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    Q and A - John Broz's approach to bulgarian/krastev training

    Been chatting to John Broz about the demand of people who wanted to learn on his and the Bulgarian method and this with lots of members of the forum messaging him and emailing him, he has decided to come back and start a Q and A thread so that others can learn from him and the way he trains his athletes...

    Now guys normal forum rules apply here but don't come into this thread looking for an argument on why this method will work or wont work, this has been done before.

    This thread is for people who wish to learn from the Bulgarian method and be nice to John as he will be using his own personal time to answer these questions...

    here are some vids of his lifters...



    Last edited by iron619; 05-04-2010 at 06:19 PM.
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    These are from the previous thread... where lots of common questions were answered... Please read before posting to make sure the question has not been asked before...

    Originally Posted by gbg View Post
    What type of training protocol do you follow for Olympic lifting and how is it different for someone new to Oly lifting if it is at all?
    If you are new to OLifts, then you must use a stick for at least 3-4 weeks and do thousands of reps to get good technique and understand the movements. It is crucial to have someone watch who truly knows how the bar path and body movements are supposed to go. It is possible to learn yourself, but it takes much dedication to view the lifts and understand what they are doing. Without a coach it makes it very very difficult.

    As we learn technique, the weight can begin to increase until technique breaks down. Eventually it's max attempts everyday.

    Originally Posted by RyHam View Post
    Hello Mr. Broz,
    I noticed that you and Pat have a very similar jerk style (most notably the incredibly short dip). Did you learn this style from your Bulgarian coach? Have you experimented with over jerk strategies?
    The Jerk is the most violent movement of any part of O Lifts. Especially difficult when you stand from a heavy clean. The short dip is ESSENTIAL to the jerk. When the bar passes 160kg the bar whip begins to play a significant factor in the success of the lift. Learning how to dip quickly and maximize the oscillation is the only way to be a great jerker.

    Antonio did teach me this technique. When I was younger I had a russian coach that had me do heavy 1/4 front squats and believed that the jerk drive was more of a squat then Krastev's philosophy of a jump. I have tried many ways and this is the best.

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    Sometimes maxing out on deadlifts and squats ect.
    Max squats everyday, max deadlifts 2-3x/year.

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    this only so you can put more effort and energy into the competition lifts?
    yes. We compete in the snatch and c/j not powerlifting

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    So you can let your guys train more frequent?
    2x everyday and once on sunday

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    For example, do you let your guys do overhead squats?
    Only if they snatch it first. We never do them as an exercise. If you snatch it and cant get up (pinned with a snatch) you would get laughed out of the gym or banished to the squat rack for 30 days.



    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    And if I understand correctly you let your guys max out often?
    every workout, every lift

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    What do you do when progression halts?
    IT WILL! Training lifts will eventually start to go backwards as you enter into the "dark times". When you are so sore and fatigued that you cant even imagine lifting weights. This time is CRUCIAL to training. You MUST persevere and continue to train! Eventually your lifts will begin to improve and you will make progress and PR's while in a totally fatigued state. When you can make progress when feeling like this, this is when you are going somewhere.

    To quote Antonio:"the day will never come when you can't lift the bar"

    To quote my first coach:" If you wait til you feel good with no aches or pains to train, you will never be here"

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    Basically, could you give us some more insight into your training protocols?
    Train til you can't walk, eat, sleep, repeat.

    Originally Posted by RyHam View Post
    One more question Mr. Broz. Will you save American weightlifting?
    My first coach John Schubert was the coach of the last male Olympic Champion Chuck Vinci - 1960. Growing up in his gym I learned a lot. I also trained with John Black, Vince Anello and a few other powerlifting monsters for years at Black's Health World (a legendary powerlifting team) in the 80's, also located in Cleveland. I thought it was my destiny since I had the opportunity to lift and be surrounded by these legends that I would break the curse and be the next gold medalist. When I met Pat I was already realizing that my dream was not going to come true and he said to me that it was fate that brought us together and my destiny was to be a coach. I suppose with my first two coaches both named John, it would not be an insult to follow in their footsteps.

    Only time will tell, but no one is more tired of seeing the US getting their butt kicked then me.

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    Thanks Mr. Broz!



    Lol

    I have three other question, if you don't mind..

    1) How do you let your guys work up to a max (warm-up to it and working sets)?

    2) You said earlier in your post that you sometimes let your guys do 30 reps in sets of 2,3 or 5 sets with 20 or 30 kg less than their 1rm right? Why 20 or 30 kg? Is this your general rule of thumb? Wouldn't it be easier to work with percentages to reduce the load (10 0r 20% or something like that)?

    3) You said that when progression halts you will let your guys max, right? What if they loose strength? Has overtraining ever occured? And if so what did you do (let them do)? If not, what would you do if it happened?
    1) in the lifts: bar, 50kg for as many as it takes to look good, fast and comfortable, then usually 20kg jumps to about 80% for dubs, then 10kg jump to 90% for singles then 5kg up to max for singles. 6 attempts at max is the usual norm

    2) percentages don't work. I go down 20-30 and if its too easy, then we go back up. there are times that the reps end up being more than what was the original max that day. The body is amazing when you push it. You never know what you are capable of doing on any given day. The way you feel is a lie.

    3)this is a tough one to swallow for most... THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVERTRAINING!!! if you can't do something you are not in good enough shape. Here is a story:

    IF you got a job as a garbage man (or run a jackhammer, or some other physically demanding job) and had to pick up heavy cans all day long, I'm sure the first day would be very difficult - possibly almost impossible for some to complete so what do you do? take 3 days off and possibly lose your job? NO! you would take your sore, beaten self to work the next day. You would mope around and be fatigued - much less energetic than the previous day, but you would make yourself get through it. Get home, soak in the tub, take aspirin, etc. The next day would be worse..etc. etc. Eventually you will be running down the street tossing cans around and joking with your coworkers. How did this happen? You forced your body to adapt to the job at hand! IF you cant' squat everyday, lift heavy everyday then you are not OVERTRAINED, you are UNDERTRAINED!

    Could a random person off the street come to the gym with you and do your exact workout? probably not - cause they are undertrained. Same goes with most when compared to elite athletes.

    Originally Posted by endpoint View Post
    Do you push Diet and supplements (creatine etc)?

    I am interested in other athletes at your gym. Pat is a freak.

    Do you have a record board of the other lifters posted anywhere?
    I only make sure that they stay in their weight classes. I weigh every lifter every day.

    I don't have a board posted, except for the dry erase one on the wall. Our youtube page (brozknows) has a lot of good lifts that were pretty close to PR's at the time taken.

    Originally Posted by buddymander View Post
    Why max on deadlifts only 2-3x a year?
    Body positions are CRUCIAL to weightlifting success. max deads force you to pull shoulders back too early, round your back, and lose the proper positions needed for the second pull in the lifts. This will only push progress back along with the simple fact that slow movements do not help any athlete in any sport. "The fastest athlete is the greatest athlete"

    When we max in the DL, it's only for my curiosity to gauge other lifts from and to see when positions start to break down.

    Originally Posted by AccuFlex View Post
    Hey John,

    Any reason why your lifters wear straps? Do they use them for cleans?
    Using straps in the snatch is a MUST! There is no way your hands can endure the abuse put on them from snatching over and over daily.

    In the cleans we NEVER use them.

    Ask Zach Krych about that! He is an US lifter who is very talented but had a bonehead coach that let him do P.Cleans with straps. He lost his balance on one attempt, fell back and hit both elbows on the platform breaking both wrists. Now, about a year later, he is finally able to clean about 50-60% of what he was doing, but still can't snatch. That could be a career ending amount of time to lose. 2 yrs to get back to where you were and the time lost that should have been spent improving. one stupid mistake is about a 4 yr difference. That is 1 olympics...GONE!

    Originally Posted by adogruzza View Post
    Hello Coach,

    I'm a young Powerlifting (IPF) trainer.

    The best thing I've ever done is to understand that i had to learn from olympic weightlifting coach.
    So I've understood how is important to do many sets, as fast as lifter can, in a PERFERCT TECHNIQUE, in order to have the best motor unit activation. Also in powerlifting. No doping, no crying, that's why eastern country dominate. Thousend of sets with medium weight, perfect as a machine. Less bodybuilding bull**** better is.

