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Old 08-06-2014, 09:33 PM   #1
Andrew Kenis
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 15
Default Video Feedback on a Power Day

About 3 weeks from the end of 9 week cycle. Pretty beat up from 85% work last week, so this Power day was welcome. Will hit 90% of my goal tomorrow. Took some video for feedback/coaching. Any input appreciated!

Greg: I'm the barefoot warm-up guy from the Charleston cert. A couple of weeks after that, I tested after my first 9 week cycle of a modified Takano Class 2 program, using goal weights for program loading. My previous PR's were (sorry...lbs) 132.5 and 162.5 for snatch and C+J respectively. Goal for that program was 145 and 180. I consider it very successful, as I tested at 155 snatch and 190 C+J.

My 2nd iteration of this program is based on new goals of 165/205. So my training weights are a bit higher with respect to my actual PR, but quite a bit more than they were in the previous cycle. Hard to believe that my routine 80% is equal to my PR at the start of the first cycle!

As a Catalyst Certified coach myself, I'd critique myself as follows: Positions look pretty good. Good bar path and control (keeping it close). OK speed in the pulls, but slow in the transition to the 3rd pull under (am I over pulling, or do I need to decrease the effort in the 2nd pull to force a more aggressive 3rd pull? or is the weight just too low)? At times I see myself actually getting airborne 2-3 inches. Need to be quicker and more aggressive bringing the elbows around the bar to rack it in the cleans. And a more forceful lockout in the jerks. These were power variants, but sometimes they look like they might pass as muscle versions. I'd like to get DOWN quicker and FURTHER in all three lifts.

So... I'm just a "beginner" per the standard of the body weight snatch. I've bulked up a bit since beginning this cycle, but hope to be trimmed back to 94 Kilo (206 lbs) soon. So at 48 years old, I hope to add about 40 more pounds to that snatch and become an "intermediate" by the time I reach 50 years. Possible?

Thanks again...

Last edited by Andrew Kenis; 08-06-2014 at 09:38 PM. Reason: video link
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #2
Daniel Villarreal
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 38


It’s sort of difficult to tell from the video (it always is, but this one is tiny!), but it seems to me you’re initiating the second pull too early. Your explosive pull starts almost immediately from above the knees i.e. the first pull doesn’t follow through towards your hips prior to commencing the explosive pull closer to the hips. I can’t tell from the clip, but that may leave you with an incomplete extension as well. Also, there seems to be a decided jump. I was just discussing this in another thread and can’t quite seem to find the right words for it, but you seem to physically move upwards, as in a jump. It doesn’t seem to be a case of lifting your feet to move in under the bar (or to catch the bar, if you will), but a case of you moving physically upwards with the bar. I wouldn’t worry about the altitude of the feet per se, it’s perfectly ok to pick them up in the effort of making good speed under the bar and widening the stance for the squat portion – whether you physically pick them up or not, that’s personal preference, really. What I would worry about is that after you lose contact with the ground, your torso seems to go on upwards a good few inches. This effectively means that you’re jumping, not just picking your feet up, and will not only make you slow under the bar, but probably will also work against the upwards momentum you’re trying to create on the bar. It seems more pronounced in the snatch, as in the c+j you seem to move backwards rather than upwards, but I think it’s still there.

All I can think of suggesting is snatch balances for the pulling under the bar, while variations of both lifts from the ground and different hangs as well as pulls with both grips could also help. Looking at the pulls on your video, it seems the timing was better there, so I’m not sure how that corresponds to your lifts from the ground instead of a hang. Perhaps the issue related to starting from the hanging position?
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:53 PM   #3
Javier Sanjuan
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Originally from Queens, NY; live in Manhattan, KS (Army Captain)
Posts: 143


My observations:

1. The weight looks light, which I think is causing some of your confusion/observations. In short, I think your goals are very doable with the following taken into consideration.

2. Snatches - it looks like you're floating. You're pushing against the ground, but I think you're actually trying to JUMP with the weight. The second pull doesn't look as explosive as I think you can make it, and you're simply not using any of your upper body to pull yourself under; instead, you're waiting for the weight to float up there. The "jump" cue is very peculiar and should really be used if someone is not understanding the importance of pushing through the ground. You should focus on being aggressive all the way through. Think "fast, faster, fastest" in terms of your pulls and you'll be much more crisp.

