Jean-Patrick Millette

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

tumblr_neoi2rTahy1s3vnemo1_500Although 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 athletes. Technicians tend to be rather weak in the strength movements (especially the squats), yet lift heavy because of how efficient they are (They can use a high % of their strength). Strength based athletes tend to get strong super fast in comparison. Their efficiency is, however, on the lower side. They tend to have a large surplus of strength. Both type of athlete can and do step on the international stage. Here are some of my better tricks and ideas to build a bigger squat.

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Interview with Adam Mattiussi (77kg, England)

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Credit Paul Furness Photography

Adam Mattiussi is a great  up and coming 77kg lifter from England. His best result in competition was a 131kg snatch and a 165kg clean and jerk at the 2014 Under 23 European Championships. This peformance ranked him 7th in the competition. He has a degree in Strength and Conditioning Science from St Mary’s University and is studying for a postgraduate degree in Sports Rehabilitation.  Here we discuss how he got started, how he worked around injuries, touch briefly on the Britain system and much more.

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Thoughts about programming and developing eliteness

Apti-Aukhadov-85kg-Russia-pulling-under-a-173kg-snatch-at-the-2013-Europeans-last-April-in-Albania.

Credit Hookgrip

Programming is often considered an art and a science at the same time. Different countries have different ways of planning the year of their lifters – in terms of exercise selection, volume/tonnage, intensity/%, frequency of training and focus of training (some are more strength oriented and some are more technique oriented). As anything sports oriented, coaches like to argue over which program is better and/or which country’s influence makes more sense and/or what works/does not work for them in their practice. On the other hand, for better or worse, athletes live and die by that program as if their whole success depends on completing every sets and reps written down.

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

Credit Hookgrip

Credit Hookgrip

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 year for myself and for weightlifting generally. Of course, I haven’t been able to post as regularly on here due to all those hours I spent in the gym coaching. Working with so many people, so many different age groups and so many different personnalities, I feel like I bettered myself as a coach. Methodologies are not fixed and learning how to adapt your approach to get your point across is necessary and takes trial and errors (Humans are indeniably biologically different). Here are 5 things that I either learned, dealt with or paid more attention to during last year cycle.  I feel like they are good lessons and might change your training, your results and the outcome of your competition.

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Interview with 2 times Olympian Lydia Valentin (75kg, Spain)

10846937_10152692216228705_98717006_nI had the chance to contact Lydia Valentin – who is arguably one of the greatest female lifter at the moment – through her friend Sayra Yever. I would like to thank her for help in getting in contact with Lydia and for her translation skills. Lydia’s achievements are many in the 75kg- category: 6th at the 2007 World’s, Bronze at the 2013 world’s, 5th and 4th at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics respectively, and after many bronze and silver medals, she also got gold at the 2014 Europeans. This is a rather brief interview were we discussed how she got started, her plans and more.

Without further ado, here is the interview with Lydia Valentin.

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On the topic of first impressions, confidence and passion

10504817_649974441738849_1630200445016473617_oCoaching weightlifting is my full time job and I would argue that I could not have a better job. I love weightlifting, I love teaching it and I love working with different people from very young kids (my youngest athlete is 7 years old) to much older athletes. In my mind, recruiting is tied to how people perceive you and if they are willing to trust you. Trust is possible if you know what you are talking about and if you come off as a good person.

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Developing young lifters the right way : Not skipping GPP is key

Credit Hookgrip

Credit Hookgrip

Developing a high level athlete of any sports takes time and steps cannot be skipped. A young talented athlete needs proper support from the family as well as proper financial support for all the expenses that can be encountered (food, transport, physio, equipment, etc.). A young athlete also needs dedication and discipline (ie : not missing practice and doing the work). The coach, however, is there to lead the athlete on the right path and to make the athlete reach his/her potential fully. Yet, in weightlifting, many often forget about how important stages are and get carried away with weights.

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Challenge of The Pull : Hip action during the pull

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Credit Lifter’s life

Small details matter in weightlifting, especially from a coaching stand point. When discussing small details of technique, some may say that it is just geeking out or over analysis. Small details are what explain success or lack of success in our sport. I firmly believe in coaching and teaching precise technique and this requires that I pay attention to tiny details and that the athlete work on making those details second nature (ie ; become technically efficient). For instance, many people have trouble being fast under the bar or have to pull really high and ride it down. More often than not, this is due to improper hip action at the end of the second pull which messes with the flow of the lift.

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On the topic of training methodologies and principles

Credit Rob Macklem

Credit Rob Macklem

Training methodologies have evolved since the sport was developed. We could probably say that without any doub training methodologies were first refined as a result of different decisions made by sport authorities in regard to competition. For instance, weightlifting used to have single arm events and abolishing those events must have had an impact on how people trained after it was removed from competition. Hence, dumbbell and one handed snatches have pretty much disappeared from most programs around the world.

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Olympic weightlifting for children and Teens : Safety and Growth

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Olympian and 2014 Gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games, Beauchemin Nadeau is 1.66m tall.

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 negative – but popular- beliefs often rely on hear say, a misunderstanding of the sport of weightlifting, or anecdotal evidences. One such belief is that weightlifting is not good for children and teens as in it can stunt their growth, injure their body because it is ”not mature enough”, or that the sport is not a positive one for athletes their age. I would like to change this perception of our sport, as not only do I not believe that this sport is bad for children – but empirical evidences actually support the participation of children and teens in weightlifting.

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