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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-15-2006, 04:35 AM   #1
Christian Lemburg
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In, Jim Schmitz (U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Team Coach 1980, 1988 & 1992) explains his preference for a "controlled lowering" of weights vs. just dropping them. He shows his ways of doing this in his "Olympic-style Weightlifting for Beginner & Intermediate Weightlifters" DVD.

Basically, he shows two methods:

- lowering the weight first to hang position, then setting it down, using a leg dip to cushion the impact of the weight for the first move

- guiding the weight down from overhead to the floor (looks like dropping it, but you are supposed to control the descent of the weight)

My questions are about the first method:

- when lowering the weight to the hang position, how much weight can be safely lowered (e.g., in percent of snatch/clean weight)?

- is this method "safe" (= worth learning / doing) in the eyes of other coaches or is this just a personal preference of Jim Schmitz?

- is this a controversial issue in weightlifting circles?

Sorry if I am sounding ignorant, but I am starting off Jim Schmitz's video, and he certainly seems to know his stuff (who am I to judge that ...), and I am a bit concerned about this lowering stuff at heavier weights. Currently, lowering 50kg to the hang position with a clean grip and 40kg with a snatch grip seems OK to me - is this due to my ignorance? It seems like "in the old times", all weights were lowered like this - see But is it a good idea to implement this? It certainly causes less noise (important for early morning workouts!). And yes, I have bumpers.


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Old 02-15-2006, 10:22 AM   #2
Dan John
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Well, I don't allow dropping in my home gym...just does too much damage. At the school, I get angry when kids drop light weights.

It's hell on equipment, the floor and the neighbors. I realize that some of us would say "so what" but...over time...waste is waste. Dropping weights really eats up our platforms.

Again, big lifts, PRs, a few weeks out from the Nationals...drop what you want...within reason. I would agree with Jim that there is a value to bringing the weights down under control. The same value that respecting your coach, parents, facilities and history has in the general appreciation of the sport and life.

Jim really knows his stuff. I worked with him as one of his athletes (the old Sports Palace team) and I wished I would have listened to his advice towards my training back then. I didn't. With the weights that you are lifting, control them.

I have plenty more to say on this, but you get the basic idea.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:10 PM   #3
Michael Rutherford
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Personally I'm healthier when I don't have to ride every rep to the ground on heavier sets. I don't necessarily drop out but guide it to the deck providing little resistance.
That eccentric phase over time is just too much on my body.

Will it wear out my equipment faster? Probably does, but by how much? It's a tool. I do everything else to keep myself healthy so prematurely aging a bar, collar or a bumper is of little concern.

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Old 02-15-2006, 02:29 PM   #4
Veronica Carpenter
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Christian, I'm not supposed drop weights at my gym, and I bring my own bumpers - it freaks the senior citizens out. So, I control the lighter/moderate reps to the hang, then lower to the floor. The heaviest reps, I'll drop - !@#% em, I don't want to hurt myself. As far as what percentages? Gotta go with what my body is telling me on each rep.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:43 AM   #5
Mike Burgener
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jim schmitz is the real deal. dan john knows his stuff....rut man is one of my favorites...and veronica...well---the lady can flat out having said this...with all respect....we drop weights!!! light ones, heavier ones...we follow iwf rules when we drop weights....the hands have to stay on the bar until the bar passes the level of the waist. personally, kids, students, athletes will hesitate to let go of the bar on missed lifts...especially ones that are behind the head if in my humble opinion one does not allow the dropping or following down according to the rules of even light weights.
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