Clean And Jerk Pointers

I had a good Olympic weightlifting session on Sunday. The coach told me my clean and jerks had improved. They couldn’t very well have got any worse! Also, I received some pointers that I need to bear in mind when cleaning and jerking:

  1. When setting up, sit a little further back, so that thighs are closer to parallel. When I did this, I definitely felt like I had more drive from my legs. I think prior to this adjustment I was putting more back into it.
  2. Don’t use my arms so much when getting under the bar. They should be more loose. At the point where I’m getting under the bar, the work has been done.
  3. At the point where the bar is at its zenith, my elbows need to rotate under the bar much quicker.
  4. Catch the bar when it’s at its zenith, not when it’s dropping. Although I can manage OK at my current paltry weights, when the weights get heavier, catching them when they’re already on the way down might do me a mischief.
  5. Keep the bar closer to my shins on the way up. I should be trying to economise the motion of the bar here. The bar should not diverge too much from a straight vertical line.

It’s early days for me, so I’m still trying to become familiar with the feel of the movements.

Shoe Mad

I went shoe mad last month and bought a pair of weight lifting shoes and a pair of boxing boots. I was damned if I was going to throw money away on expensive Adidas Power Things, though (£80 was the cheapest I saw). Mine were £30 “More Miles More Lift”. I don’t know whether it’s the suggestive effect of my coach insisting that I’d notice the difference proper weight lifting shoes would make or whether they really are that good, but I do like wearing them for deadlifts and squats. Every time I did something wrong in a lift, the coach would point at my chunky trainers and laugh “what do you expect?”. I didn’t want to spend £80 on a first pair of shoes and then find that the difference they made was negligible, or I gave up Olympic weightlifting two weeks later. Continue reading Shoe Mad

Deadlift PB

I hit a new pb in my deadlift last week: 120kg for 2 reps. Yehar! I was actually feeling pretty rough last week. Some weeks I feel super fit, some weeks I feel rough, and last week was a rough week. And I didn’t get to the gym thinking I was going to rip it up. It did help that some guy was deadlifting near me, so I had to put up some kind of a fight. He was doing 130kg for reps, but his back was so rounded I felt sorry for him. He’s obviously stronger than I am, but he’s headed for an injury.

I caught myself staring with my jaw dropped at his back rounding under the weight and berated myself for my rudeness. Continue reading Deadlift PB

Supermarket Carrier Bag Charge

On the Tesco website, it says the following.

The money raised from the 5p bag charge in the UK will be used to pay for a large number of local projects to improve green spaces in communities right across the UK. Projects that will get the green light as a result of the funding will include building new pocket parks, sports facilities, woodland walks and community gardens.

Administration of the local funding will be handled by environmental improvement charity Groundwork, which specialises in transforming local green spaces for the better. Continue reading Supermarket Carrier Bag Charge

B&Q Improved Customer Service

I went to B&Q this morning before work to buy a light bulb. There weren’t many people about, as it was only 8.20 am, and all the self service checkouts were cordoned off. There was only one person manning the “manual” tills and she had come out from behind hers and was chatting to a customer. I waited patiently nearby, and saw that she had seen me. She waved at me gesturing she wouldn’t be long. She still carried on chatting, though. Continue reading B&Q Improved Customer Service

Combining Deadlifts And Squats With Olympic Weightlifting

My problem is that I want to do too many different things in the gym. I want to deadlift and squat, but I also want to improve my Olympic lifts. The Olympic lifts are basically deadlifts and squats though, so if I alternate the days I do deadlifts and squats with the days I do Olympic lifts, I’ll be doing deadlifts and squats every day! Which I would certainly enjoy, but I want to get my toned chest back as well.

So, my routine, as of this week, is this: Continue reading Combining Deadlifts And Squats With Olympic Weightlifting

Deeper Squats

The coach at my Olympic Weightlifting club said that my squats were deep, but they could be deeper. I was flabbergasted because I always go past parallel, and I thought my squats were really deep!

To increase mobility and depth in the squat, he recommended pausing at the bottom for a slow count of 3. So that’s what I’ve been doing. My warm up now consists of front squats. Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never done a front squat and when I tried, it hurt my wrists. The effort on my legs was ok, balance surprisingly good considering I’d never done them before, but my wrists really hurt. The pain gets worse as the weight goes up. Continue reading Deeper Squats

Deadlift Tips

Watching videos to teach you how to deadlift is great, but sometimes it helps if you have everything written down in checklist form. You can easily become overwhelmed. Here’s that checklist.

These are the things I focus on to get my technique right. If I were you, and you wanted to improve your existing deadlift technique, I would concentrate on just one item in each of your deadlift session. There really are a lot of details to keep track of, so it’s easy to feel swamped. Continue reading Deadlift Tips

Starting Deadlifts

I started doing deadlifts in January 2014, and I’d never done one before. I watched some videos on Youtube and took myself off to a quiet training room in my gym to practise with some very light, pink coloured weights. I started off very slowly with a grand total of 10kg on a light bar (negligible weight); I didn’t want to injure myself. I’d not done any back exercises before and I’d heard rumours that deadlifts were dangerous. Continue reading Starting Deadlifts