Strength & Velocity

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This book contains an in-depth study of the relationship between the assistance lifts (squats and pulls) and the competition lifts (snatch and clean & jerk), and how those assistance lifts can be implemented into the training regime to aid the lifter in developing their full potential. A good deal of sports science is based on the biological aspects of training, i.e., diet, supplements, cryogenics, etc., and, although these are important aspects, I believe physics plays a larger role in both the understanding and development of the lifter. Even though athletes are biological beings, they are still subject to the laws of physics. Sir Isaac Newton’s 2nd law of motion, describes how force is distributed between mass and the acceleration of that mass or how that accelerated mass can increase force as well as decrease force if the mass is decelerating. In this book, I will try and explain the importance of measuring the time it takes to move the barbell over a specific distance with respect to both the assistance lifts (squats and pulls) and the competition lifts (snatch and clean & jerk).

Sir Isaac Newtonʼs 2nd law of motion (F = ma) is a reflexion of how a weightlifter should go about training their squats and pulls. Where force (F) is the result of a change in acceleration (a), generated against a mass (m) or the weight of the barbell. Since generally all snatches and cleans from the platform to receiving the weight are achieved in about 1 second, then acceleration (a) is constant, and force (F) will be in equilibrium with that mass (m) or the weight on the barbell. Since the snatch and clean must be achieved in about 1 second, regardless of the increase in that weight, then the accelerated mass will always be in equilibrium to the force. When a lift is missed due to the lifter being unable to overcome the forces placed on their body, and therefore the inability to achieve the correct velocity, then the change in velocity is slower, which then decreases the force production (F), and the lifter and the weight are out of equilibrium.

Book 1 in a series of books dealing with the sport of weightlifting in detailed descriptions concerning many of the facets of lifting that are rarely ever discussed, but are important for the lifter to understand and apply in order to develop their full potential. Book One deals with how lifters can learn how to lift on an unconscious level and the difference between conscious vs. unconscious efforts.

Programming can have a huge impact on whether a lifter will progress towards full potential at a reasonable rate or that progress becomes slow or even halted before full potential is achieved. This book discusses the necessity of recording and measuring certain times in motion during a lift and how that data can be used to form a more efficient and complete training program.

This book focuses on the main objective of training which is to prepare the lifter for the competition and hopefully some increase in performance since the last competition. Another important reason why the lifter must become extremely precise in their mechanics and consistent velocity (times in motion) is so more effort can be devoted to developing the squats and pulls. Too much energy spent doing too many snatches and clean & jerks and other assorted auxiliary exercises means less energy can be devoted to those two assistance lifts that are arguably as important, if not more so, than the competition lifts themselves. Once the lifter cannot squeeze out any more progress, solely from the competition lifts, they must at the earliest time switch the emphasis from the lifts to the assistance lifts where progress will ultimately come from. The squats and pulls are designed to help increase the snatch and clean & jerk by allowing the larger muscles of the legs, hips and back to take the brunt of the training load.

Most erratic performances in the gym and in competition can be traced back to how the squats and pulls are being trained. The predominant thought is that the more a lifter can squat or pull (DL) the stronger they will be and therefore they will lift more in the snatch and clean & jerk. A very noble notion, but very misleading, since as was discussed in "Weightlifting: Strength and Velocity", force production is determined by the change in acceleration (specific times in motion) not simply how much can be squatted regardless of those times in motion. This book will describe how certain correlations can be used for programming and training purposes and why repeated precision, specific times in motion and accelerated actions must become the methodology of training and what happens when training is composed of erratic lifting, erratic times in motion and decelerated actions. 

The difference between open lifters and master lifers (over the age of 35) can be similar in some ways and very different in others. The rules, equipment, and weight classes are the same regardless of age. The 5 year breakdown in age divisions, such as M35 to M80 and W35 to W70 is similar to age breakdowns for the youth and junior divisions. The difference between master and non-master lifters is mostly encompassed in the way training is conducted. As the lifter ages training must be reflective of that process to avoid, as much as possible, the prospect of, aches and pains and injuries.