Olympic Weightlifting: Cues & Corrections w/ Daniel Camargo

Daniel Camargo is a 27 year veteran in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. As an athlete, he has represented Team USA in 9 international competitions. and set 3 American records. As a coach, he has reached the top tier as a U.S. Senior International Coach. You might know one of his athletes Mattie Rogers, but he has also produced several State, Collegiate, and National Champions. Many of his athletes have also made it to the international stages of competition.

He was on for the first episode EVER. This time we talk about beginner, intermediate, and advanced errors for the Snatch, Clean, and Jerk. Danny is able to articulate what your body should be doing and how you should be feeling in a very unique way.


Whenever you’re lifting a barbell, there are moments of doubt and panic that may stand in your way. This happens to EVERYONE. It’s when the bar starts to feel heavy and the elite has mastered the ability to dance with this doubt.

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    Show Notes:

    ·        (4:40) – Similarities in the Snatch and Clean

    ·        (7:52) – Addressing the cause for hips rising too fast

    ·        (10:40) – Panicking when the bar gets heavy

    ·        (13:50) – A technique for building mental toughness

    ·        (15:14) – “Moving your body around the bar, not the bar around the body”

    ·        (18:20) – Creating the straightest line possible

    ·        (19:53) – Bar floating away from your hips

    ·        (26:12) – Jab vs Uppercut with the hips

    ·        (27:28) – Coming up early on the toes

    ·        (29:00) – The “Crash” in the catch

    ·        (34:55) – Barbell cycling in woods

    ·        (38:04) – The Jerk and Pressouts

    ·        (41:52) – Which style of Jerk is best for you?

    ·        (44:00) – Footwork

    ·        (46:38) – Stepping forward when recovering from the Split Jerk

    ·        (48:43) – Drills for footwork

    ·        (50:07) – Dip & drive in the Jerk

    ·        (53:25) – When you can’t get the bar to your hip…

    ·        (57:36) – Where do you initiate the scoop?

    ·        (58:30) – Intermediate and advanced errors: the setup

    ·        (1:01:16) – Back angle for the Snatch and Clean

    ·        (1:05:38) – Excessive arching of the back

    ·        (1:10:03) – Timing of the catch


    Podcast Transcript:

    Daniel Camargo (00:00:00):

    Hi, this is Danny Camargo and you’re listening to the Airborne Mind Show.

    Misbah (00:00:34):

    Hey guys, Misbah Haque here. Thank you so much for joining me and welcome back to the show. So, before we get started, make sure you head over to theairbornemind.com and check out some of the free coaching videos. Lots of cool warm-ups and mobility-related things over there so, see what is most relevant to you right now. Once again, that’s theairbornemind.com. Now, today’s podcast is brought to you by audible.com. I’m reading this book called Mastery by Robert Greene, and I actually think that what you should do before you even check this one out is check out some of the interviews that he’s done. If you just type in Robert Greene on iTunes, you can see all the podcast episodes he’s done around the topic and with his previous books. And I just find that discussion to be extremely fascinating. 

    Misbah (00:00:34):

    That kind of made me want to check out the book and I’ve gotten some great recommendations as well.

    Misbah (00:01:23):

    So, do that before you check out the book, I think, and you’ll get much more out of it when you’re reading it. Remember, make sure you head over to the airbornemind.com/reading list if you want to see all the books that previous guests have mentioned on the show, and you can also grab a 30-day free trial and a free audiobook for audible.com there as well. Today, Danny Camargo is back on the show and I’m beyond excited for this one because he was on for the first episode ever. And hopefully, I’ve gotten better at this since then, but I recommend that you go check that one out because we dig into what it was like growing up around the barbell when nobody really cared, right? When weightlifting wasn’t really that sexy. 

    Misbah (00:01:23):

    We talk about his coaching and programming philosophies, and we dig into his athletic career a little bit, as well.

    Misbah (00:02:11):

    And for those of you who don’t know, he’s been in the sport a very long time – I think over 27 years now. He has represented Team USA in nine international competitions and set three American records as a coach. He’s reached the top tier as a US senior international coach. You might know one of his athletes, Mattie Rogers, but he has also produced several state collegiate and national champions. Many of his athletes have also made it to the international stages of the competition. In this episode, though, we’re going to talk about technique and error correction. So, when you think of Danny, you automatically think of a technician with his passionate and authentic personality. When you combine that with how well he’s able to articulate things, there are light bulbs that are bound to go off in this episode. 

    Misbah (00:02:11):

    We go through beginner, intermediate, and advanced for the snatch, clean, and jerk. What we’ve done is linked a few videos that you might want to check out that are on Danny’s site, and on his Instagram page as well. If you need a visual, you can look at that, but you should be able to pick up on a decent amount of stuff that we’re talking about today. If you have any questions, remember, don’t hesitate to let me know, but yeah, I’ll let you get to it. With that being said, please enjoy Danny. Welcome back to the show, man.

    Thank you for having me, man. I always appreciate it when you reach out and we can talk shop.

    Misbah (00:03:31):

    Yeah. for those who haven’t listened to the first episode ever, you can get to know Danny a little bit better. In that episode, we talk a lot about coaching philosophy and things like that. This one, we’re going to be kind of getting straight to business. We’re going to talk about the most common errors that you have come across. You’ve probably watched thousands of reps at this point; you teach seminars and certifications. So, between beginner athletes, intermediate, and advanced, what are the most common errors that people are making and how can we address them, especially with the open coming up. This is definitely a fun topic to touch on.

    Absolutely. You know, I pride myself on being a technical coach. I made that decision when I started coaching. Out of all the aspects of coaching, it’s the one that I find most challenging. Even when you think you know it, someone comes in with a new body type, a new scenario pops up and you’re like, wow, I haven’t seen that one. How do I address it? What do I do? Then, you evaluate your cues and correction. So I love talking about technique. It’s excitable.

    Misbah (00:04:37):

    And you articulate it really well, which is why I’m excited to have you on. So, let’s start with some beginner errors, starting with the snatch and clean. Something we want to touch on before we even get into it, is the snatch and clean are somewhat identical with mechanical principles, correct?

    Absolutely. I tell people this all the time. The effort or the mechanics behind the snatch and clean is the exact same thing. What gets the bar from the ground to an elevated height, regardless? I think what’s funny is, people, treat them differently. Really. I don’t say that they treat them both differently. They treat the snatch differently, and the reason for a treat the snatch differently is that they think right before the setup and are thinking of all the mechanics and they’re speaking to themselves, “I have to get this bar all the way overhead.” And I think that’s where the problem lies because in the effort of trying to “get it all the way overhead” what you’re doing is now creating some cheats along the way, when in reality, on both lifts, you’re just trying to get that thing high enough to get under it.

    Misbah (00:06:12):

    So essentially, are you saying that you kind of think about the bar moving from position to position? For example, the point of the first poll is to get it to the second, the point of the second is to get it to the third. Is that how you’re referring to thinking about it, instead of thinking of it as one full whole moving piece? Because it’s a little overwhelming when you think about all the moving parts that the snatch consists of.

