T Nation

Triple Extension vs Catupult Technique


What do you guys think about this? I always thought that triple extension was important cause of explosion and without it you can't exlode and the coach says things that go against what I think.


If you pay careful attention to what he is saying, despite the fact that he says triple extension is 'wrong', he is still suggesting that we do it. I think McCauley's big point is that we need to not overextend or try to get full extension in our triple extension, and that what is important is that we extend through our most powerful range and then get under. You'll notice that none of this lifters or even him full extend their hips either (which would put them leaning very far back).

Anyway, I know he said 'triple extension was wrong', but he clearly still wants us to extend a little on our calves, most of the way through our quads, and a good chunk through our hips. He just doesn't want us to stretch out completely. We are not very powerful at the extreme ends of our extension.


How many Olympians has he trained?


At least one that I know of (Cheryl Hayworth)



I wonder how many Therizza has trained.


I am pretty sure that this technique is widely used by many olympians. It is actually one of the key arguments against US weightlifting, we usually support 'triple extension' instead of a catapult tech.

He talks around the point a little, but I believe triple extension is more of a passive position. With a strong enough lifter and proper positioning, coming up onto the toes occurs from momentum and is not actively achieved by the lifter. Similar is the traps, more olympians appear to be shrugging when they are actively pulling themselves under the bar.

Just my thoughts..


It was an honest question. Why would it be a burn?


90% of what he's saying is pretty straight forward. I prefer to move my feet out just a touch. But thats the thing, it's all about who the athlete is. I like to get most of my athletes to still shrug and train hard on the extension of the feet just to get them pulling in the right fashion.

then over a longer period of time, as intensity goes up, the technical cues change. athletes then dont have to think shrug cause they are doing it without thinking. At this point the lift looks way different. no toes. no visible shrug. Thing is the lifter has gotten faster.

Thing is when you're coaching you have to find methods of making people reproduce the movement you need. Sometimes that takes the development/evolution of the movement.

I think, as Dr. M said, the take home point is to get the most out of your hips, especially as you progress into a more intermediate level.



So is this method just 'triple extension' at speed? I don't really understand any difference... it's not like you can ACTUALLY over extend your back and not miss a lift of any significant weight. The only time I have actually noticed the exaggerated triple extension stuff is when warming up with the empty bar. Even then I am not hyperextending my back on the second pull. He does a poor job of explaining it to a layman such as myself.


First of all, a lot of people overextend. Look at Sagir and where he ends his extension:

Second of all, the guy wasn't producing a documentary or a how-to. He was giving a talk to a bunch of football coaches and someone taped it. I'm sure if he was trying to explain it to a layman like you who was actually interested in the nitty-gritty of it, he would have done a better job. McCauley is actually a pretty smart guy who writes very indepth stuff on the sport. If you'd ever like to see more of it, go to goheavy.com.


As already mentioned by Dr. M, I think his approach was how to teach the oly lifts, specifically to beginner and intermediate lifters. My interpretation of his talk is the triple extension is something that may or may not happen naturally, but it shouldn't be something an athlete is actively trying to achieve. I don't think he means to say triple extension should never happen.

His mantra is getting coaches to teach the right cues and not reinforce 'jumping' or 'shrugging' as much as getting the 'catapult action' from the hips. Some approaches to lifting shouldn't be coached to beginners (but they can be adpated later as Chris said). Case in point, it would be a mistake for a coach to try to teach a new lifter to mimic Dimas' or Urik Vardanian's technique, despite how successful they were as lifters.


Thanks for the info! The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. I have done cleans for a long time, and no longer actively think about the movement per se, I just 'go'. Some beginners might get hung up thinking 'ok, now I shrug, highpull, toe raise' instead of just 'go'.


This right here is one classic reason why a main cue is just "JUMP." It give you less to think about. Just an inch, just so your feet come of the floor. As soon as I tell even newbytronic clients to "jump through [their] heels" they always start getting shit right. Once they got that then I can start cueing shit like "Pull hard with your shoulders/wrists" to get them moving back the other direction.

"Step-by-step, ohh baby.
I'm gonna get to you giiiiiirl."

It's all best taught in steps. I've seen athletes who just learn squat clean right of the bat and their pulls are tragic. You gotta get them pulling up hard and fast, then get them pulling underneath even faster. Fact is you got more stank coming up than you do going down so I find it optimal to get that pull up going fast so as to allow "hang time" [per se] to get a lifter comfortable with getting back under a lower bar.

This shit is so hard to communicate through text. How do those ruski's write all them books?



Hive mind. In Communist Russia, weight clean you!


I used the catapult technique in my first ever meet in 2001 in which I made a 82.5kg snatch and a 110kg clean/jerk at a bodyweight of 75.8kg. One of the judges (a pony tailed lady of about 40 who lifted/coached in the meet also) red lighted me for each and every one of my snatchs and clean/jerks. She accused me of breaking the pull down into 2 distinct movements. Ironically this bitch was the only judge to red light me so all my lifts were successful. Meanwhile I saw loads of press-outs being passed by this same bitch because they were being done by her own lifters!


I was talking to a lifter/judge/coach at a meet who knew another judge who would red light guys that went slow until they passed their knees and then put the stank on from knee up [ie. just like you're supposed to do, in theory]. The explanation this guy got from this other fucktrad was that you're not supposed to pause on the lift, even though it's not a pause, it's just slow to fast.

That's the biggest problem is that retards and politics are fucking OLing in the ear [in canada at least]. I want to be a part of the community, but at the same time i dont. Kind of like Crossfit, sorta. get community of people who pursue fitness with intensity. but the community is littered with dumb asses and almost vacant of periodization in any format. I know some Crossfit coaches who are just using regular tried-and-true principles and methods with their clients but attracting people with the name and the promise of "Crossfit" [ie. circuit training]. I love all the parts of CF but hate the delivery and implementation. Like deep frying Kobe Beef rib eye.



makes sense thanks for explaining.