Herniated Disc

In September of 2006, I hit a milestone clean and jerk (160kg). To celebrate, I took a grand victory lap around the gym. I don’t know how long the lap took, but it was enough for my body to have cooled down. For my next exercise (clean pulls), I didn’t think I needed...

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Soviet Muscle Snatch

The muscle-snatch-to-standing, typically just called the “muscle snatch,” is a snatch in which the knees and hips don’t re-bend after the pull. When the pull is complete, the lifter uses their upper body to move the bar upward until the arms are locked overhead....

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Developing pre-weightlifters

What sports give us the biggest advantage for weightlifting? From 2010 to 2011, I was the coach at Innercity Weightlifting (ICW) in Boston. Our mission was to help at-risk youth get away from gangs, DYS centers, and difficult domestic situations. Our tool was...

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Just remember to have fun

Russians and Americans have different approaches to coaching weightlifting. Part of it is cultural, and part of it stems from weightlifting being a professional sport in Russia, and mostly an amateur sport in the US. In the Russian approach, there is the glum reality...

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Adidas vs Position USA

Weightlifting Magazine recently asked me to write an article reviewing weightlifting shoes that are trendy right now. They sent me two pairs of popular weightlifting shoes, the Adidas Leistung 16’s and the  Position USA P2.1 Blue Suede Shoes. My task was to try them...

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Bathhouse 101

Bathhouses are not a part of American sports culture, but they should be. Going to the bathhouse has been a crucial part of my athletic development. Each visit drains me of water, electrolytes, and energy, but the following morning I’m feel refreshed, ready to work,...

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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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