Women in Weightlifting Part 1: Programming

A young female weightlifter once asked me whether she should be training differently from the guys at her gym. Women make up almost half of our weightlifting community, yet nearly all of the resources that are available are written for the default, male, weightlifter....

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The Doping Fairytale

Let’s drop the charade. The “clean sport” fairytale is helping no one. Nearly all Olympic and professional athletes have used anabolic steroids and/or other banned performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) at some point during their athletic careers (gasp for effect). ...

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The Foundation

Ilya Ilyin is a 2-time Olympic Champion and 4-time World Champion. After winning the 2012 London Olympics, Ilya took 15 months off from training to let himself rest and recover. At the end of this break, Ilya came to the US to do a series of seminars with Dmitry...

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Roadmap for Training Part 2

A training cycle for a novice weightlifter should be different from that of an advanced lifter. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the major differences. In the Russian Weightlifting System, weightlifters are ranked based on their weightlifting abilities. These ranks...

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Check Your Balance

The high-bar back squat is one of the most important strength-training exercises. Weightlifters regularly use the back squat to build the muscles of the back, legs and hips. Unfortunately, most weightlifters don’t get as much strength from their back squats as they...

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Cleans with straps

In 2009, one of America’s best lifters, Zach Krych, had a freak accident. While doing cleans using straps, Zach lost his balance and fell backwards, crushing both of his wrists under the weight of the bar. A video montage was made showing his painful injury along with...

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Don’t Good-Morning the Back Squat

The back squat is one of the most important strength-training exercises. Weightlifters regularly use the back squat to build the muscles of the back, legs and hips. Although it might seem like a simple exercise, most weightlifters don’t get as much out of the back...

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Technique Critique – Call for your videos!

I want to try something new. If you would like your technique publicly analyzed here on Yashathoughts by either me or a guest expert (or both), email me a link to a video of you doing a single weightlifting exercise (squats, presses, pulls, any snatch variations,...

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Tatiana Kashirina Doesn’t Miss.

“How often do you miss an attempt in training?” I asked Tatiana Kashirina in preparation for a seminar with her and her coach Vladimir Krasnov. “I don’t miss,” she replied.  I didn’t believe her, so I kept probing. “Ok… when...

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Rigidity

RIGIDITY is the ability to withstand the effects of power (strength + speed) without bending or breaking. It’s essential that weightlifters develop rigidity early in their training. Without it, the amount of power a weightlifter can generate is reduced and the...

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DIY Video Replay System

It’s difficult for weightlifters to understand their technique without visual feedback. Many Olympic Training Centers use video replay systems to assist lifters and their coaches during training. A camera continuously records a platform, and the video of the recording...

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Roadmap for Training

Happy holidays! As the new year approaches, this seems like the perfect time to write about the training cycle and how to plan for the year ahead. This post will be an introduction to the training cycle, setting the stage for a more in-depth discussion on programming...

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Snatch Setup

If a snatch starts from an incorrect position, it is doomed to be ineffective. To snatch effectively a lifter must start the snatch from the right position. There is a checklist of rules that successful weightlifters follow in the setup for the snatch. Below are...

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Pull Longer

The goal of the pulling phase of the snatch is to get the bar as high as possible while having the elbows stay above the wrists. Every major muscle group that can help to accomplish this goal should be used. These words also apply to the snatch pull. The snatch pull...

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Rules of a Weightlifting Gym

NTC (Norwood Training Center) has been my second home for the past 11 years. This weightlifting gym has almost everything a weightlifter could want: the best equipment, great coaching, an open-gym format where lifters can train at any time and follow any program, and...

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“Your shoulders are weak.”

A few years ago I asked Vasiliy Polovnikov to help me with my lifting. “Well, to start, your shoulders are too small. You need to press,” he said to me. I told him that I do press, quite frequently. “Clearly, it’s not working. You’re either not actually...

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First week back

A few weeks ago I was on vacation and wrote a post about active and passive rest. Now that I’m getting back to lifting, it seems fitting to write about what the first workouts should look like after taking a break. But first: why, and when should we take vacations...

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Respect the Bar

The first time I was told to never step over the weightlifting bar was by my coach Lev Epshteyn. “Would you ever step over your partner in training, or your opponent at the end of a match?” he asked me, knowing I had a background in wresting. I said I wouldn’t,...

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Enough of This, I Need to get Horizontal

“Enough of this, I need to get horizontal” was a token phrase said by Klokov during our 2013 seminar tour with Ilyin and Polovnikov. Being a professional weightlifter is a full-time gig. The hours spent every day in the gym is only a part of what’s...

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What is a Weightlifting System?

The Soviet Weightlifting System has produced a lot of champions. China, Bulgaria, Cuba, Kazakhstan, and many other countries have modeled their weightlifting systems after the Soviets, also producing some of the most legendary weightlifters in the world. So what is...

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