Articles

Paralysis by analysis : Stop thinking and start improving!

Don’t miss out on Updates : Make sure you follow First Pull on Facebook and Instagram for daily pictures and advice You are responsible for your success. You are also your own worse enemy. Seeing athletes miss lifts because they… Read More »Paralysis by analysis : Stop thinking and start improving!

Weightlifting shoes concerns : a case against bad footwear choices

Don’t miss out on Updates : Make sure you follow First Pull on Facebook and Instagram for daily pictures and advice Sport footwear (and even daily footwear) need to be carefully selected as they have a crucial impact on performance… Read More »Weightlifting shoes concerns : a case against bad footwear choices

Get your head on straight : Making progress and keeping a strong will to progress

Don’t miss out on Updates : Make sure you follow First Pull on Facebook and Instagram for daily pictures and advice The more I coach and the more people I coach progress, the more I realize how important it is… Read More »Get your head on straight : Making progress and keeping a strong will to progress

Simple and Basic Programs : 3 days a week and 4 days a week flexible program templates

I get e-mails all the time asking me about how to program, how each movements should be included, and how to get started in weightlifting or progress. I have developed templates that I use and… Read More »Simple and Basic Programs : 3 days a week and 4 days a week flexible program templates

Training Guidelines : Autoregulation is the single best training principle for high results

I was never a big fan of strict yearly plans – it may be the Canadian in me, but I like the grey area more than the black or white area. I have developed a set… Read More »Training Guidelines : Autoregulation is the single best training principle for high results

Why do we miss jerks : Programming, Pelvic alignment and other important technicalities of the jerk

One of my biggest pet peeve, in weightlifting, is missed jerks. According to Russian literature and coaches experience, the jerk is the competitive lift that is the most often missed. According to what I have seen… Read More »Why do we miss jerks : Programming, Pelvic alignment and other important technicalities of the jerk

Leg strength problems : Why your squat won’t improve and some ideas on how to fix it

Although weightlifting success is not a 100% dependent on Leg strength, strength of the legs is of great importance for the weightlifter. Every athlete is different – yet we could define them as either Technicians and Strength based… Read More »Leg strength problems : Why your squat won’t improve and some ideas on how to fix it

5 weightlifting lessons from 2014 : Implications for training, competing and reaching high results

Better late than never…Happy new year to everybody! For me, 2014 has been crazy with experiences, athlete recruitment, athlete development, programming and travelling for competition and a few seminars. Looking back, it was a great… Read More »5 weightlifting lessons from 2014 : Implications for training, competing and reaching high results

Olympic weightlifting for children and Teens : Safety and Growth

Most weightlifting coaches and most participants (athletes, official, or club directors) have to debunk myths or beliefs about the great sport of weightlifting. While there are many beliefs that can find roots in the history, most… Read More »Olympic weightlifting for children and Teens : Safety and Growth

The lack of specificity of weightlifting assistance exercises : Part 1

Assistance exercises are often debated and debaters tend to have a wide range of opinions. I have encountered and discussed with coaches and athletes that defend how useless they think assistance exercises are just like I have… Read More »The lack of specificity of weightlifting assistance exercises : Part 1

ESSAY ON TALENT RECRUITMENT, IDENTIFICATION AND RETENTION (PART 2: Talent identification)

  In Part 1 of this essay, I covered various strategies and ideas for recruiting young individuals in the sport of weightlifting. I went over the role of the coach or club manager in the… Read More »ESSAY ON TALENT RECRUITMENT, IDENTIFICATION AND RETENTION (PART 2: Talent identification)

Essay on talent recruitment, identification and retention (Part 1)

Finding new athletes, especially kids and teens, is of extreme importance for the competitive success of a weightlifting club and overall success of the coach. The coach or the director of the club always has to… Read More »Essay on talent recruitment, identification and retention (Part 1)

On the importance of upper body strength for weightlifting

The weightlifting community is rich with different thoughts, methodologies, and training philosophies. Athletes and coaches like a large variety of programs, training cycles and correctional fixes. Some go for the very specific methodology and some go… Read More »On the importance of upper body strength for weightlifting

Essay on the Second Pull Part 3 (Final Part) : Should the double knee bend be coached?

