All posts by cuppajoe

Technique Sunday

Come down to Technique Sunday/Try Weightlifting

 Sunday
11/10/19
12:30pm

Locomotive CrossFit
115 Old Route 9
Fishkill, NY 12524

Come on down and hone your technique on the classic lifts or give weightlifting a try.  Novices are welcome!
This will be a short clinic (1 ½ hours)

We’ll be going over some Theory,
Accessory work, Practical application, and Stretching.

FREE for Locomotive/Cuppa Joe Members!
Only $20 for non members!

Come on down and join us.  Up your game!

Flyer: TechniqueSunday111019

2019 Hudson Valley Open – History in the Making

The first Hudson Valley Open was a resounding success.  68 lifters participated.  Here’s a quote from the Compsec report:

“The event ran very close to the published final schedule.  The environmental conditions on competition day were difficult, but manageable, due to the ongoing heat wave in the northeast. The organizers did an outstanding job of providing abundant hydration in the form of water and electrolytic beverages, free of charge, to all athletes, volunteers and officials.

The facility was well maintained throughout the entire event. Hospitality was available to all officials and volunteers free of charge and the food offerings were outstanding. The platform was well constructed and held up flawlessly for the entire event.  A number of high-volume fans, strategically placed within the venue provided cooling air flow.”

NY Weightlifting Academy showed up in force and won both the Men’s & Women’s team trophies.  The official meet results are here.

Outstanding Masters Female:
1st  Roberta Mulder
2nd Jennifer Schaefer
3rd Amanda Petroccione

Outstanding Master Male:
1st  Ryan Hansen
2nd  Eric Cohen
3rd  Jerry Dunne

Outstanding Senior Female: Melissa Berke
Outstanding Senior Male: Evan Pounds
Outstanding Junior Female: Christa Vasile
Outstanding Junior Male: Jacob Senate
Outstanding Youth Female: Saorise Moler
Outstanding Youth Male: Andrew Smith

Many many thanks to everyone who helped with set up and breakdown – Brian Gaston, Chris Daley, Joe Croce, Anthony D’Amato – Platform, Mike Garofalo, Nick Charlemagne, CrossFit Peekskill, TriState Barbell

Lastly, we want to thank the event sponsors: No Matter What Apparel, DOCS Nutrition, and Barb’s Butchery who provided awesome food for the event.

Locomotive Crossfit & Cuppa Joe Weightlifting were proud to host the first of many more competitions as we look to grow weightlifting in our area.  Thank you to everyone who had even the smallest part in this.  See you on the platform.

2019 Hudson Valley Open – Registrations Closed!

We’re happy to report a spectacular showing for this inaugural competition.  Registrations are now closed.

Thank you for taking part in this historic competition – the first of many more!  We are fortunate to have many technical officials from local through international level.  We are looking to make this first competition a memorable and fun one.
This is a packed event so please look for your name in the start list with the official weigh in and lift times. Please note, a few lifters were moved up to an earlier session to accommodate the overall number of lifters.  We’re aiming to make things go as smoothly as possible.
Due to the large volume of expected lifters and supporters, we have secured additional parking about 200 meters up the road  – Herring Road is a private road and they are supporting this us by providing this access.  Please park there if necessary, just do not block the gravel or paved roads.
See you soon.

It Starts at the Beginning

Many lifts are lost before they’ve barely begun.  A successful lift starts at the beginning.  You can’t have a solid finish with a bad start.  Lifts are taught from the hang because as the lifter starts with the bar lower and eventually from the floor, the rate of difficulty increases.  Each phase of the lift needs proper technique to maximize efficiency, getting the most out of your strength.  Right now, we’ll focus on starting from the bottom position.

The start position is very important.  A lifter should first learn a static start, meaning, get into a ready position, locked in, with no movement of the bar or body before beginning the lift.  A dynamic start is when a lifter is moving just before starting the lift.  For example, when a lifter ratchets their hips up and then down into their ready position just before lift off.  A static start should be learned before getting into a dynamic start because you want to be consistent in your start position.  If your body isn’t accustomed to starting from the same place and you jump right into a dynamic start, you’re more likely to be starting from different points and being inconsistent with your technique.