    Question:
    (if you like to answer)

    1)Your training method is for high level athlet. You need perfect training techinque. Doing always such a high intensity work, doest risk to waste their tech in long period?


    2) Do you think that 4 days a week is too few to use bulgarian training style, to reach an adaptation to workload?

    3) I've always thought that Bulgarian method could be the key also in powerlifting. But, by now, no one try it (no one, i mean, world class (IPF, many of other fed are cicus) lifters). Dont you think that max every day in squat and deadlift is too taxing for CNS and very different as effort than Snach and Clean?

    4) You would suggest Bulgarian training for every type of genetically gifted (I'm not english motherlanguage) lifters?

    5) i train many young lifters. Many of them have not reach their bodystructure yet (weight class). Do you think that with B.trainig could be good also for them, or i must them made more high repetition work (high repetition = 4 to 5).

    Many questions, bad english.
    Thank you, I appreciate your "powerfull" way to do. American weightraining needs that.
    1) I am constantly watching the lifts, making corrections all the time. It is like a constant work in progress. Most high level lifters (even multi Olympic Champions) still have their coach watch them lift for technique and efficiency.

    2)4x/wk is not too little if you are doing 2x/wk now. eventually 4days will not stimulate the body enough

    3)Max in the Squat is necessary, but max DL is bad. The lower back gets taxed too much with this lift and takes too long to recover. It is more of a single joint exercise then the squat. I prefer 70-85% Fast pulls for 2-3reps to build DL power. Neither of these taxes the CNS even close to what the SN and C/J do.

    4) I personally believe that this type of training works for all lifters. Although whoever has the most desire will be the one with all the success.

    5) this is very tricky. If they are young (under or around 17 - again this depends on how early they started training) then I would have them doing other assistance things based on their body structure and making sure that they develop in a safe, sound, healthy, strong base core. During which I teach the lifts with perfect technique for reps - no daily maxes- only weekly or even monthly depending on how they look structurally. If they are older and done growing but just small for their structure, then I mix the heavy lifts with some basic traditional body building exercises to supplement.
    Last edited by scott_donald; 02-15-2010 at 06:29 AM.
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    Originally Posted by ukstrongman View Post
    John, what's the biggest oly style squat (no belt or wraps) you've ever heard of? I've never seen a video of anyone doing more than Pat Mendes' 350kg in this style.
    My coach, Antonio Krastev did 360 wearing rehband type knee sleves, I have also heard of a few other weightlifters doing mid 3's. Pat and I have discussed this and think that when he does 370x10 it will be a feat unmatched before.

    Originally Posted by adogruzza View Post
    Thank's coach, every reply makes sense! I dont want to ask too much but:

    you'll suggest something like that:

    day 1. squat to max (best weight at perfect competiotion technique) + back off sets
    bench press with pause to max (comp. rules technique) + beck off sets
    no assistence

    day 2. deadlift 80% x 2 x 6 set (or something like that)
    pressing assistence repetitions 3 to 5 x 3 to 5 sets

    day 3. like day one

    day 4. deadlift from different heights x 3 x 5 sets
    bench press to heavy but not max single.


    or like that:

    day 1,2,3,4 squat to max
    bench press to max
    deadlift 2 x 6 sets (or so)
    day 1,2,3,4,5,6: squat to max (best weight at perfect competiotion technique) + back off sets of minimum 3x2, upto max of 50 reps. going back upto max or beyond if the weights start to feel light enough

    day 1,3,5 bench press to max (2 wide,1 close grip)+ back off sets (quantity will need some experiment because I have not tried with bench in over 10 yrs)

    day 2,4,6 deadlift 2-3 x 10 sets all from floor. vary % based on positions and back health

    If you are gonna train 4x/wk then day 5&6 will be in the next week.

    any assistance rehab/bodybuilding such as pullups, dumbell flyes etc should follow at the end as well as grip work based on how you feel. These are optional and should be done at discresion

    Most importantly- speed is ALWAYS the priority! When squatting and pulling getting up fast is soooo important, as well as the bench. Doing the press quickly to generate power is key too. going slow with light weights is a big NO NO!!

    Originally Posted by Squinky View Post
    Does your lifters do any overhead presses or bench? If not, do they test those lifts from time to time?
    very very light standing press. only weight that can be done for at least 5 reps. This is for advanced lifters that are just helping a sore elbow only. when it feels better the presses stop.

    For the young girls, I occasionally have them do bench or standing press to gain some upper body strength. Most of the guys have benched in school and have a pretty good upper body strength. We have only done a quick max on press 1x ever and never bench for max. One time I let them settle a bet to see who could bench the most without training for it. 3 of the guys did over 400# and I stopped them.

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    Could you perhaps show it with an example how to work up to a max lift?

    Ok, for example: today I did bar for about 5 min - approx 10-15 snatches (since these are first always), then onto 50 kg. first starting with muscle snatches for dubs x 2 sets. on the 3rd set begin to ride down to full squat snatch for 4 reps. then full squat snatch the rest: 70x2x2,90x2,110x2,120x2,130x1,135x1,140x1-missed 4x, made on 5th attempt.

    Originally Posted by BeefyStew View Post
    This post and your responses feels like you're calling me a pussy. I like that. Few questions:

    1. How much has Pat's/other lifters BS SRM increased over the past year?

    2. How would you progress a weak lifter (read: me, 130kg BS) who squats twice a weak to squatting 6x a week? Just man up and lift or do your newbies follow some kind of progression to build their work capacity?

    Really appreciate your candor. A lot of this flies in the face of whats out there, and I'm curious to see if I'm up to the challenge.
    When pat walked into my gym he did a SRM of 220. Now he is at 350 and it's been 19 months. Taylor, another guy started the same time as Pat but only for 11 months. His SRM was 130-35. He got pinned with 140. Within the 11 months he did 210 BS, 185 Fs, snatch 135 C/J 160 cleaned 165. He was also a full time college student studying Physics and Math and worked construction that summer. Pat has no job and no school so recovery is easier for him with his daily naps and no distractions. Taylor = approx 6.8kg/month and Pat = 6.8kg/month. Their results are pretty typical of the others.

    I have a 16 yr old girl bdwt 63 kg. been training for 2 months. Her SRM was the bar when she lost her balance and couldn't even stand with it. Now she is FS 65x3x3, Bs 85x2x2. I switch FS and BS daily for her and she is up to 5 x/wk squatting now. Hopefully by spring she will be doing 7x/wk and more volume.


    I don't know how old you are and anything else about your training so it would be pretty irresponsible to tell you how to progress without doing my homework first. I will say this, if you are not injured, then you should be at the gym training. I have everyone at the gym do some kind of squat daily. FS, BS, or both. Doing either max, reps or both. Depending on where they are beginning depends on how much volume etc.

    Originally Posted by numinti View Post
    I am not an olympic lifter, but I use olympic lifts as good as I can for improving my athletic ability, strength and power. What is interesting me is also weightlifting methodology that can be used for general strength training. I have already adapted couple of months ago to benching squatting and deadlifting everyday with a high volume, 8-10 working sets of three. I was very tired but as coach Broz said PR were made in fatique state even if I felt really worn out. I have also tried SRM method but then withoug back off sets. Now inspired by coach Broz I m gonna test the following as a rest and change of pace from oly lifts:

    every day:

    1 Back squat
    2 Military press
    4 Deadlift
    5 Bench press

    All to max single plus up to 50 reps in sets of 2,3 back off sets mlifting done as explosively as it can be

    second daily workout will be

    repetitive sprints, go all out and as much volume as I can handle that is just to keep body fast and have good wind with this deads and squats and presses

    advice appreciated
    The only concern I have is in the pressing movements. If the Military was a push press than I think you will be ok, but if it's a strict press along with the benching, it might be too much too soon for the delts and arms. They do not adapt to the volume as quickly as legs and hips. I would do 1/2 the volume initially and if the press gets heavy, do push presses. I think they are a better exercise for upper body strength anyway.

    Originally Posted by R.SELK View Post
    Ive ran smolov for a very long time. I think it was close to 20 weeks in the end. The recovery gets easy, but eventually my knee ran into issues and it was either tone it down or surely **** over my knee.

