sport. In the past, I worked too much on absolute strenght and in reality I don't need that much absolute strength to weild a 7 pound racing axe. Physics dicates that, assuming my body position is proper and the axe is delivered correctly, acceleration is the next key to improving the desired result. Hence, I'm, in essence, Ricky Bobby. I just wanna go fast. ;)

My belief is that with these movements (and all advanced training), watchful and willing eyes are what you need in order to improve. I'm so thankful for everyone's input. It's just awesome to find a bunch of kindred spirits in fitness goals that know so much about so many things.

Thanks again.

All the best,
Arden

Susie Rosenberg
12-28-2007, 03:53 PM
Arden,

You are really inspiring. Thanks for sharing your efforts here.

Susie

Lincoln Brigham
12-29-2007, 12:25 PM
Arden,

On your "get set" position your shoulders are well behind the bar. Not good. If you raise your hips, the shoulders should move forward. It may seem counterintuitive, but your shoulders can be in front of the bar and still pull the bar towards you as it leaves the ground.

Now for the hard part:
After all these pages and pages of advice and critique, you need to learn how to stop thinking while lifting. You've gotten oodles of tips and tricks to work on, maybe too much. None of that will do you much good when you have a heavy bar in hand. If you are an Einstein, the best a coach can hope for you to think about is no more than two corrections at a time. If you're simply smarter than average, maybe you can hold one technical correction in your head without overloading. If you are like the rest of us, when the bar gets heavy even one technical issue to think about maybe be a bit too much.

What I would suggest now is that you watch a ton of video of top lifters. Ingrain those images in your head. Imagine your own body moving in exactly the same manner. Visualize THAT when you lift - not technical stuff like "elbows go here, knees go there", but more generalized concepts such as "Explosive under the bar like Vanev" or "compact set up like Dimas" or "keep the pull close like Oliver Caruso" or "quick transitions like Kahki" or "straight up and down like Kolecki". Memorize the look of a perfect lift, visualize a perfect lift, then execute.

I think the general issue with your lifting is that you haven't seen enough good lifting. It's like basketball - nobody has to teach kids in the U.S. to stop shooting two-handed jump shots. Nobody taking a shot in college basketball is thinking, "keep the elbow in". That's junior high school stuff. At the college level they're thinking, "Just like Mike."

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-29-2007, 02:16 PM
Wow.....excellent advice. You're the man, Lincoln. I agree with everything and now it's time to do it.

All the best,
Arden


Arden,

On your "get set" position your shoulders are well behind the bar. Not good. If you raise your hips, the shoulders should move forward. It may seem counterintuitive, but your shoulders can be in front of the bar and still pull the bar towards you as it leaves the ground.

Now for the hard part:
After all these pages and pages of advice and critique, you need to learn how to stop thinking while lifting. You've gotten oodles of tips and tricks to work on, maybe too much. None of that will do you much good when you have a heavy bar in hand. If you are an Einstein, the best a coach can hope for you to think about is no more than two corrections at a time. If you're simply smarter than average, maybe you can hold one technical correction in your head without overloading. If you are like the rest of us, when the bar gets heavy even one technical issue to think about maybe be a bit too much.

What I would suggest now is that you watch a ton of video of top lifters. Ingrain those images in your head. Imagine your own body moving in exactly the same manner. Visualize THAT when you lift - not technical stuff like "elbows go here, knees go there", but more generalized concepts such as "Explosive under the bar like Vanev" or "compact set up like Dimas" or "keep the pull close like Oliver Caruso" or "quick transitions like Kahki" or "straight up and down like Kolecki". Memorize the look of a perfect lift, visualize a perfect lift, then execute.

I think the general issue with your lifting is that you haven't seen enough good lifting. It's like basketball - nobody has to teach kids in the U.S. to stop shooting two-handed jump shots. Nobody taking a shot in college basketball is thinking, "keep the elbow in". That's junior high school stuff. At the college level they're thinking, "Just like Mike."

