SCOTTISH OPEN – PT 2/3 – 85/77/69 LIFTERS

Second part of the “thrilling” series going over the lifts at the Scottish Open. This is where the aesthetic guys should be hanging their hats and making lifts with great tekkers. Time will tell if that is the case. Same format as last time, lots of pictures of key frames so the format will likely be an eye sore, there is no way around that. I will show my thoughts on the day in a paragraph written in Italics to show how I was thinking “in the moment” and highlighting my thought process. Some lifters were after I had competed on the previous day so there is a change of mindset since some pressure was off, some slang/netspeak involved.

Lifter 1 : Jack Walsh(85)

No concerns for Jack. Seems to respond well to a competition environment. Make sure to keep the warm up slow as he will likely be running on to the platform and not utilizing his full rest, his work capacity is solid though so with these weights it shouldn’t be a problem. Wants me to load 100+kg on his 3rd snatch regardless of the previous, ignore this if he has a mare. On the cleans make sure to get him to focus on finishing his pull and keep a positive mood with telling him about his cray cray jerk.

Snatch 1 91kg – 0:12

Great opener from Jack, controlled the barbell and received early overhead. Argument for a PR power snatch in there somewhere. Balance a little to the rear, probably excited and over cooked it.

Snatch 2 96kg – 0:32

Solid lift from Jack again, had to squat fully to receive the weight, a little more stable – didn’t have to recover to the rear on this lift.

Snatch 3 100kg – 0:54

Great lift from Jack for a healthy PR on the day, jumped forward a little but completed his extension for the most part. The jump was to counter the swing on the barbell as his hips came through a little more than his previous lifts. Good recovery though, damn him and his proportionate upper body strength.

Clean 1 121 – 1:18

Jack - Jerk 1The clean was sooth enough, received the bar early. On the jerk the front foot didn’t step out enough and made for an awkward angle on the recovery, this meant that he had to recover back foot -> front foot and his hips didn’t get to go down as much as they could of. Surprising for Jack since his jerk is money. (Picture to the lefts shoes the front shin angle, he gets away with this since the weight is comfortable for him, but this will punish him with big weights.)

Clean 2 125 – 1:50

Jack - Jerk 2The clean was a little more ropey for the 125, his hips didn’t open quite as much as the previous lift, this cause him to have to move his center of balance a little further onto his toes on the clean recovery. Jack is still getting to grips with the clean readjust and dun goofed, most lifters have had it happen but it is always scary when it does. On the jerk the foot timing was a little off and the front foot was a early, this trapped his hips causing him to press the weight out. The bar was very high so a frustrating miss for him. His charming smile couldn’t swing the judges round to his point of view.

Clean 3 126kg – 2:24

Similar to the 125 clean, hips are a little closed so his upper back is doing a lot of work to recover this clean. The readjust on this lift still gives me the shudders, he lost the pinky on the barbell and for him that is usually a death sentence. The jerk was not too shabby all things considered. The front foot could travel a little more so the shin is coming towards him. Good effort considering the calamity of the readjust, great fight from Jack.

Going forward for his training, he needs to spend more time work his flexibility for the receive position for both lifts and tidying up the footwork a little on the jerk. Incorporating footwork drills in the warm up is an option till the pattern is second nature. His numbers/ratios are good compared to his strength levels so the obvious comment is “just get stronger”.

Lifter 2 : Eirik Mølmshaug(85)

Excited to see him lift, if he moves the bar vertical he will crush. Remind him that the barbell is his friend and he wants to remain on good terms with it. Killing it with his hips doesn’t help him. Up not out. The class is quite full so make sure to move between lifters and keep people on top of the warm ups. He is experienced as a competitor in other sports, should be GGWP.

Snatch 1 88kg – 0:10

For Eirik this was one of his better snatches technically, the bar moved vertically so the lift was up and down. His ankles are a limiting factor for his bottom position, this means that his powers are very high compared to him full lifts.

Snatch 2 93kg – 0:36

Eirik - Snatch 2Decent enough attempt on this snatch, not much went wrong other than the bottom position of the snatch needs to improve. The bar got to the neck height which is well above what is required to make the lift. Unfortunately not aggressive enough on the turnover and got pinged for a pressout. The silver lining being that positionally for Eirik this has come a long way from where he started.

Snatch 3 93kg – 0:54

On this lift he tried to muscle the bar a little too much. He banged the bar too far out, again the bar was high enough to make the lift but if it is out in front you have to have mad shoulder strength and fast feet to save the lift. A cheeky example beings Ilyin’s 3rd snatch at the Worlds where he ran across the platform with 190kg (lolwut).