    If my joints could take it I would run that kind of volume year round, I love it.
    Originally Posted by ShutUpAndSquat View Post
    Heh, I was the guy who thought about doing Smolov year-round along with Danny.

    To add on to Danny's inquiry, assuming you're familiar with Smolov: how could one run through the program and still be able to work on explosiveness & lifting a max with maximum speed? Would there be any tweaks you'd make to Smolov to make it a viable year-round program?
    Originally Posted by dannyautrey View Post
    This thread is very interesting. I like your style, Coach. I have been running Smolov lately for my squats, and haven't really been challenged yet. I recently had a discussion with another member on here about running Smolov year-round, as I think it would make my squat insane.

    Are you familiar with Smolov? If so, would it be a good idea? With the program, I'd only be working up to heavy singles twice every 14 weeks, or something along those lines.
    I am familiar with his program. I have a LOT of issues with it.

    1) Lunges suck and I think are very dangerous. When you go heavy,fast or simply aren't perfectly strict you have a tendency to push hard and because of the deep split you push off to one side and lean to the opposite as a reflex to get up. I have witnessed many people injure a knee doing this (including my wife - who refused to listen, snuck off to the "ladies only" section. She split her meniscus and I had to carry her to the hospital from the gym. She was out of commission for 4 months and 5 yrs later her knee is still jacked) Lunging down is NOT a natural way for the human body to lift. Do you ever see kids lunging down to grab something? It's an unnecessary risk with little benefit. That is the classic definition of dumb. You wanna stretch the quads? kneel down and lean back. This is a much better stretch. It stretches the quad more from the hip and not as much from the knee.

    2) Jumping and plyos should be left to jumpers and track athletes who needs to jump. As a lifter we don't need that additional stress put on any joints. save the stress and energy for training.

    3) %'s don't work. Plain and simple. How many times have you had to go in and hit a max but you didn't sleep well, feel under the weather etc. but have to lift a designated amount of weight? Conversely, how many times do you feel great but are only allowed to go to 65-75% when you really feel like you could hit a PR that day? It's hard enough to peak at a meet a few times a year and feel like you are prepared to hit weights that are pre-determined. How can you possibly do it every workout, every lift? simple - you can't.

    4) The more often you attempt max, the more opportunities you are giving yourself to feel what max feels like, make max attempts, hit PR's, and it builds confidence. Eventually max is usual and as routine as walking down the street. Every morning I would squat at least 220 (usually more, but that was my "minimum" I HAD to do regardless of how I felt) like clockwork. I could do it just as easy as walking to my car to drive home. Pat is currently doing 250 every morning. It is so routine that at any given time, night or day 7 days/wk he would be able to do it without even blinking.

    *****5) NOT training everyday leads to more injuries! IF you train everyday then your entire body is fatigued. Muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, etc. When you train every other day, then the muscles and avascular tissues don't recover at the same pace. What happens is the muscles become fresh and recover but all the connective tissue is NOT. When the additional stress put on these weakened tissues (that never really got a chance to recover) by fresh muscles = injury. Lifting everyday keeps everything in a state that is equal and consistent within the system. A balance or harmony within. The fatigued muscles can't contract enough to harm the other tissues. The weak link moves from body part to body part, and in a sense is not letting the other parts max so that's when they are resting!

    6) The progress from this program is because of the volume. Most people don't even come close to the amount of volume that it demands in regular workouts. The progress is wrongly attributed to the %'s and reps scheme. It's not. IT's the workload.

    7) The human body cycles up and down at unpredictable waves. The program can't take that into account. What if you started 5 days earlier? Would you be more successful? It is not possible to predict how you will feel and start the program at an optimum time within your own cycle to have more success. You can't succeed every workout unless the #'s were skewed from the beginning.

    ****8) How many opportunities for PR's did you miss out on by spending an entire year only squatting 3x/wk when you could be doing 7-14? In a entire year, just squatting once a day = 2x the volume of this program. 2x/day for 12-14 sessions a week is 400% more. That's the only % that is important!
    Last edited by scott_donald; 02-15-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    how would you set up a powerlifter or weightlifter who trains 3-4 times a week
    depending on what condition level they are currently at, I would start there and gradually add in as much volume/intensity over time that the days and time allow. At some point the time will be a limiting factor, but for most that usually wont happen for a while.


    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    When you talk about working to a max, do you mean working to a true one rep limit lift, or a best double or triple ?
    that days SRM. sometimes I hold the lifter back to build a fire to try harder the next time but again this is instinctive and not usual. There is no cookie cutter program.

    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    How often do your lifters actually hit a PR ?
    Depending on the lifter, their stage in learning and the lift, I've seen as long as 4 months to PR a lift and I've also seen PR's every workout in one of the exercises for over a month straight.

    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    Do you approach the squat differently from the C&J or snatch as there's a bit more weight and it's a bit more stressful (less technical) -

    you mention backing off from deadlifts as they're stressy on the back, CNS (if you want to call it that) ?
    Squats take no or very little mental energy or stress on the CNS. squatting heavy should become as regular as a walk down the street.

    I back off the DL because slow pulls with the wrong positions is not helpful for an OL. I would believe that if you wanted to be great in DL and tried this approach as an experiment, taking your time to increase volume and intensity that eventually you would adapt to heavy max DL daily as well. IMO we don't need it so I have never tried.

    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    I ask this as I (as an awful olympic lifter) could try a limit clean many times and miss it - if I tried a limit squat many times I'd have to be carried out of the gym.

    What do your guys do to maximise recovery outside of the gym ?

    What makes you choose doubles, triples, fives or tens in your "back-off" sets ?
    Do you rotate them ? (a day of 5's, a day of 10's etc)

    What are you guys most common injuries ?
    This is normal. I usually only allow 6 attempts at max SN or CJ. The BS or FS only 1 or rarely 2 misses is allowed to daily max. The conditioning itself, not technique will regulate this.

    I emphasize consistency. sleep, eat, train, repeat. Same time every day. Whatever they do outside of the gym I ask that they do it repetitively consistent. Only then can we narrow down single items to work on to lift more weight.

    I don't have any kind of rotation or set # of reps/day. It drives the guys crazy because each day they don't know what I will have them do. They try to guess, but rarely successfully. I go by how they look, act, attitude, speed of lifts, and overall volume that they were able to accomplish in the workout prior to finishing with squats. example: if snatches and / or cleans were not good, I might skip the 2's after max and make up for the volume in squats

    Seems like almost everyone has, of all things wrist issues. This is more common than any other .

    Originally Posted by numinti View Post
    With that said, isn't the front squat more specific to olympic lifting that back squat? Recovering from cleans, rack position etc. With adaptation theory lifter can condition his upper body to maintain right position during high volume front squats. Just do it over and over again until upper body is strong as steel and can support strong legs without being limiting factor. So if that could be true, what is tha advantage of back squat. Variety? Bigger weights? Does it build more pulling power because of different body leverages? Is the front squat to hard on chest and shoulders to do high volume after cleans?

    Again if we have 2 lifters and one does FS and BS and another use all time to FS every day twice a day wouldn't the second one have more specific squatting strength. Or squat is a squat and results are the same. Or we use BS because it is fun to squat big weight on the back and we need general strength builder and the best choice ever is BS? What do we miss in our training without BS.

    I was always curious why bulgarians used BS with that specifity theory and why they used power versions of the lifts in the same time not using ny other assistance or not on regular basis. Why use power clean but not use clean pull at all. They even put the back squat as a first exercise in training as i have read somewhere, so they had to believe it is very important exercise. On the other hand as we know some lifters with enormous back squat are not the best clean and jerkers. Also some believe that power versions of the lifts are teaching the body wrong movements, so you build power but forget how to dip quick under the bar for squat clean or split jerk for example.

    Feel free to comment
    The Front squat has a carry over to the clean where the BS has a carry over to the snatch so both are important.

    There are lifters that can FS 100kg more than they clean and believe it or not, some that can clean MORE than their best FS. American Jeff Michaels was one of them.

    I believe that BS are essential because of these reasons:
    1) FS fatigue your upper back so your legs never get the volume they need to get stronger fast enough. Your back will always be the limiting factor, not your legs.

