Like Brushing Your Teeth

I was having a discussion the other morning with a lifter about his footwork in the snatch. He was having trouble adjusting his feet out when transitioning from his pull to his catch. He said something to the effect of "When it's light I don't feel the need to move them out, because it's light enough to muscle through."
True, you can get away with falling out of position or failing to hit positions with light weight because you can still save it.
   But here's the thing: you will get countless more reps with light weight than you will with heavy weight. So make those reps count. Drill positions with empty bars, pvc pipes, wooden dowels, and light weight until they are second nature. Your 1rm should look no different than an empty bar, save for whats on the end of the bar. The analogy I used was this
"Think about when you brush your teeth. You probably haven't consciously thought about brushing them for most of your life" You probably apply the same amount of pressure to the tube to get the paste out, use the same hand to brush, and brush the exact same way every single day. Some days you may even do other things like let the dog out or get dressed, all while brushing your teeth, because you've done it so many times that you don't need to think about it anymore. This is how often you need to drill the fundamentals of weightlifting. 10,000 hours."

Here's my general Snatch Warmup. I tend to use some variation of this for all the weightlifting classes I teach. 
-Snatch Grip Bend and Reach
-Banded Shoulder Dislocates
-Banded Shoulder Abduction
-Behind the Neck Presses
-Overhead Squats
-Snatch Grip Sots Press
-Muscle Snatch from Knees
-Power Snatch from Power Position + OHS (3+1)
-Power Snatch from Mid-Thigh + OHS (3+1)
-Superman Lat Activation
-Power Snatch from Knees + OHS (3+1)

Weightlifting Classes Beginning August 1st

Weightlifting Classes will begin August 1st. Classes will meet twice a week for 4 weeks with each session lasting 1.5-2 hours. This class is designed to improve your Snatch, Clean, and Jerk. Over the course of the 4 weeks we will run through a basic weightlifting cycle focused on developing positional awareness and speed under the bar, as well as correcting bad habits. These classes are open to athletes of any and all skill levels (though at least foundational strength base is recommended). Space is limited to 5 athletes a month but there will be two groups each day, one in the morning and one in the evening. If there is a group of all firefighters or other swing-shifters then the class day will change to coincide with their schedule. The cost will be $75 for members and $100 for non-members and will meet Tuesdays and Fridays at 8am (morning group) and Mondays and Wednesdays at 530pm (evening group)

Northwestern Illinois Last Chance Qualifier (May 21st, 2016)

This weekend Erica Treadway (-48), Ben Wilton (-94) and Dave Radford (-105) competed in the NWIL Last Chance Qualifier in Aurora, IL. I couldn't have asked for a better performance out of these three. 

To start the day out, Erica was the lightest lifter in her session. She wound up closing out with a 55kg Snatch, which is 4kg better than her last competition and also ties her 1rm. Moving on to the clean and jerk she had a goal of hitting 67kg again (same as the last meet) but it wasn't in the cards. After hitting 64kg on her second attempt I bumped her up to 68kg (a new meet PR) but she ended up pressing it out on the jerk. She still finished with a 4kg meet pr in the Snatch and a 1kg meet pr in the Total. Factoring in her sinclair coefficient this ranked her the top female of the meet!

Ben and Dave competed in the same session with relatively similar numbers. The session was huge with 20 lifters competing. A lot of lifters following themselves on attempts meant we had a long way to go as Ben and Dave were lifting towards the end of the session. Ben wound up killing the snatch finishing with a lifetime pr at 101kg and hitting a 133kg Clean and Jerk, earning him 3rd place in his division. Dave opened his snatch at 100 hitting it easily, moving on to 104kg. He hit that easily and we decided to try to pr at 110kg, he had some time so I sent him back to the warmup area to hit 107kg. Another lifter had stripped down our warmup bar so we had to quickly load up 107 to give him enough time to hit it and rest. He hit it very easily but as soon as he did I realized I miscalculated and there was only 97kg on the bar. He went back out to attempt 110 and just barely missed it behind him. Going into the Clean and Jerk, he got red-lighted on his opening jerk at 128kg for pressing out so we decided to stay there and ensure he could total. After hitting it on his second attempt he wanted to go heavy so made a big jump up to 135kg for his closer. He had about 6-7 minutes between his successful 128 and his 135 so I sent him to the back to hit 133 in between to get him used to the weight. AGAIN, someone had stripped down our bar so he hopped in on someone elses. Unfortunately, while he was in the back pulling 133kg, two other lifters changed their next attempts to 136, which meant that as soon as dave pulled 133 in the warmup area, he had to go pull 135 with no rest. He cleaned it easily and got it overhead, but he still got called for a press-out on the jerk. Despite all of this, his performance earned him first place in the 105kg weight class!

On to the next one!

Below are their best lifts from the weekend