Clean 1 112kg – 1:14

On this clean the bar came a little too far back and caused him to shift his balance too far towards his heels. This can be a nightmare to recover, luckily Eirik managed to get a foot out and rescue the clean. Eirik is a very good jerker (PR is well above his clean max) so this weight was no concern for him.

Clean 2 117kg – 1:40

Eirik - Clean 2This was his best lift of his 6 on the day, the clean was very smooth. Lovely and vertical, elbow turnover was very fast and had completed by parallel. The jerk was of no concern for this handsome individual.

Clean 3 121kg – 2:04

Eirik - Clean 3Somewhat disappointing lift from Eirik, his hips are moving slightly faster than his shoulders on his first pull. This traps the bar further away from the body for the second pull, meaning that his upper back will have to do more work to save the lift. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case and the clean rolled. The jerk would have been money no doubt.

For the foreseeable future, putting on some body weight and spending as much time stretching as possible is a good option for Eirik. Doing drills like no hip snatches or cleans will help to eliminate his his bang. Training with a camera and looking at the bar path trying to make that S as flat as possible.

Lifter 3 – Joseph Corbin(85)

First competition, try to get him to relax. Make sure he doesn’t care about how the lift looks. A to B for someone in his position. for the warm up make sure to be positive and that he doesn’t do too many lifts. Get warm and get ready, that is all.  He will be lifting at the lower end of the group, so he will likely be following on from himself, make sure that he uses the rest time he will get. Remind him to have fun, aim for 6/6.

Snatch 1 65kg – 0:05

Joseph 1First lift was a little scrappy probably due to nerves. Smacked the bar a little too aggressively with the hips. This meant that there was a lot of swing on the barbell so he had to work hard with the shoulders to save the lift.

Snatch 2 70kg – 0:22

Much better here, still a very high power snatch but the bar doesn’t have any where near as much swing on it. Decent lift from Joseph.

Snatch 3 75kg – 0:38

This is where powering lifts catches up with you. Good pull from Joseph but ducked out of doing a full snatch here, with more time on the barbell this will improve.

Clean 1 85kg – 0:49

Encouraging opener here, slight forward lean on the recovery of the clean but smooth elbow turnover and remained in contrl of the barbell throughout the lift. The Jerk is very robust. Shoulders position is spot on.

Clean 2 90kg – 1:10

Better positioning on the clean recovery, not as much torso lean. Very healthy jerk from the big man.

Clean 3 95kg – 1:32

Not much wrong with this lift either, the weight still looks light for him, he receives the barbell well above parallel. For his first competition he did well.

Moving forward – “forcing” lifts to the proper receive position is a good move for him. This can be done a number of ways. For example doing multiple reps from the hang or blocks can be a good way to move the lifter under a barbell since they tend to get tired towards the last rep and this will cut the pull height down but means they are working at a weight they are comfortable with.

Lifter 4 – Jordan Thomson(85)

Dat snatch brah, he’s so far past the water level roaming about limbo likeabawws. Concentrate on turnover here, won’t need to talk to him much. Make sure his arousal level is appropriate and he doesn’t burn himself out. Try to get him smiling. Once the snatch is over get him focused on the clean, arousal level goes up. Finish the pull and keep the upper back tight, don’t spend too long before the jerk.

Snatch 1 95kg – 0:12

Technically pretty tasty, good opener.

Snatch 2 98kg – 0:26

Very fast, had to use the hips to save the lift but again not much wrong here.

Snatch 3 101kg – 0:51

Pretty smooth technically, the bar is right where it needs to be but his upper body strength let him down a little. Stronger shoulders would save the day here.

Clean 1 130kg – 1:03

Jordan 1Very fast under the bar (audible gasp), Jordan’s speed is a valuable asset to him when he finishes the pull. On the jerk it is a hard to say what went wrong, it looks in the right place. Speaking with him after he said it felt goofy and I understand the difficulty of overcoming a serious injury so I don’t want to drag it out. Foot position looked decent, although the back foot turns out ever so slightly. The bar was over the hips, a lack of pressing strength cost him here.

Clean 2 130kg – 1:32

A little rushed here on his usual pump and rise dynamic start, compared to all the other timings, this one is off slightly. Usually he moves his feet wider. Here his feet get trapped under him and gets spat out. This clean is one that you chalk up as a FUBAR and move on.