There are many different cues a coach will use to reinforce good positions and where the focus on the lift should be.  Depending on what the issues are with a given lifter, the cues are meant to direct the lifter’s attention to something specific that will help the lifter complete a successful lift.  Here are some cues for the start:

  • Monkey feet (flat feet) – I’ve used this one to reinforce the focus on keeping the feet flat, heels down. Picture doing a regular push up – your palms are down, fingers out, with full contact with the floor.  In the same fashion, you want your whole foot making contact as you drive the bar by pressing your feet into the platform (not rolling onto your toes).  Drive your feet into the platform with a stiff core to hold your position – don’t let the bar pull you forward/off balance.
  • Brace! – your core should be super tight.
  • Chest up – Pull in your lats/pinch your shoulder blades together, keep a tight neutral spine.
  • Pull yourself down to the bar – remove all slack/tight core

Use specific exercises to build strength from the floor.  Don’t neglect core work – that may be the weak link that doesn’t allow you to keep your form as you transition into the second pull.   There are many options, including unilateral work, to address any weaknesses or imbalances. Here’s a few:

  • Paused Deadlift to knees
  • Deficit work
  • Reverse Hypers
  • Hypers
  • Good mornings
  • 1 leg RDL
  • 1 leg squat
  • Weighted planks

This is only a quick list of good exercises that should be in your repertoire.  Complexes are also good to work the transitions from the start, to the second pull, into the completion of the lift.  The start of the jerk is also very important.  In the same way, it requires flat feet and a tight core to properly drive the bar up, not forward.  The lifts start and end with the feet.  Like roots to a tree, they need to be planted and balanced.

Focus on Technique

When weightlifting, the focus should always be on technique.  It’s a constant challenge to maintain that technique.  So, of course, you have to make a conscious effort to be consistent in your approach.  The only thing that should change as the weight on the bar goes up is your effort.

Use exercises and your coaches eye to fine tune technique.  The exercise below is one approach.

In this video, I’m starting with a below the knee snatch pull followed by a below the knee hang snatch.  The knee is an important transitional point, so this is a good place to work with.  The first lift focuses on you pulling and keeping the bar close.  The hang snatch follows the same groove to reinforce an efficient movement.  The green line in front of the toes is your boundary.  You should be keeping the bar behind that line to maintain better leverage and efficiency of movement.  This is where using video is a great way to check the bar trajectory.

The exercise helps to reinforce the correct groove without having the lifter overthink the movement.  Ideally, the lifter should feel the movement and know when it’s right.  Focus on technique.  It’s an integral part of your making that big PR down the road.

Taping your thumbs

Taping your thumbs can help make it easier to use your hook grip in weightlifting.  It can also help to avoid blisters and torn skin.  This video illustrates a way to tape your thumbs so that you can get a good grip and not hurt your thumb from improper taping.

Some lifters  find that it can also help to tape some fingers between the joints for the same reason.  When taping the fingers, I typically tear a strip of tape in half lengthwise.  I then wrap the finger between the joint and the palm or between joints.  This allows full mobility while protecting the fingers.

The True Pull

Video analysis is one way to review your lifts to make sure you are pulling efficiently.  Another way that provides immediate feedback is True Pulls.

Tommy Kono was one of the greatest weightlifters of all time.  Aside from his tremendous success on the platform, he was a champion bodybuilder and authored two excellent books.  I learned the concept of the true pull from him (this is what I call it).

Essentially, the point of using this training technique is to make sure you are pulling, whether it be a clean or a snatch, to the proper height to get under the heaviest weights, most efficiently.  It is common for lifters to “cut” the pull and rush to get under the bar. This can work when the weight is manageable, but once the weight becomes more challenging, it is less likely you will make a successful lift.  There are many cues, such as, “be patient,  stand tall” or “finish the pull” that are used to help lifters focus on pulling the bar as high as possible before getting under it.  The True Pull is a way to train your groove so that you instinctually pull correctly every time.