skill acquisition

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.

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

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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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 at all time the barbell should be close to your body. For one, the closer it is, the more mechanical leverage you have : You and the barbell become what we call the barbell-lifter complex. The barbell-lifter complex has a center of gravity of its own, meaning that the heavy barbell pulls the lifter forward and the lifter is exerting tremendous force to not let it happen.

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

Specific sport training is a double edged sword

Steiner

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.

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Considerations for coaching crossfit athletes

The popularity of Crossfit, as a mean of general training and fitness, has created (at least momentarily)  interest for the sport of weightlifting. Whether I/we like crossfit or not, the fact of the matter is that a lot of crossfiters are seeking weightlifting coaching or looking to make the switch to the ”dark side”. As a matter of fact, most lifters I’m involved with at the moment come from a crossfit background. Coming from such a ”general” background to such a specialized training comes with a need to adapt. Here are some of the considerations for coaching weightlifting to crossfiters. These considerations are based on my experience and may not be reflective of the majority of crossfiters, but there are still lessons to take from this.

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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 might read that you need to improve your overall strength or that you need to do more of a certain lift. Others might advocate changing the whole training plan altogether. On the other end of the spectrum, you might find people that advocate you to work on certain aspect of your weightlifting technique. All of these answers are geared towards improving the physical state of the athlete and they might – or might not- be good. Obviously, there are many ways to skin a cat. However, there is one important concept that is rarely talked about and that you should be aware of. It is, to me, the most important concept to be aware of as an athlete.

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

Julia Rohde

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 Jon’s question about pulling himself under the bar in the lifts and how to build the required confidence to do so. There is no doubt that to be a successful weightlifter, you have to be able to pull yourself under the bar correctly. I would argue that this skill is the most important skill of weightlifting.

How do you develop this skill and, more importanly, how to you become confident enough to go at it? This is what we will look into. First, let’s start with Jon’s question.

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

Rohde

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 one is trying to understand how movement efficiency is achieved only through the analysis of the angles of body segments , one can’t fully appreciate the reality of said movement without considering neural factors. After all, the central nervous system is the reason why those segments actually move in the first place. How to develop maximal neuromuscular power is one – if not the most- important concern for the weightlifter. Understanding how neuromuscular power is achieved, and how different neural factors can influence it, allows you to be as specific as you can so that real progress can be made. This educational article seeks to explain in layman’s term important notions of neurosciences that will positively change your training. 

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