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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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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Bar Positioning Overhead


Critical as this is the place where you will be supporting all the weight that you want to be snatching.

For example, if you want to be snatching 250lbs, you need to and you better be able to support 250obs overhead.

As always, head and eyes straight ahead, big chest tight back, core right, elbows externally rotated (rotated to the ceiling) and you want to stack the bones - you want the barbell (from a vertical perspective) over the wrist, over the elbow, over the shoulder, over the hips, over the knees, over the ankles.

As you can see, bringing the barbell back just an inch - when I provide a little bit of tension, right away the athlete knows this is not strong.

When the bar is brought an inch forward of proper position - the same holds true.

But when the bar is behind the head, and is in a "stacked" position - I provide a lot of force and the athlete supports it with seemingly no effort.

So - get your overhead position correct and lift big weights! =D


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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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Overhead Position for the Snatch


Oftentimes this gets blown over but important to establish this before snatching - before even overhead squatting really...

Here I have Noble feel the difference between non-optimal and strong positioning. I do this by bringing the barbell back, and then forward, a little bit and tugging not very hard on the bar so that he can feel that with me not tugging very hard that he is in a compromised position. Then I position the barbell in the optimal/strong position and pull hard on the bar - it's easy for Noble to feel how strong and stable he is with very little effort - even when I'm providing 10x the tension.

So what is a strong position? A strong position is when the barbell is stacked over the bones - the bones being the wrist, the shoulder, the hips, the knees, and the ankles - so that if you were to see the athlete from the side, it would be a straight line from the barbell down the side of the body. This way the skeletal structure of the athlete is supporting the barbell.


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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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Partner with your Athlete


partner with the athlete to get them where they want to go. that's my coaching philosophy anyway....

in this 30 sec -ish clip with Cheryl we worked on the basics of the high hang snatch - positioning and then jump up and back into the bottom of the overhead squat.

Cheryl is a fantastic athlete - former Masters Crossfit Games competitor and to be honest, i was having a little trouble with her jump. i mean she was jumping, and backwards, but the jump seemed and felt muted. overly controlled. not powerful and forced almost.

being that she is such a great athlete, my suspicion is that this movement, while cue-ed and encouraged in different ways, was a result of over-thinking, and then performing what she though the movement should be versus what i was asking for.

so i looked around and thought, i want to see if she can jump. no pvc pipe in hand, i just want to see if she can do it. because if she can do it, then my suspicions are correct - she is over thinking it, also we can bring this...

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Snatch Deadlift Postioning


whatchu doing there coach wu?

i'm showing silver proper snatch deadlift positioning. the snatch deadlift is the hardest part of the lift, hands down.

there are so many things going on from a technical positioning standpoint that it's important to understand and execute it correctly in order to get PRs and lift maximal weight.

as you pick the bar up off the ground to above the knee, weight starts ball of foot or midfoot and travels back toward the heel. as it does that, the back angle stays the same.

two common faults when athletes do this is that they off load the legs by either raising the butt up, or by going around the knees.

coaching tip: there are many things going on here that i want silver to see and understand.

so as i demo for her, i ask her to only look at one specific part of the lift - for example weight transfer on the foot, then on the next rep i ask her to look at another part - the back angle remaining the same.

try this with your athletes. break things down into...

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