Kirez Reynolds
12-31-2007, 03:12 AM
Hey Arden,
Regarding body/barbell positioning (keeping it close), check out Kendrick Farris' 2nd attempt C&J at 190, among others:

http://web.mac.com/kirkwood.wl/2006%20American%20Open/page6/page6.html (work and family safe link to Oly vids)

The vids on this site are great because they're very easy to pause. Check out his positions...you'll notice that the bar actually makes contact with his legs at one point in the 2nd pull and stretches his singlet a bit.

Apologies if I'm out of order... I just now found this thread and am enjoying it, trying to learn though I'm COMPLETELY new to Olympic lifting.

In this video of Kendrick Farris (190 2nd attempt), at precisely that point where the bar has pulled on his singlet --- it appears to me his shoulders are *behind* the bar.

I can't speculate exactly how it would look from the side, but his shoulders may even be behind the plane of his hips; they are at least on the same plane. But not in front of it. His back is just slightly extended.

Am I seeing this wrong? Or -- is it in fact the case that the bar travels straight up, triple extension means knees-hips-ankles, the shoulders certainly start in front of the bar but when the bar is at thigh level, the shoulders are already behind it...

This may be relevant to Arden because he's muscling it with his back, and this posture seems relevant... to activate the legs, need to get the torso upright and that means the shoulders behind the bar.

Sorry if I'm cocking this discussion up --- I've so little experience it's an armchair discussion for me and I may be completely tangential to y'all. I'm here researching this because last night my wife was doing GRACE and I was out of my depth to coach her because I myself don't know what I'm doing; I took a video of her, but I am reading as much as possible first before I post asking for help.

Lincoln Brigham
12-31-2007, 01:06 PM
At that point the shoulders are still in front of the bar. (It's a bad angle to see that.) However his shoulders are indeed starting to move behind the bar and by the finish of the second pull they are indeed behind the bar. The shoulders HAVE TO finish behind the bar if the lifter is to finish the extension on the second pull.

The coaching point is this: The lifter needs to start with shoulders in front of the bar* and keep them over the bar AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. That does not mean for the entire lift. In Arden's case he wasn't even starting with his shoulders over the bar; they were well behind. Most inexperienced lifters are impatient and start certain elements of the lift much much much too early.


*whether the shoulders should start directly over the bar or in slightly front of the bar is a matter of some late night debate over many beers. But all coaches agree that the shoulders should not start behind the bar.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-31-2007, 08:07 PM
The shoulders in front of the bar are one of the things I'm really going to drill the next few weeks.

After reading Newton's book, and Tommy Kono's book, and consulting with Randy Hauer, I'm going to relearn the clean from the top down. Start on high blocks or in the "strength position" or "scoop" with the bar on my mid thigh (I have long arms, so it may appear low for most, but, for me, I can nearly scratch my knees without bending). Then work on the triple extension, shrug, lift and stomp feet, and rack.

After a week of nothing but those drills, I'm going to remove one block and start at just below knee height, and work on getting myself into the scoop position or the 2nd pull.

In watching a bunch of my videos, this is where I start losing it really bad. Moreso in the earlier videos than now, but I'm still bending my arms way too soon. It's very counterintuitive for me to bring my knees under the bar in a "hitching manner" given all the years of heavy deadlifts I've done. So this will likely be one of the hardest things for me to learn.

I'm starting to understand the importance of keeping your lat's tight, or as Allen once wrote, "crushing a potatoe chip between your lat and tricep."

That tightness keeps the bar close to the body and keeps the shoulders in front of the bar. It's going to be hard for me to learn, but it's coming.

Thanks to everyone for the input. I sincerely appreciate it. Someday I hope to be confident enough to advise others on these lifts, but for now I'll try and comment on things I've been told or have experienced myself. Ask me anything about squatting, deadlifting, benching, etc. But these speed movements are an art form. I like them a lot. I wish I would have been doing them the past 20 years.

All the best,
Arden

Allen Yeh
01-02-2008, 06:41 AM
A lot of great comments the last few weeks. It does start to get confusing when you have a lot of people saying what seems like contradictory stuff. Then you start thinking too much and that will screw you up too.

Hope you had a great holiday, look forward to your future vids.