    2) Doing just the lifts your CNS will limit the amount of volume you will be able to do. When you are totally busted down and thinking about jumping under a heavy snatch just won't happen you can always go squat, squat, squat to get in more work which is essential. BS are just too easy on other parts of your body and I believe a fundamental necessity to get overall power and work volume.

    3) The confidence of knowing that you can squat 300 makes cleaning 210 seem very light mentally, whereas if your best FS is 220, 210 might not seem possible.

    Having said this, I have tried eliminating BS for 18 months, training everyday. In that time my FS PR only went up 5kg and my lifts didn't move very much. Following this period, the first day I tried BS I got crushed with 20 kg less than I could do for reps prior. For the next 18 months I did only BS. I improved my PR by 25 kg. Within 2 workouts of adding FS back into the program I did a 10kg FS PR. So I believe that doing both will yield the best results, as long as BS are more frequent than FS.

    Originally Posted by numinti View Post

    1-Is the back squat necessary in weightlifting training?

    2-If you you don't use clean and snatch pulls (or don't use on daily basis), is it possible in your opinion to achieve best results depending on front squat and classical lifts exclusively?

    3-Why do not use snatch and clean pulls every day?

    4-Going even further into specificity, can one do only clean and jerk and snatch in training like in joe mills program. Snatch and clean and jerk every day to the limit. From my experience when I skip squats my lifts go down and I loose confidence for big weights. So squats- the maximum strength exercise, push everything forward. What are your thoughts about that?

    Thank you.
    1) YES, BS is ESSENTIAL - see other post response above

    2) NO, because BS is ESSENTIAL.

    3) you do - every single time you take a Snatch or C/J attempt.

    4) Ivan Abadjiev, Head coach for Bulgaria for MANY years and probably the best weightlifting coach in history has said that he was progressing his programs over the years and was eventually headed toward the day when his lifters did only the snatch and c/j. nothing else, not even FS or BS. Although he never tried this program extensively he believed it could work. I personally don't think so, but that's my .02

    Originally Posted by Donut62 View Post
    Good read. Very interesting stuff.

    John,

    How do you have your lifters peak for a meet or going for a contest max? Do you decrease the frequency of training, the intensity, or some combination thereof or none of the above?
    I have tried many different ways, and depending on their fitness level at the time (all lifters are at different stages unfortunately) it varies.

    The frequency however remains constant

    The intensity decreases from between 3-6 days out depending on lifter. Usually final max attempts in training will be 6 day out. lifters in better shape will be closer to 2-3.

    The volume decreases as well- gradually starting 15 days out, again depending on conditioning. better lifters will be more like 8-10 days out.

    Originally Posted by numinti View Post
    I will do so.

    One more thing , coach.

    Some peole say that from going to max singles so often you get high blood pressure during rest. That can be more from power than oly lifts as oly lifts are faster in nature so you are shorter time under strain. But anyway. JUst curious. Do your lifters control health? Especially those above 100 kg.
    My blood pressure when I was at my peak weight of 305# (139kg) was 125-30/80. Now I'm 260 and my pressure is 118/78. Pat had his checked the other day at a routine check up (after he trained that morning - not upon waking) and his was 120/75. If you train a lot, you will have a very strong cardiovascular system. My resting pulse is <55.

    I have never found it to be an issue, ever.

    Originally Posted by GoJu View Post
    coach broz, what would you suggest for a lifter having problems keeping position off the floor? I've been thinking of just doing clean style deadlifts with like 110% of clean max 3x a week after squats but was wondering if you had any other ideas
    That is an excellent solution. I have had lifters do it in this fashion: M W F , afternoon session after max S and CJ. FS max then 5x2 with 10kg less. Go back and do SN pulls and CL pulls with 10-20 kg more than that days max attempts for 5x2 each. SN first and then CL.
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    Originally Posted by ulfhednar View Post
    1--- to get stronger on a powerclean a lifter has to do it every training session , prefecting the technique and adding say 5lbs each workout?

    2---would 4 sets or 4 reps work alright for powercleans , and when the max weight is reached for 4 reps to do 5 or 6 sets of 2? Or thats still not enough reps all together for a proper powerclean work out? I lift twice a week, and do freestyle wrestling twice a week, really need to get alot stronger on my powercleans.

    3---And how often should I include jump shrugs and high pulls ? also each work out?
    1) You can't add a predetermined weight each workout because you cant predict how you will feel. You might be able to add 10 kg in one session, or might have to drop 10 kg - the point is don't limit yourself by thinking in a definitive number because you don't know what you're capable at any given moment.

    2) 4x4=16 ; 6x2 =12. This is not enough volume. Try to do at least 30-50 reps. Doing sets of 4 is not for every workout. Try alternating between heavy 15x2's on day 1 and on day 2 with 10x5's for volume/cardio/endurance for your sport.

    3) Jump what? High who? Forget that nonsense and stick to the lift that you are trying to get good at. Spend that time and energy getting better at P.Cleans. IF you are doing the lifts correctly you will be jumping while shrugging and doing a high pull in each attempt. That is why Power Cleans are beneficial to sports.

    Originally Posted by ulfhednar View Post
    1. Im only able to lift twice a week, because of work and my freestyle wrestling practises, does it mean its more dangerous to do olympic squats twice a week (on both lifting days) ?

    2. I only do basic lifts... powerclean, overhead press , olympic bask squat, deadlift, benchpess. So if I do all of these twice a week Ill be fine, under risk of injury?

    3. I really need to improve my squats though, should I just be doing them twice a week (like you said earlier in this thread, max out always, and then back off sets) and leave all other lifts once a week as they are?
    1+3) 2x/wk for squats is a good start. If you can't get in another session the same day or any time during the week, you will always be hampered to make progress. You can do the other lifts 2x/wk too. Try this workout: Powerclean with push press; then BS; then Bench; then DL.

    2) Whether you BS, PC,PP, or whatever exercise you do, if you only do it 2x/wk just make sure you do more sets working upto maximum and be very very warmed up. Training more frequently allows faster jumps to maximum.

    Originally Posted by HolyMoly View Post
    Not really, with olympic lifting theres a lot more technique that comes into play. Training more frequent would be more beneficial for technique. Doing more volume during one training could result into loss of technique, because of fatique that comes with the volume. But less volume during workouts would enable you to train more frequent, which is beneficial for technique.

    Maybe it would be from a bodybuilding point of view?
    That would be ideal but sadly unrealistic. To train for 45-60 min. take a 90-120 min break, come back and repeat 4-5x day. Unfortunately even with your own gym, travel time and other issues make that very difficult. I did train like that for 6 months when I had a platform in my living room. I was able to sleep, eat, train all within 15'. My gains were exceptional.

    Originally Posted by endpoint View Post
    Do you think its possible for any 105kg plus male to squat over 300kgs-350kgs raw training the way that you do?

    Or is pat a freak

    Any?

    300 is a weight any super can do if they train the correct way, starting at the right age. 400 is a different story, but 300 is for certain.

    Pat has talent, but there are others. They just don't know it because they never train hard enough to find out.

    Originally Posted by someonefat View Post
    How would you build to squatting everyday? I'm squatting 4x a week right now, and doing oly lifting movements 3x a week-not oly lifter but benefit from the explosive training- I would like to squat everyday as leg strength and power is most important to me. Could I just start squatting everyday since I'm semi used to the high volume right now? Or would there be a smarter way to get to that point.
    jump in with both feet! You don't necessarily have to go max every session, but doing them daily - even up to 80% or so just to get used to the work is a good start. You will see that you will adapt faster than you realize. Squatting will be just like walking. Progress the weights to max as soon as you realize that squatting daily is a joke.

    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    This.

    You've mentioned powerlifters before - I've had problems with "over benching" before and the way it makes my shoulders hurt - overhead work generally fixes it (the top of the press works my rotators better than any "rotator" work) - could you see any benefit or detriment to alternating press and benches (I think you prefer push presses).

    Similarly, Front Squats do seem to work a lot of Pulling muscles (mid back and quads for the start of the pull) - would you add them as a BS alternate (every 3rd workout maybe ?)
    The shoulder is a very complex joint and requires balance between all 3 heads. If you are benching often, you must train your rear delts. pullups, bench grip bent over row (exact opposite movement as bench) and rear dumbell flyes all help keep the balance needed for good shoulder health.

