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Weightlifting for the Master athlete

Credit to Lifters life

As weightlifting is getting more popular and gets more people interested about competitions and competing, we are seeing a lot of new athletes – and some not so new- in the master division. We are seeing incredible performance by master lifters at the international level and they should get the recognition they deserve for their accomplishment. In the last few weeks, I received a few emails about this topic which I answered but I figured, that judging by the interest, a post about it would be interesting to others as well. Here are a few thoughts about things to consider when starting this sport at an older age.

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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 and third pull and I explained the muscle sequencing of the extension during the second pull in part 2. It would be a complete mistake to go over the pulling mechanics of the second pull without at least touching on the famous double knee bend. The double knee bend is the flexion of the knees in the second pull after they have straightened in the first pull. Thus, it is a pattern of knee action that we see in various degree in lifters. Should it be coached? Should this double knee bend be intentional? We shall explore this further. I want to give credit to Bruce Klemens for I used many of his pictures in this post.

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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 with different coaches and high end athletes. Some have more of a traditional style and some have more of a ”revolutionary” style. I asked Coach Don McCauley to explain his description of the Catapult because the term is absent from our weightlifting lexicon in Quebec/Canada and it seems to be at the center of a big debate in the U.S.  When it comes to technique in Canada, I would venture and say that everybody is teaching in a similar fashion thanks to the educational efforts of some individuals and I say it does not hurt to ask the man a question that should have been asked before : What does Catapulting really means? The following is Don’s description of the lifts.

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The usefulness of the overhead squat for enhancing weightlifting results

The overhead squat has definitely gotten popular over the last few years and it could be due to the love crossfitters have for it. There is a common shared belief that the overhead squats helps in chasing a big snatch. I get questions about this all the time so I figured that I would publish an article on it. Whether it really is useful for weightlifters is relatively debated among coaches. Some think that the overhead squat  has little place in the training of weightlifters and some push it aggressively. In this article, I will explore the 2 main reasons I program the over head quat and go over why the overhead squat has little carry over to the snatch passed a certain level.

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On choosing the right coach

In my opinion, great Coaching in weightlifting is the second most important variable for long term success and overall development of the athlete. The most important variable being the will to succeed (which really is the will to work hard to achieve greatness). However, there are so many coaching styles, programming styles, methods and beliefs, one could legitimately ask the following question : What makes a coach a great coach? In this article, we will go over what make a great coach and how to select a coach that will get you to where you want to be.

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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. This following article is thus about common mistakes and complexes to address the mistakes. I will give my rationale for using them for mistake correction.  I don’t believe that any of this is novel, but putting it all together in a same article is a great way to put things in perspective. Complexes can be about everything, but here i’m listing some that I like and use and I kept it simple for this reason.  As outlined in Part 1, It goes without saying that these complexes should be included only if you are far from competition and not replace the lifts themselves (You still need to snatch and clean and jerk if you want to refine your skill). 

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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 needs as an athlete. Programming is not different. Whether you do pulls at 90% of your best lift or 110% is pretty much irrelevant to your success in this sport, if it does not address your problem or your weaknesses. Whether you do squat singles or 5 repetitions is irrelevant to your success, if you don’t create the adaptations you are looking for or need. Same rationale is to be used for complexes. Doing complexes for the sake of doing complexes or doing a complex that does not work your weakness as a lifter is not going to produce the results you are looking for. This is a simplistic guide to complexes.

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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. There is no doubt that the weightlifter has to be mobile in key body parts in order to be efficient. Weightlifting without mobility would not be the athletic and dynamic sport it is. There would be no such thing as receiving the bar in an extreme position of knee and hip flexion (bottom of a squat), for instance. That is, weightlifting requires full range of motion of every joints. However, the weightlifter also has to be able to stabilize the weights and he has to be able to do so at maximal range of motion.

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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 actions- are often discussed. When it comes to psychological abilities or issues, little is discussed. Understanding your athlete’s  or your psychological profile – for lack of better terms- can help you and them achieve greatness. Below is a generalization of what you might expect from coach beginners or more advanced athletes.

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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 recruitment of the lower limbs during the catch or recovery.  However, for some unknown reason, it seems that in general the snatch and the clean always get all the attention and the jerk is barely ever discussed. I am guilty of this too, since most of the technique articles I write cover mostly the snatch. I shall make wrong right.

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