What are you looking at? (lol)


what are we looking at?

when i teach athletes how to lift, i always start with what the athlete is looking at - which is straight ahead. head and eyes looking straight ahead.

where the head goes, the body will follow.

if we don't start off with this good foundation, it could throw off the rest of the lift. (ask me how i know. answer: cause in the past i've tried to skip teaching this and it screwed me. lol)

it's best to stare at a point that is about parallel to where the eyes are, so in this case, Trevor would be looking at a point about a foot higher than me because, well, i'm a shorty =p... and it's important to stare at this point for entirety of the lift: just before the lift starts, throughout the lift, standing up with the lift, and then after the bar drops look away.

coaching tip: i could just tell him to look head and eyes straight ahead, so why am i standing in front of him and invading his personal space?

first of all, we've developed a trust and a rapport so i feel like...

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Use Legs to Generate Power and Momentum for Oly⁠

chelsey clean legs power May 29, 2020

 Less than a minute but a lot of information in this video.

First off, again, the push press being similar to the dip and drive of the high hang snatch / clean.

Second, that oftentimes a lot of athletes, in their attempt and desire to generate momentum and power for their lifts, will cock their hips back and hip check the bar forward like they would for a kettlebell swing.

While this does generate momentum, it unfortunately sends the bar forward, away from the lifter, instead of up - so now the athlete has to chase the bar forward and doesn't have as much room to get under the bar.

Stand up straight, have good positioning, dip and drive / jump up and back, then get under the bar.

#getitugotit #getliftinggetlifted

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Get that extra height on your pulll

clean jonathan pull snatch May 29, 2020

feel like you need just a little bit more height when you're going for those heavy lifts?

once the athlete establishes good positioning, good tempo, and a good jump up and back, and i see that they missed the lift by a little bit - the next step is to make sure they are continuing to give vertical momentum on the bar via a big shrug and a big high pull.

notice the difference between jonathan's first and second lift.

he missed the first, and the only thing he changed to make the second lift was to add this aggressive shrug and pull. and all of a sudden he made the lift - the same weight - with lots of room to spare.

and it was beautiful! a beautiful form, heavy weight, a beautiful lift.
happy athlete, happy coach, happy everyone all around

#getliftinggetlifted #reachyourpotential

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The Hang Position


where should the weight be when you start the lift?

especially when doing barbell cycling, a lot of lifters will start the lift with the weight on their heels because it's a passive position - they can rest here and not have to bear the weight of the load they are carrying.

unfortunately, it isn't a strong position to move from, and therefore is not a strong position to lift from.

so where do you want the weight? you want the weight midfoot/ball of your foot. the same place it would be if you were to jump. feel solid there, look straight ahead, tighten your core, and from here... lift

#getityougotit #getliftinggetlifted

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Tactile feedback and triple extension.  ⁠

As an olympic lifting coach, these are two things that I am very passionate about and interested in...

The triple extension because that's what helps athletes lift the most weight that they are capable of and tactile feedback because it tells the athletes what's going on.... Helps them feel right vs wrong, good vs bad.  

A lot of athletes struggle with getting triple extension because they have the habit of rushing under the bar before they get there, so here's one of my favorite games (because they all swear to me that they're getting triple extension when I see that they're not).  I place an object, or in this case a Craig's hand, a little up and behind the athlete.  I then ask the athlete to perform the movement, even asking the athlete to hit the object (in this case the hand) before getting under the bar.  You hit the object, you win - triple extension.  You don't hit it, no triple extension.  You don't have to believe me when I tell you that...

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Sport of Positions

Olympic lifting is a sport of positions, the success of each position is determined by the position before it. As such, the starting position of the lift is extremely crucial and critical to the success of the rest of the lift.

So here are some tips for the starting position for the snatch or the clean.

  • It's important to have the head and the eyes looking at a point straight ahead (best case scenario is a point parallel to the eyes at the starting position) - this stabilizes the head and therefore the rest of the lift.
  • You want a tight back and a tight core because this allows the full transfer of power from the athlete's feet to the rest of their body.
  • Shoulders over the bar, not behind the bar. In terms of vertical alignment, from top to bottom it's shoulders, hips, and then knees. So for example if vertically it's shoulders, knees, then hips (the athlete is sitting in the starting position with butt down), that's not a good starting position, or a strong starting position.
  • You...
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Mindset as you approach your lift

clean lift mindset snatch May 29, 2020

Mindset as you approach your lift is so important.

As a coach what I hear most often from lifters when I ask to see their life (either via video or as they're actually about to lift) is that they premise the lift by telling themselves, or me, how much they "suck", or how terrible they are, or how they're not good at lifting.

Please know that if you're showing me the lift, that:

#1 that's not what I'm thinking at all (I'm just looking forward to watching the lift to see what can be done to help the athlete improve) but

#2 that just by saying those things it greatly hinders your ability to lift well. What you tell yourself, or what you say to yourself, will determine how the lift goes.

This simple exercise in the video shows this - how is it possible to at the same time raise and lower your hand? It's not.

The same goes when you tell yourself you "suck" at lifting but then you go to the lift wanting to lift well. Instead, as you approach the barbell (or the wod), take a breath and...

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why did i miss my lift behind me?⁠

analysis clean lift snatch May 28, 2020

could be many things but here are the two that i see most often.

  • 1) the lats are loose so that bar is in front of the athlete, throwing off the balance and center of gravity of the unit which is the athlete + the barbell, causing the athlete to extend early and thereby hip-checking the bar, instead of jumping up and back with the bar.
  • 2) an intentional hip check of the bar to get the bar moving. instead, try to keep the lats tight and jump up and back versus hip checking the bar out .

#getliftinggetlifted #reachyourpotential

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Get Strong on the Bar


you tell the bar what's going on, not the other way around...

most athletes do the "pull and pray". they pull on the bar with all they got, then drop, and then pray everything will work out and the barbell will gently drop on top of them in the perfect position and all they have to do is wait there....

i wince when i hear athletes say things like "dropping" or "catching" the bar. Because it isn't a drop or a catch. And because both words imply passivity - a point in the lift where the lifter is passive in respect to him versus the barbell.

after you triple extend / after you jump up and back, you continue pulling on the barbell as you pull yourself down and around the barbell. That split second you go from going around the barbell to under the barbell, you now need to press up and against the barbell with strength and conviction!!!

you tell the barbell what is going on and what to do! you are actioning on the barbell! not the other way around! pull yourself down and around the...

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clean feet jump snatch May 28, 2020


TripLe extension - so important with the olympic lifts and with explosive movement.

Because of this, this is one of the first places I start from when I'm working with athlete (regardless of how long they've been lifting or what they're lifting) - making sure that I can see that the athlete can establish and perform triple extension.

The easiest way to get an athlete to triple extend, in my opinion and in my experience, is to simply ask them to jump. Just jump. It overrides the overthinking and is a natural movement.

However, many athletes - especially ones that have been around the sports for awhile - hesitate and stop themselves because of the rumor going around that jumping shouldn't be in olympic lifting and because they don't see their idols jumping.

Well here's the thing, we're working with light/no weight, and we're working on fundamentals - so right now, yeah, jump. give me some air. Because once we add some weight - empty barbell, 65lbs, 95lbs,...

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