"We cannot lift to our full potential without a strong foundation."
Before you build a house, you build a foundation. The house cannot be supported without this foundation. It must be strong and be the backbone of the house. The same holds true in weightlifting. We cannot lift to our full potential without a strong foundation. What this means, is that we have a few beliefs we rely on in order to lift as much weight as we can. The five beliefs we value at Kingfield Barbell are: closeness, patience, stability, power, and timing. In the upcoming months, we will break down these five principles down individually. Today, we will briefly talk about all five.
When lifting, there should be as little space as possible between the barbell and the athlete. This allows us to keep the barbell within our center of mass and lift more weight. Each athlete may have a different way of keeping it close and it may look different as well, but as as long as the barbell is kept close, that is the most important thing. Keeping the bar close is not only a positional concept but also an awareness concept. We need to be able to feel the bar close to our body. Over the next few weeks, we will discuss how to keep the barbell close in different parts of the lifts and different exercises we can do to keep the bar closer.
What do we mean by control? When we use this cue with our athletes, we are referring to having control within our movement. From the ground, we want to control the weight so we can feel where the barbell is in relation to our body. Over time, the athlete begins to be comfortable and aware of where the bar is in space, making control more natural. We also want to have control in the catching positions as well. Weightlifting is not a race. In order to keep the bar close, we must have control and not rush into extension or rush standing up from a snatch or recovering from a jerk.
When catching the barbell, the lifter must be as stable as a rock. The lifter should be in a strong position where the load is in the legs with a strong overhead position. In order to achieve a strong and stable base, a lifter must be able to get into good positions (have good mobility) and have a strong musculature.
Power is a combination of strength and speed. In weightlifting, power comes from the legs and hips. Before a lifter uses their upper body to pull under the barbell, they must first use their legs and hips to drive the barbell up as high as possible.
Timing is performing an action at a particular moment. Timing is crucial in weightlifting when it comes to practice. Figuring out when to extend, pull or catch will make the lifts feel much better. If an athlete extends too soon, or pulls too long, this will disrupt the timing and rhythm of the lift.
Next time you lift, think about these five things! Be on the lookout throughout this year as we go into more detail on our beliefs in regards to weightlifting technique!
-Coach Chris & Josh