Klokov + Ilyin + Polovnikov Weightlifting Seminars – What did you learn?

(Originally posted on Dec 8, 2013. See Updates)

So the Klokov/ Polovnikov seminars have been going on for a while now. Time for a review.

In December the himself, Ilya Ilyin joined the crew for the Long Island seminar (video below).

To those of you who attended, How did you like it? What did you learn? Are they good teachers? What didn’t you like? Was the Language barrier a problem? I want to know everything :)

Share your experiences in the comments.

Update 08.01.2014: Yasha Kahn, who organized, coached & translated at the seminars, posted in the comments of this post.

About Ilya benching:

Ilya benches 120kg for a set of 4, wants to build it up to 150kg (set of 4), Dmitry doesn’t bench often anymore because he’s had a shoulder injury which reduced his overhead mobility, and more tightness in his chest wouldn’t help; but he did bench press more often and good weight as he was growing. I’ve seen Vasiliy bench press 200kg, but think he has done more.

About his biggest takeaway from travelling with the guys:

Too many to list. From an athlete’s perspective, I got to train with and be coached by some of the best lifters in the world.

With these seminars, we needed to make sure that all of us (Nikita, Vasiliy, Ilya, Dmitry, Zygmunt, and myself) were on the same page or close enough – to not have disagreements and to teach the same thing. For this, we discussed (argued) all points of the lifts, the variations and nuances, and how to teach them (for hours every day, staying up until 2am with notebooks and pens in hand, and continuing at 6am sometimes). We would discuss/argue every inch of the lift, raising and answering questions to which most of us have never verbalized answers. So… the big takeaway was learning weightlifting – the technique, programming or many of the professional aspects of this sport.

If there are any specific questions i can help to answer, let me know.

Update 08.01.2014: The Wordcast Podcast guys had the whole crew on.

The episode takes a little while to get going, but is worth a listen.

Download: link to mp3 (right click + ‘save as’)

  • Vasiliy is so inflexible that he needs 200kg in order to for the bar to touch shoulders in front rack (video)
  • Dmitry wants to promote CrossFit in Russia in order to make weightlifting more popular
  • and more about how the seminars came to be

Update 22.12.2013: 190kg Snatch by Dmitry. Translation of Dmitry Klokov’s exercises/program HookGrop’s reader Sergiy Turchyn:


Legs (during pulls)

  1. Snatch pull (using legs)
  2. Snatch pull from deficit (using legs). For 1 and 2 use legs more than usually in the snatch
  3. Snatch pull + Snatch 2+1, 3+1, …
  4. Snatch pull + Snatch using back 2+1, 3+1, … (train legs, stay over the bar in the snatch)
  5. !!! When finishing the pull – either at an angle or muscles up (not powerlifting) [not sure what this means]

Back

  1. Snatch deadlift
  2. Snatch deadlift from deficit.For 1 and 2 use back more than usually in the snatch
  3. Snatch deadlift without hook grip
  4. Snatch deadlift + Snatch using back (with straps) (train to have a certain back angle during the pull)
  5. Snatch using back (same as in 4, without deadlift before)
  6. Snatch with pause at the knees (it is important to maintain 90 degree angle and balance, also train the back angle)

Explosion/Triple Extension

  1. Trap (video here) with snatch grip + Tall muscle snatch (no straps – arms work more; straps – height [not sure what height means here] and whole upper body works more)
  2. Full snatch without the explosion/triple extension (with straps or without straps) (works the full extension using muscles)
  3. Barbell jumps (work on explosion with legs)
  4. Pull from the floor to the chin with narrow grip [pretty sure this exercise has a name]

Arms

  1. Behind the neck snatch grip press + [overhead?] squat 4+1, …
  2. BTNSG press from the bottom position + standing up 3+1, 4+1, …
  3. Muscle snatch from the bottom position (working on shoulders and the whole body handling the barbell in the bottom position)
  4. Snatch balance
  5. Snatch grip press/push press + [overhead?] squat
  6. Snatch grip jumps

Legs (during standing up) Andrei Rybakou as an example

  1. Thrusters from the bottom position with snatch grip
  2. Squats
  3. Squats with pause at the dip position

The weights are not as important as the proper technique!
(to avoid injuries)

Update 21.12.2013:

Update: Ilya’s opinion on Power Variations:

https://twitter.com/hookgrip/status/413397083253514240

Update 15.12.2013: More reviews added. Specifically check out Penn’s below.

Update 10.12.2013: Next stop was at CrossFit King of Prussia.

  • 184kg Snatch from Dmitry at 8:45. Not bad for ‘off season’.
  • Ilya demonstrating proper Snatch Balance and elbow/wrist position at 16:00
  • explaining Clean Pulls to belly button height at 18:43. Shoulders & toes move up, arms do not
  • Jerk technique at 19:33

Long Island Seminar

Don’t miss the 165.5kg Power Clean + Strict Press by Dmitry at 21:15.