    Yeah. It can be, it certainly can be overwhelming. But if I could say it differently, I would say this: a beginner will think right before the snatch, “I have to get this into the overhead position.” Whereas someone more advanced will think, “I just got to get under it.” It’s a different approach, a different mental approach. And then that same beginner will go through the clean and jerk and think to themselves, “wow, this is going to be a little easier. I only have to bring it to my shoulders,” which in their mind, is a lower height from the ground. When in reality, the advanced lifter, again is thinking, “let’s just get under this puppy.” 

    Really, it’s the fact that someone who is experienced, if you were to identify their snatch and their clean and jerk, the bar height from ground to the end position, the top of its trajectory, in both lifts reach the same distance from the ground in both legs. And this can be seen if you study and analyze advanced lifters. So, we’re saying point A to point B is the same height, and how you get there should be identical in both.

    Misbah (00:07:52):

    Okay. So, let’s start with this, what is the most common thing that you see with both the snatch and clean? What is the first error?

    Speaker 3 (00:08:00):

    Day one? The most popular and most common. I should say, I want him to say popular because errors are not in demand. Right? We’re trying to fix them. But the most common one I see is the hips rising way too fast, at a greater speed than that of the shoulders. It’s funny, I was taught as a young boy, my coach would say, “hips and bar rise at the same rate.” Over the years I see literature, I see articles,  have books. And believe the USA Weightlifting Manual refers to the same concept, but they say it differently. They say hips and shoulders. It’s the same thing. I mean, if you look at it, shoulders are attached to the arms, are attached to the barbell, right? 

    Speaker 3 (00:08:00):

    So, whether you were referencing the bar or the shoulders, either must rise at the same rate and in relation to the hips.

    And so, the common mistake we see is people immediately lift the bar up and their butt comes up too fast. The reason why I think people do this is that whoever taught you how to snatch and clean and jerk, didn’t have to tell you that speed is important. We kind of figured that out really fast. Now, hopefully, a good coach may mention this at some point but reserves that for later in the development. You can’t practice speed too early at the wrong time. Some athletes develop faster than others. So, maybe you can have that conversation sooner than others, but overall, there is a place in time to address speed, which certainly isn’t the first day or soon after. All right? So, going back to the fact that we feel that speed is important. We kind of figured that out.

    We love it when the bar feels fast, right? Especially when we don’t intend to. You’re snatching, and then you hit that perfect one, right? Magic, man. It’s like a golf swing. I make that analogy all the time. How many years does it take to develop a golf swing? So, people love it when they feel fast. But here Misbah here’s the problem. We love when the bar feels light and fast and quick, whether we intend on it or not. But now we put a load on the bar and now we are, for the first time in our development, trying heavier weight. Hopefully, beginners are not maxing out there, but heavier weight. And now we pick up the barbell and it’s heavy and we panic. We don’t like that feeling. 

    So, since we cannot embrace that early on what it feels like to move heavy from the ground, we panic, freak out, and create all these sorts of cheats or all these methods of trying to create this speed.

    In this case, the butt moving up really fast. The community now has referred to that as “a stripper pole” or “a stripper start” or something like that. I don’t even know where that came from. Honestly, that was a surprise when I heard it, I don’t often use that at all. But you know, nevertheless, I say that because we have an audience here that might know what we’re talking about and what we’re referring to. But at any rate, this stripper pole with the hips moving up fast, people do that because they really don’t like that it feels heavy off the ground. But how I teach it and how to address it is when I see it, the first thing I do is let the athlete know, or a coach that is learning, how to fix this.

    I say the hips moving up fast is really the effect, it’s not the cause. The cause is actually the chest sinking or the shoulders not moving fast enough. So, we really want to address this error by making the chest move. Or as I say, lead with the chest, lead with the shoulders. As long as the shoulders are moving and doing something along with the barbell and the barbell is moving, the hips can do whatever the heck they want. Mow we have the fix, but I try to reassure the athletes, and I’ll conclude with this, that I make them fully aware that the first pull of a snatch or a clean that is heavy will always feel like garbage. There’s nothing you can do about the first few inches of a heavy snatch or clean. 

    If they can recognize then moving this object at rest, and it is said, right, not to get too scientific, but an object at rest takes greater energy to get it going than what it takes once it’s already moving. You know, I often use the analogy of a broken-down vehicle on the side of the road. You have to push a car. Well, how’s it feel to get that car moving? I mean, it’s difficult once it’s rolling, you’ve got some momentum. So, our barbells are the exact same way. If you can expect and anticipate the minute you leave the ground, it’s going to feel like death, then you don’t mistake that for a failure. You don’t say to yourself, “wow, this is heavy. There’s going to be a problem. Let me shoot to hips around the back.” That is an illusion of speed. 

    You might be moving quickly, but the barbell is not responding. Instead, the mentality is, “all right, the bar’s moving, feels like death, but coach said, it’s supposed to feel this way.” Confidence gets built, commitment to the barbell gets built. And this is how we, we didn’t talk about this when you and I were preparing for this podcast, but this is actually part of the way that I teach mental strength.

    Misbah (00:13:53):

    By preparing the athlete for the discomfort that’s kind of about to happen. 

    Yeah, what to expect, then they don’t think it’s that foreign.

    Misbah (00:14:00):

    Absolutely. And I think the first time this clicked for me was when I watched a lifter like Jared Fleming. He, I think, is a great example of what you just described with leading with the chest. Like the bar moves kind of slow in the beginning because it’s so heavy, but then all of a sudden there’s this ball of tension, ready to explode because he was kind of leading with that chest. And I feel like when the hips go too fast, you feel insecure a bit, right? It feels like when your back goes a little bit, you’re not going to be able to transmit force as well.

    Yeah. Right. You get doubtful. I think in this conversation, we may touch on the jerk. If we do, there’s a cue I give, as it relates to the dip and drive. When we get there, I intend on addressing it, where I will tell the athlete, “You’re about to do this for me, that I’m fixing.” They’ll say, “okay, coach.” I’ll say, “As soon as you start doing this, remember, I just told you were going to and trust what I’m asking you to do.” It works almost every single time.

    Misbah (00:15:15):

    That’s amazing. Okay, let’s go on to, once we’ve kind of addressed this, the next thing is kind of learning how to move your body around the bar and not moving the bar around the body. Do you see any errors that usually come up with that?

    All-day long. It’s funny because we’re asking athletes to move this external object around themselves. Now, we aren’t literally trying to move it around ourselves. They are manipulating this external object. If you’ve been doing this long enough, you know that gymnasts crossover into weightlifting, and those who do, come in with talent. They have great body awareness, flexibility, and strength. Most gymnasts begin with one foot forward, they’re ready to go. The talent is great. However, I’ve seen some gymnasts, in my own experience, actually struggle, despite the talent they have to apply to the barbell because they are used to moving themselves around fixed objects, but now it’s the reverse. And so there’s an odd timing for them. The most common thing I see as it relates to moving the bar or moving around a bar is when we’re trying to talk about getting on the knees.

