T Nation

New O Lifter


Hello T-Nation,

I've just recently started focusing on Olympic lifting in the last couple of weeks. I've done power cleans before on and off but only in the last 2 weeks have I decided to do it properly after deciding to learn snatches and falling in love with the lift.

Prior to this my training revolved mainly around squats and overhead pressing for the last few months anyway; so quite a natural progression!

Current lifts are:

Sn 57.5
C&J 80
Sq 120 / 110x5
FS 105

at 75kg bodyweight.

As yet I have never actually lifted on a platform! I taught myself the lifts in a commercial gym; however I am rectifying the situation as of this week. It is surprisingly hard to find somewhere to lift even in such a big city as London. Anywho found somewhere now and going down this week.

Here's a vid of me stacking it on a 40kg snatch. I seem to be able to easily power snatch the light weight and consistentently hit 55kg every time - though being less than 2 weeks in I know i shouldn't really be working around max too much. Any glaring technique tips? I seem to catch on my toes too much?

I have ordered some proper shoes and they're en route which I think is a big part of the problem.

I've set myself goals of a bodyweight Snatch & a 100kg C&J by the end of the year.

Thanks for any help guys


should've dumped that one man lol


Yeh i know...get myself kicked out for ditching weights in that gym though, hence trying to save it.

Looking for feedback more as to why I'm catching on my toes and losing it...

Squatted 120 for 2 this morning



follow these videos. Take videos of yourself doing them in the order he shows.

I think the main problem is you are moving on to your toes too early in the pull. Stay on your heels.

Also, next time please upload a video on youtube instead of this site as its pretty bad for analyzing a lift and leave 2-3 seconds before you start the pull in the video.


So i sorted my life out, got some shoes and found a gym with a platform. Struggling to get down regularly as I would like as it's a long way and I work a lot, but getting there when I can.

I've used Pendlays teaching progression for both lifts and spend time just working the positions sometimes when I have free time but cannot lift properly.

Got a vid of me C&J's from last week. 60,70, 80kg.

Also got a vid of some easy squats

Technique points?

Note to self: Don't wear all black against a mainly black background with black plates!


on the squats are you sure you are placing the bar correct? it seems a bit lower than it should be, but I could be wrong. You could also drive the hips forward a bit more.

In your clean you are starting with your shoulders way, way behind the barbell.

In your jerks you are dip and driving it way forward. Up and down straight!


Thanks Lordstorm.

I struggle with the jerks, I know it's going forwards even at the time but not sure what to change to get around it? I've hit myself in the chin trying to keep it back more/not getting my head out the way quick enough.

With regards start position, I thought that watching the videos but if I move closer to the bar the weight is too far on my toes throughout the pull...higher hips to start?


Get your head back and up before you initiate the jerk.

Unless you have some very bad flexibility(I think in the ankles) I don't see why it should be on your toes no matter what. Hips should be higher than parallel. You start right away from the bottom position


Where are you getting coaching/ training from?

Crystal Palce in London, PM for Keith's number
Bethnal Green, Giles, don't have his number but you can google for weightlifting in bethnal green
St Mary's have a new 6-8 platform facility that is suppose to be sick. Not been but my mate SquatHouse trains there

I train in Woking in Surrey.

-slow the first pull down a tad, it's too fast for you at the moment and as a result
--hips come up too fast
--chest dips down
---look at the video as the past is below knee height, your back angle should be more upright
----it's harder to do a good 2nd pull if your chest is too down, you have to over correct the position

The 40 miss you swung it back, you didn't punch the bar up. Wasn't a bad lift though.

Cleans you don't keep the bar close, your bashing it out a bit in front, look at where you receive the bar compared to where you start. You should NEVER be in front of where you started.

Jerk, make sure all your weight is on your heels. You dip and drive on your heels. You dip down and then roll forwards on the drive phase, you should still be on your heels. I do this a lot on heavy weights and you miss them.

Speed under is good
Good attack
Good squats, just drive your hips in as you squat up, leaving your hips behind a bit too much,

Get down to Woking for some training mate!

There is a competition at Woking (google address for Woking Leisure centre) this Saturday. Come down to watch some lifters. Both my younger bros are lifting. I'll be coaching.

Keep it up!



PHawk, yeah I've been doing the lifts without shoes too. Can't afford them yet but dying to see what it feels like.

