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Allan Young
05-06-2013, 04:00 PM
Hi guys, wasn't sure where to put this but would just like to do a quick intro. I am 22 and from Glasgow, Scotland. Have been strength training since I was 18 and done u90kg strongman for a few years. Decided to give weightlifting a try about a year ago as I had access to a coach for the first time. At the start of the year my strength work was going well and as I was coming to the end of that block I managed to get injured back squatting. After a few weeks of recovery I was feeling better and able to front squat with no pain so that's where I found the front squat program.

I ran it leading up to the Scottish Open where I hit a 97/118 in the 85s which was a 5kg PB total, 2kg PR snatch (6kg competition PR) and cleaned a PR 124kg but failed the jerk on a pressout.

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This qualified me for the British u23s which is on the 15th June. I am on week 5 of the two-phase advanced cycle which I am enjoying also.

My technique seems to be improving (still a long way to go) and I think I'm finally adapting to the WL style of training as my front and back squat are coming back to what they were.

Didn't mean to make this too long but I mainly wanted to say thanks for the programs and I am looking forward to running more in the future!

Brian Marshall
05-06-2013, 05:20 PM
Alan,

Your lifts looked solid. Thank you for posting the video. If you don't mind me asking, how much can you front squat? My goal is to C&J 125kilo, and I currently have a PR on the front squat of 135kilo. I also did the "front squat program", and found it very beneficail, to my snatch as well.

Allan Young
05-07-2013, 02:27 AM
Cheers Brian!

My best front squat is 155kg which I hit a few weeks ago, I feel I have the strength for a bit more and hope to hit 160kg this Saturday as a daily max after Snatch and Clean and Jerk (although that will depend on how I feel on Saturday!).

Blake Barnes
05-07-2013, 09:20 AM
Your front squat and C&J number relativity is dependent on your leg strength vs. your technique. If your legs are strong but your not very technically sound then your front squat number is going to be significantly greater than your C&J number.

Bob Takano discusses the back squat and the C&J in this article:

http://breakingmuscle.com/olympic-weightlifting/why-you-need-know-your-squat-clean-and-jerk-ratio

Allan Young
05-08-2013, 04:24 PM
Your front squat and C&J number relativity is dependent on your leg strength vs. your technique. If your legs are strong but your not very technically sound then your front squat number is going to be significantly greater than your C&J number.

Bob Takano discusses the back squat and the C&J in this article:

http://breakingmuscle.com/olympic-weightlifting/why-you-need-know-your-squat-clean-and-jerk-ratio

Interesting article Blake. Its nice not having too much difficulty standing up out of cleans but then it would be much nicer to be able to clean much bigger weights. I guess it will come, as my technique improves :)

PS. If anyone has any advice for any of my lifts then it would be much appreciated. Especially the jerk and continually pressing it out. It's something I'm working on closely at the minute. Some of my most recent YouTube videos might give a clearer idea of how my lifting usually is.

Allan Young
05-23-2013, 03:59 PM
I'm on week 7 now of the 2 phase advanced cycle, really enjoying it so far and it will take me up to my next comp nicely.

Here is a video from yesterday (ignore the snakeback deadlifting for the first 20s)

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Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Blake Barnes
05-25-2013, 09:08 PM
On your snatches you're bringing your feet up in the air a lot after the extension. Make sure, immediately after your extension, you're quickly pulling under the bar so it's a quick shift of the feet to the receiving position. However, I don't see you doing this on the cleans. Try some tall snatches and some dip snatches and focus on shortening the transition from 2nd to 3rd pull.

You're extending that back leg on some of your jerks. On that miss, it looks like you over-reached and brought your hips backwards causing you to slightly miss the weight forward. Remember to keep your back knee soft and absorb the weight with your hips straight down.

It's hard to see from this angle but it looks like your knees may be coming in a little bit on the way up when you're squatting. Force those knees out on the way up.

Allan Young
05-26-2013, 02:49 PM
On your snatches you're bringing your feet up in the air a lot after the extension. Make sure, immediately after your extension, you're quickly pulling under the bar so it's a quick shift of the feet to the receiving position. However, I don't see you doing this on the cleans. Try some tall snatches and some dip snatches and focus on shortening the transition from 2nd to 3rd pull.

You're extending that back leg on some of your jerks. On that miss, it looks like you over-reached and brought your hips backwards causing you to slightly miss the weight forward. Remember to keep your back knee soft and absorb the weight with your hips straight down.

It's hard to see from this angle but it looks like your knees may be coming in a little bit on the way up when you're squatting. Force those knees out on the way up.

Thanks for taking the time to have a look Blake. First point is very helpful and I will work on actively pulling under the bar more by doing some of the exercises you suggest.

