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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-02-2006, 04:05 PM   #1
Sage Burgener
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Just starting a new page for whoever has any questions or wants to talk about olympic lifting!
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Old 05-02-2006, 06:04 PM   #2
James Falkner
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I have a question. I am currently training with an oly coach. He, along with everyone else I've talked to, always say that lifting with a PVC pipe should look the same as lifting with 200 kilos. I just don't see how that is possible. I think I am over-analyzing it. Surely there will be some difference (pull height, speed of the first pull, etc). I find that when I clean light weights I tend to catch it very high and ride it into a squat, but when I clean heavier weights I catch it lower. That won't "look the same" to a coach, and it certainly doesn't feel the same to me, so what gives? I'd like to see a video of you (or other competitive lifter) lifting with a PVC pipe, and compare to your personal record lift :-) Should I catch the PVC as low as I'd catch a PR lift?
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:06 PM   #3
Lincoln Brigham
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James, there will be some difference but the emphasis is to try. Try to lift the light weights like they are heavy and the heavy weights like they are light. When Sage's father introduced me to the concept, I too thought he'd lost a screw. It just takes practice.

Check out IronMind's video tape of the 1993 World's Training Hall. Specifically, watch Kahkisvilis. Watch how he'll do a power version followed immediately by 2 reps of the squat version. Watch how as the weight climbs the technique remains the same. 70 kilos or 140 kilos, he is consistent.

Here's a vid of me demonstrating the difference between a power clean and a squat clean, with a relatively light weight. (i.e. one I could easily power clean)

What helped me learn to squat clean light weights was to keep the speed of execution the same for light weights as with heavy weights. That way the bar doesn't fly up into the stratosphere on the lighter weights and you don't have to using different timing for different weights.

Also important for squat versions of the lifts with light weights is to get under the bar ASAP and that means damn fast. Faster than you are getting under it now. Even in my own video I could be faster. Get the IronMind tape, you'll see.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:41 PM   #4
Aimee Anaya
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When the weight is light it is often easy to "forget" your technique, and focus going into the lift. what ends up happening, is these light weights get muscled, or are done at 50% effort. Then as the weight starts getting heavier you tend to start focusing a little more, putting a little more effort in, approaching the bar differently, etc. However, it is of extreme importance to execute each lift as if it were your max. In doing so, you are training your mind, and your body to do each lift the SAME, whether it be a PVC pipe, 35 kg, or 90 kg. A lifter does thousands of reps at those lighter weights- not nearly as many reps as max weights. so if you were to lift those light weights differently than you would lift heavy weights, your body & mind will not be sufficiently preparing and training for the lifts that matter most- those maxes- competition weights.
I use to make the mistake of lifting 50% at a 50% effort, then 65% at 65% effort, 80% at an 80% effort, and so on. What ended up happening is when I approached my 95% weight, my 95% effort needed to be 120% effort because my technique had changed each lift. I have since changed that strategy. If you watch Sage and I lift, we give even the lightest weights that 100% focus, attention, effort, and technique. We make every attempt to snatch the bar how we would snatch our max. This way, we are teaching out bodies to remember the movement & concentration needed to execute a lift.
Hope this helps...
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:40 PM   #5
Lincoln Brigham
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That's a good point Aimee. I think that's why Kakhi (and others) will do a power clean with light weights first then a squat clean with the same weight. The power clean to practice putting 100% explosion into the lift, then the squat clean to put 100% technique in the lift. But the lifter doesn't get that option if they can't squat clean the light stuff.
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Old 05-03-2006, 08:36 AM   #6
Jason Billows
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I'm new to O lifts and have been teaching myself by watching videos and practicing with PVC.

James, I know what you mean by your question. I too found it very awkward trying to use the same form when using PVC. Something that has helped me a great deal is to use just a little weight. I filled a PVC pipe with sand and it is now a 10lb bar. It's just enough weight that it no longer feels like it's floating when I try the lifts. It has helped my form considerably.

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Old 05-03-2006, 11:37 AM   #7
James R. Climer
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Is it really possible to practice the light lifts
as if they were heavy when alone? I can't
tell if my arms are bending early on the
lighter attempts, and it seems to me immediate
feedback on each lift would be invaluable,
but no I have no partner or coach convenient.
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Old 05-03-2006, 12:47 PM   #8
John Ponzetti
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I am also new to the O-lifts(and CrossFit).When I do the snatch and clean using the bar, I find it hard to FEEL the movement. MY problem is speed. I muscle it up and do it as a power movement. I can't jump OR pull myself under. So for WOD, I will do power snatch then overhead squat, or power clean then front squat. Two seperate movements, not one.
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Old 05-03-2006, 01:11 PM   #9
Matt Gagliardi
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OK, I'll pop in with a question/comment. Is it possible to go TOO light when you're practicing? I have the standard section of PVC...and when I'm using it I never feel "right". I probably need to get the camcorder out and check, but I just feel totally discombobulated. On the other hand, when I use just an Oly bar...still "light" at only 45lbs...I feel like my technique suddenly improves.

So, am I just insane or is it possible to be using an implement that's too light?
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Old 05-03-2006, 01:36 PM   #10
Veronica Carpenter
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Matt, try weighing the PVC by filling it with sand.

I was coached at a competition once by a great coach who had me do a last warm-up with no bar - just the "shadow lifting" I guess you could call it. You should train your body to do the lifts correctly with any weight/bar/or absolutely nothing in your hands.
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