Koing, I know you've mentioned to me before about punching the bar up, but I still quite don't get it. Perhaps if you would be so kind to explain that in a bit more detail? I've got a few more things to clean up, but I just can't figure out what that is supposed to feel like, it doesn't feel like I CAN punch the bar up, I can only seem to feel getting under the bar, by the time I feel like I can punch the bar up, its already up. Hope that makes sense.


Think of it then as punching with the palm until the arm is locked out. Punch the air as high as possible. In reality that will help you get under the bar and lock it out better.



You can get under the bar and be 'soft with your lockout'

If you get under the bar fast and really punch up your lock out is much stronger. YOU ARE READY FOR THE BAR OVER HEAD.

Just work on getting under and punching up. When I say punch up it's for you to lock out hard to be ready for the bar when it comes down on you. The better lifter you are the lower you can get under a bar and have it steady over head. A beginner will take longer and thus have a bigger differential between the maximum height of the bar and their receive position.



Great, thanks fellas. Would taking that same feeling work in drop snatches? I usually do a few for warm ups. I think this section needs a beginner sticky or something, with little tidbits like this, as well as a place for beginners to post their vids.


Yes exact same as drop Snatches. You should be dropping and really punching the bar up so you lock out hard. It's very important to lock out hard when it's heavy. It will crush you when it's heavy.



Me again. Just another question on catching & locking out the bar on a snatch. I know I'm doing something slightly wrong that could turn into a big OUCH. When I go to catch the bar, I find that it does a bounce once I'm under it in squat position. I can feel it on my wrists, which I know once the weight gets heavier will cause some problems for me. Any suggestions? Cheers


practice it with lighter weights so that you always catch it with the palms facing the ceiling. Something like sets of 3 from the hang just so that you can do them quick.


Here's a couple of sets from the hang, still doesn't feel like I'm punching up or locking out properly. The weight is light as suggested, maybe a bit too light but my knee didn't want to play yesterday, so took it careful. I'm going back to a real gym with a real bar next week.


Hm actually I misunderstood what you said for some reason. I thought that you catch the barbell without the palms facing towards the ceiling and that the "bounce" from the bar forces the wrist to twist.

If I understand it now correctly you simply mean that the bar comes crashing down on you. That's partially bad technique which leaves the bar out front and part experience.

Some lifters lift just as high as needed to catch it in the low position. That takes a lot of speed and skill. Most lifters and especially less experienced ones pull as high as possible and catch it, then ride it down. Depending on where you catch it the bar can come crashing down on you.

Honestly it happens to me but I haven't had injury or pain issues with it, I assume you just get used to it and so does your body.

To minimize it you could either try to do what the experienced lifters do, or try to catch everything as high as possible. Kinda like try to power snatch but if it forces you into a deep squat... no problem.

However I don't suggest you try either of those. Looking at your technique you should fix other things first(you aren't finishing the pull/you are pulling with your arms too early) before you really worry about it. And if you are too much worried about this just drop the bar... slowly you will start getting more and more used to the "Crash" and it won't feel that hard to hold on to it.


Ok, thanks. Yes its been awhile since anyone has critiqued my lift (not to mention having to take time off here & there from lifting) I'm sure I've picked up some bad habits that need ironing out. I had stopped myself from jumping back numerous times, only to occasionally pick it up again this last session. Next week though I'm bunking in on a coaching session.


I went through a phase in my lifting where my wrists felt like they were taking a beating from the bar crashing down on me, too. I don't have that anymore. It seems to land gently and I feel a bounce, but it doesn't smash down like it used to.

I think it is about it being really very hard for most people to learn to finish the pull... And in order to lift lighter weights finishing the pull you need to learn to finish the pull at reduced force.

Finishing the pull is just about opening up the hip angle so your legs and torso are out straight. You can do it more or less forcefully depending on the weight. Takes a bit to learn how forceful to be in order to get the bar just high enough for you to fit your ass down under it instead of driving it too hard and having it crash down.

It really will get better with practice. Could you try and experiment with finishing the pull at reduced force??

I've only recently come to understand that that is what finishing the pull is all about... That is how come I got into the hip flexor stretches - I was having physical difficulty finishing the pull because my hip angle wouldn't open. Activating the glutes to help drive the hips through, too...