  This is the final part of my essay on the second pull where I ultimately challenge some of the conventional thoughts on pulling mechanics. In part one, I explained the relations between the second… Read More »Essay on the Second Pull Part 3 (Final Part) : Should the double knee bend be coached?

Guest Post by Don McCauley : The catapult finally explained!!

On numerous occasions, I have made the point that debate and exchange of ideas are healthy and good learning experiences. I exchange ideas and discuss weightlifting and its subcategory (programming, technique, etc.) on a regular basis… Read More »Guest Post by Don McCauley : The catapult finally explained!!

Essay On The Second Pull Part 1: The third pull may be considered as part of the Second Pull

A few months ago, I wrote about the speed and mechanical characteristics of the First Pull. Since then, I have wanted to tackle a few technicalities about the second pull. By most standards, the second pull… Read More »Essay On The Second Pull Part 1: The third pull may be considered as part of the Second Pull

On the topic of weightlifting technique: My rebuttal to the naysayers

Every now and then, there is an article that gets published on weightlifting which argues that knowledge or characterization fine points of weightlifting technique don’t matter for most trainees. Ironically, these articles often conclude that technique is what… Read More »On the topic of weightlifting technique: My rebuttal to the naysayers

Understanding the demonstration effect in the coaching process

Consistently learning is the key to high level weightlifting performance. Wikipedia describe learning as the process by which you acquire new or modify existing knowledge and skills. When observed, weightlifting performance- defined as the performance of… Read More »Understanding the demonstration effect in the coaching process

Programming 101 : Basic short term programming for weightlifting (beginner template)

When it comes to programming, a coach’s job is all about the dosage of intensity and volume so that the athlete reaches the goal both of you have selected. The coach has to predict how… Read More »Programming 101 : Basic short term programming for weightlifting (beginner template)

The 3 type of athletes and differences in the coaching approach

The process of training humans has to be based on some kind of facts and beliefs, individualized and very well calculated. That is, every trainee is different biological wise, personality wise and background wise. The… Read More »The 3 type of athletes and differences in the coaching approach

THE WHY AND HOW OF WEIGHTLIFTING COMPLEXES : A SIMPLISTIC GUIDE TO THE USE OF COMPLEXES (PART 2 : ”HOW”)

A bit less than a month ago, I wrote about the pros and cons to using weightlifting complexes to improve technique and strength. I outlined the reasons you should or should not include weightlifting complexes.… Read More »THE WHY AND HOW OF WEIGHTLIFTING COMPLEXES : A SIMPLISTIC GUIDE TO THE USE OF COMPLEXES (PART 2 : ”HOW”)

Sport Psychology corner : How to enhance motivation towards training for higher results

In my last article about how to be a successful weightlifter, I talked about how I think that having a strong will is probably the most important psychological trait to possess for success. If you… Read More »Sport Psychology corner : How to enhance motivation towards training for higher results

The why and how of weightlifting complexes : A simplistic guide to the use of complexes (Part 1 : ”Why”)

Weightlifting training methods can be based on a simplistic, or complicated, or auto regulated or carefully regulated system. They can all work to some degree as long as it is suited to you and your… Read More »The why and how of weightlifting complexes : A simplistic guide to the use of complexes (Part 1 : ”Why”)

The importance of stability for weightlifting performance and how to achieve it

I am always amazed at how popular mobility work has become in the last few years and how stability work is often ignored. People stretch to no end, but they don’t work on their stability.… Read More »The importance of stability for weightlifting performance and how to achieve it

Interview with Vlad Rigert, son of the Best lifter of the 20th century DAVID RIGERT

It is such a great honor to have been able to interview Vlad Rigert. Vlad is the son of acclaimed and legendary weightlifter and coach David Rigert. Vlad is a weightlifter himself who has posted… Read More »Interview with Vlad Rigert, son of the Best lifter of the 20th century DAVID RIGERT

Importance of the development of psychological traits for success in weightlifting

The road to success in weightlifting is a rocky one. Physical attributes – such as strength, flexibility, coordination or neuro-muscular qualities- and technical abilities – or how the person uses his physical attributes to produce… Read More »Importance of the development of psychological traits for success in weightlifting

Interview with Artem Ivanov, 2 times silver medalist at the World Championships (94kg)

