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.
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 look up synonyms of ”Will”, you will find the following : Intention, decisiveness, craving, purpose, self control and self discipline. Wouldn’t you agree that to be successful in weightlifting, you have to be driven by the desire to improve, make the decision/have the intention to work hard but in a smart way, have the self discipline to follow your plan, have the self control necessary to remove or modify anything that can disturb your performance (including some aspects of your social life)? I would like to offer my thoughts on improving motivation towards training.
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.
Weightlifting is a sport where your best performance has to happen on a very specific date – the competition day. On that day, the lifter has three attempts in each movement (The snatch and the Clean and jerk). This make it similar to other event-type sports, like boxing, where proper strategies have to be used so that the sportmen is in top shape on that given date. Simply put, the lifter cannot/should not put in a bad performance because competitions dates are limited. A specific approach has to be used to peak at the right moment. However, specific training comes with drawback – such as increased risks of injuries.
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 useful to coaches or athletes. Because my mission with First Pull is to produce educational material and discuss ideas, this disconnection, between the reality and the popular belief of sport science, is a problem I want to address. The general idea being that without sport science, there is no such thing as effective training methods because the knowledge of the mechanisms implicated in weightlifting (skill acquisition, movement specificity, anatomy, recovery, etc.) would be unknown. Here is my rebuttal to the dis tractors of sport science.
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.