    Push presses use more side and rear delts at the top so it helps take some load off the front but specifically training the rear will be the most beneficial.

    FS are great. I would do them at min 2x/wk (if you are squatting daily). IF not, then every 3rd W/O is good place to start.

    Originally Posted by BrotherWolf View Post
    Olympic lifters possibly don't have that problem I suppose because they don't bench press and the bench press being usually performed with heavy weight and all it's possible issues with form, elbows position, ROM etc.. it's a killer for the RC

    But that's just my theory I don't know , maybe olympic lifters have the same issues with rotator cuff from doing push presses ?!?
    Fortunately we usually don't have rotator issues. However, every time you raise your hand the rotator rubs against the chromium bone. When you continue to do overhead lifts for decades this can eventually cause a bone spur. if this spur develops it could possibly tear the rotator. Once the spur is ground down, then it's back to normal the next day.

    Originally Posted by Blenderate View Post
    I've long believed that there is no volume of squatting that will lead to overtraining, and it's cool to see such confirmation from a successful coach.

    How would you split up the above powerlifting template for somebody who can train twice per day? I was thinking of doing squats every morning, and then bench, dead, and assistance in the evening. Or would you do everything in the morning session and then repeat in the evening session, but switch the exercise order around? Perhaps even do work with bands/chains in one session and then straight weight in the next.
    Initially I would do 2 exercises in the morning (squats and bench) and eventually progress to complete workouts 2x/day

    Originally Posted by ShutUpAndSquat View Post
    Coach Broz, as it pertains to powerlifting -- what are your thoughts on the Westside Barbell method? For the powerlifter who chooses to train using the methods, what suggestions & improvements would you make to the programming?
    I grew up in Ohio and I was coached by John Black and Vince Anello @ Black's Health World. I learned much about Powerlifting from those animals. Even with this background I won't make the same claims as Louie Simmons. He claims to be able to train a lifter for OLifts to be a World Champion. I don't spend enough time with the bench or use any gear to be able to be a competitive PL coach so I will leave Powerlifting coaching to him. He has been very successful with his approach and I have not studied it in any type of depth to see holes/flaws that I would change.

    If you are curious to see if it works, then I suggest reading all you can about his philosophy, ask his students and if it jives with your logic jump on board 100% and see where it takes you. The only way to succeed is to have a good coach that you trust and follow blindly to the end. There are times, regardless of how intelligent you are that simply won't make sense until years later. Usually by that time you have changed direction too many times and wasted it. Research, choose one school of thought and don't look back.
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    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    Would a powerlifting template look something like this :

    Day 1
    Front Squats to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2.
    Bench Normal Grip - to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2.
    Pull Ups - discretion - for shoulder girdle health, so reps between 5-10


    Day 2
    Squats to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2.
    Deads Doubles or triples for speed, 60 -85% of max (depending on back health)


    Day 3
    Front Squats to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2.
    Bench Close Grip - to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2.
    Rows Barbell or Dumbell (depending on back health) - discretion - for shoulder girdle health, so reps between 5-10


    Day 4
    Squats - to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2
    Deads - Doubles or triples for speed, 60 - 85% of max (depending on back health)


    Day 5
    Squats - to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2
    Bench - Normal Grip - to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2.
    Rear Flyes - discretion - for shoulder girdle health, so reps between 5-10


    Day 6
    Squats - to max single, then back off sets of between 2 - 10 reps up to a max of 50 reps total with a minimum of 3 sets of 2.
    Deads - Doubles or triples for speed, 60 - 85% of max (depending on back health)


    The subject of assistance "gear" must come in - I compete in raw competition (belt and wrist wraps only) - I think I would be tempted to avoid the use of either - or perhaps just on one day a week (Day 5 ?) - your guys seem to have developed well without them.
    I think the program that you outlined looks solid. Just be sure that you are conditioning yourself to this a bit at a time. This should not be done on day 1. When you adapt to this then you can add morning squats and sunday sessions.

    Originally Posted by GoJu View Post
    you think vanev had bad technique?
    Yes. He was very explosive, but had flaws.

    1) Cut his pull way to early in snatch, even with light weights to focus on moving feet quickly. Unfortunately this limited his snatch. Good thing that technique works well for the clean, which he was a master at.

    2) His elbow rotation in both jerk and snatch was "old school".

    This is why he injured his elbow and was not great in jerks or snatches.

    ******* What I mean is this:

    There are 2 ways to receive the bar overhead in both the S and J. Either roll your elbows forward like you are prepared to do a front military press or roll them back like you are preparing to do a behind the neck press. Vanev used #1. A lot of the old Soviets and Americans did this style because it was a direct carryover from the press. Since the press is gone, new lifters should be using style #2. It is a much stronger receiving position because the joints are locked back, and there is much less chance of an injury. Most injuries in elbow dislocations are lifters who utilize style #1. Watch closely and you will see.

    Originally Posted by pwrlifter96 View Post
    Coach Broz,
    Thanks for giving advice on this thread. I have been following your lifters on youtube for a while now. Its a great opportunity to understand how you train. I have started squatting daily but I would like some clarification on your suggestions for strongman please. Do you suggest squatting and doing the powerclean and pushpress daily or would you still do the clean and jerk with the powerclean and pushpress daily? I hope that makes sense.
    By the way, I re watched my copy of the ironmind bulgarian training hall tape and it just reinforces your points on how to really train. They arent afraid to miss and they keep trying even after missing a lift 3 or 4 times.
    Mike
    I would do BS and PC/PP daily. NO reason to do both. If you can, eventually goto the full squat clean with PP that's better. If you're super exhausted, alternate PC with SC. Squat Cleans are more work but the path of least resistance is what we want to avoid at all costs. This road leads only to Loserville. Who wants to go there?

    Originally Posted by 1369phil View Post
    In order to do this I'm reducing the volume after the "max" set and when training the very next day I'm doing about 80% and also doing 2 on 1 off - gradually increasing it all.

    I did max FS yesterday and max BP, followed by 80% BS and 80% Deads (doubles) today - my legs really really hurt ! Tomorrow off then max FS & BP again.

    I'm in awful condition by the way !

    Mr Broz - if I set up a journal here, would you be in a position to/happy to add your comments ?
    don't take days off if you have access/availability to train. Go in and at least squat 30-40% or something. Squat the bar for 30 reps. Something! it will hurt, but it will help the adaptation progress faster. Don't abandon days if you can help it, simply just go in and bob around and do something - anything! Whatever you can do is better then riding the couch.



    "Every time you touch the bar it is a +. when you take a day off it's a -" -Krastev



    This applies to any weight lifted, even if it's just the bar.



    It's very hard to coach a program based on shear #'s. Without seeing how the attempts were done, with how much enthusiasm, speed, overall attitude - it's almost impossible. this is where having a coach will help. Just keep pushing yourself as much as you can. Your legs hurt? Forget pain. Like I explain to every lifter...


    "The lifter that can endure the most pain will be the most successful"

    Originally Posted by Ka0s View Post
    This is an awesome post and something I think everyone should take to heart. I actually have a question though, how many (or what %) of lifters that you train "wash out" as in eventually quit because of how hard your training is? I ask because there was a thread about your methodologies on another board, and a bunch of weak-ass internet gurus claim that your training style only works for something retarded like 1 out of every 100 lifters and the rest fail miserably. I can link you if need be.
    It's not like the minute someone walks in the door I grab a whip or cattle prod and go after them. I LOVE lifting and realize that some people sign on 100% from day one and some need to "fall in love" with lifting. I have a 16 yr old girl lifting now. She originally came in about 3x/month. I made it fun for her. Let her set a few pr's in some way each time she came in. After a while she came in more often and more often. Now the bug has bit her. she is there everyday and even came in 2x on saturday. I take it easy on her so she doesn't get frustrated too often. I really want to build a solid foundation of fundamental core strength and perfect technique. There is no hurry for her, so why try to burn her out. If she continues, I would guess that she will be a premier 63 in this country in 3 years.