I am very excited to have been able to reach out to Artem Ivanov, who kindly answered my questions even though I knew he was busy training. Mr. Ivanov lifts for Ukraine and, fortunately for… Read More »Interview with Artem Ivanov, 2 times silver medalist at the World Championships (94kg)

Fixing your Split Jerk : Foot position, overhead stability and your double chin

I first wrote about the jerk last September. In that article, I reviewed basic concepts of the jerk such as the how the potential for stability varies with the base of support and the differential… Read More »Fixing your Split Jerk : Foot position, overhead stability and your double chin

Straight bar paths are not the norm nor needed for success in weightlifting : Review of the scientific litterature

Perhaps it is just semantics or it’s the popular obsession with bar paths that led me to write this article. Anyhow, If you are a weightlifter, then you live and die by the principle that… Read More »Straight bar paths are not the norm nor needed for success in weightlifting : Review of the scientific litterature

Common – but overlooked- assistance exercises for Olympic Weightlifting

From time to time, I get e-mails asking me what assistance exercises I use, like or value in my programming. Assistance exercises should reinforce technique, correct muscular imbalances, create symmetry between the limbs, develop strength… Read More »Common – but overlooked- assistance exercises for Olympic Weightlifting

Ask First Pull Fridays 3 : Should you pull to your hips?

For this third edition of Ask First Pull Fridays, I received a question from Angela who inquired about correct pulling technique. Angela had a question about how one should be pulling during the lifts. Concretely,… Read More »Ask First Pull Fridays 3 : Should you pull to your hips?

On Improving the skill of weightlifting : One of the best advice I can give you

If you searched around on the internet for a way to improve your performance as a weightlifter (or as a practitioner of the Olympic lifts), you would find a thousand ways to do it. You… Read More »On Improving the skill of weightlifting : One of the best advice I can give you

Ask First Pull Fridays 2 : On the topic of pulling yourself under the bar efficiently and developing the confidence to do so

Last week, for the first edition of Ask First Pull Fridays, I talked about the controversy of whether knees should go out or not during a squat. This week, for the second edition, I answer… Read More »Ask First Pull Fridays 2 : On the topic of pulling yourself under the bar efficiently and developing the confidence to do so

Ask First Pull Fridays : Should the knees be pushed out in the Olympic squat?

Since the creation of First Pull, I have received many e-mails where I have been discussing weightlifting in some form or shape with readers. The discussions have been extremely interesting and this led me to… Read More »Ask First Pull Fridays : Should the knees be pushed out in the Olympic squat?

Maximal Neuromuscular Power Depends On Specific Characteristics Of The Central Nervous System : Part 1

The understanding of [sport] movements requires the knowledge of neuroscience notions. Many people over the years have focused on mechanics of movement – that is biomechanics- and have offered very valuable insights into weightlifting technique. If… Read More »Maximal Neuromuscular Power Depends On Specific Characteristics Of The Central Nervous System : Part 1

In defense of Sport Science : what it has given us and how it can help us solve weightlifting problems

There seem to have been a disconnection between what sport science really is and how it is believed to be. I noticed that there seems to be a common belief that sport science is not… Read More »In defense of Sport Science : what it has given us and how it can help us solve weightlifting problems

Transfer of learning : Importance in skill acquisition of weightlifting & implications for coaching and programming

In my last article about skill acquisition, I made the statement that  improvements, in the cognitive stage of skill acquisition, are mainly due to thinking and planning as well as the ability of the athlete to… Read More »Transfer of learning : Importance in skill acquisition of weightlifting & implications for coaching and programming

Weightlifting is a skill and it should be trained as a skill

The recent ”spurt” of popularity of Weightlifting, by different actors such as Crossfit, may also have  given the impression that weightlifting is a ”work out” which in turns may influence the way the lifts are… Read More »Weightlifting is a skill and it should be trained as a skill

The technique of women weightlifters : Biomechanical improvement through the years.

I wrote earlier about the special conditions women have in the sport of weightlifting as well as important notions to be considered in planning their training. Since then, I have been contacted by many to expand on… Read More »The technique of women weightlifters : Biomechanical improvement through the years.

Examples of Technical Individualization

One important thing you have to be conscious of when coaching weightlifting is the need for individualization of weightlifting technique. Weightlifting technique depends on an individual’s morphology, preference, strength or weaknesses and, ultimately, on learned… Read More »Examples of Technical Individualization