    The knees can really be problematic for a lot of people. And again, they do this because of awareness. This is an awareness thing. It’s not even a strength issue. It’s not a panic issue, like the last one we just discussed. When I see athletes move a barbell around the knees, that’s a poor bar traction or trajectory. So, you have to find a way to get athletes to get their knees out of the way, and what we want to be a straight vertical barbell with mild curvature. It’s harder for taller individuals, but not impossible for you taller people out there. Nothing is impossible. You can still do this too. But it is a little more challenging for the taller individuals because so much of them is in the way of the path of the bar. 

    This is part of the reason why it’s said that weightlifting favors shorter individuals and those with smaller proportions. The easiest way to fix this is really have them focus on driving up off the ground with the majority of their weight balance on the heels by shoving heels to the ground. It tends to kind of automatically pull those knees back, while the rest of the body and the upper body is in this really good hang position that everyone loves. I mean, how many people are better in the hang, right? Which is a problem. Ultimately, it’s a problem, but it really does reassure them. The other thing I do is just have them move their knees out, see if they can bow them outward. And that usually fixes this error.

    Misbah (00:18:20):

    So, something to touch on, and this is something that clicked for me and it might for some other people, but when you start to think of performing the snatch or a clean and that bar path that you mentioned, that straight line, so the bar starts at foot and we ideally want it to stay as close to that straight line as possible, things just kind of start to click. Like I started to think about it that way and I’m like, all right, let me try to make the straightest line that I can. And when you pull it off, that’s when it feels smooth and it feels like magic. With your previous cue, keeping that chest up nice and tight, if we do what you just said now, drive through the heels, you’re saying that automatically will kind of fix the issue.

    Absolutely. In fact, from the two errors we’re talking about here, leading with the chest, even if it feels like it’s heavier, it’s not. The way it’s opposed to be. Heck, I’ve told people, and this is going back to the last error of the hips coming up too fast, I tell people, “Hey, you’re about to do a one-rep max. I know you can do it. If you pick up this barbell baby and it feels light, something is wrong.” With that said, keeping your chest moving, plus drilling heels to the ground, and not to the extent where the toes are losing contact with the ground, but it is general weight distribution, you’ve got an outstanding first pull and a ton of comfort and confidence going into what will be the second pull and the rest of the lift.

    Misbah (00:19:51):

    So, let’s move on to that now. When we are now at the second poll, what’s an error that you typically see here? I know that the bar kind of floating away from you as we go to explode, that’s something that we commonly see. How do you feel about that?

    Yeah. What I see is, even if they did everything that we’ve talked so far about correctly, they’ll come into the hips, whether they make a significant contact or not, I do not stress, bang the bar, smack the bar, impact, contact the bar. I want it close, whether that’s a brush, whether that is a significant strike. I just need it close to the hips. I do that to alleviate this error, or to minimize it. But when people get to the hips, they jump. This is where the bars had their greatest velocity. This is the biggest effort. And is actually the moment that all sports use Olympic lifting for, right? That’s power production. At this moment, they’ll send that bar out and away from them, creating too much space between the bar and themselves.

    My analogy on this is, we do not carry groceries in from the store with our arms extended out in front of us. We don’t hold children that way either. Instead, we embrace both, where we are stronger and that’s a whole center of gravity thing. It’s control of the object we’re carrying if it’s closer to us. The barbell is the exact same way. So, the farther the barbell is located in relation to the body, the heavier we’re making it, whether we know that or not. Plus, Misbah, I’ll tell you this, the other thing making the bar heavier at this moment, and then losing some of the control over it is, in the catch, that we’ll talk about here in a moment, it can negatively affect how you receive it.

    The closer the bar is to you, and the more vertical you can keep, it will allow the end position, which is the catch, to be more vertical and controlled. You hit that bar out and away from you, it becomes a swing, it looks like a question mark, and in doing so, and cannot always predict where it’s going to go. And with this distance, you can see it from a mile away. There’re a few ways we have to fix it. Now, before, like I do all my cues and corrections, which is actually the reason why I wrote the book, we’ve talked about this before, and we can reference it later. But I wrote it with this inspiration, right? How many times have you been watching someone, and know something is wrong, but you don’t quite know how to fix it?

    I intended on answering as many of those as possible. And think this conversation is kind of summarizing the content I have in that book. But at any rate, when I see an error, let the athlete know that there’s an error. Then I tell them why they’re probably doing it; it tends to help people. That’s something I’m not sure I read a lot about, that step in correcting it. I tell them, you’re probably doing this because of some other natural sensation they have gained from some other sport. In this case, why people smack that bar out and away is because that forward movement of the hips feels freaking cool. That’s it, man. It feels awesome to connect and jump.

    And it feels fast. It feels fast because our hips are travelling horizontally, forward and backwards. That is weight-bearing, but not as much load as going upward. If I can describe that by trying to articulate it, when our hips shift from being back behind the bar and shift forward, it’s so easy for all of us to do it, that we tend to rely on it because of how cool it feels, how good it feels. Well, now we’ve mastered that connection and we’re overdoing it. And are picking up this barbell, Misbah, and we’re thinking, “man, if I can just get to the hips, then my hips will do everything.” Hips should not be relied upon for the totality of the lift. There is way more to consider. It’s just a step.

    And it doesn’t have any greater value than any previous step or anything that comes after it. The legs actually have a greater value, if I can pick anything that does. So, this is why people do it. Tell an athlete, you’re swinging the bar out and doing it because it feels like you can get away with it. Though you can at the lighter weights, but not the heavy. How to fix it, when I’m queuing alone, I tell them to keep it close. Every coach says that. I focus on the activities of the arms. I look for a bad early arm bend. And then focus on leg drive, no hip drive. Legs. That tends to really help as well. I have another cue. I tell athletes, aim for your chin, as silly as that sounds.


    I borrowed that one from you.

    You did. Okay. Good. I’m glad, I hope it works. Because they know that makes sense. That’s easy to produce. Okay, I’m lifting this bar and I’m going to try to strike my chin. Now look, in reality, like many cues it’s not literal, right? So, the act of aiming for the chin is really just pulling that bar close to them. Now, by the time the bar gets there, hopefully, they’re underneath it so we don’t have any accidents. If none of the cues work, I do have some drills. My drills for that tend to be block work. I love block work. And I like block work to help the athlete recognize themselves, where the error is happening. Hangs will do it also in lieu of blocks, but not as well or quickly as using blocks would. So, that’s how I fixed that one.

    Misbah (00:26:11):

    Yeah. That is a problem that I had for the longest time because I had this habit of using my hips. And when you would watch a video, I was way overextending. That made me slower when it came time to get under the bar as the weight got heavier. It also just started feeling more clunky. I didn’t know what to do to fix it. You may have been the one to say this, but it was when you think about the hips, it’s not like you’re jabbing the bar, but doing an uppercut. That’s what I’ve relayed to people. That seems to click because the bar is already close to the hips, and now from here if you focus on punching the knees and really using the legs, your hips are automatically going to open and do what they need to do. 

