Training: Motor Pattern Development

The snatch and clean and jerk are such technically demanding lifts that it requires enormous amount of effort and time to develop the skill to execute the lift as efficiently and effectively as possible. However, the motor pattern development you will develop will ensure that snatches, cleans and jerks will be executed with minimal injury and maximum force development to lift the greatest amount of load possible.


Empty Barbell vs. Loaded Barbell

How much difference should there be between an empty barbell and a loaded barbell when you lift for a snatch or clean and jerk? Little to none. The truth is, an empty barbell snatch should look the same for a maximum loaded barbell from floor to finish. They should ideally look the same. The speed through the second pull should be the same for both empty and loaded barbells. The speed through the second pull should remain constant at 1.8m/s.

Perfect training, timing, speed, position

When you train your aim should be to train as perfect as possible but what does this mean? Is there such a thing as perfect training? I don’t remember the last time I ever had a perfect lift or training session but in my mind no matter how bad or good my training is going I’m striving to reach perfection no matter how close or far that is. That means that execution of the barbell lift is close to as perfect as I can make it. This comes through what is called kinesthetic awareness which means your bodies sense of awareness where it’s at in space in relation to the barbell. The barbell needs to find the most effective bar path and that sometimes means your body needs to move in space to allow for that barbell to travel on it’s most efficient path.

Timing and Speed

Timing in relation to the barbell is the time when you will have to pull the par explosively to create the acceleration it needs to move vertically. At the same time you will have to pull under the bar in order to receive the bar in the overhead position. This critical timing is very sensitive because a pull that is not timed perfectly can result in a missed lift. If the appropriate speed isn’t applied at the right time that bar is not going anywhere.


Lastly, when you train you want to position your the barbell exactly where you want it. Sometimes this mean lifting with light sub maximal weights practicing positions. It requires you to have the flexibility in your joints and body to position your body where it needs to be in order to receive the bar. Be patient, practice perfection, practice timing and speed and position.


Josue Cano


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