Arden Cogar Jr.
01-04-2008, 12:33 PM
Okay, I recorded the cleans differently with the hope that Greg Everett will comment. :D

Today I did a lot of drill works. I did Starr's Drill (power clean, followed by tall clean, followed by full clean) followed by a what I'm trying to call a "Tall clean.". Did 95x3 (95x3), 135x3 (95x3). Then I started recording things.

First recording is 185x3, 135x3 (tall cleans)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRqgYakOE40

Then recorded 225x3, 135x3 (tall cleans)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCOfxqzDHAM

Then recorded 265x2, 165x3 (tall cleans)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT_DpWJ8Y0I

Then recorded 205x3, 135x3 (tall cleans)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD2YKINkya4

My initial reactions are
1. my "C" during my 2nd pull is getting less pronounced, but it's still there. More evident in the 205x3 or last recording. Still a little "c", but I'm getting the bar closer to me than in the past. It's still not perfect, but it's better, so I'm very cool with that.
2. I think I could keep the bar closer to me on the first pull. I may be letting my hips rise too much. When I get into the really low hip position, I'm better than when I start with my hips higher.
3. I think I could still be getting more out of my 2nd pull and my shrug. I don't think I'm getting enough extension on the second pull.
4. the catch is still a little rough, but getting better.
5. still not stomping the feet.

Per Lincoln's advice, I've been watchings tons of youtube videos. Starting to figure it out. Finished both the Newton and Kono books. Going to reread some chapters over the weekend.

In reality, I think I'm faster than when I started. I know when I event train, I don't feel any different. But when I watch the videos, I can tell a difference. That's what I'm looking for.

Thanks in advance.

All the best,
Arden

Jake Oleander
01-04-2008, 03:36 PM
i love this thread. for training what is the optimal lift; clean, power clean, power clean and then front squat? it seems theres so many different ways to do a clean. :shrug:
i can definitely see huge improvement in your form arden, but your self analysis seems right on. i would think that the explosive shrug/jump will come along naturally once you start keeping the bar closer into your body (when its over your knees). definitely keep training! i know i will. the clean is an amazing exercise.

Guest
01-06-2008, 11:14 AM
OK, I'm really just going to focus on the last video with the profile shot.

First, Lincoln's start position comment is good. When prepping for the lift, sit back wherever you're comfortable, but when you actually set the start position, get the shoulders at least slightly in front of the bar. There are some extremely successful lifters who have violated this (e.g. Ivan Chakarov and Stefan Botev), but both had relatively long legs and did it to pull with a more upright torso, knowing that they could swing the bar out around their knees and bring it back into position without causing a problem. This is a fairly risky technique and should be avoided if at all possible - I don't think your legs are long enough to warrant it. You'll notice too that even when you try to start with lower hips, when the pull really starts (i.e. bar has just left the floor), you let your hips move up and your shoulders forward anyway. This rocking motion will cause more problems than getting used to a slightly higher-hipped start will.

And a quick note to Kirez - The shoulders will be behind the bar at the END of the second pull. This must happen - but prior to the scoop, they need to be in front of the bar (or in exceptions like those mentioned above, possibly directly over it, and behind it for a moment as the bar passes the knees--but ignore those examples for now). If the shoulders are not behind the bar, the balance of the lifter-bar system will be too far forward on the feet.

To the actual video:

1. Start position already covered.

2. Rocking of hips already covered somewhat. The purpose of the 1st pull is primarily one of positioning. That is, the real point is to get you into the ideal position for the second pull, which will be the source of the overwhelming majority of the productive bar acceleration. bar speed is secondary to that. In other words, it's far more important for the 1st pull to be correct in terms of position than fast. You can't expect ideal positioning later in the lift if you don't have it earlier in the lift. Consistency here is key.

3. Looks like your knees are shifting forward a little early. Are you intentionally scooping? If so, quit it. It will happen naturally if you're positioned correctly and the speed is adequate. Because the bar contacts the thighs due to the narrower grip in the clean (as opposed to the crease of the hips in the snatch), forward movement of the knees has more of an effect on the horizontal position of the bar. That is, the lower on the thigh the bar is when you scoop, the farther forward it will be pushed. The farther forward it's pushed, the farther forward on the feet your center of mass will be. So, don't try to scoop. Just try to keep the bar in light contact with the thighs and extend your entire body vertically (not actually vertically, but I'll get to that).

