T Nation

Thoughts on Jon North's Pull Style

Any thoughts on this CT?

Cheers

A similar style is in this video as well.

While I do not agree with 100% of it (the hard banging) I actually like the superman pull and switched to that style myself with good results. I am still not reaping all the benefits because it is a more posterior-chain dominant style and I’m quads dominant, but as my hamstrings and glutes are getting stronger, I’m improving.

I agree, I don’t like the hip banging. I think its a big misconception that weightlifters bang the bar on their hips. Correct me if I am wrong but I think it is actually the rapid acceleration and slight ‘whip’ of rapidly bringing the hips in that sounds like the bar is hitting the hips. However I also like the superman pull and infact if you look at a lot of klokovs videos where he is doing pulls or deadlifts he stops at the superman position.

Not tried the ‘horse out the gate’ start but will be sure to try it out and report back.

[quote]Hull2012 wrote:
I agree, I don’t like the hip banging. I think its a big misconception that weightlifters bang the bar on their hips. Correct me if I am wrong but I think it is actually the rapid acceleration and slight ‘whip’ of rapidly bringing the hips in that sounds like the bar is hitting the hips. However I also like the superman pull and infact if you look at a lot of klokovs videos where he is doing pulls or deadlifts he stops at the superman position.

Not tried the ‘horse out the gate’ start but will be sure to try it out and report back.

[/quote]

Soviet coaching – and probably contemporary Russian --did teach that the groin/hips should make contact with the bar, even bang the bar.

Notably, though, the technique of Iurii Vardanian, one of the Soviet Union’s and indeed the world’s all-time greatest weightlifters, deviated significantly from the standard. When he snatched the bar stayed clear of his hips.

Thanks for posting the video. I don’t know what to make of the “out of the gate” business and the shins, but the idea is at least interesting.

I don’t get the Superman pull…
Every time I’ve tried it, it feels great, until I get above about 1.2X BW, then I just can’t catch it anymore.
I just keep missing behind over and over again.

As soon as I switch to a more quad dominant extension, the catch is so much easier, because its not pulling me forward.
How do you guys catch your snatches with such a pronounced curve in bar path?

Maybe I’m just taking his videos too literally, but I cannot snatch the way he advocates.
It seems to me, he doesn’t pull all that differently than other lifters at heavy weights… which makes me think he teaches it this way to emphasize certain parts of the lift, not necessarily to actually achieve the style he’s teaching… If that makes sense…

I have only been a weightlifter for about a month though, so, some clarification on this style is definitely welcome.
I’m by no means even close to CT’s caliber, and he seems to like it, so what do I know right?

I’d love to hear about how your snatch is coming along CT, I remember you said something about considering competing again eventually.
Rio 2016? Canada for the Gold?
:slight_smile:

This is interesting. From what I’ve heard about Jon and seen on the many MDUSA videos, he’s struggled with his jerk, and probably continues to struggle, but he is an excellent snatcher.

Jon is definitely an interesting guy. For those wanting to know what he is up to (he is no longer part of Glenn Pendlay’s MDUSA weightlifting team), check out his “Attitude Nation.” Just put that in Google. I won’t add a link only because I’m too lazy to check if he sells supplements, and if he does then my link, and usually my entire post, will be removed by the mods. He seems to be going in direct competition with Crossfit. He is even offering Attitude Nation gym affiliations. The “AN Performance” workouts have CF-type met con components. I wish him well, not because I hate Crossfit but because I think competition is a good thing and it’s time to have an alternative to CF. Also, I think his programming makes more sense as each Performance workout starts with a strength component.

[quote]Ajax wrote:

[quote]Hull2012 wrote:
I agree, I don’t like the hip banging. I think its a big misconception that weightlifters bang the bar on their hips. Correct me if I am wrong but I think it is actually the rapid acceleration and slight ‘whip’ of rapidly bringing the hips in that sounds like the bar is hitting the hips. However I also like the superman pull and infact if you look at a lot of klokovs videos where he is doing pulls or deadlifts he stops at the superman position.