    The unmotivated ones don't "burn out" they really never COMMIT enough to burn out.
    for those lifters, I try to motivate them in other ways to try to bring out the animal instinct. Some just don't possess it, so they come lift, and have a good attitude, have fun, and sit back and watch the others make more progress then them.

    Originally Posted by metal-head- View Post
    How would you train someone with a back injury? I've had a lower back twinge the last couple of months (i can feel it most of the time) and it doesn't seem to want to go away. Is my best option to just stop squating/deadlifting all together and see if it goes away? What kind of program should i be doing?
    I would continue to train. I would do any thing that can work around the injury(if it is a true injury) even do partial movements just to keep the body working.

    Originally Posted by NoMojoPin View Post
    how have you approached muscle gain, does higher frequency still count since it primarily increases neural efficiency? which isn't necessarily (at least i think) required to get bigger? would you just keep the reps higher (5+)?

    Thanks
    Honestly, I never concerned myself with size. I always left that to the bodybuilders. I love Bruce Lee's outlook on "useless muscle". Personally I have always tried to be as efficient as possible. I wish I could weigh 140lbs and still lift what I do.

    I have noticed that if you do totally raw lifts and lift big barbells, no matter what rep scheme you use, it seems that you gain size. Personally I believe it's in the speed in which you lift and overall volume more so than the reps involved that increase size. I never did any extensive research on the different types (IIa, Ia,red, white,etc.) muscle fibers so I can't support this. I do know that I have seen many World Record holders and most were pretty muscular even considering that most OLifters usually never exceed 3 reps.

    Originally Posted by crackyflipside View Post
    You missed the question on Sundays and why they are only squatting for one session?
    If you can add more volume or intensity, go for it. The reason I don't do it on Sunday is simple: I spend enough time at the gym and personally don't want to be there 7 days a week for 6 hours. On sunday I want to be in/out as fast as possible. It's only about 60-90 min. It's MY rest day.

    Originally Posted by NoMojoPin View Post
    is cutting just time wasted for me (that Olympic clock is ticking!)? How might you approach it?
    Do they do a BMI test @ the Trials? Who cares what your BF is! If you lose weight, strength and power follow. You want everything to go down just to eventually go back up? That sounds like a waste of time to me. Are you body building or Training for the shot? Go train and FORGET what you look like. If you are that vain then strength sports might not be for you.

    Krastev told me to be a good lifter I had to move from the 105(108)class to super because I am tall. I told him I didn't want to be fat. He took off his shirt and showed me all his stretch marks. He asked "If you got fat for 4 years, had a bunch of stretch marks like this but had a gold medal hanging on the wall would you do it?" I gained 80 lbs.

    Originally Posted by NoMojoPin View Post
    John has mentioned balancing Pressing with pulling for upper body balance, how is this balance being addressed for the lower? since Olympic squatting is quad dominant, then glutes, but not so much hamstrings
    It is a natural movement for the upper body to push and pull. The legs aren't designed to "pull", only push off the floor. That's why our feet don't have thumbs and can recuperate / adapt much faster. If you squat and DL with full range of motion, your glutes and hams will get tons of work. I don't know many OL with tiny butts or hammies. Usually it's the exact opposite. At a OL meet when you are walking around the hotel or venue you can always spot all the lifters because it's big butt central.

    The hams work in the squats and get additional work with the S and CJ (or pulls if you PL). Train this way and your legs will be balanced.
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    Originally Posted by southbankwulf View Post
    ive been squating everyday this week, but how would i estimate the weight i work upto and back off weights. i obviously dont have a coach to tell me what weight/reps to work upto and i understand that it is a day max and not a 1rm that you are supposed to work upto (correct me if im wrong) so would i just work upto a clean rep that is not too "grinding" then to the 30-50 rep back off sets?

    (havnt explained this very well i know)

    Before you started doing everyday squats, when you worked up to max, was it until it got hard or until you failed?

    This program works when you go up to either failure or a successful attempt where if a fly landed on the bar you would have missed. Depending on how often/much you are squatting I would concentrate on hitting maxes first. After a while(few weeks or so) add 3x2 reps with about 20kg less then your Daily 1RM. If that gets easy, then do 4x2, 5x2, maybe 3x3 or go up 10kg and do 3x2 with that. It's all about continually adding volume and/or intensity. Eventually you would like to be able to go in, go to a true max, drop down and do work. At any point if the work gets a bit easy, then either use more weight or do more reps/sets.

    Again, since doing squats daily is new, start going for maxes daily then add volume. If the thought of going max feels discouraging (take the bar out of the rack and it feels like a ton, bad night sleep, etc) then go to where you could at least do the dubs at and put in work.

    There was this time when I was supposed to C/J and S max. I was tore up. Krastev told me he was gonna be a nice guy and just let me BS. I was soooo happy. I went up to a max. I was so crushed that it was only 190 and it was a griiiiiind! He told me to do it again. Well, that ended up being my workout for 3 1/2 hours. doing 190 for singles over and over again. I'm not even sure how many I did. I would venture to say over 60 singles. 3 days later I did 235 for a PR.

    Originally Posted by skinnycalves View Post
    John,

    What barbells do you have in your gym? Eleiko, werk san, pendlay? Also which plates?
    We have: 2 brand new Eleikos, 1 Eleiko that is about 9 yrs old (just replaced the clips in one side) 1 Ooooold Eleiko (probably over 35yrs old), 1 York (the newer version), 1 Uddeholm and 1 Ladies Eleiko. All are competition bars. We have York, Eleiko, Uddeholm and some Ivanko's (for squatting only).

    I personally like Uesaka bars best. I trained on one for years but I haven't been able to get a grip on a used one anywhere.
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    dies ist kein traum gewaltiger's Avatar
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    How far should my feet be apart and at what angle my feet on the lifts/squats?
    I've had a coach tell me feet straightforward and shoulder width apart and I heard differently from other people.

    If I am able to train in afghanistan when I deploy, despite the fact my nutrition may be lower and my sleep is definitely lower and I have added stress, should I still try to train this method? I think if I can train in these conditions and adapt + progress then when I come back to a normal life I will skyrocket in gains

    If I came to your city a year or little more from now could I train one session with pat and you
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    Thank you for coming back and helping us out! I've learned more from reading over the previous thread and talking to you than I have since I started! I'm very excited about doing this program and cant wait til I'm through the dark times and hitting a true max everyday!
    Oly lifter/Powerlifter/Crossfitter

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    What level of GPP and relative strength should a trainee possess before committing to any formal weight training regimen?
    Last edited by NephilimRising; 02-17-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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    John, your training method has been going great for me! Jumped in head first and two months later +10lbs on my snatch, +20lbs on my front squat, consistently hitting old 1RM on back squat as well as volume PR's, although clean and jerk is still consistently bad technique with 90-96% lifts.



    Questions:

    - My jerk sucks, it's pathetic, my snatch is catching up to it, and the only way to fix it is with coaching of someone that has a good grasp on technique... so until I get to Vegas I'm pretty much screwed. My problem is getting under the bar with absolutely no problem with driving the bar up. Should I do lots of extra footwork drills and do the lighter warm-up jerks with as little dip and drive as possible and work up to max even if technique is bad, or stop when technique starts to suck?

    - Three a days are possible on some days with my school schedule; should I?

    - Is 5ft 7in too tall to be competitive at 77kg? If I need to move up to 85kg, how should I go about doing it: clean or dirty bulk?

    - I do extra assistance/prehab work on Sundays but have recently been doing it during regular sessions just to make sure everything gets balanced, mostly shoulders and lats are what I feel lacking. Should I just restrict this prehab work to Sundays or the extra volume throughout the week shouldn't hurt?

    - This last semester at university is going good and I'm on track to graduate at the end of April. Would you know of anybody looking to hire a recent construction management grad as well any cheap housing in Vegas near UNLV or your gym; like lifters looking for roommates by next fall? (you can answer this privately if you want)

    - I do a lot of pause squats with the lighter weights because I feel it helps my strength out of the hole and hamstring/glute strength, which is a weakness of mine. Usually do paused squats until it gets too hard then use the bounce for the maxes, is this alright or should I just bounce for all of them?

    Edit: one more question...

