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Old 10-15-2009, 08:48 AM   #14
Michael McKenna
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Central, PA
Posts: 100

Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
I'm trying to keep some pulls in my plan as I was hoping the extra pulling from the floor would indirectly help my deadlift improve without training it (see Matt Foreman's article in the PMenu on this).

I train several different approaches at once (mixing PL, OL, gymnastics, and I'm even doing a Highland Games in 3 weeks for fun), so I need the most bang for my buck. After my meet this weekend, the PL is falling by the wayside for a long time so that I can emphasize OL more for a good 6-8 months.
I've read Matt's article, and it's good stuff. I think the best thing for throwing, though, is heavy cleans and good mornings. Steve Pulcinella does a nice job with a specialized "Highland Games" explosive good morning. The video is out there somwhere, I think on youtube. Steve can be reached at

Deadlifts will improve with heavy pulls, but always make sure the pulls are fast, fast, fast. Always speeding up and accelerating throughout the movement, not a "deadlift with a shrug". I actually think that snatch pulls from the ground are good as they're lighter, and clean pulls from blocks are better. Your lower back, especially if you're training for PL or OLY Lifting, will get tons of work. Protect it.

I don't consider pulls technical, although they can be used to improve positions and for a beginner to learn the pattern of movement. if you've been training for a long time, and you need the pull for technical support, then skip the pull entirely and add more power snatches to yoru workout. You'll become much better technically. Rememebr, the only difference between a power snatch and squat snatch is where you catch the weight. even with lighter pulls, the technical difference between a pull and a snatch, especially, is vast.

Don't use pulls to get better at the lifts, use pulls to get stronger/ faster/ more explosive; those thigns will carryover to the lifts, thereby making you better. Anything else is a waste of time, in my opinion. But for throwers, I use pulls more often than for a straight up lifter.

I see pulls for strength and more "explosion", training with a weight that's heavier than your best snatch or clean. What should that weight be? Well, it depends on the pull. I like the 10% adage, but remember, it's not 10% of weight, it's 10% of technique and performance. I'd do clean pulls from high blocks up to 270 kg when I was cleaning 175-180, and the speed was close, within that 10%. But doing 270 from the ground was slow. Also, the extra low back fatigue hurt my cleans. So my pulls fall into this pattern:

One style of pulls from the floor, one from another position. Three to four weeks with each pulling style.

For example: Snatch pulls from the floor, 1x5 w/ 70%, 1x3 w 80%, 2x2 w 90%, 3x1 w 100%011% of my snatch. Sometimes the movement from the floor will have me pause below the knee, then at the knee, then above the knee, then finish.

That same cycle my clean pulls would be from the high blocks, usually then MUCH heavier than my clean (150% or so top end). Your second pull can never be too powerful.

I do more rdls and good mornings, too, this split.

Another split I use is Snatch grip deads, or snatch starts to the knee. These go up heavy- SN GR DL go to 160-180 kg when I sn 130+; these days usually 140-160 as I'm snatching around 120. I'll pair these with lighter clean pulls through the full range of motion with a pronounced POP at the end. I'll do more good mornings or heavier RDLs this cycle.

Sometimes, I do higher rep snatch starts- 2 sets of 8 or 10 with 100% or so of my snatch. But remember, I'm a super (105+), and I'm used to high volume routines and I can afford muscle mass gains.

I also like muscle snatches in place of snatch pulls sometimes.

This is all for lifting training.
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