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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Competition Anxiety

Every athlete has felt nervous before a competition. You have a competition in one week. You get anxious. Your coach or workout plan tells you it’s time to reduce the work volume and intensity, but every day you feel as though you’re just losing strength by not...

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Pulls from stairs

”Knowing” technique doesn’t give you good technique. Repeating the correct movements will improve technique. Because of the complexity of the snatch and the clean, we need to isolate specific parts of the lifts to learn and improve them. Doing pulls from stairs...

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Selecting the Perfect Athlete

The southern part of the middle-of-nowhere Russia, around the Caucus Mountains, produces an incredibly large amount of world champion wrestlers, boxers, Sambo fighters and weightlifters. Some people say it’s because of the fresh water, air and food – because of...

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Weightlifting Shoes

I’ve trained in Nike, Adidas and Inov-8 weightlifting shoes – and each had its advantages and disadvantages. The Adidas are best for me because they don’t restrict my foot movement. I don’t feel any resistance or drag when my feet move out for the catch of the snatch,...

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Muscle snatches

One important concept that I didn’t grasp when I first started lifting is that we have a lot of muscles in our bodies, and that every one of them should be used to lift the bar, not just the muscles of the legs, glutes and lower back. When I watched the biggest...

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My Arsenal

There are 3 main phases in training for weightlifting: – The Training-to-train Phase – where mobility, rigidity and endurance are built that will be needed during the base and competition phases – The Base Phase – where we build strength (in the form of...

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Most important component of weightlifting

Let’s say there are 5 different controllable components of weightlifting: Programming, attitude, technique, mobility, and recovery (nutrition & sleep). If you are an athlete and are average at all of these components, then you are an average lifter (let’s  say...

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One-Rep Max

Definition: The biggest amount of weight a person can lift one time in a given exercise. For the 9 months leading up to January of 2015 I wasn’t lifting much, and deflated from 112kg to about 98kg in bodyweight. In January of 2015 I found out that I would  run a...

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Mobility

You can watch all of the videos on Youtube, you can have the best discussions with the greatest coaches, and you can read the best literature available, but you still may not be able to do complex movements like the snatch, clean, jerk or squat correctly.  The reason...

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Speaking the same language

Speaking the same language

In the last two years I think I’ve learned more about strength training than anyone in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to learn from some of the best minds in strength sports. I’ve lived and traveled with, been coached by, coached next to and...

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Hello world

My name is Yasha, and I’m starting a blog. I have thoughts sometimes, and I’ll be sharing some of them here. Things I’ll be writing about: Weightlifting and strength Marijuana science Travel And this Blog 1 complete. Blog 2 coming soon. Stay...

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