    Misbah (00:26:11):

    And in turn, you can be a little bit quicker. Is that right?

    It is right. And if I can add to that, what you described, the difference between a straight jab punch and an uppercut, which everyone can understand that whether you were a boxer or not, that is where the term ‘scoop’ came from. The idea of not just shifting forward, but shifting sometimes down, which is a whole double knee bend. But hips going forward, maybe down in some cases, but then up with the use of the leg drive. So yeah, that is absolutely correct. And I believe that was me who told you that. I’m glad that’s worked for you.

    Misbah (00:27:34):

    Yeah. And I guess the other concept to highlight here, in relation to the scoop and driving with the legs, is getting comfortable and knowing what it feels like to really push your feet into the floor. I think once you can grasp that feeling and you can think about the floor kind of being your friend, helping you drive that barbell upwards, just that awareness alone, I think can make a huge difference.

    Yeah, absolutely. In this phase of the lift, everyone really wants to go to the toes early and early toes is another one that I see quite frequently. It’s only early if the result is bad. I say that because though we teach day one, stay flat-footed as long as possible when you’re jumping through the toe, we all naturally are more agile and explosive on the balls of our feet. So, getting there as soon as we can feels stronger to us. This is why it happens. I totally get it. I understand it. The problem is a beginner, when going to the toes too soon, more than likely will be also forward because of it. 

    When they become more advanced and can control the path of the bar better, they go up early on their toes at this phase of the lift that we’re discussing right now, I don’t say a word. It’s fine. It’s not in my world a bad early toe issue. And because the result is a positive one.

    Misbah (00:28:59):

    Now, let’s move on to the catch, right? Because we’ve talked about everything leading up to this. The caches where we see a lot of things. A lot of times people are afraid to get under the bar or the bar might crash down on them. What are some things that you’ve noticed here that are common errors in the catch?

    The crash, in and of itself, is the error, right? Two things attribute to that. Or there are two things missing that create this. Everyone experiences the crash. It’s scarier feeling and looks scarier when it happens in snatch because of how the elbows may break in and bend, where that bar might end up on the back of the neck or not being bailed out appropriately. And the clean, the crash looks really bad. But ironically, isn’t as painful. I think the reason this happens, what brings someone to do it is they’re focusing so much on their coach saying, “get under, get under,” that they do and they’ll get under it, but do so by freefall dropping, freefall diving. And are losing the tension of the bar.

    You have this heavy object that you’re trying to get either to the shoulders, in this case for a clean, or overhead in the snatch. There should be no moment in time that you lose any pressure-pulling tension on this barbell. You need to always know where it’s at. Since we get so focused on, “the coach says drop, he says squat, coach says get under,” they’re pulling the snot out of it. They’re getting in triple extension, which was the last issue we talked about. Then they’re just literally falling to earth. The problem with this is that it is a slower approach to getting under. So now we know why this is occurring, where it’s coming from. They’re missing some tension. So, there is a term out there that is getting utilized more and more by coaches.

    I don’t know that it’s an officially adopted term yet. But colloquially speaking, it’s catching some momentum, and it’s the ‘third pull’. What we mean by that is, once you have jumped, pulled, extended, reached through the toes, however you want to describe that finishing elevation, it’s time to get under the third pull or this active approach. You continue to use those arms as you actively pull yourself into a squat position. It’s really hard to verbalize. Seeing it demoed, especially in slow motion is easier, but we can’t just free-fall and drop. That’s where they get this loss of tension. And then they are expecting to get tense again when the bar is on their shoulders or in the overhead position. And so, I teach using the arms to pull yourself under. 

    The USA Weightlifting Coach’s Manual for those who have been certified or are soon to be certified, or would like to get certified, cover this topic.

    They don’t have a title for it. Also don’t have a name for it, but they do describe it more as your traps. It’s like a shoulder shrug getting into the squat. And we should stop thinking about shrugging for elevation, but rather shrugging to be active getting under. Now, everything I just said, you can’t think about. You got to feel this occur. I’ll conclude by saying this active approach, the reason why it is faster than just dropping, is that say you were to grab a fixed object, like a pillar in the middle of a weight room, like a column. We all know that we can grab that column and we can pull ourselves to gain some sort of leverage against it. 

    Well, the barbell, for a fraction of a second, becomes that exact same scenario where you are using the bar to pull yourself under, not only do you make yourself faster as I’ve just illustrated by using it as leverage, but really you slow the rate at which the bar is falling to earth.

    And you’re buying yourself time. So, for those who know Mattie Rogers or follow Mattie Rogers, I remember discussing this with her early in her development. And she took that herself, now she’s coaching as well, primarily youth. She loves working with youth and I’m going to cite her because she’s turned everything that I’ve just told you into her own cue, and says, “feel the bar all the way into the squat.” In other words, don’t lose contact with it. That seems to help. The second part that’s missing is really awareness as to where that bar stops, period. So, meeting the bar, knowing where it stops rising and that’s a recognition thing for the athletes. They also fail to meet it at the top of its trajectory.

    Misbah (00:34:06):

    So, if we were to combine cues here, that aiming for your chin and then dropping under. If you did those two things, would that be kind of the sweet spot that we’re talking about?

    That would be the lift you would say to yourself, “Oh my gosh, did I record that one? I need that one for evidence. And want to boast about that one.” Because then you jump right back on the barbell. You try again and then, man,  just can’t quite get it right the same way. Yeah. Aim for the chin and actively pull yourself into the lockout. I heard a coach once say, “fast hands.” Thinking “fast hands” in the snatch is the exact same as what I just said because it will then cause the athlete to have constant tension on the barbell.

    Misbah (00:34:54):

    Right. Okay. So, when you’re going for, let’s say a heavy single or heavy double, the weights are heavier. You can definitely feel it. Now, what if we’re talking about weights that may be are lighter that you’re cycling in like an open workout, for example? What is the fine balance between how hard you should be pulling and how fast you should be dropping?

    Great question. Because the answer to this question is nearly the opposite of what we’ve been discussing. When you are barbell cycling lighter weight, I’m not talking about the mid-range because the mid-range might see a little bit of both, but lighter weight, I actually encourage more hips, less legs, and you can lose some tension previous to the catch. So, for the CrossFitters out there, anybody in the Open right now, if they were to announce an Open WOD where there would be a ton of reps with that barbell, I would say the exact opposite of what we’ve been discussing, which are the heavies. I would say, “Hey, pull this bar up and this time, I don’t care if your butt rises fast and you have a stripper pool when you’re cycling.” 

    In fact, your butt might remain high. Come in, make contact and use the hips since it’s easier and it feels great.