The back knee thing is something I have been working on recently and is working with lighter weights just now but goes back to straight leg sometimes on the heavy one. Any specific points or just try to build consistency?

The knees thing is a good point but I don't think my knees cave in much as all of my other squat videos are usually from the front and it never seems a problem. Its always a good thing to think about to keep the right muscles working though. Thanks.

Blake Barnes
05-27-2013, 05:03 PM
I understand how the heavier weights can cause you to lock out that back knee. I notice myself wanting to do the same thing. I would suggest doing jerk balances and split push presses behind the neck or in front. Focus on keeping your back knee soft and your torso upright. We do these occasionally to warm up before we jerk.

You can see an example in this video of Jessica doing a combo to warm up:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxn1Z13CpgA

Allan Young
06-19-2013, 02:51 PM
An update: Had my latest meet at the weekend. It didn't go as well as I'de hoped (or quite as well as I'de managed in training) but can't really complain.

1kg competition snatch PB and 1kg total PB.

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Cleans went well but need to sort the jerks!

Blake Barnes
06-19-2013, 04:33 PM
On the snatch, you're hanging in the air too. On the extension, try to stay connected to the platform a little longer. It looks like you pick up your feet too much which is causing a slower transition underneath the bar on the third pull. It looks like you even jump to the side a little bit on the second snatch. The feet shifting is a very slight movement. To help make that transition quicker, try some tall snatches and some dip snatches. Focus on being more aggressive on that third pull and changing directions faster.

On the jerk, you're shortening up the leg drive and trying to split the feet too soon. Keep driving through the floor until you're fully extended before you go to the split. Also, your elbows are a little soft on the (which may be why you're getting red-lighted) and they're forward. It's hard to critique without a side view but it just looks like your shoulders are just tight which could be the cause for both of these issues. Try to do some mobility work for the shoulders daily before your training.

Matt Foreman
07-04-2013, 03:07 PM
Let me throw one thing out there, just so you have two different opinions. Your snatch technique looks pretty good to me. The amount of lift you have with your feet as you're transitioning into the turnover isn't necessarily a problem. A lot of great lifters have the same type of movement. You look like you might be jumping forward a little (not sure, can't really tell from the camera angle). If so, that's something you should try to fix. But getting some separation with your feet, if the rest of your extension is straight and precise, isn't a bad thing. If that's how you personally snatch most effectively, that's how you personally snatch most effectively.

Blake Barnes
07-08-2013, 07:48 AM
As Matt said, there are plenty of great lifters who have to same movement. Although, I think it's important to keep in mind that those great lifters have been in the sport since they were probably about 10 years old and have had the time to master the basic technique then make small changes according to what works best for them.

Considering you're fairly new (within a couple years) to the sport, I would take the extra time in mastering the general technique before you go and start experimenting with it.

If you were on here snatching 165 and clean & jerking 200 while picking up your feet early I would keep my mouth shut. But I think there is room for improvement.

Allan Young
07-09-2013, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the comments guys, just saw them.

With the snatch and the clean I've been recently trying to focus on on jumping my feet out to give me space to drop it and been working on the hip mobility to go along with this.

I think shoulder tightness is the cause atleast to some extent for the soft lockouts like you say Blake. Are there any specific stretches you would recommend? I have Kelly's book and watch along of his videos but I do tend to spend more time on the hips than the shoulders.

Blake Barnes
07-09-2013, 01:52 PM
I would make sure that your pecs are stretched out first of all. I think the most important one that works for me is rolling out the teres major/teres minor/infraspinatus area which is basically the armpit. You might look weird doing it but it works so who cares.

You could also get a tennis ball/lacrosse ball and work on the "trigger points" on the front and back side of the shoulder to help loosen it up.

I'm sure there are tons of other things you could do but those are just a few. Hope it helps.

Justin Nees
07-09-2013, 02:51 PM
Just to add on to what everyone else has said, I've been doing physical therapy over the last year and a half for my shoulders, these are the big things I address:
Foam roll Pecs and Lats
Lacrosse ball roll ant/post shoulder
Sleeper Stretch
Scapular Wall Slides
Child's Pose
Doorway Stretch

I typically do these as a part of my prehab in addition to my warm up because I have so many issues with my shoulders, but you can break it up like this to make minimal adds pre, during and post workout.

Pre
Foam roll and Lax ball roll

During
Scapular Wall Slides - During one particular exercise that gives your shoulders trouble do ten in between each set, achieving around 40 total slides

Post
Sleeper Stretch
Childs Pose
Doorway Stretch
Lax ball roll again

I have a 2 a day rotation with a separate rehab and warm up that I do before my warm up and workout in the afternoon that includes all of that, I'd be glad to share all of that with you if you're interested.