4. You definitely do bump the bar out a bit with the legs--see #3, and add to that the idea that to counter this collision (which will happen to some degree even with a correct scoop), you need to 1) actively pull the bar back into yourself and 2) ensure the bar is still traveling up at a good pace. If 1 is not happening, the bar will swing away in response to the collision with the thighs. If 2 is not happening, the bar will swing out as well because the net vertical force isn't great enough to adequately buffer that sudden horizontal force. All that said, the distance the bar bumps out is not tremendous.

5. Bit of a slowdown as the bar passes your knees. We refer to 3 pulls of the lift, but understand very clearly this is only to facilitate analysis - the lift itself is NOT segmented in any way. The bar will accelerate more as you begin the 2nd pull, but it should not by any means slow down at any point after the lift has been initiated. That is, any change in speed must be positive. This is really common because people often believe (largely unconsciously) that the pause will allow them to really rip into the bar because it will increase the tension on it. But this is not the case. Just keep the tension going as you pull and accelerate the goddamn **** out of it once it gets to mid thigh.

5.5 Remember, the priority of the 1st pull is position, not speed. That doesn't mean we want it slow. We want it as fast as possible while still maintaining correct positioning. That will mean a slower 1st pull as you're learning, and it will progressively speed up as you technical consistency improves.

6. You're too strong for your own good at this point. The movement is not aggressive enough because you know you can rack the weight. We need a super rapid pop at the top and an immediate change of direction.

7. At the top, you need to get the shoulders back a little more. You reach approximately vertical with your torso - we actually need it leaned back slightly in order to keep the center of mass slightly behind the mid-foot. This is part of why your weight is on your toes when you receive the bar. The hips should not cross the vertical position, however. There are 2 basic ways to accomplish this - one is to tilt the entire body back slightly; the other is to have the legs remain essentially vertical and layback the torso. The former has to be controlled to prevent shifting the weight too far back and jumping backward excessively; the latter requires caution not to shove the hips forward past the final vertical plane.

7.5 On the second rep, you do actually jump backward slightly. This is totally fine, but you have to perform the rest of the lift accordingly--primarily, you have to anticipate it and bring the bar back with you so you don't receive on your toes.

8. Pretty good elbow speed when racking the bar. First thing I'm sure you noticed when receiving the clean, however, was that you were on your toes. You correct it quickly and recover well, but this doesn't work with heavier loads--they will just bury you and quite possible pop right off your shoulders.

9. Good FS position and movement. Could be improved slightly with a little more extension of the whole back, which will require a little more ankle flexibility. But not much.

Overall, really good clean. Like I think Lincoln said, this is a ton of detail to think about. Pick 1 or 2 points to focus on at a time (if 2, probably each during a different phase of the lift). You can think before the lift, a little during the first pull, and during the recovery--the rest should happen fast enough to preclude any consideration during the effort. When prepping for the lift, focus on the 1 point you want to address and work on only that in the lift. Preferably start with the first thing that occurs, like the start position, since things occurring earlier in the chain will effect those occurring later, and correcting one may help correct another.

Arden Cogar Jr.
01-06-2008, 11:42 AM
Wow....just wow. This is awesome. Thank you so much for all your time and effort. It's going to take me a while to digest all of it. But given my OCD nature, it will happen.

I'm going to train today. I think I'm going to focus on a few very important things.
1. set up
2. shoulders in front of the bar.
3. no slow down in first to second pull

Then, I'm also going to continue with my tall cleans superset, but I'm going to do them before I do my cleans from the floor.

The biggest thing for me I think, as you stated so well, is to be agressive. I think I can work on that without getting to overloaded.

I'm going to focus on, as Lincoln stated, a few things at at time.

Thanks to everyone for everything.

I record it, but I can't promise results overnight. But given my nature, it will be better this time next year.

All the best,
Arden



OK, I'm really just going to focus on the last video with the profile shot.