    Swing the bar a little bit. We don’t want to do it a ton but it’s lightweight. And what you’re doing is you’re staying effective with moving the barbell and saving energy. What we have discussed this entire time as it relates to the heavy is how to use all the energy on a heavyweight. We’ve pretty much covered it all just now, but now it’s light. I don’t have to use my energy. I need to save energy. In that case, cheat. Cheat your ass off. And I want to make this clear to your audience, you’re not cheating to injure yourself or putting yourself at risk for injury. You’re cheating away from the 100% energy needed on a maximum lift. Also, you’re cutting corners in a very safe manner. Your back should still be flat and concave. 

    You should have a full lockout, full extensions. I think this is why CrossFit promotes certain rules as to what is a rep. It’s really safety, as well. Being anatomically correct and safety, which is great. So, I’m glad you asked that. I think if you’re cycling, use a ton of hip contact, and no need to pull yourself under, let that bar float up and just catch.

    Misbah (00:37:30):

    Yeah. Having some experience with each of those ranges, those lighter weights, like you were mentioning those mid-range weights, and then those heavyweights as well, you could really take that awareness and connect it back and forth between those different ranges to know when it’s going to be appropriate for you to do exactly what, and I guess that just takes a ton of repetition.

    It does, it does. Practice and understanding what you have on the barbell. In other words, load dictates approach.

    Misbah (00:38:03):

    Awesome. Let’s move on a little bit to the jerk. So, something that we also see, and maybe this is not even just a split jerk, but if we’re looking at the Open or a Metcon, just going simply shouldered overhead, any type of shoulder to overhead, you kind of stop halfway and then you press out a little bit. Is that an error that you see? That pressing out, maybe not meeting the bar, not getting under it enough?

    Yeah. Your question is the answer: not getting under enough. So if it’s a CrossFit judging scenario or CrossFit aim, the press out is legal. It’s fine. That’s cool. It’s a different aim, nothing wrong with that. If you’re in their world of weightlifting, the standard is different because it has a different aim. I’ll even say this: when it’s a heavy lift, CrossFitters don’t like to press out. They still like to get that snappy elbow and that speed of the catch in the overhead position. The reason why this happens to all of us is the body is not low enough to accommodate a lockout.

    See, if I could refer back to the snatch and clean, when the bars light in a snatch and clean, we can elevate that bar all the way up to our chest or our face, right? Because it’s light. As it gets heavier, we know that we are unable to elevate it as high. So, the squatting, the active pulling under, or AKA third pull is needed in order to be successful. The jerk or any shoulder to overhead is the exact same scenario, but people don’t think of it that way. The reason why beginners and people press out is that they are thinking to themselves, “okay, I have to lift this. Okay, get it all the way up, up.” The truth of the matter is, especially in a heavy jerk, we’re lucky enough to just get this thing off of us, right?

    You’re probably looking at five inches of elevation from the shoulder. When we drive up, we can embrace the fact that the bar’s not going to get past our forehead. That means once we split, or if it’s a push or power jerk scenario, the remaining piece of the puzzle to create the lockout is that your body has got to accommodate and get lower, however you want to get lower, just be in a lower lunge or lower squat position, even if it’s a quarter squat, to allow the lockout. And that goes back to what you said earlier on, we are not moving a barbell around us. We are moving around a barbell that should have as minimal movement as possible.

    Misbah (00:40:57):

    I really like how you worded that. And I think that’s a great way to visualize it, imagining if you can’t push the barbell any higher than your forehead, you have no other option, but to actually get under. So, we’ve mentioned that for a split jerk, it’s getting a little bit deeper or lower into that lunge. If we’re thinking push or power jerk maybe it’s in a Metcon, what are we doing here? Are we sending the butt back a little bit more or are we dipping the hips a little bit lower? How to catch the bar in a push or power jerk?

    Yeah. I prefer dipping the hips a little bit more but going back will not harm the athlete. And going back is actually just as effective. If that does not work because of the load or fatigue, you’re going to have to receive it with a wider stance or execute the whole thing in a wider stance to again accommodate going under. If I can add one thing, I have a philosophy on something. And this is going a little off-topic, but I won’t take long. I’ll come right back. It is really related to this jerk discussion we’re having. All of us have asked ourselves, which style of jerk on heavy is best for me. We may learn split jerk the first day, but we always question it at some point because it kind of sucks to learn. I’m not going to lie. 

    But there’s a stage of our development, months in, maybe a year in, “coach, I’ve been split jerking and I want to try and power jerking, squat jerking.”

    And I’ve always asked the athlete, okay, why? Now, if they say something like, I saw it on YouTube and I thought it was cool. The answer is no, stick to what we’re doing. But if they say something analytical like, “well, I was doing power jerks because you programmed them the other day or I was doing behind the necks and I can sense that there’s some potential there.” Okay, so now the athlete is really thinking about progress for the right reasons. Let’s discuss it. Here’s the answer to which jerk works best: it all comes down to one question that you must answer, which of all of them push, power, split, or squat, which one of those can I get the lowest? Which allows me to get the lower stance and remain strong in the overhead? Find out what one that is and that is your answer. 

    And you can perfect the heck out of it. Now if you’re talking about a Metcon going back, your question was correct: butt back, wider stance, or hips down.

    Misbah (00:43:24):

    When you think hips down, I’m curious if you ever notice that people end up performing that dip with a muted hip at all?

    Yeah, probably not because of it, maybe because of the end result. They’re trying to get their hips down. They’re thinking too much about the end, not thinking about the first part of the movement. But yeah, I can sometimes see a muted hip. I think in this case, in my experience those who mute the hip or are in less than full extension of the hips are really doing it because they’re in a rush to get the lockout, they’re in a rush to get under it. 

    Misbah (00:44:05):

    Okay. Now let’s talk about footwork. How important is footwork and how does this contribute to a lot of the errors that you might see in the jerk and split jerk?

    Well, the floor is our friend in weightlifting. We feel strong and we’re connected to it. And it’s our force production. It’s our balance and our safety. We feel secure when we’re in contact with the ground and it makes sense. And this is why beginners tend to do some real funky stuff with how they split. What they’re producing is whatever they feel comfortable in connecting, whether it’s really effective for long-term weightlifting or not. The most common issue is rear leg, rear foot, is it in a position that we don’t want. The reason that this happens, like I said, I always try to give reasons for why it’s occurring, is because a flat foot or a toe pointed away from the body feels very stable to the untrained person. 

    Now, if you get a correct, say sprinter stance, a ball of the foot heel off, toes straight in preparation for my analogy, as if you were going to propel yourself forward, that is more effective long-term, but for a beginner, says that doesn’t feel stable.

    Well, it’s not going to, it’s untrained. We just know as coaches that this is what’s going to work best or any variation of this was going to work best. So, you have to introduce it to them. So, foot stance is extremely important. And I will say that since it’s our foundation if your foot stance is not comfortable, nothing above will be.

    Misbah (00:45:57):

    So, what are we looking at in terms of weight distribution between the front leg and the back leg? Would you say it’s 50/50?

