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 behaviors and adaptations (coordination, speed/explosiveness, etc). Sometimes some ”mistakes” or ”pre-lift routine” can also become part of the overall technique. It’s always about having the right amount of individualization and the right amount ”text book” technique. Learning mistakes is never good, of course. Today’s article is not about reviewing scientific papers but just an overall look at some of the most interesting example of individualization of technique among great weightlifters. Videos included.
In many sports, elite sportsmen and sportwomen increase the frequence of training in order to achieve maximal performance gains in their discipline. Weightlifters are no different. It is common among elite weightlifters to train twice a day (one AM session and one PM session). This behavior is mainly based on tradition and on the culture of weightlifting. Many strategies are employed, such as separating the two classical lifts in order to train them in a fresh state. The goal is to enhance recovery at the same time as getting more work in. Getting more practice with the lifts is important for the weightlifter because of the technicality of the lifts.
As a practitioner of weightlifting or as a coach, you always have to answer questions that are related to weightlifting injuries. For the most part, the only promotion weightlifting ever get in mainstream press (at least in North America) is in relation to injuries which, in turn, promote weightlifting as an unsafe sport. The general population is thus exposed to extraordinary events and make the conclusion that injuries are happening more commonly than in any other sports. Many opinions are shared and few facts are stated. I would like to change that. This article is a very in-depth look at the injuries rates and types in sport.
A recent study by Whitehead et al., published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning research (published August 2013) has looked into this matter. Whitehead et al. studied and analyzed the best three snatch attempts by individuals lifters in each weight class at the US national Championship (2013). The result indicates that rearward displacement, or commonly called ”Jumping back” by most coaches and trainees, is globally happening in top snatch performances in the US. The authors states : “These data seem to suggest that rearward displacement in the drop-under phase in the snatch is not detrimental to performance and actually seems to be a preferred technique in US national-level lifters”.