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Old 07-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #11
Greg Everett
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Chris L -

I don't doubt it has helped you - it often does help people... Initially. It will simplify the first pull, which can translate into quick progress for a while. But invariably what happens is that athletes reach the point at which the weights they're handling exceed what can be managed with that type of start/1st pull positioning and they suddenly plateau.

So by all means, do what works for you. Just keep in mind when you reach that point, you may have to relearn the start and first pull.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:58 PM   #12
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Not trying to be argumentative, but I don't understand. Can you explain why it's ultimately necessary to start with the bar where you suggest?
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:27 PM   #13
Chris Salvato
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Originally Posted by Jacob Rowell View Post
Greg,

I'm a little curious now - why the different starting positions for the DL and clean?

I take it that with the bar closer to the toes and arms vertical, you'd wind up with a slightly more erect torso/lower hips going into the 2nd pull than if you were to start with a Rippetoe style DL. Does this just make for a better position going into the 2nd pull, or am I missing something entirely?
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Jacob -

That's exactly it - more upright torso. This is important for a few reasons, including that it will allow a better acceleration in the 2nd, and that it will reduce the work for the lower back, which is the most easily fatigued part in the chain; less fatigue in the 1st means better maintenance of extension during the second, which means better power transfer to the bar. You also get better balance on the foot, etc. That's the short version.

These posts explain why - it makes sense.

If the bar is over the toes you can bring your torso more upright to clear the knees without extending the knee as much. More upright torso (more hip extension) is optimal for the second pull on the fast lifts.

From what I understand, it lets you extend your joints from a more favorable, slightly more flexed position, since the knee will remain slightly more flexed and the torso will be vertical.

I mean, i certainly could be wrong (in which case I am hoping to be corrected), but thats my interpretation of the approach and technique.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:57 PM   #14
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Sure, the torso begins and ends vertical, but you're "over the bar" before and at the 2nd pull.

Why not start "over the bar" and pull from there, which is what happens when you start with the bar over the mid-foot.

Also, Rip argues that it doesn't make sense to attempt to do anything with an inefficient bar path, in this case the sweeping in of the bar making an S shape. Is that just a part of the game, or do we want to see that and why?
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:28 PM   #15
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Chris -

Rip claims that all lifters reach the scap spine over bar position eventually, so why not start there, because it's more efficient - he wants a straight bar path for that same idea of efficiency.

The problem is that it's simply not true that the bar always ends up in this position. Go watch some video (of weightlifters, not crossfitters or other athletes) and you'll see very clearly and very quickly that this is simply not the case.

Also, "efficiency" is a concept that requires a lot of qualification. You can't consider the body and bar as this whole unit and just plug in 2 numbers to calculate. You have to consider the relative contributions of various muscles, the effectiveness of certain body positions, etc. It's not that simple of a movement.

The body is not a forklift - just because a straight bar path is "efficient", doesn't mean it's a good idea. There's a lot more to a snatch or clean than the efficiency of the bar path. Have you considered the requirements of body position to achieve a vertical bar path? It doesn't work. Besides, the "S" pull doesn't actually look that much like an S - it's damn close to vertical when done correctly, with the slight horizontal movement that's quite simply necessary to perform lifts with the weights at elite levels.

And remember, when you say over the bar - even with this more upright start, you'll be over the bar initially - the arms being vertical will place the shoulders slightly ahead of the bar. It's an issue of degree - it's not like we're behind the bar.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:05 PM   #16
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Thanks for the input, man!

I'd only heard Rip's side to bar positioning off of the floor.

I guess I'll have to get some footage of me lifting, and ask you to take a look sometime. It's just that the midfoot feels so comfortable to pull from...
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