View Full Version : Connecticut Open Training Program: Lincoln/Coach B/Greg Everett?

Jon Gilson
05-16-2007, 12:15 PM
Hey guys,

I hope this qualifies as a digital coaching request. (If not, I appreciate the efforts of our Moderators to move it to the right place. Thanks, Lynne!)

I'm competing in the Connecticut Open on August 5th (Oly Meet), and I'm preparing by writing my training program. I've never designed a program for Olympic lifting before, so I would appreciate some feedback from those more in the know.

A little background: This will be my third comp, and I have about four months of dedicated Oly training to date. In my first comp I went 6 for 6 and totaled 140 kilos (60/80) with 2-3 kilos in the bank for the snatch and 5+ kilos in the bank for the C&J. Every attempt was powered up. In fact, my Coach thought it was pretty funny that I went to a meet and didn't squat once. My second comp is this weekend (Sunday), hence the program starting next Tuesday.

My technique is decent, but my jerk is lacking, as is my snatch. I can pull under 91kg+ in a full squat clean, but I cannot jerk it. Also, I have a problem with stability in the receiving position of the snatch if I get below parallel. I designed this program to address those weaknesses, concentrating on the jerk in weeks 1-4, the snatch in weeks 5-8, and the competition lifts in weeks 9 and 10 with a taper/prep week during week 11.

At this point, I think any training would help me improve, but why not do it right?

I'd love to hear what you all think of this program.



Lincoln Brigham
05-16-2007, 07:48 PM
Looks like a well-thought out program. The one comment I have is be prepared to make adjustments as the program goes on. If technique is not coming along as well as you need it too, be prepared to incorporate additional drills to address specific technical or flexibility issues. I might add some bar-only drills in addition to the drills you are already using that use some weight.

Also, post video so we can see your squat snatch and jerk problems in action so to speak.

good luck,

Jon Gilson
05-17-2007, 07:51 AM
Thanks, Lincoln. I'll have some video up on Monday, as we'll just film my attempts at the VT Open this weekend.

I think your suggestion regarding drills is a good one. Anything that gets me into a rock-bottom receiving position for the snatch will be a good thing.

By the way, I'll be in Sedona on 28th through the 30th, and I'd love to get some coaching at your place or at Peaks' if you're amenable (at your going rate, of course).



Lincoln Brigham
05-17-2007, 09:06 AM
Absolutely. I've already got you penciled into my calendar.

Dale F. Saran
05-17-2007, 10:03 PM
Jon - Could you email me or point me to a site for registering for the CT open? I def want to do this. I've gotten in about 3 workouts with Coach Burgener this past week and I've now had a chance to see 3 national champs in action - Natalie Woolfolk, Casey Burgerner, and Aimee Anaya. Man, truly inspiring.

Anyway, maybe we can carpool or at least meet up at the CT meet - or get in a workout or two leading up to the competition. I will be at 85kg in the old f@rt division (35-39).

Thanks for any help! (Hey, can you believe that f@rt is blocked by the filter?)

Jon Gilson
05-18-2007, 06:55 AM

I'll do you one better. Here is the entry form, for you and anyone else that would like to participate. I'm sure Gary Valentine, the meet organizer, won't mind, as it will amount to more exposure for the USAW.

Regarding the workouts and the carpool, just shoot me an email: jon@againfaster.com. I'd love to meet up and get something going.

Before this gets moved away from digital coaching, I'd love some more feedback on the actual content of my program. Do the progressions and rep schemes seem sound? Is the volume drop-off during weeks 10 and 11 too much?




Eric O'Connor
05-18-2007, 06:26 PM
John, I think that the program looks well thought out and agree with what Lincoln has to say. I do have one question though. If the jerk is the emphasis in the first 4 weeks, have you considered having a day where the Jerk is the first exercise in your workout so that you can devote maximum effort on that lift? I know, for me at least, that heavy cleans or front squats can be pretty tiring and my second exercises may suffer a little bit.
Good Luck in your competition.

Lynne Pitts
05-18-2007, 07:28 PM
Hey Jon,
Since the digital coaching section is specifically for video/photo analysis, it has to go somewhere else ... unless you post up some video for folks to critique. So, get some pixels up or it's off to Fitness with ya!