First, Lincoln's start position comment is good. When prepping for the lift, sit back wherever you're comfortable, but when you actually set the start position, get the shoulders at least slightly in front of the bar. There are some extremely successful lifters who have violated this (e.g. Ivan Chakarov and Stefan Botev), but both had relatively long legs and did it to pull with a more upright torso, knowing that they could swing the bar out around their knees and bring it back into position without causing a problem. This is a fairly risky technique and should be avoided if at all possible - I don't think your legs are long enough to warrant it. You'll notice too that even when you try to start with lower hips, when the pull really starts (i.e. bar has just left the floor), you let your hips move up and your shoulders forward anyway. This rocking motion will cause more problems than getting used to a slightly higher-hipped start will.

And a quick note to Kirez - The shoulders will be behind the bar at the END of the second pull. This must happen - but prior to the scoop, they need to be in front of the bar (or in exceptions like those mentioned above, possibly directly over it, and behind it for a moment as the bar passes the knees--but ignore those examples for now). If the shoulders are not behind the bar, the balance of the lifter-bar system will be too far forward on the feet.

To the actual video:

1. Start position already covered.

2. Rocking of hips already covered somewhat. The purpose of the 1st pull is primarily one of positioning. That is, the real point is to get you into the ideal position for the second pull, which will be the source of the overwhelming majority of the productive bar acceleration. bar speed is secondary to that. In other words, it's far more important for the 1st pull to be correct in terms of position than fast. You can't expect ideal positioning later in the lift if you don't have it earlier in the lift. Consistency here is key.

3. Looks like your knees are shifting forward a little early. Are you intentionally scooping? If so, quit it. It will happen naturally if you're positioned correctly and the speed is adequate. Because the bar contacts the thighs due to the narrower grip in the clean (as opposed to the crease of the hips in the snatch), forward movement of the knees has more of an effect on the horizontal position of the bar. That is, the lower on the thigh the bar is when you scoop, the farther forward it will be pushed. The farther forward it's pushed, the farther forward on the feet your center of mass will be. So, don't try to scoop. Just try to keep the bar in light contact with the thighs and extend your entire body vertically (not actually vertically, but I'll get to that).

4. You definitely do bump the bar out a bit with the legs--see #3, and add to that the idea that to counter this collision (which will happen to some degree even with a correct scoop), you need to 1) actively pull the bar back into yourself and 2) ensure the bar is still traveling up at a good pace. If 1 is not happening, the bar will swing away in response to the collision with the thighs. If 2 is not happening, the bar will swing out as well because the net vertical force isn't great enough to adequately buffer that sudden horizontal force. All that said, the distance the bar bumps out is not tremendous.

5. Bit of a slowdown as the bar passes your knees. We refer to 3 pulls of the lift, but understand very clearly this is only to facilitate analysis - the lift itself is NOT segmented in any way. The bar will accelerate more as you begin the 2nd pull, but it should not by any means slow down at any point after the lift has been initiated. That is, any change in speed must be positive. This is really common because people often believe (largely unconsciously) that the pause will allow them to really rip into the bar because it will increase the tension on it. But this is not the case. Just keep the tension going as you pull and accelerate the goddamn **** out of it once it gets to mid thigh.

5.5 Remember, the priority of the 1st pull is position, not speed. That doesn't mean we want it slow. We want it as fast as possible while still maintaining correct positioning. That will mean a slower 1st pull as you're learning, and it will progressively speed up as you technical consistency improves.

6. You're too strong for your own good at this point. The movement is not aggressive enough because you know you can rack the weight. We need a super rapid pop at the top and an immediate change of direction.

7. At the top, you need to get the shoulders back a little more. You reach approximately vertical with your torso - we actually need it leaned back slightly in order to keep the center of mass slightly behind the mid-foot. This is part of why your weight is on your toes when you receive the bar. The hips should not cross the vertical position, however. There are 2 basic ways to accomplish this - one is to tilt the entire body back slightly; the other is to have the legs remain essentially vertical and layback the torso. The former has to be controlled to prevent shifting the weight too far back and jumping backward excessively; the latter requires caution not to shove the hips forward past the final vertical plane.

