View Full Version : Crashing Bar

Brian DeGennaro
11-17-2008, 05:15 AM
So during my first weightlifting meet (totaled 192kg [81/111]) I was being told that the bar is crashing down on me while I lift; the final weights should've been my openers I've heard. Watching video from the lifts I was dropping under the weights and in a full squat almost before the barbell started to descend.

How can I teach myself to meet the bar better?

Susie Rosenberg
11-17-2008, 06:06 AM
Brian, I dunno 'bout any of that stuff, but it was great to meet you and congratulations on doing so well in your first meet. I think you did awesome..:)


Arden Cogar Jr.
11-17-2008, 06:49 AM
Sounds to me, like you could benefit from doing some tall movements. I'll defer to others, but I think you need to start with the bar and learn to catch the bar smoothly from the tall position. There's some great instructional videos in the Resources page here.

Personally, I'm doing a ton of tall and hang movements for a different reason - I have an aversion to getting under the bar. For an intirely different reason, i think these movments would be beneficial to you in learning to not "undershoot" the bar when you're going into the third pull.

I would do them as part of your warm ups for your main movements. No need to go overboard. But you will need to teach yourself to be smooth on that third pull. Meet the bar. Don't let it topple on you.

Be patient. It will come in time.

All the best,

Patrick Donnelly
11-17-2008, 07:08 AM
Do you have the videos from the meet? It would be helpful (and cool in general) to see them.

Brian DeGennaro
11-17-2008, 07:41 AM
Yeah, I just uploaded 2 vids of my 2nd snatch and 3rd clean and jerk. 116kg s the heaviest weight I've handled by the way (6kg+).

Thankyou, Susie. It was great to meet you! Hopefully I can qualify for Jr. Nationals soon.

Snatch 77kg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1IeCUBB64k)
Clean and Jerk 116kg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gam3xmZ5-Y)

Greg Everett
11-17-2008, 09:59 AM
Snatch looked good. Clean definitely a problem.

Pretty common problem with cleans, particularly at your stage when you're clearly able to pull a lot more than you're cleaning (in other words, it's easy to over pull). Arden's suggestion of doing tall cleans is a good one. Also, try doing a set with a fairly light weight in which you do maybe 3 reps and receive each one at a different level. In other words, on the first rep, power clean it high; next, power clean it low (on both PCs, ride it down into a squat after receiving it); next, try to receive it right around parallel. This should help you get a better sense of where you and the bar are relative to each other - the key is that you have to receive the bar wherever it is - if you pull it high, you better be up there to get it.

Garrett Smith
11-17-2008, 10:53 AM
Nice job, Brian!

You definitely had a lot more weight in you for the snatch, that looked easy.

What did you weigh in at?

EDIT: I was also told that my openers were way too light. Heck, I started with 60kg, ended with 77kg, my coach told me my last lift was my best & strongest.

I missed my C&J 116 too...

Brian DeGennaro
11-17-2008, 10:57 AM
Weighed in at 74.6, including my sweatpants.

Greg, would you recommend doing that type of clean from the floor only or should I mix it up with hang and blocks?

Greg Everett
11-17-2008, 11:22 AM
Brian -

You can mix it up, but I'd stick mainly with the floor since that's really what you need to learn. You can get more gas on the bar pulling from the floor, which means you have more potential crashing problems, so that seems like the best thing to work on.

Brian DeGennaro
11-19-2008, 09:47 AM
Here is a video of more lifts and from different angles:


Greg Everett
11-19-2008, 10:01 AM
You're definitely swinging the shit out of the bar on your snatches - relax your arms and get those elbows bending out and up when you pull under - you won't be able to do that as the weight gets heavier.

11-20-2008, 05:50 AM

I think Greg is giving you some great advice. One thing that works for my lifters is to just concentrate on the words "jump and stomp" or "shrug and stomp", or jump and catch" or "shrug and catch" ... different cue words work with different lifters. What this means is to execute the second pull, and immedietly thereafter execute the landing of the feet and the rotation of the elbows. I believe that more often than not, a crashing bar indicates too long a "transition time" between the execution of the second pull and the catch.. either because the lifter continues to pull on the bar for too long, or because the lifter sort of "hangs there" in the air for a split second after pulling, and before executing the catch.


sarena kopciel
11-20-2008, 06:12 AM
Did you happen to see goheavy this morning with your youtube footage??

Brian DeGennaro
12-08-2008, 09:04 AM
Oh my God this is frustrating. I just can't stop the bar from crashing down on me. To a point I think it would help me if I went under the bar slower.


Arden Cogar Jr.
12-08-2008, 11:15 AM
Oh my God this is frustrating. I just can't stop the bar from crashing down on me. To a point I think it would help me if I went under the bar slower.


On that one, it looked to me like you jumped forwards You have tons of strength, so that's not the issue.

I think you would benefit from backing off and working the bejesus out of tall movements - or at least doing them as part of your warm ups to program your body to get under the bar.

I've had the same problem as you and I've gotten better doing the fully extended versions (fully shrugged and up on the toes) with the bar and 40 kilos. Then when I go up to 50 kilos with my next warm up move, I start flat footed and unshurgged. I do that at again with 60 kilos. After that, with 70, 80, 90, etc. I do ever descending hang cleans (ie., with 70, it might be from mid thigh, 80 be from above the knee, 90 from below the knee). Until I'm pulling from the floor once I get over 100.

Looking at this last video, people's comments, and early videos, I think your issue, as you have rightfully identified is "meeting the bar" with proper timing. I think the silly stuff I'm doing above might help you engraining the "meeting the bar" with at least some better timing.

Good luck. don't know if any of this helps?

All the best,

Greg Everett
12-08-2008, 11:19 AM
Hard to see in that video, but a couple things - first, that clean pulled you forward so you were already set up for a miss like that no matter how well you racked it. Pause the video right as the bar reaches your knees and look at your position - too forward.

I think what's happening is that you're opening up your grip a little to soon, and that's allowing your body to separate from the bar. You can see that you pull it right in close along your chest, but as your elbows begin swing around, your hands open up and all of a sudden this space develops between the bar and your shoulders.

Also, I think your rack position just isn't solid enough - a good rack will withstand a bit of crashing like that - but the moment that bar isn't delivered perfectly, your hands pop out. That suggests that even with the bar settled on your shoulders, that position is just waiting to explode. More front squats, and a lot of emphasis on driving the elbows up - make sure you're not pushing up with the hands.

Brian DeGennaro
12-08-2008, 12:49 PM
Thanks, Arden. I have been neglecting tall movements in my warmups. I gotta actually write that in the notebook to actually start doing them.

That's the funny thing, Greg, re: FS. I can (and have) do triples with 120 with my elbows completely up the entire time and with a solid grip on the bar. So I should try to maintain my grip on the bar at all times? And should my start be more upright if I'm that way over the bar?

Also, would it make it easier for you to evaluate it if I gave you the raw video?

Greg Everett
12-08-2008, 02:35 PM
No, don't grip the bar all the way through to the rack position - just longer than you are now. Although, you can try gripping it the entire time temporarily to see if that changes anything - might be a quick way to see if that is in fact the problem.

Your start is fine - but you need to be moving the hips and knees backward slightly as you pull from the floor rather than straight up - that will get you in the position you're in now but with the weight on your heels.

Quicktime video is the best because I can go frame by frame easily.