Jon Gilson
05-19-2007, 07:18 AM

Good point! I'll look at moving those jerks to the front of the line!


Bear with me for one more day, and I'll have all kinds of video up. Going up to VT with Neal for the competition tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, here's some video for you:


Lincoln Brigham
05-19-2007, 08:02 AM
The elbows rotate into position too slowly. The rack position should be finalized at the bottom of the clean, not the top. Whip those elbows into position! Faster! Faster! No... FASTER!

Dale F. Saran
05-19-2007, 06:46 PM
Jon - take this for what it's worth, coming from me, but Coach Burgener and I were yapping just 2-3 days ago about clean pulls and he uses them with almost none of his lifters. While it is very specific to a lifter, his view is that most people's clean pulls don't look like their actual clean from the ground. Colin Ito(?) is one guys who does them, but Coach B said he's one of the few guys whose clean pull is the same as his clean. Thus, I wonder if those clean pulls in your workout program are necessary, or would you be better served with some "halting deadlifts" from the ground to in position for the "jump". But I haven't seen you in person (or on vid) and I suck - I just happen to have had this discussion with someone who does know a lot and saw them in your program. Otherwise, I think it looks great.

Dale F. Saran
05-19-2007, 06:51 PM
Just watched the clip, it also looks to me like you start your jump a bit too early and wind up with the weight out in front of you for the catch - that's why it folded back on you - it was resting only on your fingertips and never met up with your deltoids.

Jon Gilson
05-21-2007, 06:30 AM
Hey guys,

Thanks for the comments! Dale, as crazy as it sounds, I like clean pulls. They're in there to up volume and keep things interesting. If they start f'ing with my mechanics, they'll be gone double time. Thanks!

That video is about four or five months old--it was only there for comic relief. Nonetheless, I appreciate the feedback. A lot of the things that went wrong there have long since been corrected.

Had a great weekend at the VT Open. I went 6 for 6 with PRs in both lifts (65kg Sn/90kg C&J), and added 15kg to my previous total.

Unfortunately, we were so worried about getting the weight lifted that we totally forgot to put up a video camera. It looks like this thread is doomed!



Lincoln Brigham
05-21-2007, 06:58 AM
Well, we'll take some video when you get out to Sedona...

Jon Gilson
05-21-2007, 12:42 PM
Very cool, Lincoln. See you in a week!



05-24-2007, 09:23 AM
jon - sorry i missed this thread until now somehow. OK:

1. you're forward throughout the entire movement. right from the start, your weight is toward your toes. push back onto your heels as soon as possible after the bar leaves the floor if not in the start position.

2. your back is not set tightly enough off the floor--wedge yourself into position and think of your back as one big reverse arch.

3. you jerk the bar off the floor just a little bit. think of squeezing it off and then accelerating--in other words, your whole body should be tight before the bar ever moves and remain that way--there should never be an abrupt change from loose to tight.

4. the bar comes out around your knees a bit--bound to happen with that forward inclination i mentioned above. that first pull needs to bring the bar in as close as possible without shaving your kneecaps off and stay close. get your knees out of the way of the bar, not the bar of your knees.

5. your second pull is way too slow and you stay up too long. you need to get more aggressive--you have a very brief time to impart as much acceleration on the bar as possible here. don't hang out at the top of the extension--get up and down immediately. everything else notwithstanding, you could have made that lift had you been faster at that moment, i.e. extended quickly and immediately pulled yourself under.

6. your final extension position is forward--you never get yourself behind the bar. you need to be a little behind vertical at the peak of the 2nd pull.

7. as lincoln said, the elbows don't come around quickly enough, but more importantly, they don't come around far enough. they stop with your forearms vertical so all the weight is resting in your arms--never going to work with heavy weights (as you discovered there).

8. part of the problem in #7 is that you don't release your grip on the bar as you bring your elbows around. granted, some athletes can maintain even a hook grip on the bar and have a solid rack position, but you're not one of them and trying to be is going to result in a lot of missed lifts and probably wrist and elbow injuries. as you pull yourself under the bar, get those elbows up and slide the bar onto your shoulders while releasing the grip. that rack position should be open handed--only fingers under the bar. if the bar is not completely resting on the torso, it will not be supported as the weights increase past what you can hold in your arms.

i'll check out the program later and see if i have any useful thoughts.