7.5 On the second rep, you do actually jump backward slightly. This is totally fine, but you have to perform the rest of the lift accordingly--primarily, you have to anticipate it and bring the bar back with you so you don't receive on your toes.

8. Pretty good elbow speed when racking the bar. First thing I'm sure you noticed when receiving the clean, however, was that you were on your toes. You correct it quickly and recover well, but this doesn't work with heavier loads--they will just bury you and quite possible pop right off your shoulders.

9. Good FS position and movement. Could be improved slightly with a little more extension of the whole back, which will require a little more ankle flexibility. But not much.

Overall, really good clean. Like I think Lincoln said, this is a ton of detail to think about. Pick 1 or 2 points to focus on at a time (if 2, probably each during a different phase of the lift). You can think before the lift, a little during the first pull, and during the recovery--the rest should happen fast enough to preclude any consideration during the effort. When prepping for the lift, focus on the 1 point you want to address and work on only that in the lift. Preferably start with the first thing that occurs, like the start position, since things occurring earlier in the chain will effect those occurring later, and correcting one may help correct another.

Jason Lollar
01-06-2008, 02:20 PM
Just wanted to add a "Thank You" for Greg's comments. There are a lot of us following this thread that have/are/will continue to learn a ton from this.

Arden,
Keep up the good work. I'm presently resting my right knee (patellar issues) but I'm soaking up the info and learning right alongside you.

Best,
wilson

P.S. More profile vids. And I'd like to see you practice a 3-Position Clean with very light weights (i.e. 65-95lbs). Start high. Here's a W/F/Safe demo. Thanks again Greg.

http://www.performancemenu.com/resources/exercises/videos/3posClean.mov

Brandon Oto
01-06-2008, 03:46 PM
I am most confused. Is that Sage Burgener with an early arm bend?

Jason Lollar
01-06-2008, 04:45 PM
Brandon,

Naw, It's Aimee Anaya (2008 Olympic hopeful) W/F/Safe http://www.aimeeanaya.com/

I agree there is a touch of early-arms, but the movement complex of a high hang clean followed by a hang clean followed by a floor clean is a great way to work technique (reverse order as shown to work power in the second pull)....and although perfect technique is always the best example I think the point of the short clip was to show the combination so those at home know how to do the 3-Position Clean when it is in the WOD (over at Catalyst Athletics --- Greg's shop).

Guest
01-06-2008, 05:03 PM
Aimee and Sage both tend to bend their arms when they clean. "Early arm bend" is somewhat of an inaccurate description for them. It's more like just a second pull with bent arms (if that distinction makes any sense). It's not a good habit either way, and I think Aimee developed it over the years because she tends to scoop too early and consequently tries to bring the bar higher toward her hips to keep from pushing it forward as far, but it's not really enough of a problem to spend much time trying to fix. She and Sage have both corrected the arm bend in their snatches, which is the lift it really affects.

Brandon Oto
01-06-2008, 05:10 PM
Hmm. You're saying they manage to pull with arms slightly bent, but still locked (that is, rigid and transferring power)?

Guest
01-06-2008, 05:16 PM
Hmm. You're saying they manage to pull with arms slightly bent, but still locked (that is, rigid and transferring power)?

As rigid as arms can be when partially bent, yes. Some of the power is no doubt getting lost in some slight extension of the arms during the last phase of the second pull, but the key point is that both athletes have more than enough power for this to not have a considerable impact on the clean.

Lincoln Brigham
01-06-2008, 05:22 PM
I've noticed in my own lifting that I start bending my arms exactly 1/24th of second too soon. Ya'll can sue me for it if you like! :shrug: I could spend hours and hours fixing that one issue to make my lifts go up 2 kilos or I could spend that same effort on squats and add 10 kilos.

Casey bends his arms in the snatch early too. Yet another lifter that gives Mike gray hair! (probably why he shaves his head) :rofl:

We chase perfection but that does not mean we will always catch it. The moment we improve our technique with X kilos on the bar then the amount weight on the bar goes up and the process starts all over again.

Brandon Oto
01-06-2008, 05:34 PM
Hard to argue with that. It's hard to motivate myself to fix my pulling problems when the bar's still apexing a foot higher than my catch position. (Yes, more squats.) Guess everyone has their bottleneck.

