Your weakness could be all in your head. The weakest link in your squat, bench, deadlift, snatch, clean and jerk is all in your head.
What’s weak in your bench press? Maybe, probably triceps
What’s weak in your your squats? Maybe, probably your glutes, or your core.
What’s weak in your deadlift? Your low back or hamstrings.
What about your snatch or clean and jerk? Okay, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the olympic lifts, but much of what I talk about in this blurb will be about getting a global understanding of what you’re body is suppose to do optimally. Much of what I’ve learned about human movement comes from Kelly Starrett and the mobility wod as well as a combination of various high level strength athletes. Combine youtube / podcast university with 10+ years coaching regular people as well being a “broken leopard” you’ve got unique perspective from an ungifted athlete coach.
One of the major “gems” of information that set me to write about this comes from what I heard on the Mark Bell’s Powercast with Max Aita. About their discussion about Dmitry Klokov and how the russians train. Here’s a link to the podcast, and it starts at the 44:50 mark.
Dan Green was mentioned about his coaching. About how he doesn’t say much, but when he does, it makes so much sense. Simple stuff that hits you like a ton of bricks (paraphrasing what Max Aita said).
I went to Boss Barbell in Mountain View and had the opportunity to listen to his seminar (here are my notes). But recalling back to his manner of speaking and coaching style its interesting how all the dots started to connect in my mind. In a way, much of what he said in his seminar was about his overall view on program design for getting stronger and when he brought up the idea of your “technical max,” the idea connected with what Max Aita said in Mark bell’s Powercast.
So lets talk about technical max. When does your technique begin to break down? When do your squats, bench, deadlifts, power cleans, clean/jerk and snatches begin to falter? Like when your squats start to look like good mornings or when your back begins to round too much in the deadlift.
When your technique beings to break down, there is a weakness that expresses itself in your movement.
What is wrong with the way you’re moving? When you make a movement error you are expressing a weakness. Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you don’t make the lift or you’re incapable getting stronger without giving it direct attention, it just means you’re leaving some power/strength/leverage on the table by not clearing up the movement fault.
The movement fault is a bottleneck. I learned this term from Gray Cook, it was such a big “ah-ha” moment for me when Kstar’s mobility wod and Cook talked about the idea on this video.
A movement is a pattern. Performing a pattern like a bench press or squat has a specific loading pattern that will provide optimal positioning and leverage (this varies by individual). This is technique. Sorry if this sounds vague, but bare with me.
One of the things I’m trying to work on in myself is an asymmetrical weight shift. I know this is one of major reasons in why I have knee pain in my left knee from time to time. Although I’m right handed, left leg and glute/hip complex is significantly stronger than my right. One way I know this is the case is that when I’m in the bottom of my squat for a pause with 80% or more of my 1RM, I can feel my left leg initiate the drive out of the hole.
What causes this? I’m missing range of motion in my RIGHT SIDE: hip and ankle. This is one of my bottlenecks that’s preventing me from getting stronger in my squat safely.
So what’s weak? Most likely and definitely my right glute. But the real question is what do I work on? Squatting without shifting is what really comes to mind.
What you lack in technique you can make up in strength (to a certain degree).
End of post. thanks for reading.