Some Jerk Talking: Dave Spitz Breaks Down The Jerk

Some Jerk Talking: Dave Spitz Breaks Down The Jerk

Everyone can Snatch, everyone can Clean but only champions can Jerk. - Ivan Abadjiev

Looking for a sure fire way to determine which Jerk variation is right for you? In this week's Technique Talk, we break down the similarities and differences between the Split, Power and Squat Jerk variations in an all out assault on demystifying one of the most technical movements in Olympic weightlifting.

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Donovan Ford Shines At The American Open Series in Miami

Donovan Ford Shines At The American Open Series in Miami

Taking a look back at the American Open Series and Pan American Championships last month in Miami, Florida there were a number of notable performances across the board. One thing is ABUNDANTLY clear, weightlifting in the United States continues to improve across every weight class and gender.

American Donovan Ford, a veteran in the sport, put together a dominating performance winning the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and Total on his way to gold in the 105kg weight class.

We had a chance to catch up with Donovan to discuss his American Open performance and his training that led up to the meet.

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Hand Care 101

Hand Care 101

We’ve all been there. Some days our hands are just raw from training. After training 4 to 6 days a week for 5 years on top of a full time job where I’m constantly washing my hands, I’ve managed to take pretty good care of my hands so that I have minimal tears or discomfort when I’m lifting. Here are a couple tips that have helped me along the way.

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Controlling A Raging Fire: A Coaches Journey To The Pan American Championships

Controlling A Raging Fire: A Coaches Journey To The Pan American Championships

Every so often in a coaches life an athlete comes along that changes you.  That athlete is transformative in the sense that they make you a better.  They challenge you to become something more, not through explicit demands but through sheer appreciation for their raging fire to master their athletic discipline.  Wes Kitts is one of those athletes...

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Are You Taking Enough Mental Reps?

Are You Taking Enough Mental Reps?

Think your weightlifting program is perfect? You've accounted for volume, intensity, exercise selection and have lined up your periodization to peak at the perfect time; but wait.  Have you added mental reps into the equation? All your blood, sweat and tears could easily be for not if the mental side of training is forgotten. Don't worry, we have you covered!

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A Super Food Shake to Decrease Inflammation, Boost Immunity and Aid Digestion

A Super Food Shake to Decrease Inflammation, Boost Immunity and Aid Digestion

Sometimes, you just need to feel healthy and drink something green. I started this healthy shake to help me feel more energized and hydrated throughout the day with hopes of consuming a few more nutrients and vitamins as well. After doing more research, I’ve found that the ingredients can help combat inflammation, boost my immune system, and help with digestion!

Full Recipe Included

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Mobility For Athletes: The Benefits of a Spinal Twist

Mobility For Athletes: The Benefits of a Spinal Twist

A strong and healthy spine is paramount to a healthy body and for a Olympic weightlifter, it's critical for stronger and more stable lifts. A number of nagging complaints can hinder performance including; lower back pain, instability, fatigue, and general stiffness. Any of these can lesson an athlete’s ability to stay braced when squatting, catching a Snatch, Clean, or while dipping and catching in a Jerk. Spinal health is to say the least, IMPORTANT. This week we shift our focus to twisting the spine using the Marichi’s Pose.

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Post Surgery Protocol: What Your Doctor Won't Tell You

Post Surgery Protocol: What Your Doctor Won't Tell You

One of the more common problems that I have come across over the past eight years of developing athletes has been the management and execution of making a full, functional recovery from knee surgery. Thanks to trial and error, I have found a reliable solution using a combination of...

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Mobility For Athletes: Low Lunge With Shoulder Opener

Mobility For Athletes: Low Lunge With Shoulder Opener

Are you the type who prefers to stretch more than one area at once, getting more bang for your buck, while working your mobility? Or are you limited for time, so working multiple areas at once is a plus? OR, are you traveling through Costa Rica like I am this week and want to mobilize but don’t want to take away time from your vacation?

Today’s stretch, a Low Lunge with Shoulder Opener is a good example of how you can perform one stretching movement while gaining many benefits at the same time. This particular variation of the Low Lunge works the quads and hamstrings but you can also get a psoas stretch and finally an added shoulder opener when done correctly.

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American Open Series I - Reno, NV

American Open Series I - Reno, NV

The first meet in the American Open Series (Reno, NV) was a great competition for our team! What I liked most about this competition was that there was National level competition but that lifters of all experience levels were participating and were able to get a feel for what it’s like to compete on the big stage.