Clean 3 130kg – 1:44

Game overThis is the first time Jordan has encountered real pressure in making a lift in Weightlifting so it is a good experience for him. This time slightly forward on the clean so he has to recover the barbell to his throat to make the lift. Too much wobbling about at the top of the the suggests that the midsection probably needs a little work stabilizing the jerk drive. On the Jerk the back foot goes for a long split but not a deep one, the front foot gets caught on the ground and he can’t sink his hips. This means that the arms are caught pressing the barbell and it’s game over man, game over.

This comp came about 4 weeks too soon for Jordan, he has been recovering from a nasty shoulder injury that has prevented any sort of pressing work for about 3 months. Doubly unlucky as the goal for that training block was to improve that area. To his credit Jordan worked hard at what he could (becoming like a pretzel) and it takes a lot of mental effort to do the stuff you need to rather than the stuff you want to. Going forward we will be looking to make up for some lost time and start the beginnings of upper body muscles. Next stop 100 gurls. Addressing his shoulder flexibility is a must as well.

Lifter 5 – Ruaridh Murnoch(77)

Rough deal since I am competing in this class and won’t be able to help him out. I have trust that the people helping him will get the job done, Wish him well.

Snatch 1 50kg – 0:08

Runs and guns a little on this lift, needs to complete his pull to send the bar vertical. Work on extending more rather than bombing.

Snatch 2 55kg – 0:21

Slightly better here. Still pumps the bar a little forward but much more vertical on the finish. Good lift for a beginner.

Snatch 3 60kg – 0:36

You can see he is annoyed here after the lift. Slightly early finish with the pull means the bar loops rather than gets sent vertically. Not going under the barbell means it will have to travel further than is necessary. Deemed a pressout.

Clean 1 85kg – 1:02

Ruaridh 1Similar to the snatch, he needs to finish the pull a little too eager to rush under the barbell. At the top of the pull his shoulders should be behind the barbell rather than over it. the jerk is not too bad although his weighting is on the toes at the bottom of the dip. The foot weighting needs to be about mid foot and finish on the toes.

Clean 2 90kg – 1:22

Decent clean, still quick to go under the barbell and the back starts to round a little at the bottom of the clean. On the jerk the hips need to move down more in order for the arms to lockout. Deemed a pressout.

Clean 3 90kg – 1:44

Same as the previous lift, his winning smile got him the favor of the judges who were generous to award to lift.

A useful showing from Ruaridh in his first competition, with more steady training in the coming year his total will massively improve. To prevent the early pull in both lifts adding in things like slow cleans / slow snatches or going from the hip are also useful. To shift big weights on the lifts require you to finish the pull. He is new to the sport so getting stronger and lifting more often is never a bad thing.

Lifter 6 – Benjamin Greenhough(69)

Make sure to not remind him of the wrist injury. get him to relax and have fun. Stay on top of the warm up and keep him distracted. Have an idea where he is entering the class. After snatch get focus on Clean and jerk, can’t get lifts back. Aim for 6/6, remind him of A to B.

Snatch 1 57kg – 0:16

Opener on the board, felt comfier going for that power snatch like a lot of beginners. Bar swings out a little, rescues the swing with shoulders.

Snatch 2 60kg –  0:39

Clarked this lift, bar is high enough to make. Need to determine what is stopping the transition under.

Snatch 3 60kg –  0:50

A little out in front but massively improved from the previous attempt. Some swing on the bar so had to recover forward.

Clean 1 67kg – 0:58 (quick start)

Finishes with his shoulders over the bar so the pull is a little incomplete, he has to move forward to recover, front squat was for the fans (also known as the Pete). Jerk was a touch forward, front foot not far enough out so the leg was carrying more weight than necessary.

Clean 2 72kg – 1:21

Pretty much identical lift, recovered the jerk with the back leg suggesting the balance is too far forward.

Clean 3 77kg –  1:44

Very good clean from Ben, his shoulders finish behind the bar and he was able to recover well. The jerk is a little rough, the bar doesn’t go high enough for his split depth. Needs to improve a little on the footwork.

Hopefully Ben learned from his first competition, given time he will get smoother transitioning under the barbell. With beginners it is best not to focus on things that are too small. More time with the barbell and more time going from the hang will help his lifts a lot.

Mixed feelings coaching this rabble. I was frustrated having to compete on the same day as some of the lifters, this meant I had my focus split. Looking forward to the U23s for this reason. I also felt that I made some mistakes with allowing lifters to change weights when I should have stuck with the plan. I trusted their feelings but should have planted my foot and gone for what we set out for. The lifters did well and I look forward to some competing at the U23s on May 16th. Next up is Team Girl when I get a chance to write it.

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