    100%. I would say that it is 50/50. There’s no doubt that it’s 50/50. I’ve met coaches who say they want 65% of your weight distributed on the front leg and 35% on the back leg. First of all, how do you measure that? Second of all, how complicated does that sound to the beginner? Again, we’re talking about the beginning in this case. For the advanced, we can talk about that as well. But I still wouldn’t recommend that uneven distribution, 50/50 Misbah.

    Misbah (00:46:38):

    So, what we see a lot of times is stepping forward when you are recovering from the jerk. And it’s something that happens naturally for people. I’m assuming it’s because that 50/50 rule isn’t being followed. You’ve got more like 80-85% of the weight in the front leg and the back leg is just kind of there for a split second, and you rush into the recovery.

    Yeah. So, that’s another common one of them and I’ll tell you why people do that. Let’s assume, hypothetically, that it is not because the dip and drive were forward so now the momentum is going forward and they don’t have a choice, because then you can just say, “Hey, you’re not dipping straight up and down,” fix the bar path, and then fix the split a little bit better. Now, outside of that one, if it’s a great dip and drive but you still see people relying on the front leg, the reason why we all rely on the front leg so much is that when we visualize what a great split position looks like, if you’re looking at both legs, then look at the front leg in your mind and think to yourself, that front leg is in a very strong angle for the human body.

    Think about when we’re doing walking lunges, that first front leg always feels fine. Somehow that back leg always just seems weaker and unstable, yet you’re using both. Both go through the same experience. So, if you can visualize the front leg of a split jerk and understand that it is in a naturally anatomically strong angle for all of us, this is why we like to rely on it. It feels like we should. It feels safe. Even if you have your weak leg in front and your strong, dominant leg behind you, the front one will still be in a strong angle so we tend to rely on it. That’s all. If we understand that and try to focus on the back leg doing more work, you end up getting a better development of the athlete.

    Misbah (00:48:43):

    Something that I’ve been using pretty consistently, every Sunday we have an Olympic lifting class and if we’re doing jerks that day we’ll, I’ll shoot through the progression that I think is in the USAW manual. It’s just hands on hips, jump into your split. Take the PVC, hold it overhead in a locked out position, and then jump into your split. Doing that alone brings that awareness because there’s no load present, you can really get a feel for where your feet are. And if you aren’t 50/50 there, you can really take some time to let some weight sink in that back leg. Then what you’re saying is you will naturally want to take a step back and recover to stay balanced instead of rushing forward.

    Yeah. That’s referred to as footwork drills. Yeah. That’s what you described. I do some that are similar to that. I also just have people spend time in the split. Also, like to use something called split position press. They are in a split position. Keep them there. They don’t move. There’s no jumping, there’s nothing. And they are just strict pressing while standing or positioning in a split stance. They spend that much time in it that it’s easy to apply back to when actually have a load. So, absolutely.

    Misbah (00:49:56):

    Yeah. That’s a phenomenal one because you will get immediate feedback if somebody who’s dominating with that front leg when you’re pressing in that split. Now, let’s back up a little and talk about the dip and drive that we were just mentioning and the trajectory of the bar path and you being forward because of that. Could you touch on that a little bit?

    Yeah. Let me tell you, I’m glad you were talking about this. I said earlier, not long ago, that I wanted to address something in the dip and drive. And tell athletes, “Okay, I told you to fix something. You’re about to do something for me. In the moment of executing, in that fraction of a second, your mind will say, there is no way, this can’t work. When you experience it, I need you to trust it anyway and just know that I warned you.” Here’s my example. Let me ask you this, I’m sure you have in your coaching seen during the execution of a dip and drive or during the execution of the jerk, it looks like that bar is bouncing on their shoulders.

    Right? Okay. I blame this for this frequent theme I see out there that, really good cues are getting beat to heck out there. They’re getting smashed and twisted around. And I think they lose their original meaning. Here’s one of them. You’ve probably heard coaches say, or maybe you use it too, I’ve come close to using this one. When they’re about to do a dip and drive on the jerk, and you cue them to go fast, a quick dip and drive. Make it quick, make it quick. Here’s the problem: it’s not supposed to be quick. That, I think, is a cue that got misinterpreted out there somehow. When we perform a jerk, a heavy jerk, you’re actually supposed to initiate it kind of slowly. Now, I don’t like to use the term ‘slow’ on anything.

    So, I like to say control, right? If you just break the knees and let the bar take you down, will remain in contact with the barbell, or it with you, I should say, because my point is, if you’re too fast on a dip and drive, it will move so quickly, you’re actually moving down underneath it, away from the barbell. And creating space. Now you’re going to ram right back into it when you decide to go the other direction. Now create this bouncing on the barbell that is bad for the transfer of energy. So, if you can keep the bar on your shoulders and not let it bounce by starting the dip relatively slowly and controlled. What does have to be fast? This is where the cue got beat, I think. 

    What does have to be fast is the reverse in direction. It’s saying, all right, now, it’s time for me to go up.

    If you do it very quickly and change directions, you’ll get that cool snap of the bar, first of all, but the energy you’re producing gets directly transferred into the barbell and going to get a ton of elevation. You’re going to get way more confident with your jerks. And this is what I tell athletes, when you start the jerk slow or controlled, at that moment thinking there’s no way this is going to work, but it does. It is the best way to control energy on that barbell.

    Misbah (00:53:26):

    Now, this going to be going a little bit backward, but I want to make sure to touch on this. With the snatch in particular, how do you address somebody who is not even close to their hip, right? They’re not getting that barbell close enough to the hip. And maybe it’s in that upper quad region. What are the first things that you kind of look at when somebody is not making that contact?

    Yeah, well, the first thing I discuss with them is why? Why is it happening to them? It’s happening to them because they haven’t mastered yet the feeling, the sensation, they don’t have the coordination to get the bar going from up through the knees, then turning and curving to them, and then going up once again. You want the bar to go from ground to whatever end position, as straight as possible. But we have to have curvature. During that curvature, you’re changing directions a little bit on this bar. So, in other words, they are having a hard time understanding how to change directions. It is slight, we’re not making any 90 degree turns, right? It’s just curvature. So it’s a timing and a rhythm thing. Like anything, it’s a coordination thing. I let them know that is what’s happening. 

    How I fix it, other than queuing and saying, “keep it close, make contact with the hips,” I might tell them, “Hey, get closer. Brush the hips.” If that alone does not work, I actually go back a few stages and spend a lot of time in high hangs or blocks. I said earlier, blocks are the number one way I try to get an athlete to recognize the error. So, if they spend more time with blocks, they’re able to connect it later on.

    Misbah (00:55:06):

    Now, I’m curious if you’ve ever seen this. Have you noticed that double knee bend or that scoop that we were referring to earlier, maybe is not happening and if that’s not happening, your hips are so high that no matter how much you sweep it into you, it’s never going to get into that pocket as you want it? But if you were to lower the hips a little bit, not only have more leg drive now, but you are probably letting that come into that the lap of the hip.

