British Weightlifting Student Championships 2014 – Video Analysis

A great competition for the University lifters to learn and improve. Everyone except Pete was on their second competitions so there was a marker for that person to get past. The stage was a little grander than the underground railway station that was the Scottish Open. I had some butterflies that people would let their nerves get the better of them. Everyone put up a total and PR’ed. Good day out from my POV. Bonus that I didn’t wreck the van driving down to London all goosed up on caffeine.

Lifter 1 : Jordan Thomson

Snatch 1 – 87KG @ 0:00

Steady lift to start the competition off and settle the nerves. Bagging your opener is always reassuring. Fast arm speed in turning over for the snatch, came out of the bottom early so a little unsteady on the receive. Strong enough to power through though.

Snatch 2 – 92KG (Miss) @ 0:09

For Jordan it’s a disappointing lift. Lazy with the arms turning over so the bar is received very late in the lift rather than actively pressing under it. Deemed a pressout. As soon as that extension is reached and all the joints are in a lovely straight line, that is when the magic happens and you have to control the bar and get low fast. He didn’t.

Snatch 3 – 92KG Competition PR @ 0:19

For his technique level/speed/strength is doesn’t really get much better than that for him. The bottom position will improve over time with flexibility, stability and mobility gains. He got very tall on the lift, made it look easy. Highlight reel stuff for him.

Jordan extension

Clean 1 – 120KG @ 0:26

Again he hits a pretty decent opener. The grip is a little too loose so he beats the bar down and it crashes on him, combined with his slightly weak upper back he loses position at the bottom so standing up was harder than it should have been.

The jerk was poorly executed. The rear leg angle is > 160 (straight rear leg) so that means the bar has to go very high to make the lift, rather than moving the hips down fast he got stuck in place. His left hip turns out slightly so the jerk goes off at an angle. Able to make up for the errors with his leg strength.

Clean 2 – 125KG Two slabs of beef. @ 0:49

Much safer clean, elbow turnover is faster so the bar is received early and able to ride it down rather than thumping him at the bottom. Again a weak upper back standing up with the weight but decent fast drive.

The jerk was much better for the second lift. Keeps control of his upper back so his chest doesn’t dip forward. His rear knee bends a little more so he can get his hips a little lower. Decent enough arm speed to drive himself under the bar. Good lift all round.

Clean 3 – 128KG @ 1:12

Good clean again, max front squat is 150KG so it should be a comfy drive up. Fast turnover of the arms so he is able to ride the clean down. Would be good for about 130-135 most likely.

Jerk was pretty poor. Lost control of his upper back (sensing a theme here) so the bar slides down his shoulders. At that point the jerk was always going to miss, punches out quite far in front. With decent drive it would’ve been an easy make. The bar is high enough and the hips drop enough.

Corrections in Programming/Work for Jordan

As much cheeky bodybuilding work as possible on his upper back. Once he is able to maintain that position life will be much simpler. Add in some Jerk supports with some heavy weight so he starts getting used to the bar timing. His pulls are a little off his back squat / front squat so lots of stalls, good mornings and heavy pulls for the next prep cycle.

Lifter 2 : Robin Fourman

Snatch 1 – 95KG @ 0:00

Speaking with him, mentioned a little too relaxed on the lift. A decent amount of swing on the bar so he hops forward and isn’t strong enough on the catch to recover. A little more intensity with the press and it’s an easy make.

Snatch 2 – 95KG @ 0:12

Good correction between the lifts, much more of a press going under the bar. Still a little too much swing for how strong he is but not too bad. Easy enough make.

Snatch 3 – 100KG @ 0:28

Pleased with the setup to the bar, had a history of making PR attempts so different in setup/approach so that it’s hard to get in that self 2 mode of action and the brain will try to over think things. It’s something that you’ve done a thousand times. Grip and rip.

His shoulders and traps don’t do enough work to control the bar after his extension. His hips come through the bar a little so it leaves the centre line.

Robin extension1Robin extension

He has to jump for to try to catch the bar. Decent miss, for him it’s frustrating.

Clean 1 – 115KG @ 0:34

Decent clean, good arm speed. Robin’s max front squat is 130KG so he is very efficient on the clean. Needs a bounce at the bottom to recover the clean ala Norik Vardanian,

Accurate dip on the jerk, hips opening so his chest can stay tall, gets a lovely strong drive. His pause in the dip isn’t that big an issue with these weights but becones a massive problem later on when the bar starts to oscillate.

Shoulder position is solid, the head is through so the shoulder blades can lock. The rear foot of the jerk needs a little work. That habit makes the jerk a harder than it needs to be, his hips don’t move down as quick as they could.

