I Caved

Courtesy of Hookgrip

Courtesy of Hookgrip

So for anyone who has at all kept their ears and eyes open over the past 6 months in the weightlifting world then you’ve caught wind of the debate between triple extension and catapult lifting styles and everything in between.  I promised myself I would not weigh in on the debate, I would stay out of it, and I would remain neutral.  I am still going to do just that but I do want to explain how I teach the lifts very briefly.

A couple days ago Ryan Grady asked me to do a blog post explaining how I teach the lifts.  My way.  He believes that it would not differ that much from the way that Don McCauley and Jon North teach the lifts.  I honestly have no idea to the semantics on how most other coaches teach the lifts and as far as describing what the “superman pull” is or the “archangel” I am clueless.  Thus I am going to try to not rebuttal or tell them they are wrong simply because I don’t know and both have produced great numbers or athletes.  Obviously I am not going to go into complete detail as you can take a seminar for that material and I don’t have that kind of time.  However, I will cover the basics.  Also, I’m sure many of you will have questions about how I teach the lifts.  Ask away though I may not answer them as I am not going to create a blog post that will later turn into an online debate about semantics.  Sorry, read goheavy.com if you want that.

I decided to use the snatch as my demo lift to teach.

So here you go:

I teach the lifts starting at the hips.  In the power position at the hips, the bar sits in the hip crease with the shoulders even with the bar.  Your knees are slightly bent and hips slightly hinged with the weight in the middle of the foot.  We snatch from there.  Then we move to the hang with the shoulders well in front of the bar, weight in the heels, shins vertical, and knees back to create hamstring tension.  We snatch from there.  The third stage we move the bar to the bottom of the knee cap (just below the patella) and the knees move forward just slightly while maintaining the majority of the weight in the heels.  We snatch from there making sure to move the knees out of the way of the bar.  Lastly we move to the start position ensuring the back angle stays the same from the top of the knee to the start so that the shoulders start in advance of the bar and the weight shifts to the ball of the foot for liftoff.  We snatch from there.

When the bar leaves the floor it sweeps back from above my big toe joint to over my ankle, the weight shifts to my heels, and as I progress from the floor my shoulders will get over the bar and stay over the bar until just after the bar passes the knee.  Lastly, the bar will continue up my thigh as my knees re-bend under and the bar will make contact at my hips in a manner that is both violent but moves in a vertical hip movement.  This vertical hip opening will cause the bar to move up my body with my elbows out and up as I pull under the bar moving my feet to a good squat position.  Yes my hips make contact with the bar at the hips, no it is not so violently horizontal as to send the bar out in front, and yes my ankles extend as a result of the power exerted from extending my hips then knees.  Bottomline, I will move the bar from the floor to my hips and as close to the center of my area of base as possible then I will extend vertically enough to move the bar to peak height and speed to allow me to move under the bar in a full overhead squat then stand up.

That’s as succinct as I can make it.  Here’s the kicker.  All of you will do it slightly different based on body mechanics, coaching influence, and trial and error.  Who cares.  As long as the bar-track is efficient, you’re making the majority of your lifts, the bar is traveling quickly and you are moving quickly then it’s successful.  Especially if you are making PRs.  Hope that helps clarify both how I teach the lifts and perform them.

Now quit arguing about who’s right.  If you have time to argue or disparage other lifters then you are not training hard enough.

Oh yea and here is a video analyis that I think all of you should watch and definitely make comments on. 🙂  Also take a look at the picture at the top VERY closely and let me what you think of that as well.

Jon North Snatch Analysis by Harvey Newton




8 responses to “I Caved

  1. Love the post…quick question, lately when I make contact with the bar I’ve been hitting my pubic bone causing pain. It has slowly grown and become difficult for me to be aggressive with my 3rd pull. I snatched today but tried making contact earlier to avoid hitting but the result at heavy loads was an out front bar path.
    Based off what you wrote above, I assume I’m making contact too early with my hips thus hitting my pubic bone? I already grip collar to collar. Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Sam,

      It sounds like you are allowing the hips to “bang” the bar too much. I want the bar to hit right in the crease of your hips and against the pubic bone. The contact just has to be done in such a way that you bruise your bones. You should try to decrease the hip movement horizontally and get the hips to “carry” the bar up not bang into the bar.

  2. Pingback: CrossFit Danville » Standard of beauty·

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