Changing Speeds


Yesterday we talked about the benefit of the pull and why it is important that your pulls make your full movements better. Today I want to show a couple examples of good high pulls and explain the change of speed into the second pull. What you will notice if you watch elite weightlifters on the Olympic stage is that the bar always changes speed after it crosses the knee. Regardless of technique or style, the bar will always change speed as it enters into the second pull and picks up velocity. No elite lifter goes from 0 to 60 right out of the gate off the floor. Earl on my coach established that, the first pull from the floor to the top of the knee is a pull for position not for speed. Speed happens above-the-knee. If you are practicing pulls specifically high pulls please keep this in mind. The bar changing speed is crucial for bar speed at the proper times. It is necessary that the bar be at its top velocity as it leaves the hips not as at leaves the floor. This is why it is important that we see the bar change speeds distinctly after it crosses the knees. If you go to fast off the floor likely two things will occur. First, the bar will likely decelerate by the time it gets to the hips and decreased bar velocity will result in less weight overhead. Secondly, high velocity off the floor will decrease the lifter’s ability to get a good first pull in, getting the bar back off the floor, thus creating bad positioning throughout the rest of the lift. It is important as you practice pulls to make sure there is a distinct change in bar speed at the knee. This was engrained in my head early on in my lifting and has served me well for 14 years. Be intentional about how you pull the bar. Specifically if you are just doing pull portions of the lift.

High Pull Demos


3 responses to “Changing Speeds

  1. The similarities to the golf swing really are remarkable. All about speed in the hitting zone. Pro golfers generally look like they are swinging at about 60%, yet the clubhead is moving at over 100mph when it makes contact.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on tempo relative to the individual. For example, look at Freddie Couples vs. Tom Watson (or Justin Leonard for the Texas folks). Freddie has a slower tempo, yet hits it further than both of them. Some people can achieve better rhythm and timing when they move quickly, while others prefer to do so at a slower tempo, yet they can both generate similar amounts of power/force in the hitting zone (or where it should peak). Do you think this concept applies similarly in weightlifting?

    • Wow I certainly do not know enough about golf to relate to that detail but ultimately in weightlifting there has to be a moment when control is least important to violence. Even if that moment is just for a split second. Golf is a sport of finesse and while this can also be said of weightlifting it is also a sport of power. Don’t know that the same holds true for golf. But what do I know… I can’t break 80.

  2. Pingback: Friday, June 7, 2013 : CrossFit Costa Mesa·

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