Clean 2 – 120KG @ 0:58

Effective clean,has to double pump at the bottom to catch the bounce.

Solid dip, again a slight pause that won’t be an issue with the lighter weights. The rear foot still needs work. The jerk recovery is a little haphazard but it’s a massive PR for him so it’s to be expected.

Clean 3 – 122kg @ 1:23

Good attempt at the clean, not enough legs to stand up. 122/130KG Front squat would be pretty spicy.

Corrections in Programming/Work for Robin

Try to get him a little more vertical on the snatch with No-feets and no – hips. Stopping that swing will generate more force up rather than losing the force horizontal. A lot of general leg strength work for him to move up the weights. A 130KG front squat needs improved. Great competition for him though.

Lifter 3 : Ian

Snatch 1 – 87kg @ 0:00

Decent first attempt, back stays strong on the pull. Gets tall with the weight but the arm and hip speed on the change of direction is a little lacking. He punches out too early rather than getting the weight behind him. His foot position is a little awkward so that he can’t support the weight.

Snatch 2 – 87kg  @ 0:12

Good correction on the second lift, much faster arms on the turnover and punches out hard to make the weight. For how flexible he is, still a little closed off in the hip in the receive, good lift though.

Snatch 3 – 90KG @ 0:23

Good snatch, much faster than the previous lifts in pulling himself under the barbell. Right ankle caving in, so work to be done on the flexibility.

Clean 1 – 105kg @ 0:36

A little narrow on the receive of the clean, good arm speed on the turnover.

Ian Clean 1Ian Clean 2

The jerk was a little ropey, front foot landed first so the weight is almost always going to tip forward. As shown in the second picture, fast feet can sometimes save the lift but rarely.

Clean 2 – 105KG @ 0:56

Solid clean, fast turnover. The feet land together this time, which is an improvement, but the front knee angle has shifted to beyond 90 degrees so the front leg has so much work to do on the recovery. Luckily he’s a strong chap and recovers the jerk.

Clean 3 – 110KG @ 1:15

Decent clean, the weight is received a little forward so he has to step to recover the lift. the lack of hip rotation is starting to hurt him as the lifts approach his maximum for his current technique.

On his jerk his rear knee angle is too straight so the hips don’t move down and he can’t press the distance.

Ian Clean 3

If the back knee is a little more relaxed then the hips come down and it’s an easy make.

Corrections in Programming/Work for Ian

More time spent jerking to get comfortable dropping the knee down. More flexibility/stability work to improve the receive position on the clean and the snatch. Lots of volume work to put some weight on.

Lifter 4 – Pete

Snatch 1 – 85KG @ 0:00

Slightly different environment for Pete as it is his first competition, so will be a little less critical of his first lift. The less said the better. Very straight pull, the hips are far away from the bar from above the knee. One foot steps forward more than the other which is a problem that he is aware of and trying to correct through mobility drills. I would wager that it’s from his previous sport of rowing. Weak overhead and loses it behind after a monster muscle/power snatch hybrid.

Snatch 2 – 85kg @ 0:18

Same flexibility errors, stronger overhead for an easy make.

Snatch 3 – 90kg @ 0:32

Actually remembers that you can drop under the bar, powerful pull and a strong press under the bar for an easy make. Hips still travel away from the bar since he lacks internal and external rotation.

Clean 1 – 95 @ 0:46

Solid clean, the jerk is not too shabby. For the weight the dip and drive is a little too fast so the bar doesn’t get that much speed.

Pete Jerk 1

His position are pretty solid, both feet land at the same time so the bar stays in place. In time he will step that front foot out.

Clean 2 -100kg @ 1:04

Solid clean, very high receive. Hips still too far from the bar at the bottom of the clean.

The jerk is starting to break down now, the front foot doesn’t step enough, the angle breaks past 90 degrees so he has to rely on strength to save the lift. Would be a miss near his perfect max.

Pete Jerk 2

Note the sexy red singlet in the background. Bringing sexy back.

Clean 3 – 103kg @ 1:20

Lovely clean, could easily rip 120/130kg from the ground. The jerk will be the limiting factor for some time.

The jerk is continuing to break down, saves the lift with pressing back with the shoulders. In training it would be a missed lift probably.

Corrections in Programming/Work for Pete

He is just back from an injury, so lots of strength work. As a tall lifter he will need a lot of back strength and hip flexibility. In time it will come. He is weighing in at 89KG at 6’4″ so a dreamer bulk is required.

Final Thoughts

Plenty to work on for all the lifters, video analysis can be very harsh if you get someone else to do it. Fantastic tool to use to progress though. Next year people will be putting up competitive totals. I may even be a student again. I might have to break out a thesaurus to search for synonyms for solid.

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