Olympic Weightlifting Skills

Back to see Coach Chris after a layoff since about a week before Christmas.  His first words were something to the effect of, “We’re going to start back near ground zero”.


Drop Snatch Press Behind the neck 5 x 3

Snatch Balance 3 x 4

Hang Snatch Drop + Overhead Squat 5 x 5

Transitional Deadlifts from a box (mid calf to mid thigh) 5 x 5

Good Mornings 5 x 3

I need to continue to work on flexibility in my ankles for better positioning in the bottom of the squat.  Also, to work on explosive “recruitment”, it was suggested I start working on “jumping” back squats with about 60% of 1 rep maximum, working on explosive jump up and speed of repetition. (approx 8 reps in 10 seconds).  Sucks getting old, and I’m not sure how much improvement I can make in this area.


Watched an Olympic Lifting Meet in Columbus

Some of our club members lifted in a local meet held at the Columbus so we attended to take pics and video.  Our technique and flexibility isn’t were it needs to be for a meet, but it was fun being around the energy and enthusiasm of the other lifters.

Here’s an album of videos from lifters at the meet



Olympic Lifting

Warmed up at home before going to the club:
Row 1k 4:33
Pullups (black band) 10 x 2 (nice slow pace as a shoulder stretch/warmup)

Tonight was more Olympic weightlifting skills goodness!  Great workout tonight, and the upright back positioning is continuing to improve!

Overhead Squats 8 x 4

Back Squats 6 x 4

Snatch Foot work (rise up on toes, then drop into squat position with good upright posture) 10 x 3

Snatch Extensions (floor to explosive “shrugs”*) *not really a shrug but momentum imparted to the bar on the upward explosion 8 x 3

Romanian Deadlifts 6 x 5

Oly lifting Snatch Practice

Started off with Overhead Squats ?65 x 8 x 3.  I think the weight was around 65# and higher, but not sure.

Next thing was work on Hang Snatch.  Having trouble with my foot work, so we lightened the weight, and then kept hammering on the hang snatch, catching in as deep a squat as possible.  My shoulders were feeling really good tonight, so rather than moving on to other exercises, we kept cranking out sets of 8 until we were pretty tired from all the explosive moves.

Finished up with explosive Snatch Deadlifts from the “deep” squat-like starting position.  It wasn’t until my last rep that I finally got to the point where I got really good back arch with my a$$ really low on the start of the pull.

I was “plum-tuckered out” after about an hour of this, so we called it a night even though Chris had more things on the list that we could have worked on.  With the fatigue, didn’t figure anything else good could be gained tonight.

Great practice and starting to finally get a good feel for some of the Snatching movements!  Woohoo!!

Olympic Weightlifting

  • Snatch Balance
  • Snatch Drop
  • Overhead Squat
  • Triplet of the three above
  • Hang Clean “Shrugs” (explosively)
  • Front Squats
  • Romanian Deadlifts

I don’t remember the weights or reps used.  Waited too long to write them down and memory fails me, but it was a tiring 90 minute workout.

In general, I’m feeling better about my upright posture in the front squat and overhead squat, but need to focus more on my ankle flexibility now.

Olympic Lifting Skills Practice

Warmup at home with two 500m rows.

Today’s practice at the gym continued to target my problem areas.

Tonight’s Skills:

Overhead Squats
55# x 8
60# x 8
65# x 8

Hang Snatch “Shrugs” (explosively)
115 x 5
120 x 5
Lifted from boxes.  Started 3 high first, then removed one box.
120 x 5
135 x 5

Front Squats
135# x 5 x 2

then Goblet Squats
45#DB x 5
Focused on upright back posture.

Romanian Deadlifts
115# x 5 x 2
135# x 5 x 2

Olympic Lifting Practice

Lifting tonight at the weightlifting club, I realized that lifting explosively for about 90 minutes is just plain hard work!!  It’s very different from the met-con intensity of lifting to muscular failure, or rowing for “all it’s worth” that is taxing aerobically and anaerobically.  However, it takes a great deal of effort… for sure!

Tonight’s Skills:

Overhead Squats
65# x 8 x 5 (Bob)
45# x 8 x 5ish (Penny) (reached failure on the final set)

My previous Overhead Squat PR was 45#, but mainly due to poor form.  Developing more upright posture definitely helping here.

Hang Snatch “Shrugs” (explosively)
135# x 5 x 3 (Bob)
85# x 5 x 3 (Penny)

Lifted from boxes.  Started 3 high first, then removed one box.  This allowed transition from “squeeze” position, then just above the knees begin the explosive movement upward.  Keeping arms relatively stiff, and pausing a bit at the top to get the feel for the position and the bar momentum.

Front Squats
135# x 5 x 1, 75# x 5 x 2 (Bob)
65# x 5 x 1, 55# x 5 x 2 (Penny)

Focused on upright back posture.  Used bar only with no hands to force upright… but I didn’t fare so well.

Romanian Deadlifts
75# x 5 x 4
55# x 5 x 4

Worked on hamstring stretch, good back arch, and “booty pop”…. I was pretty tired and had a hard time maintain good core position during the final movements.

Olympic Lifting Practice

We spent this evening working with Chris on Hang Power Cleans, Front Squats, and Back Squats…. doesn’t sounds like much, but we def felt it when we were finished!

Working on the Snatch

Tonight’s skills practice at the Cincinnati Weightlifting Club continued to work on the Snatch.  My shoulders were tight after some of the ring pushups and pullups that I squeezed in yesterday, but they eventually loosened up.

I am one session ahead of Penny, so while she focused more on stuff I did last session, I spent most of the time on overhead squats and hang/shrug snatches.  A couple of things I was working on: keeping my feet from going too wide when I “jumped” into the Snatch squat; keeping the pull/shrug flat up my chest then “snapping” my wrist and pulling myself under the bar.

Gotta keep working the timing and balance, all the while, keeping my shoulder blades pulled back and stretching the bar lengthwise.

Weightlifting Skills Practice

Tonight was more Oly Weightlifting skills practice at the Cincinnati Weightlifting Club.

The first half of practice, I focused on Overhead squats with a tight core/back arch, good shoulder/hand positioning, nice upright back.  I have some inflexible ankles right now, so by slipping a small weight under each heel, I can get the positioning a lot better.

The 2nd half of practice was spent working on the bottom of the snatch, from the top down.  So I did some “jump” shrugs… not jumps really, but just “driving through the heels” and imparting some momentum to the bar.  Next, the “Snatch Deadlift” position.  This differs from what I’m used to with the “Powerlifting Deadlift” start position.  The knees get spread more at the bottom, and rather than the vertical shins I’m used to, the shins go a bit more over the bar with the butt closer to the ground.  I guess it makes sense… the Snatch is a great deal less weight coming off the ground than what someone’s Deadlift PR would be.

The technical nuances of the lift are way beyond anything I’ve yet encountered since getting into barbell lifting about 6 months ago.  I’m starting to see why I’ve read that someone never perfects the Snatch or Clean & Jerk, they just keep practicing the lifts and cleaning up their technique.

Good stuff!  I like the focus needed so far!

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