First phase of training Introduction 4 weeks Monday Snatch emphasis

Objectives:

1. To learn and master the explosion phase of the snatch

2. To strengthen the muscles involved in the snatch

3. To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific snatch positions

A. Power snatch from blocks

A. Power snatch from blocks

Bijoux Jackie Kennedy Onassis

The power snatch from blocks is one of my favorite exercises to teach an athlete how to explode. Since the bar is placed on blocks in the starting position (slightly above the knees) the movement becomes easier technically (so you can focus on exploding) and the acceleration path is short (so you must explode to complete the lift). Lifting from the blocks also has the advantage of placing your body in the optimal pulling position.

Starting position:

Pull:

Feet are hip width, toes are turned slightly outward

Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 130-140 degrees)

Trunk is flexed, back is tightly arched

Shoulders are in front of the bar

Arms are straight

Traps are stretched

Head is looking forward

Explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension The bar should be kept close to the body at all times The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar Basically, what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward, back and legs extended)

1. Catch the bar with a slight knee flexion (do not catch it with straight legs, learn to squat under it)

2. Catch the bar with the arms locked, do not press the weight

3. Keep the traps tight to help hold the bar

The loading parameters for the power snatch from blocks are as follows:

Week 1:1x5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5, 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3

Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. Well, since most of you have never performed a power snatch before, it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! Simply remember that sets of 5 are light, sets of 4 slightly heavier and sets of 3 are moderate weight. We do not want to use big weights during this phase. Focus on learning the proper technique and explosion, loading will follow!

B. Snatch-grip deadlift

B. Snatch-grip deadlift

The snatch-grip deadlift is useful when a trainee is learning the Olympic lifts. It strengthens the muscles involved in the snatch and teaches proper positioning for the lift. It is not specific to the snatch in the sense that it is a slower movement. However, it does increase strength in the starting position of the snatch, which can be helpful while the lifter is focusing on lifts from blocks.

1. Feet are hip width, toes are turned slightly outward

2. The grip is wide (approximately twice shoulder width)

3. Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 100-110 degrees)

4. Trunk is flexed, back is tightly arched

5. Shoulders are in front of the bar

6. Arms are straight

7. Traps are stretched

8. Head is looking forward and down

1. From the ground up to the knees the bar is lifted via a knee extension, back angle remains the same

2. The back stays tight and arched

3. The arms stay long and keep the bar close to the body

4. From the knees up to the standing position the bar is lifted with a combined back extension and knee extension.

5. Back stays tight

6. The arms stay long

7. The lift is completed when you are standing up completely

The loading parameters for the snatch-grip deadlift are as follows:

Week 1:1x5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5, 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3

Once again, I give no specific percentage. Although a good starting point is 50% of your regular deadlift or full squat maximum. You should not go too heavy on this drill. The objective is to learn the proper pulling sequence in the snatch (knee extension followed by a combined knee and lower back extension) and develop the capacity to maintain a tight back during the whole movement. For the sets of 4 you add a little weight and the sets of 3 can be fairly heavy if you are able to maintain the proper pulling sequence and back position. This is not a competition deadlift, do not sacrifice form for weight. You're much better off trying to lift the weight faster than increasing the load.

C. Overhead squat

Pull:

This is a great exercise for any athlete and it's capital to the beginning Olympic lifter. It is fantastic for increasing the level of dynamic flexibility in the hip, knee, and ankle joints, and really teaches you how to use your whole body at the same time! To properly execute this drill your lower body must remain loose and flexible and you must use your upper body muscles to "brace" the position; your trunk, shoulders, upper back, and traps should be tight to hold the bar in place. Your upper body must become one single piece. The bar should be kept above the ears during the whole movement, do not let the bar drift forward.

Starting position:

Squat:

1. Stand up in the finished snatch position

2. Feet are slightly wider than the hips, toes turned outward a bit

3. Trunk is solid, traps are contracted

4. Arms are solid, trying to "push out" (like if you were trying to rip the bar apart) will help you keep your shoulders and arms tight.

1. Start to squat down, the body should go down in a straight line

2. Avoid trunk flexion, if you start bending forward you will lose the bar

3. As you squat down try pushing the bar up (to contract the traps and stabilize the bar)

4. The heels must stay on the ground

5. When you reach the lowest position, stand up in a straight line, avoid excessive trunk movement

Note: Some people will have flexibility problems at first. Some people will have trouble going lower than a XA squat without starting to bend forward or have their heels come off the ground. Only go as low as you can while maintaining proper form. However, at each workout, try to go down a bit more.

The loading parameters for the overhead squat are as follows:

Ideally, you want to be able to do your sets of 5 with the same load you used on the power snatch from blocks. However, few will be able to do this from the get go. Start light; use just the bar if you need to, until you feel comfortable in the movement. At the end of the month you should be using the same load (or more) for the overhead squat as in the power snatch from blocks.

The overhead shrugs are an exceptional trap builder and a great way to increase your capacity to hold loads at arms length.