    - I usually do all my jumps as +10lb including new PR's for all lifts, should I do the smallest increments possible or stick to +10lb increments?
    Last edited by crackyflipside; 02-17-2010 at 11:05 AM.
    Olympic Weightlifting: Cuban Method
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=703396581

    Snatch: 97kg
    Clean and jerk: 120kg
    Front squat 160kg
    Back squat: 170kg
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    Question: I noticed in your interview that you do not require any stretching from your athletes. Is it your opinion stretching is not needed? Even in powerlifting? I just bought a powerlifting stretching video and am about to get started on it. But was wondering what your thoughts on stretching are before I dip in.

    Coach, many thanks for your time.
    Last edited by agntorange; 02-17-2010 at 11:47 AM.
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    Originally Posted by gewaltiger View Post
    How far should my feet be apart and at what angle my feet on the lifts/squats?
    I've had a coach tell me feet straightforward and shoulder width apart and I heard differently from other people.

    If I am able to train in afghanistan when I deploy, despite the fact my nutrition may be lower and my sleep is definitely lower and I have added stress, should I still try to train this method? I think if I can train in these conditions and adapt + progress then when I come back to a normal life I will skyrocket in gains

    If I came to your city a year or little more from now could I train one session with pat and you
    feet position is not super important. experiment with what feels the most comfortable/powerful for you in the bottom position. whatever that is, just keep it consistant.

    with your current lifestyle, every new thing that is out of the ordinary stresses the system so it might be very hard to push yourself while you are there. I might take some time and focus on simply getting stronger. You can always squat without too much problems. Im sure if you took 2 years off the lifts, raised your squats 100kg, within 2 weeks of doing the lifts again you would hit lifetime pr's.

    Training here is open to all.
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    Originally Posted by NephilimRising View Post
    What level of GPP and relative strength should a trainee possess before committing to any formal weight training regimen?
    I don't think there is a standard baseline. The earlier the better.

    What I do with beginners that have no WL experience at all is basically teach them the lifts with a stick or ladies bar for a few months, during which time I assess their strengths/weaknesses. I try to blend some bodybuilding/mass building exercises to address the obvious physical weaknesses along with squats from day 1. When I feel that they look solid and stable with the bar overhead I begin to add weight. During which time they will continue to do the mass/BB exercises. Usually after a year of so the base will be strong enough to gradually drop those.

    ex: I have a 16yr old girl that never lifted before. She had knee surgery and a dislocated shoulder from soccer. I have her doing pull-ups/pushups, upright rows, bent over rows etc. to build her upper body. Gradually I started using weight in the cleans. Her upper body strength is holding her back from jerks and snatches heavy so we are doing more reps. With the additional upper body work her jerk and snatch are moving along nicely now. There is no rush to push them to max that early in their career. I always am thinking of their long term health and well being. I want their base to be fundamentally strong so if they decide to go "pro" then the foundation will be set. Eventually when they develop the mind/commitment to want to train full time then is when the intensity goes up. I try to make it fun and find some way for her to PR each week. It keeps her motivated and gradually her interest has increased.
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    Originally Posted by crackyflipside View Post
    John, your training method has been going great for me! Jumped in head first and two months later +10lbs on my snatch, +20lbs on my front squat, consistently hitting old 1RM on back squat as well as volume PR's, although clean and jerk is still consistently bad technique with 90-96% lifts.



    Questions:

    - My jerk sucks, it's pathetic, my snatch is catching up to it, and the only way to fix it is with coaching of someone that has a good grasp on technique... so until I get to Vegas I'm pretty much screwed. My problem is getting under the bar with absolutely no problem with driving the bar up. Should I do lots of extra footwork drills and do the lighter warm-up jerks with as little dip and drive as possible and work up to max even if technique is bad, or stop when technique starts to suck?

    - Three a days are possible on some days with my school schedule; should I?

    - Is 5ft 7in too tall to be competitive at 77kg? If I need to move up to 85kg, how should I go about doing it: clean or dirty bulk?

    - I do extra assistance/prehab work on Sundays but have recently been doing it during regular sessions just to make sure everything gets balanced, mostly shoulders and lats are what I feel lacking. Should I just restrict this prehab work to Sundays or the extra volume throughout the week shouldn't hurt?

    - This last semester at university is going good and I'm on track to graduate at the end of April. Would you know of anybody looking to hire a recent construction management grad as well any cheap housing in Vegas near UNLV or your gym; like lifters looking for roommates by next fall? (you can answer this privately if you want)

    - I do a lot of pause squats with the lighter weights because I feel it helps my strength out of the hole and hamstring/glute strength, which is a weakness of mine. Usually do paused squats until it gets too hard then use the bounce for the maxes, is this alright or should I just bounce for all of them?

    Edit: one more question...

    - I usually do all my jumps as +10lb including new PR's for all lifts, should I do the smallest increments possible or stick to +10lb increments?
    the jerk: practice! If you have jerk boxes, then great. IF not, then you will have to learn to re rack the bar on your neck.

    3x/day. pros: you can split up the current workout you are doing to get more rest between and maximize your energy. con: if it's too much trouble to drive with traffic, park, walk, etc. to get to the gym - the mental energy you burn to return a 3rd time might nullify the rest. you will have to decide with the ease of getting there.

    5'7 - its hard to tell without seeing you lift. There are guys at that height at 105 and there are guys 5'10 @85, 6'2 @94. IF you feel like you are fighting to stay that weight then dont. if you feel good, then rock and roll

    I would only do 1 extra exercise a day at most. I used to use sunday (after squats of course) as my "whatever I want to do to have fun" day. sometimes I would do dumbbell stuff, etc. although I would never do things that might compromise my flexibility in the lifts.

    housing - send me a PM on FB. we can chat about that.

    pause is ok on the first set to stretch and warmup , but you wont (hopefully) ever be sitting in the bottom with a lift so why train your body for a situation that you are trying to avoid? If it's light and you don't want to rebound thats ok, but don't sit there. The bottom is where you miss lifts, not make them.

    the more you lift, the bigger the jumps become. for ex: lets say your PR Snatch is 140. the warm ups might go like this: 50,70,90,110,120,125 (if you feel strong then right to 130)130,135,140,142.5 or 145 depending on how it looked or felt. Anything smaller than a 2.5kg jump is for lifts is only for very light barbells (under 90kg). if your max is 80kg, then it might look like: bar,bar, 40,50,60,65,70,75,80,82.5
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    Originally Posted by agntorange View Post
    Question: I noticed in your interview that you do not require any stretching from your athletes. Is it your opinion stretching is not needed? Even in powerlifting? I just bought a powerlifting stretching video and am about to get started on it. But was wondering what your thoughts on stretching are before I dip in.

    Coach, many thanks for your time.
    When you are training 2x/day, everyday you never really get that tight that requires "stretching". When we warm up we use a stick (or the bar for bigger guys) in the lifts. by doing the lifts over and over with a stick you sit in the positions. In essence this is our way of "stretching". I usually don't let them take any weighted attempts until they have broken a sweat from using the bar/stick.

    Some of the master lifters (50 yrs +) that train with us who are lifting 3-4x/week take a bit more time to stretch and get going because it's been too long since their last session. In the interview I was referring to the lifters that train the lifts daily. The entire process with the bar can be as short as 2 min to as much as 15 depending on how tired/sore/motivated the lifter is.

    Stretching cold is not a good idea. I feel that if you want to warm up the bench press by benching the bar numerous sets until it feels good then begin to add weight is the best approach to PL. When you are finished and the muscles are warm then stretching at the end to cool off is better. When I trained in MN occasionally I was not in a hurry to go out in the sub zero temp sweating so I would relax, stretch, put on a dry shirt and cool off before going outside. this was not common but if I was going to, then that was the time.
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    Well--I tried squatting heavy every other day, working up to a single, with 1 back back down set to keep the volume low in the beginning since frequency was very high. Lasted all but maybe 2 weeks before I pulled a quad/messed up my knee is hard to tell really.

    Never had any soreness or fatigue, felt 100% and my quad went out warming up with 95lbs out of nowhere, its been about 3 weeks now and I think it will be a long while until I will be able to squat with weight on my back again. Took 2 weeks to be able to do a couple body weight squats without significant pain.

