Oly weightlifting: who wants to race to 220kg total?

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Postby bronco » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:09 pm

ninearms wrote:I agree - that's actually the reason behind hitting the squats heavy and often - so the Oly stuff feels light and thus I can lift it consistently, with good technique, and so it's less intimidating to get under. So, for example, I can consistently pull 100kg high enough to squat clean with solid form, and hit the same positions as my squat clean, for triples - I just don't quite have the bottle to get under it yet. But as my squats go up 100kg begins to feel lighter and lighter all the time, both physically and psychologically.

I'm not following your logic, but anyway: when will you stop faffing about and go banana effort on the oly lifts :) ?
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Postby ninearms » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:32 pm

The logic is simple. I can miss a heavy lift because:

a) I'm not strong enough to get the bar high enough to pull under.
b) I'm strong enough to get the bar high enough to get under, but I'm not strong enough to maintain good positions throughout the lift, so my technique turns to crap.
b) I'm strong enough to get the bar high enough to get under, and I'm strong enough to maintain good positions throughout the lift, but the weight is still "heavy" so I don't pull under fast enough because it's intimidating, or I do a stupid power snatch/power clean. That's why I can consistently pull 100kg high enough to squat clean, and maintain my positions throughout, but can't squat clean it.

Jacking up my squat (and also doing heavy pulls) helps all of these because:

a) I get stronger, so I can both get the weight high enough, and maintain solid positions.
b) The stronger I get, the lighter the same weight feels, which makes it less intimidating to get under, because it feels "light".

I don't do bananas. Slow, steady and consistent is the way to go. :D
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Postby bronco » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:22 pm

ninearms wrote:The logic is simple. I can miss a heavy lift because:

a) I'm not strong enough to get the bar high enough to pull under.
b) I'm strong enough to get the bar high enough to get under, but I'm not strong enough to maintain good positions throughout the lift, so my technique turns to crap.
b) I'm strong enough to get the bar high enough to get under, and I'm strong enough to maintain good positions throughout the lift, but the weight is still "heavy" so I don't pull under fast enough because it's intimidating, or I do a stupid power snatch/power clean. That's why I can consistently pull 100kg high enough to squat clean, and maintain my positions throughout, but can't squat clean it.

You forgot:
d) You are strong enough, technique is good enough but lack of self confidence stops you from trying ;) . 100kg is pretty heavy, but just because it feels heavy doesnt mean you cant clean it. The only way to make the weights less intimidating is practicing with heavy weight. Ok, probably having good consistent technique also helps.

Jacking up my squat (and also doing heavy pulls) helps all of these because:

a) I get stronger, so I can both get the weight high enough, and maintain solid positions.
b) The stronger I get, the lighter the same weight feels, which makes it less intimidating to get under, because it feels "light".

Seriously, if you only want to oly-lift weights that feel light you will allways be behind your strenght potential. Why wait until you are strong enough to clean 120 before you clean 100 ?
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Postby JP » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:33 pm

i can see your point ninearms and it is probably the right one for a beginner.

but you are getting past that. You need to learn to battle out oly lifts, to be out of your comfort zone, to really grind them out and learn to miss them as well sometimes and learn to attack them like you would your max front squat. It being more technical shouldnt change that, though it makes it more difficult and there are more possibilities for it to go wrong.

Oh, and PBs are never perfect form eh? ;)
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Postby ninearms » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:55 am

bronco wrote:You forgot:
d) You are strong enough, technique is good enough but lack of self confidence stops you from trying ;) . 100kg is pretty heavy, but just because it feels heavy doesnt mean you cant clean it. The only way to make the weights less intimidating is practicing with heavy weight. Ok, probably having good consistent technique also helps.


But you can't develop consistent technique with heavy-heavy weights. All that does is get you into bad habits and scrappy lifting just for the sake of getting a training PR. Fearlessness comes from being consistent, and consistency comes from putting in the hours with 80-85% weights, and occasionally doing a few lifts in the 90%+ range. There's absolutely no point in me sticking 20kg over what I can squat clean 4 times out of 5 with good technique just so I can pull a one-off scrappy power clean for the sake of training numbers. The long term is better served by working in that range where you can hit the lift 8 times out of 10 with minimal technical errors. Then, when you can pretty much hit that every time up the weight until there is a technical breakdown. At that point you drop the weight slightly so you're back working in that 8/10 lifts made range, which is now higher than it was before.

Seriously, if you only want to oly-lift weights that feel light you will allways be behind your strenght potential. Why wait until you are strong enough to clean 120 before you clean 100 ?


"Light" is relative. It feels light because a) it is relative to my squat and thus it's easier to maintain solid positions during the lift, and b) it's within that range where lifts can be performed consistently with few major technical errors. Often the only thing separating a lift that feels heavy and one that feels light is a slight variation in position (such as not keeping your elbows along the bar in the snatch, or hitting the thigh too early in the clean). Just because I can pull 100kg for triples doesn't mean I can clean it. Most misses occur not because of lack of bar height, but inadequate speed reversing direction or poor positions.

JP wrote:i can see your point ninearms and it is probably the right one for a beginner.

but you are getting past that.


I still consider myself very much a beginner. I have about 8 months training, and about 5 hrs coaching, which in O lifting terms is very much beginner level. Maybe next year when I get down to Woking more often and start competing I'll consider myself a novice. :D

You need to learn to battle out oly lifts, to be out of your comfort zone, to really grind them out and learn to miss them as well sometimes and learn to attack them like you would your max front squat. It being more technical shouldnt change that, though it makes it more difficult and there are more possibilities for it to go wrong.


