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Old 08-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
Elliot Jasiulek
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Default Planning on joining Catalyst Athletics...

During my Marine Corps career, I've experienced just about every form of physical fitness: marathon running, swimming, iron man, boxing, MMA, Crossfit, gymnastics, and dabbled in Olympic lifting...and loved it. I'm due out of the Corps at the end of the month and will be heading back to school in the SF Bay Area, with intent to xfer to UC Berkeley. For the past few years, I was focusing on bodybuilding, but no longer wish to pursue competitive bodybuilding.

I've always wanted to learn and compete in Olympic lifting, but have never been coached. I will be contacting Catalyst towards the end of the month to get set up.

Right now, the gym on base does have a lot of bumper plates and olympic platforms, and I have been practicing the lifts, but I feel I should stop practicing the Clean and Jerk and Snatch until I have been coached, as I dont want to develop bad habits. In the meantime, what do you guys suggest I do with my gym time?

I do some form of cardio in the morning, and lift in the evenings. I was thinking about focusing on hook grip deadlifts, jerks, front squats, back squats, OH squats, and wait til im at Catalyst before I start working on the lifts. I do feel I have adequate form, but it is nowhere near perfect.

Thank you for your time ladies and gents!
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
Javier Sanjuan
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 182

This may be a litte generic (and it might be something you already know), but focus on your flexbility. Sometimes, with bodybuilding, you become very tight and don't have great range of motion, such as in your hips, length of hamstrings, ankles, wrists, lats, triceps, thoracic spine, and shoulder girdle (many of the body parts that are going to help you get into better positions). You probably have a lot of raw strength, but, like you acknowledge, weightlifting is a technicaly-driven sport powered by strength. Without one or the other, you're not going to realize your potential.

I think the things you list are great to maintain or keep gaining strength on in order to better prepare you. You can also do snatch/clean pulls that will help you beat patterns into muscle memory (if you feel your form is good enough to do those). I would also try to throw in some GMs and RDLs for good measure.

I'm really excited that you're going to get to work at CA with all those guys. I wish I had the opportunity to as well! Best of luck to you.

- Javi
Javier A. Sanjuan
Olympus Barbell Club

Dear God, please help me lift heavy and be awesome. Thanks. Amen.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
Chad Lammert
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Glendale, WI
Posts: 65

I completely agree with Javier. If you start working your flexibility, your learning curve for these lifts will be dramatically shortened. The other thing I would push for would be power transfer exercises that will get you used to explosive movements. Here's a list of things I would start dabbling and familiarizing myself with:
  • Push presses and snatch grip push presses
  • snatch balances and heaving snatch balances
  • low rep box jumps
These movements all have great power transfer motions and particular to the snatch balance movements, you'll be getting a lot of flexibility work at the same time. I have also experienced an improvement working on pause squats from the front and high bar back positions. These squats really strengthen your bottom position in each of these movements and will test your flexibility/strength at the same time. I think you'll see some tremendous benefits yourself by regularly practicing these.

In my opinion, I think you should try some power snatches and cleans from the hang position and ride them down into the squat. Use low weight and maybe 3-5 reps. Just start working on that power transfer and catch. Be aware of what yo are doing and I think it will help shorten that learning curve again (plus what better way to start getting flexible for these movements).

Good luck,

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Old 08-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
Blair Lowe
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 607

Muscle Cleans and Snatches with bar only. From the hang on hip.

Working on 2nd pull. From stand, to hip dip and knee and back. Focus on keeping the bar close and staying on heels.

Snatch and Clean DL to knee in hook?

3rd pull stuff like Drop Snatch balances and the like. Same for jerk. Push Presses and Push Jerks.

Split Jerk footwork with bar/pvc overhead. Push presses in split (there is a good video of Donny Shankle doing this on Cal Strength's webpage or Glenn Pendlay's youtube).
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