Wednesday Red Session Week 3
Rest Day - Do something for someone!!
Makes sure you read the below article. These articles are important for your progression in the Gym. We want to get good at these movements, and to get good, you have to study and work at getting better at them.
A Strong Start - by Bill StarrAn exercise consists of three parts: start, middle, and finish. I’m often asked which of the three is the most important in terms of making a heavy attempt on one of the primary movements. The answer is all three play critical roles, but the start has the greatest influence on the outcome when doing a lift with a heavy poundage. It’s similar to the first step in a sprint, or the initial move of a quarterback throwing a football, or a swimmer coming off the block in a race. What happens in the beginning always has a direct bearing on what follows.While this article is aimed at those doing the two Olympic lifts – snatch and clean and jerk – the information is also beneficial to anyone who is trying to get stronger and only doing exercises like the deadlift, squat, and bench press. Or someone who mixes dynamic movements like power cleans or power snatches into his strength routine. Any program worth its salt has at least one pulling exercise in it where the bar starts on the floor, so I’ll begin with the basics and use the power clean as my example lift.The key to having a strong start in this or any other pulling movement is to set your body correctly. Should your starting position be incorrect, your form at the beginning of the movement will also be wrong. So I’ll go over the fundamental points. Your feet should be shoulder width and your toes pointed forward. The bar should be touching your shins and your frontal deltoids must be slightly out ahead of the bar. This is a key point. Whenever your frontal deltoids move behind the bar you will have less power to elevate it higher, so this should not happen until the very end of the lift.The grip that fits most for the power clean can be found in this manner. Extend your thumbs on an Olympic bar so that they barely touch the smooth center part of the bar. That works for most, but if you have very wide or very narrow shoulders, you need to adjust your grip a bit to accommodate for that difference. Where you set your hips also varies with body type and sometimes preference. If you can set them rather high, even as much as having your back parallel to the floor, you’re going to have a much longer lever to work with. However, your lower back and hips must be strong enough to allow you to hold that starting position firmly in order for that high position to be effective. If you can’t, then the bar is going to run forward and this will result in a failed attempt if the weight is demanding.Most beginners and intermediates that I have trained are unable to use a high hip starting position. Mostly because those muscle groups which are responsible for locking the hips into that position just aren’t strong enough yet. So it’s better to lower the hips a bit. But the same rule applies: the hips must move upward at the same rate as the bar, because even when you start with the hips low, if they rise faster than the bar, the bar will move out of the correct line of flight.I’ve also watched lifters set their hips quite low, then just before they commence the pull, their hips rise up several inches. They would be smart to fix their hips in that higher position to begin with and get rid of the wasted motion.Grip the bar firmly, make sure your back is very flat, and your eyes straight ahead, You must be tight at the start, and to facilitate this don’t think about pulling the bar off the floor, but rather think about driving your feet right down into the floor. This will help you achieve a more solid base which is critical for moving heavy weights. Ease the weight off the floor. The mistake that many make, and especially beginners, is trying to hurry the start, thinking that if the bar comes off the floor fast that will help them make the lift. What happens is just the opposite. Whenever an athlete jerks the bar off the floor, two things generally occur, and they’re both bad. One, the lifter’s arms bend, which means that when the bar reaches the top of the pull, he doesn’t have them to use for that final “pop”. Secondly, a rushed start almost always results in the back rounding slightly, which in turn takes the bar once again out of the correct pulling line.The motion of any pull should resemble that of a whip, slow at first, picking up considerable speed through the middle, and be no more than a blur at the finish. At the same time, the bar must stay snug to your body. If it’s allowed to stray forward, you’re not going to be able to finish strong. When the bar reaches mid-thigh, it should be brushing your thighs, with your arms straight and your back flat with your frontal deltoids still out in front of the bar.At this point, drive your hips forward forcefully and with your frontal delts still leading the bar, contract your traps, bend your arms, and climb high on your toes. Those last three things are done simultaneously and in a nanosecond. That final burst of power will cause the bar to jump, and that’s when you dip under it and rack it across your shoulders. Lower the bar in two steps: first to your waist then down to the floor with your back flat. If you let the bar crash to the floor after racking it, odds are that your back will round and you do not want this. Keep in mind that you can injure your back while returning the bar to the floor just as you can while lifting it.Do not get in the habit of rebounding the bar off the floor while power cleaning, power snatching, high pulling, or doing deadlifts. Eager lifters do this to set the bar in motion and make it jump higher at the start. But it’s counterproductive. The rebounding motion causes your arms to bend way too soon and, once again, your back to round, leaving you in a poor position to complete the movements. This is especially true if bumper plates are available because the rubber bumps can rebound the weights a full 6-8 inches off the floor. While rebounding may, in fact, allow you to handle more weight, it’s very detrimental for your start. You cannot rebound the first rep on any pulling exercise, so if you’ve been bypassing those groups which are responsible for this action, stop. Learn to pause at the start and take the time to check out your mechanics before doing the next rep, and when it comes time to challenge a max attempt, you’ll be ready.Article Link: http://startingstrength.com/articles/strongstartstarr.pdf