You can't grind out a snatch or clean and jerk, only the recovery. I agree, you need to allow yourself to miss, but you need to balance that against the lifts you make. Missing a lift 5 times in 10 isn't helpful and is very hard to overcome. Missing the same lift 3 times in a session, 3 sessions in a row, and then making it once, does nothing to make you a better lifter in the long run. It just makes you a lifter who once in a blue moon might get a total on the board and the rest of the time is lucky if they make their opening weight for their third lift. The fact that it is more technical does change how you attack the lift, because the earlier you are in your weightlifting career the less ingrained the correct motor patterns are, and going at the bar like a psycho a la Benedict Magnusson doesn't help that in any way, especially in training. I mean even Ilya Illin missed this year's World Champs because his coach was away for a couple of weeks, and during that time Ilin injured himself because the coach wasn't there to make him back off, because "he is crazy".

If we're talking about comfort zones, another way of working outside them is to make yourself hold back a little for the sake of long term technical gains. Going all out too often and saying "fuck technique" is just as much about bottling the "hard" stuff as "dodging the weights" to work on better technique. We've had that conversation numerous times on here, particularly with regard to deadlifting, where some people admit they have a hard time dropping the weight to work on technical problems that have dogged them for a long time and which will hinder progress (and possibly health) in the long term.

I don't even attack my front squat that hard! If you look at my log you'll see I keep the volume low and only do 4 or 5 reps above 85%.

Oh, and PBs are never perfect form eh? ;)


Exactly my point. Save the balls to the wall technical abominations for your 3rd lift on the competition platform, not your everyday training sessions. :D
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Postby JP » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:25 pm

i agree with a lot of what you are saying, but i think you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Why do you equate going a bit heavier with immediately missing most of the lifts, or injury, or even comparing it to some peoples deadlift form?

Heavy training doesnt need to be that. Having occasional heavy main lift sessions are necessary in adapting your body to work in that maximal range and STILL keep safe form. It is also demanding mentally.

If you are as new as 8 months into the game (which means your squat etc numbers are pretty good!) then you can make easy gains before you start hitting the wall.

Nothing wrong with failing sometimes, not often of course, and often these failures come due to not being used to work within the higher % range for those who like to nail vast majoroty of their volume in the 80-85% range. You see people doing 5 reps with 170 on squats but failing 185 for a single because that additional weight just crushes them both mentally and physically their form cant take it.
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Postby ninearms » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:49 pm

I'm not saying there's no benefit in doing 95-100% lifts at all. I'm saying that the vast majority of lifts should be in the 80-90% range, because for someone at the beginning of their career the most important thing is repetition. Sure, work up to a big snatch and C&J every 6 weeks or so, even up to every 12 weeks, and then use that to work out your new training weights in the 80-90% range, but I see little point in beginners maxing out more often than that. I don't even think percentages work that well for beginners anyway. Too many other variables interfere, especially for someone who has lifted before in another discipline.

As for missing, as you yourself know, sometimes even a measly 2.5kg increase is enough to pull you slightly out of position, and in the snatch and C&J the margin for error is pretty small. Sure, you might still make the lift, and then stick another 2.5kg on and make that too, but if you make that the basis of your training for too long you end up a very messy lifter, and that's much harder to correct later on. There's a very good reason O lifters snatch/C&J first too, and then do strength work afterwards. O lifts for speed and position, squats and pulls for strength.

You also have to remember I'm still training without bumpers (thanks to typical university slackness and daft procedural nonsense), so missing lifts isn't really on the cards unless I'm down in Woking.
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Postby JP » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:53 pm

aye that lack of proper equipment really will hold you back mate. But i guess in that sense you are spending your time sensibly: nailing tech, and hitting assistance heavy.
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Postby ninearms » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:05 pm

That's exactly my thinking. Might be a bit slower, but it'll pay off in the long term. If I was training at the club Koing and Brian would have me doing triples for the snatch and doubles for the C&J anyway, so the weights would probably be very similar.

Next year I'll be able to get down to the club more regularly so I'm hoping to push things a bit more and maybe have a "comp" day once a month where I work up to 3 heavy snatches and 3 C&Js and leave it there. Or maybe do some squats, because I can't help it.:D

Besides, I'm sure I read in your log about Alan telling you off for going too heavy on snatches. :D
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Postby JP » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:17 pm

nah, alan tells me off about all kinds of things :)

He has folk going pretty heavy and often, tech is honed of course and so on, but because the game is about max weights, there is no escaping them, definitely there is no dwelling in the 80-85% range for weeks on end.
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Postby ninearms » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:23 pm

Sure, but he has lifters with more than a year under their belt who aren't shit at snatching!
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Postby Jonathan » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:19 pm

I know that I go heavy too much of the time so I am at the other end of the scale, but I think that you have alot in reserve with your olympic lifts Ninearms. You go quite heavy on other lifts, and your bench is really quite high in comparison to your clean and jerk (or general overhead) (70kg overhead to 110kg bench?). My overhead is 115kg to 140kg bench, JP 115kg overhead to 145kg bench, Jnr 150kg overhead to 200kg bench, Bronco 92.5kg C&J to 115kg bench. You get my drift.

Even if you bugger up the jerk, the likelihood of you not being able to get the bar down safely is very low. Nail that 80kg C&J damnit! :lol:
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Postby bronco » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:04 pm

Jonathan wrote:Bronco 92.5kg C&J to 115kg bench.

My bench was never above 112.5, adn these days it is more like 105. Say no to disco ;) .
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Postby Wobbly Lifter » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:08 am

My Jerk and my bench are the same right now(if you count a bench I haven't done in ages...)

Benching more then you jerk is disco :P
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Postby Wobbly Lifter » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:12 am

oh and 220kg will fall by Jan 1st 2009. :twisted:
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