Lincoln Brigham
01-06-2008, 11:00 PM
Yes, everyone has their bottlenecks and it's not the same bottleneck for everyone. Certain bottlenecks are tried-and-true favorites, however. :)

There is a law of performance tuning that states, "Eliminating one bottleneck always uncovers another."

In the example you gave, the speed of the pull-under is a bottleneck. You are having to pull the bar a foot higher than someone who has a quicker pull under. If you were to learn how to generate lightning speed under the bar, your ability to stand up with a heavy weight (i.e. squat strength) would then rise in importance as an uncovered bottleneck.

Brandon Oto
01-07-2008, 03:37 AM
Well, to be more accurate, I'm CATCHING it much higher than is necessary; point being that there's plenty of power on the pull and the squat is the hardest part. (wfs ex. http://degreesofclarity.com/misc/crossfit/clean_198_11-8-07.mov)

But now we're getting distracted...

Arden Cogar Jr.
01-07-2008, 05:21 PM
Wow. Lincoln hits the nail on the head. I'm focusing more on pulling the weight high instead of pulling myself under.

I'm taking that one step at a time because I'm finally getting comfortable catching the weight with bent knees. Seriously. I could not do that 10 weeks ago.

In reading a lot of the above, I'm starting to understand it. I know that in Kono's book he shows the early arm bend of Ken Patera as compared to Alexeev and Serge Redding. He said that Ken was likely stronger than both Redding and Alexeev, but his technical flaws caused him to be 5 to 10 kilos behind both Redding and Alexeev.

All those guys were moving weights that were just unbelievable. Moreover, Patera, Aimee, and Casey are all unbelievable incredibly strong fast athletes.

I honestly never see myself never competing in an olympic lifting. I simply want to get faster and better in my sport. I couldn't continue on the path I was (training like a bodybuilder) and do that - that's the reason I started training more crossfit. What I found is that this community led me to olympic lifting and kettlebell lifting. Perfect adjuncts for an aging athlete who wants to prolong his strength and continue his athletic evolution.

I'm finding that slight changes in form means a ton. A big ton. That was the main impetus in starting this thread and learning the right way to do it. Guys like Lincoln, Greg, Brandon, Allen, etc. have been awesome. And I hope I'm showing some change. I know I feel like I'm doing it differently. It's getting a lot easier for some reason. I write that off to you guys, Coach Randy, and my persistence. Thanks.

Here's what I did in my most recent workout. I'm working my hardest on keeping my shoulders in front of the bar as long as I can. I also moved my tall clean drills before my floor cleans.

tall cleans and cleans: 95x3/95x3,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIAH-H4Pzeg

Then 135x3, 135x3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB0dq5atee4

Then 155x3, 185x3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54ZbBqVMMY0

Then 165x3, 225x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzvQSm1AI3c

Then 175x3, 245x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE6zwFKDKF8

Then 135x3, 205x3 didn't get this video

I just have to say the time, effort, analysis, and thought Greg puts into these posts are absolutely awesome. I sincerely, as do others, appreciate it.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
01-10-2008, 02:43 PM
Went again today, but not as good. I think I really need to back away and focus on a few things and continue on the path, then resend some links later on for thoughts and critique. If that makes any sense? I think I'm starting to confuse myself.

In any event, here's what I did today in regards to tall cleans/cleans:

Then started with Tall Cleans followed by regular cleans.

Did 95/95x6, then 135/135x6, then 155/185x6.

Here's the link for those:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR72L4mpCL8

then did 175x3/225x2

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

Then did 195x3/275x1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Ju38KGlaQ

The 275 sucked. I couldn't get underneath it. I'm not too pleased with it. I'll do better next time.

I still need to work on keeping the bar closer to me longer. It's coming. It's better and I'm making progress. I'm going to keep on drilling and posting less on this with the hope that in about six weeks I'll start a new thread asking for some commentary.

Does that sound good?

Thanks again to everyone for their input. It's been awesome. I've learned a lot and actually feel competent to make comments on others videos in some areas.

All the best,
Arden