    Yeah. I often say sink the hips, right? Same thing. Yeah. And I’m glad you said that because a lot of coaches don’t quite identify that. Why aren’t they making contact? See if you can visualize this start position. First pulls and essentially, it’s a half squat. It’s not a deadlift into a clean or deadlift into a snatch, but a half squat into the snatch and clean. Well, if you look at it this way, when we begin a lift, our knees are bent. As we’re pulling the bar up in the first pull, through the knees, the knees must straighten a little bit. Technically that’s the only thing that’s changing, the knees extending and pulling back at the same time. Once they surpass the knees, the knees should stop bending.

    They should not bend anymore. The reason why they should not is that even though there is some upward elevation, this is where the turn or the curve is happening. So, a shifting should occur and when the shifting is occurring into the hips with that bar, the knees can remain bent. Or if you straighten them too much, you can rebend, hence double knee bend, and create the lowering of the hips, like you said, which I agree with, sinking the hips. It’s the same thing, that action, it’s the early part of that uppercut. The scoop will help them a lot better. The error is when the knees are straightening, when the bar is getting lifted, and then when the bar passes the knees, the knees continue to straighten. 

    And now by the time the lifter gets that bar around the hips, their legs are basically already straight, and they have little flexion to create a jump.

    Misbah (00:57:35):

    What is the spot? Maybe it’s mid-thigh. Where do you start to initiate that scoop of the sinking of the hip?

    Wow, good question. I teach after the knees begin to shifting, but I teach, especially for those who can understand what we’re saying here, scoop, sinking in the hips, uppercut, rebending, double bending of the knee, should occur at the moment the bar gets to the hips, right before that moment. If someone can’t really make the reference in time and they need an actual location, I say upper quads.

    Misbah (00:58:19):

    Okay. Gotcha. How are we doing on time so far?

    Great, great. Let’s go another 15 minutes.

    Misbah (00:58:27):

    Cool. All right. Let’s touch on some intermediate and advanced errors. So, if we are talking about the snatch and clean, let’s start with the setup or the routine that you kind of get into before the bar even comes off the floor.

    Well, let’s start with the hook coming off the floor. Sometimes the routine these athletes develop on their own, the pre-lift ritual, can actually negatively affect the liftoff. See, I say because I think the beginner and the intermediate are taught static start. We’re taught, here’s your setup, don’t move, now lift. It’s a slow, static start. But then we get comfortable. Also, get good at what we’re doing. Though want something more dynamic, more ballistic. Let’s get this thing exploding off the ground, which essentially, we cannot do but we want to make it feel that way at least. So now you have some weird stuff happening there. Other than inconsistencies that it’s not the exact same start, by that I mean they may pump the hips and go, or they get some sort of dynamic or ballistic start, but every rep, their geometry is not the same.

    Other than that, I see the bar getting kicked out a lot, which drives me nuts.  They sink down at the start position and don’t realize that at the moment of lift, they actually rolled the bar forward a quarter of an inch. I don’t even like to say roll cause that makes it sound nicer than what it really is. It’s like they pop the bar outward and lift up. This bar is heavy, man. It’s heavy. We don’t want any excessive movements with it. We want the thing to just going straight up, or sweep back for those who can produce that. Also, definitely don’t want to going out forward at all, and then up. Even if it’s very slight, it will mean big problems for the athlete. 

    And I think this happens for these advanced athletes because they’re trying to get a stronger start and doing so they’re actually causing some other issues.

    Bar placement could be an issue. So, I would tell athletes, look at where the bar is. I like over the midfoot. I make sure that it’s not starting too close to the ankles. But that one’s a number one. And if I can add this one, a pet peeve of mine are the athletes who roll the bar forward, roll the bar back, and forward. It looks like they’re rolling pizza, man. They’re really dough. Then they’re like, okay, now I’m ready. Then lift again. This thing is heavy. Don’t move it. Don’t touch it. Just lift it straight up. Any movement of the bar before lifting, I think puts an athlete at risk of having a poor first pull.

    Misbah (01:01:11): 

    Okay, awesome. Let’s talk about the back angle. Okay.

    Oh yeah. I teach this: we set up; we get comfortable in our setup. Wherever your back is, whatever it looks like, the angle, be it a 45-degree, maybe it’s a little bit more vertical. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re comfortable. The angle at which your torso and your trunk are tilted, whatever it is, it has to stay that way from the ground until you clear the knees. You’re not allowed to make it move or change. What I see sometimes is athletes will pick up this barbell first pull and they may tend to flatten the angle or tend to lean forward more with their shoulders upon the liftoff. This is very, very similar to the beginner or the intermediate “stripper pole”. Very similar to this. 

    However, we won’t call it that because it’s not to the degree and it’s not for the same reasons per se, but the back angle changing is something I look out for. I want it to stay the same. There could be some slight changes, but when there’s too much of a change in the geometry of that back, I think it tends to negatively affect the rest of the movement and puts them at poor angles that they weren’t expecting.

    Misbah (01:02:48):

    So, how do you find that correct position for yourself? Are we supposed to be thinking, let’s keep the hips slightly in line or above the knees and this is where we’re going to kind of hold onto it? Or are we looking out for that feeling of leading with the chest and keeping that back angle very strong?

    Yeah. I go back to the chest up leading with the shoulders deal. And definitely go back to that. Refer them back to that. I think your first question was, how do we know what’s best for them? I start there. Here’s how I determine the back angle that is best for the athletes. I always start everyone with hips slightly higher than the height of the knee. Shorter individuals can come down a little bit and get away with that. So, if I see it happen naturally, say nothing. I let it go. What I’m looking for is whatever angle they begin, do they keep it and ask them, “can you feel more quads operating, or is it your back operating?” I answer those two questions the best I can.

    So, in other words, if their angle is changing well, wherever they are ending up in, maybe they should start there. That way there is zero change off the ground. Does that make sense? And then say, Hey, “when you’re lifting, where do you feel it?” If I gave you five or six clean poles right now, or what I like to use are liftoffs, it’s a pulling movement that’s ground to knees only. It’s very short-lived. But I say do a few of those, burnout on purpose, right? Mild burnout. And tell me, where do you feel it? If they go, “man, my legs and butt are burning but I don’t feel it at all in my back,” there’s your answer.

    Misbah (01:04:47):

    Okay. Sorry. You cut out a little bit there, but you said that if they are feeling it in the legs and the butt, it is correct. But if they’re feeling it in the back, it’s incorrect. Correct. 

    Right. The truth is all of it is working, right? All of it is working. I want to make sure that I’m clear. Also, don’t want your audience to think. I’m speaking of something being passive or inactive. I meant my test for them is, “Hey, let’s do five or six liftoffs to light burnout. I just need you to report back to me, which muscle groups you are feeling are fatiguing faster.” If they tell me legs and butt, I’m solid. If they go, wow, I feel that all in my back and nothing else. You have a problem there. I think it’s a poor back angle.