    The pain is in the "tear drop" on my left knee, it is either the muscle or the tendon (don't really think its the knee itself), and only gives me problems in the very bottom of the squat, and below parallel.

    Just wanted to put that out there in case anyone has any experience on this sort of thing.
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    thanks for the advice i think thats what it will come down to when i deploy. i have more question!

    another poster made me remember this one i was gonna ask:
    what is the best weight class for being 6' tall? im currently a 94. im already filled out pretty well but i could easily weigh 105 if i changed my diet and get out of the USMC.

    would you still advise to train this way if you do a lot of other leg activities like running (more than 5 miles easily), hiking (more than 4 hours with weight), and patrolling (around 8 hours straight) ? or would my legs simply not be fresh enough to benefit

    in your coaching experience, what is the normal time it takes to transform an average lifter (like myself, 111/141 @ 94) to something above average?

    did you really have a platform in your living room at one point?
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    Originally Posted by B.Money View Post
    Well--I tried squatting heavy every other day, working up to a single, with 1 back back down set to keep the volume low in the beginning since frequency was very high. Lasted all but maybe 2 weeks before I pulled a quad/messed up my knee is hard to tell really.

    Never had any soreness or fatigue, felt 100% and my quad went out warming up with 95lbs out of nowhere, its been about 3 weeks now and I think it will be a long while until I will be able to squat with weight on my back again. Took 2 weeks to be able to do a couple body weight squats without significant pain.

    The pain is in the "tear drop" on my left knee, it is either the muscle or the tendon (don't really think its the knee itself), and only gives me problems in the very bottom of the squat, and below parallel.

    Just wanted to put that out there in case anyone has any experience on this sort of thing.
    I've had the same thing on a Front Squat - very very painful - funny thing is that by training daily I'm at 80% plus strength about 2 weeks later.
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    I know you can never really have "perfect" technique, but I was wondering how long does it usually take for your lifters to get to where there technique is good enough for where they are at strength wise?
    Oly lifter/Powerlifter/Crossfitter

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    Originally Posted by B.Money View Post
    Well--I tried squatting heavy every other day, working up to a single, with 1 back back down set to keep the volume low in the beginning since frequency was very high. Lasted all but maybe 2 weeks before I pulled a quad/messed up my knee is hard to tell really.

    Never had any soreness or fatigue, felt 100% and my quad went out warming up with 95lbs out of nowhere, its been about 3 weeks now and I think it will be a long while until I will be able to squat with weight on my back again. Took 2 weeks to be able to do a couple body weight squats without significant pain.

    The pain is in the "tear drop" on my left knee, it is either the muscle or the tendon (don't really think its the knee itself), and only gives me problems in the very bottom of the squat, and below parallel.

    Just wanted to put that out there in case anyone has any experience on this sort of thing.
    PRP. It worked wonders for healing my glute tear last month. Sped up my recover by about an order of magnitude.
    My workout log as I progress towards a world-class raw powerlifting total:
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    Registered User B.Money's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Blenderate View Post
    PRP. It worked wonders for healing my glute tear last month. Sped up my recover by about an order of magnitude.
    Excuse my ignorance--what does PRP stand for?
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    Originally Posted by B.Money View Post
    Excuse my ignorance--what does PRP stand for?
    Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment. It's something you have to have a doctor do for you who's educated in the technique. Basically they extract platelets from your blood and inject them into the injury site.
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    PhD in Broscience crackyflipside's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BrozKnows View Post
    the jerk: practice! If you have jerk boxes, then great. IF not, then you will have to learn to re rack the bar on your neck.
    So do maxes and then what, doubles or triples jerks for the volume work?

    Originally Posted by BrozKnows View Post
    3x/day. pros: you can split up the current workout you are doing to get more rest between and maximize your energy. con: if it's too much trouble to drive with traffic, park, walk, etc. to get to the gym - the mental energy you burn to return a 3rd time might nullify the rest. you will have to decide with the ease of getting there.
    I was thinking more along the lines of an extra session of max lifts and squats, not splitting up anything. So I guess it's not a good idea then.
    Olympic Weightlifting: Cuban Method
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    Originally Posted by B.Money View Post
    Well--I tried squatting heavy every other day, working up to a single, with 1 back back down set to keep the volume low in the beginning since frequency was very high. Lasted all but maybe 2 weeks before I pulled a quad/messed up my knee is hard to tell really.

    Never had any soreness or fatigue, felt 100% and my quad went out warming up with 95lbs out of nowhere, its been about 3 weeks now and I think it will be a long while until I will be able to squat with weight on my back again. Took 2 weeks to be able to do a couple body weight squats without significant pain.

    The pain is in the "tear drop" on my left knee, it is either the muscle or the tendon (don't really think its the knee itself), and only gives me problems in the very bottom of the squat, and below parallel.

    Just wanted to put that out there in case anyone has any experience on this sort of thing.
    This is one of the reasons I suggest doing squats everyday. It's important that you go up to maximum, but you must condition yourself to daily squatting or doing a combination of squats and the full OL. I commented on this earlier in the other thread about circulation of muscles vs connective tissue and the dangers with taking days off. When any of my guys miss a day I never let them go max the first session back. Hope you recover and lift pr's soon.
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    Originally Posted by gewaltiger View Post
    thanks for the advice i think thats what it will come down to when i deploy. i have more question!

    another poster made me remember this one i was gonna ask:
    what is the best weight class for being 6' tall? im currently a 94. im already filled out pretty well but i could easily weigh 105 if i changed my diet and get out of the USMC.

    would you still advise to train this way if you do a lot of other leg activities like running (more than 5 miles easily), hiking (more than 4 hours with weight), and patrolling (around 8 hours straight) ? or would my legs simply not be fresh enough to benefit

    in your coaching experience, what is the normal time it takes to transform an average lifter (like myself, 111/141 @ 94) to something above average?

    did you really have a platform in your living room at one point?
    If you are not going to any comps anytime soon, don't worry bout body wt. Just stay healthy and get as strong as you can while doing all your other activities. when/if you get out or your lifestyle changes, then you can address your options as far as wt. classes.

    normal time to progress: I think with 100% dedication, no outside distractions, depending on will power and age, I would say that you could add between 1-2.5 kg/month on each of the OLifts.



    yes I did have a platform in my living room for 5 years.
    Last edited by BrozKnows; 02-18-2010 at 02:40 AM.
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    Originally Posted by King922 View Post
    I know you can never really have "perfect" technique, but I was wondering how long does it usually take for your lifters to get to where there technique is good enough for where they are at strength wise?
    Every lifter is different. Some have a tremendous body awareness and "feel" for the bar and others take much longer. I have had many catch on within 2 months and others take as long as 10. Most of the kids I have taught from scratch without any pre-existing bad habits have caught on pretty fast. within 6 months they were pretty fundamentally sound and close to their strength efficiency. There is always a weak link in every chain. That weakness usually surfaces during that time period.
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  28. #28
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    Originally Posted by crackyflipside View Post
    So do maxes and then what, doubles or triples jerks for the volume work?



    I was thinking more along the lines of an extra session of max lifts and squats, not splitting up anything. So I guess it's not a good idea then.
    for jerks go to max - then go up and take 4-6 attempts higher. each might be closer to a make than the last. don't go down and do reps. If you are warmed up on the way up doing lighter weights in the jerk wont teach you the timing of heavier ones.

    a 3rd w/o could be your assistance stuff and possibly just some easy squats (85-95%) for starters.


    BTW - The first time Krastev snatched 200 was at 930 pm on his 3rd workout of the day.
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    Ok thanks! Hopefully I can figure my technique out soon, I'm only 2.5 months in though so not too bad yet!

    Another question: Farther up you said you wouldn't do things that would compromise your flexibility. I was just wondering what exercises you were referring to?
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    Originally Posted by King922 View Post
    Ok thanks! Hopefully I can figure my technique out soon, I'm only 2.5 months in though so not too bad yet!

    Another question: Farther up you said you wouldn't do things that would compromise your flexibility. I was just wondering what exercises you were referring to?
    for OL, it's benching or specific arm exercises. trying to get the bar behind your head and being able to rack the clean are sometimes compromised by these.
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