Jon Gilson
05-24-2007, 12:00 PM
Thanks, Greg. I appreciate the feedback. I'll have some new video up from my sessions with Lincoln, and we'll find out just how coachable I am!

I'd love to hear what you think of the program as well. I'll look forward to it.



06-01-2007, 05:34 PM
OK Jon, RE program... I'm a little tired, so forgive me if I don't make a whole lot of sense.

1. First thing that strikes me is the complexity--you have 4 months of oly training under your belt. I would suggest keeping it as basic and simple as possible for now. it's overwhelming just looking at that excel doc.

2. are you trying to gain weight/size? if not, cut back on the squat reps. 5x5 on front squats is epic. i'd be doing 1-3 rep for squats.

3. i'm not sure i follow your weekly "focus" things... i don't see any significant increase in snatch work on a snatch focus week, or jerk work on a jerk focus week...

4. uh... need a change of format here...

My questions for you:

1. What are your strengths in terms of technique and literal strength (e.g. strong overhead position in snatch, strong legs)?

2. What are you weaknesses?

3. What are your numbers for the following (list 1RM or heaviest lowest rep set): clean, (rack) jerk, clean & jerk, snatch, front squat, back squat, deadlift, push press, snatch balance, overhead squat?

4. How are you handling the program so far? Recovery good? Feeling strong? technique any better?

My post here might give you some food for thought (safe link):

(Message edited by gregeverett on June 01, 2007)

(Message edited by gregeverett on June 01, 2007)

Jon Gilson
06-02-2007, 07:16 AM

Thanks again. I've largely abandoned the program since my visit to Sedona/Flagstaff, where I received quite a bit of quality coaching from Lincoln and Chris DeRosa (of Peaks' Weightlifting).

I'm thinking about an AM/PM format, with bar-only drilling in the AM (Snatch balances, Barski cleans/snatches, three-position clean/snatches, Lincoln's inch per second clean, eccentric pulls) and lifting in the PM (C&J/Snatch/Squat).

The AM drilling is meant to address a glaring weakness in technique. I'm banging the bar off the thighs, leading to bar swing and a forward jump during the lifts. This seems to be due to a bad/too rapid transition around the knees. Slowing the lifts down and hitting all three positions (as in the three-position lifts) has helped tremendously. Essentially, I'm relearning the lifts from the top down.

Regarding your questions:

Strengths: strong back, shoulders, and traps, decent pressing strength, can grind heavy slow lifts long after most folks would pass out or give up, good extension on the second pull.

Weaknesses: weak legs in general (see squat numbers), not comfortable in the recieving position of the snatch (most likely related to my inability to stay tight in this position), compromised lumbar arch in the clean and snatch receiving positions (again, not tight in the bottom), "dive bombing" the third pull during the squat versions of the lifts. This combination of weaknesses causes me to power snatch/power clean nearly everything. Also, my split jerk landing stance is too wide and fairly unstable. As an indicator of my weakness here, my push press and my split jerk are within 5 pounds of each other.

Numbers (1 RM, pounds):

Clean: 205
Rack Jerk: 190
Clean and Jerk: 198 (in competition)
Snatch: 143 (in competition)
Front Squat: 215
Back Squat: 275
Deadlift: 465
Push Press: 195
Snatch Balance: 155
OHS: Unknown

As I mentioned, the existing program has largely been abandoned in favor of technique work, so my recovery isn't an issue thus far (although the Trevor Win'E Fundraiser sidelined me with perma-bent arms for two days).

I would love some feedback regarding those exercises and loadings that would best address my weaknesses. Obviously, correcting the technique flaws during the first/second pulls is paramount, and I'll be drilling the positions using the drills I mentioned. I'll also need to work on lumbar stability while squatting. Engaging the hip flexors has proved to be a pretty good fix (thanks Linc!). Prior, it seems that I was concentrating on engaging the erectors to the detriment of maintaining anterior tilt with the hip flexors.

Also, it's fairly obvious that my squat numbers need to go up, although it seems to be less important than fixing the pulls. Perhaps a good dose of overhead squatting is also a good idea.

I'll look forward to hearing from you, and I'll give your post over at the P-Menu a look over.

Thanks for your ongoing help, Greg! I really appreciate it.






(Message edited by again_faster on June 02, 2007)