    Misbah (01:05:30):

    Cool. Okay. Perfect. So, I have two more for you, and then I’ll let you go. Let’s talk about your second biggest pet peeve, the excessive arch back.

    Man, that one drives me nuts. It’s something that I try to fix. And want to make sure I’m clear here, talking about an excessive arching over the back. I am not saying you cannot lean back. The difference is a lean back, to me, is basically from shoulders to ankles, you can draw a relatively straight line. There’ll be a little arch. That line is tilted back a little bit away from the bar. And the reason why it should be away from the bar, not that you’re trying to cause separation from the bar, just leading the bar where you want it to go. I’m talking about if you drew from the shoulders to the ankles, it looks like a C. A solid curve.

    The reason it drives me nuts is because of the reason why it’s happening. People learn how to connect the hips, and I said this earlier, and they rely on it too much. Then they start to say, “well, I think my hips are just going to be the end all be all to my lift because of how fast and cool it feels,” forgetting that speed is not in the pull. Speed is in the catch. What makes a lift look fast isn’t how quickly we can raise it up. It’s heavy, man. None of us can get it up very fast. It’s how fast we get under while it is weightless. That short period of time we have to react to this object we’ve thrown in the air, so to speak. 

    So the arched back drives me nuts because I think people are just relying on the hips too much. And it looks cool honestly, to get this arched back. The problem with that is arching back does not, in my opinion, create better bar elevation, which is up not back. Second, your torso is so far backward, you have to now come forward to catch and receive. I think that way back and way forward at the moment of the catch can cause some imbalances and loss of balance. And you’ve got some issues there.

    Misbah (01:08:00):

    I’ve actually experienced that in the early days. That’s something that I used to do all the time. And I think the root issue that connected it back to when I actually watched a video of myself was that arch was happening because me was thinking chest up. Lead with the chest. But because of that, I was not keeping that rib cage down. There was no awareness there. Now, when you take it to exactly the point that you’re talking about, it throws everything else off as well. What do you recommend for that? Just building awareness through hollow holds and things like that? And then focusing on liftoffs with that rib cage down and chest up?

    Yeah. That could work. How to fix it, when I’m talking cues only, and cue verticality, get vertical, reach for the ceiling. I do high pulls and the static high pulls, not the dynamic ones, where you’re high pulling to the chest, but you intentionally redip. I prefer not to redip because it can cut off some of the pulls. So I like to extend, reach and bring that bar to their chest statically. That seems to work. And if that still doesn’t work 100%, I either get back on blocks or high hang, very high hang with the added element of heavy weights. I can tell you this and add that the reason why I like blocks or high hang is that if someone was starting a lift at a high hang and they try to arch back, not only would they feel it. 

    If you were in a high hang or high block, the only way to get it is if you go up.

    Misbah (01:09:40):

    Okay. Oh, I just remembered. So, when you’re talking about the high pole, and if you have that arched back, essentially are going to feel a little bit unbalanced. But if you maybe are staying nice and vertical, like you mentioned, everything will feel somewhat balanced at that finished position of the high pole. Awesome. All right. This is the last one. Let’s talk about the timing of the catch.

    Which goes back to the bar crashing at times, especially in the jerk. That comes down to awareness. That comes down to meet the bar. And I touched on it earlier. We all know that whether it’s a snatch, clean, or jerk, from the moment it begins, we should all catch or receive wherever the bar stops rising, wherever that’s happened. So, one of the pet peeves I have, and this one I don’t with beginners, but I certainly do with people who are more advanced, they’re so focused on the catch that they lose the over the catch, almost. Kind of go too deep. And they are not paying attention to wherever the bar stops rising. When I say landing, I mean landing at the top of its trajectory.

    And so the timing of the barbell is extremely important because if you do not receive where the bar has stopped rising, that means you’re going to receive it after that point, which means it’s on way down without you. So, because that is occurring, even if it’s an inch, even if it’s a very short amount, you’ve got gravity plus this object falling to earth without any guidance or resistance, it is going to smash you. It is going to be heavier than what it should be had you received it and met the bar and guided it and controlled it as it was falling to earth. It will be smoother. You’ll look cooler and you’ll do more weight.

    Misbah (01:11:42):

    Yeah. And this is kind of unconventional, but this is something I do in warm-up sometimes. I’ll have an empty barbell and I do this with power cleans. Also, do a muscle clean to start and then over 10 to 15 reps, what I’ll do is sink an inch or two deeper, all the way until I ride it all the way to the bottom in a deep squat. But what that teaches you is the awareness that you’re talking about of recognizing, where is the bar? Let me manoeuvre my body around it so I can catch it efficiently.

    Yeah. Let me start resisting it. I like your warm-up. Sounds great, man.

    Misbah (01:12:14):

    Awesome. Well, thank you so much, for digging through all this for us. I think if anyone was to implement even just one or two of the things that we may have talked about, they would see some crazy differences.

    I think so. And hope I helped. And appreciate you giving me the time again.

    Misbah (01:12:33):

    Yeah, man. So, what would you like a coach or athlete to take away from this? How do you want them to implement some of this stuff?

    Patience, trust, belief and never being in a rush. And I don’t mean my philosophy on the athletes rushing to be the best. That’s a whole different topic and that’s a whole different timeline. I mean in the middle of the movement, I guess I would summarize and say, do not let the fight, do not let the resistance, be mistaken for a failure. Don’t think a struggle means a failure at all. It’s part of the game, anticipate the struggle and you might find more success than failure.

    Awesome, man. Well, two things that I would love to point people to. One is the cues and corrections book that you wrote. That’s something I refer back to very often and it goes even more into detail than what we touched on today and talks about every situation really that could happen. And the second thing is on your Instagram page, you have a ton of error correction and coaching tip videos that are very useful as well. They’re short 15-30 second clips that I think people could get a lot of value out of.

    Thank You So Much!

    Yeah. Thank you. So, the book is Olympic Weightlifting: Cues and Corrections. You’ll find it on Amazon or directly from the publisher Catalysts Athletics. And as far as my website, it’s olyconcepts.com and I have a ton of videos that I post for free and don’t charge for them. They’re available. I just believe in communicating with coaches and they’re great tips. I’m very proud of them. None of them is more than a minute to two minutes long. The majority are only 30 seconds. Cause I believe in, “Look, this is a snatch. Here’s where you’re at. videos, I just think I would lose the attention span of these people.

    Misbah (01:14:27):

    All right, man. Well, once again, thank you so much. And I’ll talk to you soon. Thank you so much for listening guys. I know you’re probably driving right now. You’re probably eating, cooking, or working out or doing something else, but make sure you head over to theairbornemind.com and check out some of the free coaching videos, warmups, guides, checklists, all the things that can use to make the best use out of your training time. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you guys and it would really help me out so I can continue creating awesome stuff for you. 

    Misbah (01:14:27):

    And remember, the greatest compliment you can give is by sharing it with somebody else who might enjoy it or somewhere on the web. So once again, thank you so much for being a listener and supporting the show. Until next time.

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