One of the keys to being a successful weightlifter, as opposed to someone who otherwise lifts weights, is the ability to violently accelerate the bar once you've gotten it to about knee height and then reverse directions to catch it - if you can't do that, you might still be able to lift some big weights, but you'll never be a big-time weightlifter.
This is the approximate starting position when you lift off blocks - it might look innocent, but remember that this merely sets the stage for the acceleration and explosion that will follow. Shown here is Matthias Steiner, launching 200 kg at the 2008 European Weightlifting Championships. IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Whether you want to call it "the second pull" or "the triple extension," one of the time-honored ways to train this critical portion of the snatch, the clean, and related movements is to start from blocks, instead of from the ground.
In this month's "Schmitz on the Lifts," three-time USA Olympic weightlifting coach Jim Schmitz tells you how to make good use of this assistance exercise, including all-important advice about how to use it safely - vital information because this is one movement that can turn your gym into something of a ballistic missile testing ground.
To read the latest "Schmitz on the Lifts," click the link above or go to the Training Articles button at the top of the IronMind® home page and select "Schmitz on the Lifts."
Matthias Steiner explodes and finishes his pull on his way to completing this 200-kg snatch, a huge PR that could hardly have come at a better time. A few months later, Steiner won the super heavyweight gold medal in sensational style at the Beijing Olympics. Plan now to be at this year's Arnold Sports Festival and watch Matthias Steiner lift in the IronMind Invitational on the main stage of the Expo Hall on March 7. IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.