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Catalyst Athletics: Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic Weightlifting Articles, Video and More

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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff if You Can't Even Do the Big Stuff

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

Weightlifting technique can really be as complicated or simple as you want to make it. You could easily spend the rest of your life researching, experimenting, practicing, and driving yourself crazy with the infinite minutiae. But most of you just want to get better, and do it as soon as possible as easily as possible, which is a perfectly rational desire. Focus on the big stuff and forget the little stuff until you need it. Don't worry too much about the precise angle of humeral external

Ask Greg: Bouncing out of the Split Jerk

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

Steph Asks: I have a split jerk of 102.5kg at 64kg body weight and overhead strength has always been a strength, recently someone pointed out that I rush out the catch on my split jerk and suggested I stick the landing for 2-3 seconds. I gave it a go and regardless of how hard I try I can't seem to stick the landing I always seem to bounce straight out into the finish position. Is this a problem is it holding me back from getting heavier overhead? Greg Says: In theory, there is nothing wr

What To Do After A Loss

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

Plenty of people will tell you they don’t care that much about winning, but there isn’t a single honest person on earth who will tell you he/she likes losing. The problem with losing is that you can’t undo it. You can’t go back and fix what you did wrong, even if you know exactly what it is. That leaves you to cope with the loss—you have to deal with it one way or another even if you try to pretend it didn’t happen.   What you do in response to a loss i

Breaking the Bar from the Floor

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

The separation of the barbell from the floor in the snatch and clean should be relatively smooth—that is, it should not be jerked abruptly from its static position on the floor. This kind of separation creates two potential problems: first, it significantly increases the likelihood of an unwanted shift in balance or position; second, if the initial speed off the floor reaches a certain threshold, the lifter will have to actually slow the bar down somewhat to maintain tension against it and

Ask Greg: Snatch Options with Limited Ankle Range of Motion

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

Evan Asks: I'm a male lifter who has been lifting for something like 9-10 months now. I usually lift in my garage; it’s pretty rare that I go to a gym. However, I do on occasion, and the last time I went happened to be a day that I was shooting for a new snatch max. After watching me fail twice at 79.5kg before I finally made the lift, I asked the coach there where I was going wrong. His answer was I almost always land on my toes, which causes me to either chase the bar or lose the wei

Training Exercise vs. Novelty

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

The internet is a great tool for all of us, but it also complicates certain things. For example, when you see a video of your favorite weightlifter from Whereveristan doing some odd exercise, you're naturally going to assume a few things: They do this exercise regularly They've been doing this exercise their whole careers This exercise is at least partly responsible for their success If you do this exercise, you too will become great at weightlifting The problem is that all

Ask Greg: Can't Get a Back Arch in the Starting Position

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

Adrian Asks: I've been lifting a year and a half and have a problem setting up tight from the floor. From plates and off blocks I feel really strong but when it comes to the floor I can’t seem to get full scapular retraction and T-spine extension, which wrecks my first pull. How do I set myself up or mobilize to fix this problem? Greg Says: You don’t want full scapular retraction when pulling—you want to arch the entire spine and depress the scapulae, but keep them close

The High-Pull: Pros and Cons

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

The exercise known to us as a snatch/clean high-pull and referred to as “Practicing active drop phase” in the Soviet school has long been incorporated into weightlifters’ routines. But like with any other exercise, to benefit from it, an athlete needs to understand what he is doing it for and when and how it shall be done.   While approaching it correctly, it may help you to understand the technique of “active drop”, where you basically use your arms to push

Don't Lock Your Elbows in the Pull

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

It's a pretty common occurrence to see the attempts at correcting or preventing one problem create another. One I come across seemingly hourly is lifters locking their elbows in extension during the pull of the snatch or clean. Obviously this is a well-intentioned attempt to avoid bending the arms prematurely, but in fact, the result is considerably more problematic. When you put force into the bar in the pull, it has to go somewhere - when you lock the elbows, the only place it can go is

Ask Greg: Hang Snatch Better Than from Floor

Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700

Andrew Asks: Hi Greg, my snatch from hang position either mid thigh or knee is doing pretty good, but when I do it from the floor, I can’t get it right, I keep thinking about shoulder over the bar, shins vertical, weight on heels. When I'm doing from hang position, I'm already in the right position. Is there any drill or tips for pulling from the floor without over thinking everything? Greg Says: The best correction for over thinking is practicing until you don’t have to t