3. Cleans - lack of aggression pulling under. Again, you're waiting for the weight to float up to your shoulders instead of pulling yourself down to meet the bar (probably a result of the weight being too light).

4. Jerks - you're definitely shorting your drive up. Finish your leg drive and propel that bar up!

5. The goal is to try to be fully extended overhead (snatch or jerk) or racked (clean) by the time your feet reconnect. If you focus on that, you'll begin to move faster.

6. I recommend the following:

a. Tall, dip (from the "power" position), or very high hang lifts. This either lessens the power you generate from your legs or negates them completely (should you do tall versions), which will then force you to pull under. Since you went to the seminar, remember your snatch and clean progressions.

b. Push Presses. This will help you continue to improve your dip and drive that will translate for the jerk.

c. Work on your positions. Segment pulls may help you. At times, you're a bit off. E.g., in one clean, you actually started to pull with your shoulders behind the bar, just to name one. This will also help strengthen your back and legs.

Finally, understand that the program is designed as a guide. In the end, you have to do what's best for you, so if you make an assessment that you need to substitute one exercise for another in order to better suit your needs, then go for it. If you post some videos of you with heavier weights, we may be able to identify issues a little better.

Hope this helps,
Javier A. Sanjuan
Olympus Barbell Club

Dear God, please help me lift heavy and be awesome. Thanks. Amen.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
Andrew Kenis
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 15


I think we're all in agreement on a few things: weight is light, I'm over pulling, and 3rd pull is very weak.

The other problem I have with power variants is that the mindset carries forward some. My last session was full lifts at 90%. At heavier weights, I definitely don't "fly" as much, but there is a reluctance to get under. My receipt is usually very high, and after a brief pause, I finally ride it down. My goals now are to really focus on starting third pull earlier, and being more aggressive with it and, eliminating that pause.

Have been doing some research and found this:

Quite a different foot transition drill than what I'm used to. But something clicked here with Sean's presentation. Foot transition and hip retraction work together. The hip retraction is explosive!

I've also re-read Gregg on the third pull, and he always emphasizes a combination of "hip retraction" with the aggressive pull of the arms. I seem to have glanced over that or forgotten, and have focused on just the arms. I've been to preoccupied with a complete 2nd pull, and neglected the timing and explosiveness of the 3rd. Will try to get things moving down when the bar reaches "abdomen" as Gregg says.


-Will also work on slowing down first pull and delaying 2nd until a bit higher.
-Yes.. I'm definitely getting airborne!
-Jump backwards: trying to fix a BAD jump forward sometimes. Good catch.
-Maybe the hang position does complicate things for me. I don't do it much. But I do practice Tall Snatches in my warmups usually.


-Yes... floating. Definitely need to start 3rd pull earlier.
-Jumping.... yes. I'm not trying to, but I think it's a consequence of focusing on 2nd pull, and bad timing with starting third pull. And that hip retraction! And light weight.
-Power Clean. Agreed. It's light and flying up there. Subconsciously, I must be thinking, "why should I pull down?"
-Jerks. Good catch on the incomplete leg drive. BUT, I did a frame by frame and noticed that my leg drive/extension ends at PRECISELY the moment the bar separates from my shoulders! So, contrary to my over pulling the snatch, here my timing seems better and I'm initiating the analogous third pull and driving down under the bar. Maybe I should drive LESS to enforce a more complete leg extension?
-Yes, I like tall snatches and practice. But for some reason it's not carrying over to my lifts when I'm focused on the 2nd pull. Need to work on timing.
-Will work on some things and try to get some better video at my 90%-95% next week.

Thanks again guys!
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:15 PM   #5
Javier Sanjuan
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Originally from Queens, NY; live in Manhattan, KS (Army Captain)
Posts: 143


In regards to the jerk drive, I would not recommend lessening your effort to drive the bar up. That could end up worse. Continue to drive as hard as you possibly can through the floor in an effort to generate the most power possible. The weight on the bar will dictate how deep your split will be and how high the bar will travel. Your effort is to get it as high as you possibly can.

As for the tall snatches, you can also do dip or very high hang snatches. This works on the explosiveness of the second pull without the accumulated power produced while pulling off the floor to drive the bar up (so the bar won't travel as high), and you'll be forced to pull yourself faster under the bar to succeed in the lift. Or, you can work off very tall blocks.

Looking forward to the videos.

Javier A. Sanjuan
Olympus Barbell Club

Dear God, please help me lift heavy and be awesome. Thanks. Amen.
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