Who said that the sun never shines in Ireland and that I hate Olympic lifting?

This is just a random 3 lift series that I thought I’d post. I am most definitely NOT an Olympic Lifting coach…which is a funny thing to say considering I started Oly lifting as a part of my training when I was 16 and also because I actually have an Olympic Lifting coaching certification. See the thing is…getting certified and having some personal experience does not make you a coach…no matter what your ego or the certifying body tells you.

With that said…I’m putting this up for a few reasons:
1. Because Garret is progressing well and I thought he deserved some air time.
2. So ACTUAL Olympic lifting coaches could take a look at it and make some constructive or destructive comments…obviously the constructive comments would be more welcome.
3. To show you that we do Olympic lift in the gym.

Lyle McDonald
A couple of gross things that my untrained eye can spot
1. I think he could have a touch more arch in the thoracic spine. He’s a touch rounded which I think is putting the bar out front which is why he’s jumping back to catch it (Manny: He’s looping the bar)
2. Big time early arm bend at the knee
3. On the catch of the jerk, he needs to push the bar back more and bring his head through (what Dan John calls peeking through the window). The bar is too far forwards which is why he’s stepping forwards to get under it.

Can he do an overhead split squat in the appropriate jerk recovery position? His mobility looks poor (the thoracic spine and hip mobility especially) so I think some of those problems may require a different focus on top of the technical corrections Lyle mentioned. For example, his upper back weakness may, in part, cause the early arm bend and the jerk is mediocre because he isn’t getting his head/shoulders through, which also has a relationship to his leg recovery position. On a 6-foot platform his split should bring him damn close to the front or back of the platform unless he is dead center (even then he will be stretching the platform’s limits).

Manuel Buitrago
The Clean and Jerk:
I agree with Lyle that this guy is rounded on the thoracic spine and may need a verbal cue, strengthening, and/or mobility work. He does loop the bar, but its not because his weight was shifted forward from the start position, it looks more that he bent his arms below the knee and extends his back right above the knee. His rounded back has a lot to do with this and may be affecting his ability to stay over the bar longer.

There are more issues that occur after this point above the knee, but addressing his start position will affect these issues.

On the jerk, his dip is fine, he drops his back leg straight down (which is good), but his front leg is not going out far enough. He should be near the end of the platform as Dan said. I agree with Dan about his back. If this guy cant retract and arch enough in the thoracic spine, he wont be able to push the bar back through conscious effort. If hes able to retract, then he wont compensate so much by bending his front knee (his front shin should be almost vertical).

He lifts his butt up first without lifting his torso with it. As soon as he does this, his arms bend. Like the clean, his back is rounded, he ends up cutting the pull right above the knee and sends the bar flying out.

I thought while I was at it
I thought I may as well chuck this up there as well….this is a different day…and certainly not Garret’s best efforts…try to ignore the fat chick with the hairy arms wandering around the place pretending she’s training….she’s just there to make Garret feel OK about his weight issues.


13 thoughts on “Who said that the sun never shines in Ireland and that I hate Olympic lifting?

  1. Much like you Will I’m only a passing Oly lifter, (though I have a qualification too you know!) but I reckon the step up after the jerk could cost him some kilos on a heavier load. It’s still a nice lift though. Who would have thought that messed up man would still be lifting today eh?

  2. Barry thanks from messed up man.
    D & Lyle thanks for the comments
    I have had the arm bend pointed out to me before, I think it comes and goes, the bar looping as well.
    To be honest my technique is inconsistent but improving slowly,I hope.
    On the jerk my technique could certainly improve and my oly coach has prescribed jerks from the split position and power jerks. But to be honest I really dont like jerking on that particular platform , I just think Im going to hit something with my back foot.
    I hadnt noticed the jumping back before so thanks for that. Also Im not 100% sure what you are saying as regards my thoracic spine position.

    on the snatch video all I can say is some days are wore than others.
    I have an oly coach that i dont see often enough due to work location and time constraints.
    I am very grateful to Will for giving me a place to lift regularly and throwing out a few pointers.
    Denise thanks for being the hottest Bird in the gym , in a gym of one bird.

    • RE: jerks, suck it up. Besides, your back leg isnt the issue, its your front.

      RE Cleans: youre jumping back because youre cutting pull. Youre cutting your pull most likely because of your spinal position, so fix the spine in order to fix later parts of the lift.

      RE Spine: youre not arching enough so your back looks rounded. Contrast your start with mine:

      You can see your back is slight rounded rather than flat. This carries over to your standing position and jerk.

  3. Manuel, I forgot to mention that my coach has me doing the Vardanian jerk , front foot stay where it is more or less and back foot goes back . But he still says I should drop lower with a longer split.

    Thanks very much for your advice and the pic comparison, very much appreciated. I will try and put it into effect . Do you have any exercises you could recommend to loosen up my thoracic spine.

    • Im not sure why your coach has you jerking that way. If you have to split longer, then you are not jerking like Norik. As I said above, your foot should still be almost vertical (even Norik follows this):

      So get your front shin vertical, keep your back leg as is, and let the jerk work itself out (you may invent the Garrett Jerk). Also, look at his back vs yours. His has much less curvature than yours in the lumbar and thoracic areas.

      As for thoracic exercises, there are a lot out there and many have been covered in Will’s vids. Things like thoracic extensions on a foam roller, face pulls, YWLTs, rows with emphasis on scapular retraction, etc. are a start. If youre training with Will, ask him about what exercises/volume would be best incorporated into your program.

  4. No problem Garrett, personally I won’t be happy until I can scratch the back of my head with my little toe.

    This is a very good discussion… Will, are you sure this is your site? You’d better drag the tone down again quick!

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