Monday, August 11, Gym Open @ 5:20 pm
Sometimes making improvements in your lifts can be as simple as a perspective change. One of the big ones that I preach has to do with any movement that is deadlifted off the ground. If I were to take someone randomly off the street and asked them to deadlift a weight that is much heavier than they ever lifted, I guarantee that 9 times out of 10 they are going to try and yank the bar off the ground. This is the perspective that to lift something heavy, you have to exert rapid, sudden force on it to get it to move. While sometimes this can be beneficial, when it comes to lifting efficiently with good mechanics, this is probably the worst thing to do.
Lets think about the mechanics of deadlifting a heavy bar from the ground. The first thing we ever teach is that the back needs to be flat. The reasoning for this is that the torso needs to be able to handle a heavy load that is hanging out in front of us. If we don’t have a flat back, our lower back is going to have to take up all the slack of supporting that load on our arms, which, as we all know, isn’t so good on the back. Instead, we know that making our back flat requires engaging all the back muscles, especially the upper back, to be able to support the load we are about to lift. If we aren’t engaged before we lift, our lower back will end up still taking the load, and will be very angry at you in the morning.
Now we have a flat back and everything is locked, ready to lift that heavy bar. Now if we try to lift and try to yank the bar off the ground by forcefully PULLING on the bar with the upper body, our back won’t be able to take the force and will most likely end up rounding, again moving the load to the lower back.
So lets change perspectives. Instead of thinking about trying to PULL the bar up, lets think about PUSHING the ground away through our feet. This has many benefits. The first and biggest is that we aren’t going to put a sudden, violent load into our torso forcing it into a bad position. Another huge benefit is that we are going to be using the correct muscles, the glutes and hamstrings, to move the weight. Try it right now if you are sitting down. Put your feet on the floor and try to push the floor away with your heels. What happens? You should be feeling your butt and hamstrings start to fire aggressively, and since none of us are Superman, the floor isn’t going to be moving anywhere, so the only real option is for you to want to move up.
Now we are able to generate a lot more power off the ground using our posterior chain with just a slight perspective change. Since we aren’t creating a jolting force through our torso; as long as our back is fully engaged, it will want to stay in a strong, stable position. This will also result in a very smooth, fluid movement pattern.
So next time you are cleaning, snatching, deadlifting from the ground. Try to change your perspective. Take your time setting up to the bar, engage your back 100% into the bar before lifting, squeeze your butt, then just think about PUSHING the ground away through your heels by pushing your knees back, moving as a strong unit.
Last week of Squat progression – we will perform Max lift next week, then re-master!!
Add 5 pounds to all of your lifts from last week
- 2 sets of with bar
- 1 set of 5 @ 50% of your 1 rep max (1 RM)
- 1 set of 3 @ 60%
- 1 set of 2 reps @ 70%
- 5 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
- 50 DUs to warm up
Teams of 2 – one partner working at a time:
Every 2 minutes, both partners have to perform 10 HR Push Ups
- 100 Deadlifts
- 80 Hang Power Cleans
- 60 Front Squats
- 40 Push Press
- 20 Thrusters
Decide between your partner and you what weight you would like to use – suggested weights are 105/65
- 20 partner Wall Balls
- Waiter’s Walk for one lap of halls