Starting position:

Shrug:

1. Hold the bar overhead (intermediate grip) as if you had just completed a shoulder press

2. Stretch your traps by brining your shoulders down. Keep the arms locked and the bar overhead

3. The trunk must be tight

1. While keeping a tight posture, bring the shoulders up by contracting the traps, the shoulders must go up in a straight line

2. Hold the highest position for 2 seconds

The loading parameters for the overhead shrug are as follows:

Start with a load you can comfortably press over your head. Loading is not all that important as you will feel this exercise even at low to moderate weights. On top of being a great trap builder, this exercise is fantastic for developing the capacity to stabilize the trunk under loading conditions.

This exercise is a very effective shoulder builder. It will increase strength in all of the deltoids' heads and also develop your rotator cuff muscles. Using this exercise is a great insurance policy for your shoulders!

Starting position:

1. Stand up, a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides

2. Keep a good posture, look forward

Shrug:

1. The initial lift of the dumbbells is a semi upright row

2. Contract the traps and arms

Rotation:

1. Rotate your shoulders so that your arms end up overhead, pointing outward and up

2. Hold that position for 2 seconds

The loading parameters for the snatch Cuban press are as follows:

Week 1: 2x 15 Week 2: 2x 15 Week 3: 1 x 15 Week 4: 2 x 15

Objectives:

1. To learn and master the explosion phase of the jerk

2. To strengthen the muscles involved in the jerk

3. To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific jerk positions

A. Push jerk

A. Push jerk

The push jerk is another of my favorite exercises. This is an absolutely formidable whole body strengthening exercise! It really teaches how to synchronize lower body and upper body explosion into one big powerful action.

1. Take the bar from the rack

2. Place it on your clavicle and shoulders

3. The bar is held with a clean grip or an intermediate grip

4. Hold the bar with the full hand, not just the fingertips

5. The elbows are pointed forward and down, not just down

6. The body is straight and tight

The dip:

1. Lower your body in a straight line (imagine that your back is sliding on a wall)

2. The dip is controlled, but not too slow

3. You dip into a quarter squat, no more

The explosion:

1. When you complete the dip quickly reverse your movement and explode upward!

2. You should go for a very hard push with the legs (so that the bar will leave your shoulders at the top)

3. Just as you reach the upright position, press your hands up as fast as possible

4. Try to "throw" the bar upwards, not press it

The catch:

1. Much like in the power snatch from blocks, catch the bar with a slight squat under the bar

2. The trunk remains tight

3. The arms are immediately locked (you receive the bar with locked arms, no pressing of the weight)

The loading parameters for the push jerk are:

Week 1:1x5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5, 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3

Start conservatively until you learn to use a synchronized explosive action of the lower and upper body. A weight equivalent to what you use on the shoulder press is adequate at first. As you begin to feel more comfortable with the movement you can increase the load (as long as proper technique and explosion are maintained).

The Bradford press takes its name after former American lifting champion Jim Bradford. It is an unparalleled shoulder builder and it will help with the initial arm drive during the jerk.

Starting position:

1. The bar is held on the traps with an intermediate grip, much like in the starting position of the back squat

1. Press the bar until it's just above the head, using the arms only

2. Bring the bar over your head and onto the front of your shoulders

3. Press the bar until it's just above the head, using the arms only

4. Bring the bar over your head and onto the back of your shoulders

The loading parameters for the Bradford press are:

Week 1: 4 x 5 (5 front, 5 back) Week 2: 3 x 5 (5 front, 5 back) Week 3: 2 x 5 (5 front, 5 back) Week 4: 4 x 5 (5 front, 5 back)

You can go relatively heavy on this movement. Start with a load you would normally use on the military press and go from there. Use a weight as heavy as you can without cheating with your legs.

This exercise really helps develop the powerful leg drive involved in the jerk! It is also a very effective way to develop vertical jumping ability.

Starting position:

1. Standing up with the bar on the bar of your shoulders.

2. A box (50-70cm) is placed about a foot away from your feet

Execution:

1. Dip into a quarter squat and explode upward

2. Jump onto the box

Note: You don't have to use a box, you can simply jump up and land on the ground. However, using an elevated box will decrease the stress on your back and knees (because there will be less kinetic energy built-up during the descent).

The loading parameters for the loaded jump squat are:

Week 1:3x5 Week 2: 4 x 5 Week 3: 5 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 5

The load to use is approximately 15% of your best back squat. Some very explosive individuals can use are much as 20% of their best back squat. Individuals with very low back squats can start with around 65lbs on this exercise.

D. Bar jump squat

D. Bar jump squat

This exercise is much like the preceding one, except that the load is minimal. Because of the lighter load you will be able to impart more acceleration to the bar and thus develop a different portion of the force-velocity curve. It is also a great way to increase vertical jumping ability.

Execution:

1. Dip into a quarter squat and explode upward

2. Land on the ground, flex your knees to absorb the shock

The loading parameters for the bar jump squat are:

Week 1: 4x6 Week 2: 3 x 6 Week 3: 2 x 6 Week 4: 4 x 6

The following loads are appropriate:

500lbs+ squat: 55lbs 300-500lbs squat: 45lbs (bar only) 200-300lbs squat: 35lbs (smaller bar) 100-200lbs squat: 25lbs (still smaller bar)

The load is kept constant during the whole cycle. The aim is to increase jump height, not the weight used.

Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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