[QUIZ] How To Select Your New Competition Weight Class

[QUIZ] How To Select Your New Competition Weight Class

Last week the International Weightlifting Federation announced the highly anticipated change to the male and female weight classes and for Olympic weightlifters around the world, the decision to go up a weight class or down has been left in question. With the American Open 3 competition fast approaching and expected to have one of the highest participation rates ever, it's time to prepare for your new weight class.

Take the quiz to receive your personalized and detailed Weight Class recommendation from USAW Senior International Coach Dave Spitz!

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How To Fix Your Bar Path In The Snatch

How To Fix Your Bar Path In The Snatch

Why do we miss attempts in the Snatch? When we see more than four (4) degrees of horizontal displacement, that is the distance that the bar travels away from the body, the chances of making a successful attempt drop significantly. Two things are likely to happen, either the bar loops away from the body, causing us to miss the lift behind or the bar doesn’t achieve the height and momentum required to pull ourselves underneath, which in turn causes the bar to fall in front.

Read on to discover four technical adjustments that you can right now that will lead to more successful Snatch attempts!

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The PR Paradigm: What It Means To Trust The Process

The PR Paradigm: What It Means To Trust The Process

While there are no perfect models to predict how and when athletes will rebound from physical or psychological adversity, if they remain in this sport long enough, the progression will inevitably be cyclical in nature. When telling an athlete to trust the process, it is easier to do so when there is visibility into the journey by those who have traveled the road before them.

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Sleep Habits And Their Effect On Your Recovery

Sleep Habits And Their Effect On Your Recovery

For the most part, exercise (like weightlifting) can improve your sleep quality and duration. However, it is common to see your sleep habits disrupted as a result of aggressive exercise and that can impact your recovery. Some studies suggest that excessive or aggressive exercise can overstimulate the bodies natural stress responses and stress hormones, leading to an increased heart rate and alertness. Throw into the mix a pre-workout Fast Twitch RTD and you could have trouble falling asleep missing critical recovery gains as result. We have pulled some tips that you can implement TONIGHT to dramatically change your sleep habits and improve your recovery. 

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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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The Coach & Athlete: Working towards a common goal

The Coach & Athlete: Working towards a common goal

When things are going according to plan, PR's are being hit and meets won, it is easier for the athlete to honor this trust.  As the athlete advances in age and PR's become scarce due to advanced training age, this trust is often challenged and might require the coach to allow the athlete to be more involved in their training decisions.  The partnership should shift towards that of a collaborative role between athlete and coach at this junction and may give a positive and welcomed sense of control back to the athlete...

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Building the Barbell WOD Program

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Knowledge: Scientific and Practical

While our programs are grounded in good science, we also rely heavily on our own evidence based reality.  This is a reality that has been forged from working with athletes across a breadth of various sports with a wide range of training ages and abilities. We take a scientific approach and blend it with this practical knowledge to form the fabric of the Barbell WOD.  While the basis of our program may on the surface look Soviet, there are some very noteworthy departures.  

Click here to join the Barbell WOD Program on TrainHeroic

We use Block Periodization models leveraged from some of the most well known coaches and researchers such as Verkhoshansky, Roman, Medvedyev and Bondarchuk.  We then combine the traditional block methodology with a Percentage + Progressive Overload (PPO) strategy developed here at California Strength.  Using the PPO strategy to drive intensity and training consistency is especially useful when combined with implementing a large range of exercise selection.  

Over the years we have found that allowing our athletes to achieve continuous success (small and consistent PR’s) in a variety of exercises yields long term interest and helps to drive motivation.  Achieving success during training is imperative to the long-term success of our athletes and with the wide range of exercise selection used in our programming, these PR attempts come often with the implementation of non-competition exercises ranging from hitting a double in the Low Hang Snatch to a 5 Rep Max Back Squat.  Having a wide variation of complementary exercises allows us to consistently operate at the edges of one's ability.  This high degree of varied exercise selection combined with the PPO strategy helps drive skill acquisition while guarding against overuse injuries and neural fatigue.   

Applying this method to the Barbell WOD has shown to not only provide a structured approach for those who may find themselves jumping from program to program in the past, but also the blend of exercise selection and Percentage + Progressive Overload challenges its members while avoiding an inevitable burnout or plateau that comes as a result of unstructured programs.

Anchor Dates and Feedback

Taking into account the principles above, we begin to build the Barbell WOD program by structuring our annual goals and Anchor Dates.  The goals of the Barbell WOD have always been to improve technique and movement through building strength based on structural balance ratios.  Anchor Dates like the CF Open provide the timeline used to structure each Mesocycle in order to be ready when it counts in competition.  

Athlete Feedback is a useful tool for all coaches but tracking this feedback and then applying it to your program can be a challenge. We are able to use the analytics and tracking features in the TrainHeroic App to gather data from the entire Barbell WOD community. Decisions made from this data allows us to combine input from past experiences, past athletes, and past successes and failures to use as cornerstones for improving the Barbell WOD programming with every cycle.  As people continue to join the Barbell WOD, our Feedback data expands and we are able to zero in on exactly what our athletes need in their programming.

A quick look at Dave’s book shelf inside California Strength..

  • Supertraining by Yuri Verkhoshansky and Mel Siff

  • Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance by Inigo Mujika

  • The Snatch, The Clean And Jerk by R.A. Roman and M.S. Shakirzyanov

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE BARBELL WOD PROGRAM

Why is Tapering for a Meet so Important?

Being rested and primed to optimize your training through a thoughtful tapering process can offer you the edge over your competitors or mean the difference between a good meet and a great meet!

When implemented correctly, a taper prior to competition can increase strength output by roughly 7-10% (dependent on the individual), through a series of adaptations in the athlete’s body. This does not take into account the psychological benefits from having a clear plan of attack for what your training will consist of in the final weeks before competition and the peace of mind given to an athlete who feels confident that they have done all they can to perform when it counts the most.

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Snatch Pull Vs. Clean Pull

Snatch Pull Vs. Clean Pull
While many of the principles with respect to force production are similar in the Snatch Pull and the Clean Pull there are also some noteworthy difference in how the pulls develop.  Below are factors that influence the differences in the mechanics of the Snatch and Clean Pull.
  1. Grip width in the Snatch is wider than the Clean.
  2. Relatively speaking, Clean weights are 20 - 25% heavier than Snatch weights.
  3. The Acceleration of the bar begins more gradually in the Snatch and ends with 10-15% greater Velocity than the Clean.  
  4. The “fixation” height or the height at which the bar is stabilized in the catch positions is 25-30% higher in the Snatch than in the Clean

Here is how we account for these differences….

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Heavy Weights: Let your speed be the variable

Heavy Weights: Let your speed be the variable

In this article we want to discuss a concept that may seem obvious at first glance and yet it is an area where mistakes are made frequently. The issue we want to address is how an athlete should attack progressively loading heavier weights on a bar in the Snatch and Clean in a given workout. As an athlete loads heavier weight on a barbell, the bar cannot continue to be accelerated using the same force or achieve the same peak velocity. For example, Spencer Moorman cannot pull 160kg with the same speed as he can pull 100kg. Therefore we must have an approach and a strategy to counter this slower bar speed as he makes progressively heavier attempts. 

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