Not tried the ‘horse out the gate’ start but will be sure to try it out and report back.

[/quote]

Soviet coaching – and probably contemporary Russian --did teach that the groin/hips should make contact with the bar, even bang the bar.

Notably, though, the technique of Iurii Vardanian, one of the Soviet Union’s and indeed the world’s all-time greatest weightlifters, deviated significantly from the standard. When he snatched the bar stayed clear of his hips.

Thanks for posting the video. I don’t know what to make of the “out of the gate” business and the shins, but the idea is at least interesting.[/quote]

My coach, Oleg Kechko, was Russian trained (Belarus) and teaches this style of actively banging the bar hard into the hip on snatches and cleans with a very straight extension & shrug. When I first started training with him I was doing more of a brush the bar up style but I find, for me at least, banging the bar really gives me a lot of pop & power and I’m definitely a believer.

It does hurt sometimes, especially at first, but your body adapts after awhile…I don’t believe it’s necessarily the best style for everyone but for me I feel it’s the only way I can really transfer the power of my hips and legs into the bar compared to the brush style anyways…

CT,

When you do the superman pull do you start in the extreme low position that Jon shows in the video? We have a similar body type - 5’8", long torso, short legs - so if this style works for you there is a chance it will work for me. I just don’t know if I can get in that low of a start position.

I have seen the videos where Jon recommends banging the bar against the hips. I wonder if that isn’t just a cue to actively pull the bar into the body. I don’t like banging the bar either because, 1) it hurts; 2) there is a risk of banging the bar away from the body.

Good video of Jon snatching:

Jon North has a very similar pull to Szymon Kolecki. This is because they both have long legs relative to their height (both are 6’0" I believe) which causes them to bow over a bit more than usual as the bar continues upward, and it causes a more distinct second pull/hip action. Contrast that with the Chinese who usually have very good leverage in terms to their limbs, thus causing there 2nd pull to often be less distinct and almost flows into one pull from floor to hip.

The problem with North sometimes is that at heavier weights, his pull doesn’t stay consistent and his back bends over TOO MUCH, which will cause some lost tension in his legs. This will then cause him to overpull and the bar will often swing behind him.

Does using the superman pull technique modify the recommended technique for the snatch grip high pull for the layer system?

[quote]Erstwhile wrote:
Does using the superman pull technique modify the recommended technique for the snatch grip high pull for the layer system?[/quote]

Ok one thing, I really do not see John’s technique as being that different. His videos simply helped me understand a few things about technique. I do not lift like that or coach it like but it made something click in my understanding which is why I said that I liked it.

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
Jon North has a very similar pull to Szymon Kolecki. This is because they both have long legs relative to their height (both are 6’0" I believe) which causes them to bow over a bit more than usual as the bar continues upward, and it causes a more distinct second pull/hip action. Contrast that with the Chinese who usually have very good leverage in terms to their limbs, thus causing there 2nd pull to often be less distinct and almost flows into one pull from floor to hip.

The problem with North sometimes is that at heavier weights, his pull doesn’t stay consistent and his back bends over TOO MUCH, which will cause some lost tension in his legs. This will then cause him to overpull and the bar will often swing behind him. [/quote]

Exactly. And I have levers that are very similar to the Chinese (long torso, short limbs), but the superman pull I feel is a good way to understand the bar sweep.

I believe that long limbed lifters who are posterior chain-dominant will be better suited for his technique, whereas I’m the exact opposite!

[quote]Ajax wrote:

the technique of Iurii Vardanian, one of the Soviet Union’s and indeed the world’s all-time greatest weightlifters, deviated significantly from the standard. When he snatched the bar stayed clear of his hips.[/quote]

My little brother currently trains with a former Soviet national coach and lifter who is also a contemporary of Vardanyan. In fact, they skype quite frequently and he came over to visit…and snatched 130 kg in his 50s. Shall we say…mindblowing? Yes. Yes we shall.

My brother’s coach is keen on teaching the Vardanyan style of pulling. It is strange to me, but it seems to work quite well for him.

I’d really like to see Thib’s thoughts on that style actually. It is so different.