View Full Version : Inefficient Weightlifter

Gary Gibson
10-22-2010, 11:18 AM
I got (back) into weightlifting a month ago. Have trained under a couple of coaches. Everyone says the same thing: technique pretty good, but I need to get faster.

Right now my efficiency is so horribly low that I'm embarrassed to post exact numbers. At ~180 lbs, my best front squat is ~270 lbs, but I can't consistently clean over 180. 190 was a recent best. Best snatch is a little under 150. My best conventional dealift with a belt was 490 and my best meet deadlift with a belt was 500+ sumo.

I'm willing to travel and stay for a few weeks somewhere where I could get expert Oly coaching. How long shoud I give it before I take this option?

Considerations: mid-30's, began powerlifting two years ago. Lifelong skinny guy who had to gain 50 lbs as an adult to get to 180 lbs at 5'10" (Some of you here already know this).

Yuen Sohn
10-22-2010, 12:38 PM
Well, I can relate to what you're feeling, since it often feels like I'm part man/part sloth.

Really, if you've only gotten back in a month ago, that's really not a lot of time so don't despair.

Can you post some videos of your cj and sn?

Just some initial thoughts:
-Are you comfortable in bottom position of OHS and Front Squat? Just asking based on the ratio of FS/Clean
-Are you incorporating any accessory lifts, such as drop snatches and tall snatches?

Rick Deckart
10-22-2010, 03:53 PM
for the clean and jerk the old heuristic says:

triple front squat - you should be able to clean & jerk it

i doubt that you are as inefficient as I was, 130 kg relatively easy @ 83 kg and only 105 kg...

what's you're ratio??!

Gary Gibson
10-22-2010, 08:39 PM
Double Post

Gary Gibson
10-22-2010, 08:43 PM
One coach recently had me do a whole lot of overhead squats to get more comfortable in the bottom of the snatch. I'd say it worked. The deep front squat position is no problem. In fact I really, really suck at the power clean and the full squat version feels much better.

I need to get a new camera to get my vids on the internet.

My best front squat is about 120 kg and my best clean is 87 kg right now. (But as I report below, my back squat is down to 130 kg from 160 kg due to fatigue.) My clean ought to be at least 100. At least.

In any case, I just got a 4-kilo personal best in the snatch tonight. So I'm up a total of 16 kilos from where I started in late September!

Also, I tried a max back squat tonight (I've been back squatting for a bit of volume after snatches because I'm still trying to put on weight and front squatting heavy after cleans) and discovered that my CURRENT back squat strength is about 20% off my best. So my current numbers on the classic lifts aren't nearly as out of whack with my squat strength as I'd feared.

I have a back off week coming up and then I have to practice low bar squats and sumo deadlifts for a PL meet for a few weeks. I'll keep practicing the classic lifts, just not as often, and maybe I'll get some improvement after my legs have had a chance to rest.

Emily Mattes
10-22-2010, 09:51 PM
You started a month ago? Had you ever done the Oly lifts before that? How long have you been off weightlifting?

If you've never done the Oly lifts and/or have taken some time off of lifting, you're still a baby. Put in some more time and focus on maintaining good, consistent technique.

Rick Deckart
10-22-2010, 11:16 PM
if you want combine the slow lifts with the oly lifts you can follow an oly-lifts template like described in the following link


i did steal that template from Mike Burgener and it works very well... :)

Pete Gordon
10-24-2010, 01:34 AM
How long have you been doing weightlifting for, all up? I know you're in your 30's now, when did you start?

In terms of getting under the bar, may i suggest you work with simple lifts such as snatch / clean balances, the power lifts (sn, cln, jerk), working with lighter weight,

A big thing at my club is that it takes around 10,000 reps to become somewhat of a decent weightlifter, among other things. Getting those 10,000 reps in is an arbitrage number...whats the best way to fit all those lifts in? With lighter work, with shorter rest periods. Lets face it, you'll be able to do a whole stack more snatch balances with a lighter load (around 70% of yr snatch) than with 100-105%, with a longer rest period.

Don't forget your fighting against mean mr gravity. To beat him, you need to work hard like a junk yard dog to get under the bar quick!

Good luck.

Michael McKenna
10-25-2010, 07:50 PM
Are you the Gary Gibson from Baltimore? If so, send me an email at totalselfperformance@comcast.net.

Gary Gibson
10-26-2010, 07:42 AM
Are you the Gary Gibson from Baltimore? If so, send me an email at totalselfperformance@comcast.net.

Hi Mike,

My employer is based in Baltimore, but I try to spend most of my time as far away from that awful city as possible! But I do return frequently. Just sent you an email.