Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No Snatch For You

About a month ago I went ahead and took a course through USA Weighlifting on cleans and snatches in Westborough Mass. The course is usually rand by a coach of USAW's choosing and someone that has a higher certification from USAW as well. The coach of this one in particular I've heard mixed reviews about, won't really get that into it. I will say she probably tried to make herself sound smarter than needed, but just wanted to use some of these bigger terms to impress those that didn't have a Exercise Science background of any sorts. That's all I'll get into about the coach, this isn't a rant day for me.

There were a ton of cross-fitters (either coaches or just people that worked out at cross-fit facilities) that were there to take the course. Which always gives me hope that cross-fit is wising up and only getting better and better. Unfortunately you do still have people like a few cheesebrains that come in and think because they've watched cross-fit, or the olympics, and maybe dabbled in a couple classes that they can clean and snatch, it's scary shit.

I got it, I got it...nope don't got it

The lifts that are taught at these courses/seminars are cleans, snatches and jerks. How does one learn these in a crash course like this weekend long seminar? Well probably best thing is to just do the lifts with critique from others that do more than dabble in it and that's what we did. Having not done any real olympic lifting recently I forgot how exhausting these lifts can make you. Loved every second of doing them, made me want to jump back into it once I'm done with my rugby season.

The lifts we learned could all benefit both general population clients and athletes, depending on who they are. I'm willing to bet the risks outweigh the benefits for most of them. When it comes to a commercial gym setting it applies 2 fold, usually cautioning even more on the careful side of things. I have had some of my clients, as well as others, ask me about cleans and snatches, what the heck they are. Every time I'm happy to explain to them what they are and all the rave about them, they usually feel a big let down when I inform them it's not for them at the time. Let's be real if an athlete who is focused on nothing but sports, lifting and some schoolwork doesn't have the ability to just jump into these lifts, clients that have real jobs and live lives will be less likely to do so.

I've seen so many people that look like the joker here and it just makes my body crumble for them. At least he knew he screwed up before he hurt himself.

The key to being able to do olympic lifting really isn't a mystery for a coach/trainer that is well versed in them with half a brain. It's the same for being able to do any exercise, progress and regress as necessary. Do you have the shoulder mobility to go overhead without your shoulder collapsing into you (or out of you)? No? Then you probably won't being doing snatches or jerks today. Don't get me wrong if I feel a client is capable, and there are some, then yeah let's jump into a bit. There are some that think I'm painstakingly slow with progressing them, to them I reply sarcastically, you're welcome. Others couldn't give a damn, which is for obvious reasons way easier on me.

Don't progress athletes/clients for the simply sake of progressing, if the athlete isn't efficient with their initial progression whether it's a front squat or a triple extension pull, don't just move them to power cleans or full cleans because it's 4-6 weeks later. Progress them when they're ready to your satisfaction, not because they THINK they're ready.

Overall for the experience I did learn a few things that I hadn't known before like a hook grip (gasp I know). Put a couple more tools in the tool box for me. I had never really done a split-jerk before, probably will have to work on it more on my own (I can almost promise you it will not appear in any of my clients programming for awhile if ever). Figured out my mobility is definitely eons better (with still more room to grow), and now I have the damn piece of paper that says yes I can teach olympic lifts. Advice for those looking of taking the course, it's good learning for those in this industry, but unless you are going to at least use olympic lifts for yourself, it may not be worth the 500 bills to take.

That's all for today kids, sorry I haven't been on here much, just go out there and get after it!

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