Read through and see how the California Strength team performed!

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Mobility For Athletes: Runners Lunge

Mobility For Athletes: Runners Lunge

Tight hamstrings are an area of concern with most athletes and can become problematic if they aren't addressed on a regular basis. The hamstrings are a catch 22, the harder you work in the weight room the tighter they become. As a result, tight hamstrings can lead to a limited range of pelvic motion adding additional stress on your lumbar spine which ultimately results in lower back pain. Alright, that sounds bleak I know but there is a stretching solution that should be implemented daily to maintain mobility in your lower body and increase your hamstring flexibility.

DEMO VIDEO INCLUDED

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Lessons From Abadijiev: How The Bulgarian System Influenced California Strength

Lessons From Abadijiev: How The Bulgarian System Influenced California Strength

I first met Abadjiev 12 years ago when I traveled to Bulgaria. I appreciated the legacy that was Bulgarian weightlifting and the fact that Abajiev was chiefly responsible for its success, but I no idea who this man was or how impactful he would later become on my life...

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Mobility For Athletes: Intense Shoulder Stretch

Mobility For Athletes: Intense Shoulder Stretch

This intense shoulder stretch is a great warm up to open the front of your shoulder, from your Deltoid down through your Subscapularis (see image below). Lengthening of the muscles in the shoulder area will help reduce the possibility of overuse injuries that are common in sports like Olympic weightlifting and football. Perform this stretch daily to maintain a healthy, stable and pain free shoulder!

Video Included

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All About The Protein Gainz (Macros Included)

All About The Protein Gainz (Macros Included)

California Strength Soldiers Wes Kitts and Jordan Weichers know the importance of proper recovery between training sessions and the impact that it has when they step out on the competition platform. Training five to nine sessions a week, they know that while Protein is a critical macronutrient, the meal prepped chicken and broccoli routine can get old fast. Well, you asked and they delivered, here are some of their favorite Protein based shakes and desserts to break up your meal prep monotony!

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Mobility For Athletes: A Twist For The American Open

Mobility For Athletes: A Twist For The American Open

If you're attending the first meet in the American Open Series this weekend, this stretch will open both your hips and your spine having you ready to take the platform. The following stretch can be done easily without any props, perfect for the hotel room or training hall.

Demonstration Video and Cues Inside!

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Mobility For Athletes: Hip Opening Adductor Stretch

Mobility For Athletes: Hip Opening Adductor Stretch

Pain in the groin area is not uncommon for Olympic weightlifters and athletes across varying disciplines and is often the result of tightness in your adductors. The heavy weight room training combined with quick lateral and linear movements found in sport, the adductors can easily become overused and result in your hips compressing causing additional tightness. Sounds painful but how does this impact your training?

Click through to learn why adductor tightness happens and how to fix it!

Video Included

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Setting Goals For Your Next Weightlifting Competition

Setting Goals For Your Next Weightlifting Competition

I had recently spoke with a couple of new Olympic weightlifters and I had come to realize that after competing in one or two meets, they had no idea what their goals should have been prior to going into the competition! Goal setting is a critical part of competing and should never ever be overlooked.

Here are 5 examples of important milestone 'goals' to help you in setting goals before your next weightlifting competition.

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Three Stretches Every Weightlifter Should Know

Three Stretches Every Weightlifter Should Know

We can all agree that routine stretching of the muscles is important to the overall health of any athlete. With the constant grind of heavy weights, Olympic lifting takes a serious toll of your body and as a result it's important to keep your joints mobile and muscles flexible. Through the California Strength Blog, we have built a library of stretches to help with and maintain the overall health of our Olympic weightlifting athletes and have put together the TOP THREE stretches that every weightlifter should implement on a daily basis.

Videos Included!

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Jacked & Tan Cycle Breakdown With Wes Kitts

Jacked & Tan Cycle Breakdown With Wes Kitts

Wes Kitts and the California Strength team embarked on the world renowned Jacked & Tan mesocycle as the first training cycle back from competing at the American Open. Known for it's hypertrophy and strength building qualities, Jacked & Tan has been a staple of the California Strength annual plan. American Record holder Wes Kitts breaks down the Jacked & Tan cycle, from his perspective and details the ups and downs that culminated with a 260kg Pause Back Squat, a 240kg Front Squat and a 215kg Clean & Jerk in the final weeks of training.

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