Your Answers

From Penn:

I was fortunate enough to attend their seminar in Raleigh, NC last Thursday. It’s made me do total 180s on a lot of things that I thought were correct technique and a lot of things I thought were strengths/weaknesses of mine.

(1) A more forward starting position. Ilya demonstrated the most extreme forward starting position to me – so extreme that at first I thought he was demonstrating an error. They wre all in agreement that, from the pull of the floor, the shoulders should be past the knees. Due to starting so forward there’s no extreme pushing back of the knees.

(2) Finish the pull by violently standing straight up. Finishing any pull with that Jon North “Arched Angel” business caused Klokov to grimace.

(3) Like a lot of other people are saying, Shrug and Shrug Hard and Fast. As far as I could tell, they’re shrugging hard for 2 reasons. First, they are shrugging to move the bar – it’s not an artifact of a jump but an intentional movement. Second, they are shrugging to promote the best bar path. When I wouldn’t shrug hard my elbows and wrists would rise at the same rate. A hard shrug ensured my elbows remained directly above my wrists until the turnover. Klokov really pushed to make sure the bar was making contact with me again by brushing my shirt below the sternum right before the turnover. Altogether, it seems that they much prefer controlling the bar bath with the traps instead of sweeping with the lats because, whenever I would intentionally sweep it would cause arm bend that they didn’t like to see. They recommended doing snatch and clean grip upright rows [Trapi] with bodybuilder style sets and reps to drill in the elbow movement for me.

(4) Also to go with shrugging, get up on the toes. For the entire pull of the floor they say to push with the area right in front of the heel (so not QUITE the mid-foot). But in the finish for the Snatch, the Clean, and the Jerk they were very adamant about turning on the calves and getting a full extension.

Their translator Yasha, who is one hell of a lifter himself, explained to us that Americans have been watching youtube videos and paying attention to the most pronounced aspects of the top lifter’s technique. They assume the hips is all that matters because every successful lift involves full hip extension. But what we aren’t seeing is that, while they’re trying to shrug hard and extend the ankles hard, Ilya and Klokov are only going to be able to achieve just a little bit of shrug and ankle extension while they’re being weighted down by 500 pounds. The intent is there even if it’s not obvious in the movement.

(5) Bodybuilding! Klokov likes to do Deadlifts or Squats for a few sets of 5 then finish with a set of 10. While we weren’t give the exact translation, I’m pretty sure he said you have to “fuck with the muscle” to make it grow. He said this as he was pantomiming a curl. They all press and they’re not afraid to Bench Press. Even Ilya – whose training usually ends up being pretty Bulgarian come peaking time – includes some Bench Press and was doing Military Press for sets of 10 at the Seminar. And aside from Squat, Bench, and Deads they’ll also do single joint exercises such as curls and laterals. They’ll evaluate weak points based off were technique breaks down, what exercises are weak compared to others (example – Ilya’s Bench being weak so he’s working on that) and what looks small aesthetically (I was told that my traps were big enough but that my arms needed to be bigger – definitely not what I expected to hear at a weightlifting seminar).

(6) No training dogma. Anything that makes you better is fair game: dumbbells, kettle-bells, machines, running, swimming, whatever. I was pretty surprised when Klokov busted out a set of 9 on Power Snatch with 125kg before he worked up to his single. That’s probably not a staple in his preparation when he’s close to a contest but he’s not afraid to do a set of 9 or 10. Every American Coach says that European and Asian Lifters never, ever do Overhead Squats but Polovnikov’s workout was Overhead Squat – Hang Snatch – Squat.

(7) Planning of training. Ilya said his training is planned out a year in advance with his coach and he sticks to that plan 95% of the time. In this plan he’ll know what he’ll lift a year away. He described his training as a Kazakh/Bulgarian blend. 7 months his training is very general: Dumbbells, Barbells, Cross-Training, Playing other Sports. Around 7 months out he starts to get more and more specific. At this point he will start maxing out every friday and he’ll base the next weeks training off his results from that friday. So, to him, a “Bulgarian” blend is not maxing out every other day or 3 times a week but only once a week. The Russian’s intensity levels are less intense that Ilya’s training – so they’re maxing out less than once a week. At the peak of Ilya’s training he is Snatching everyday, Clean & Jerking everyday, Squatting 2X a day, and doing Abs everyday.

(8) Flexibility – pretty much all of these guys could do full splits.

(9) Diet – eat a lot when you train. On days you don’t train, eat a lot of salads.

(10) Their workouts that day: Ilya and Nikita (coach at Norwood) trained together, Squat, Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Military Press, Toes to Bar, and Back extensions. Ilya is build perfectly for weightlifting. He was reasonably lean and had some abs showing but must have had a 38 or 48″ waist – build like a refrigerator. He didn’t go very heavy (for him).

Klokov Power Snatched 275lbs x 9, warmed up more, Put on ACDC’s Thunderstrock, Power Snatched 345 x 1, Warmed up in Clean & Thruster, Clean & Thrustered 395lbs then caught it and did 2 Push Presses. He finished there. Polovnikov Overhead Squatted 315 for a few triples, Missed 405, Hang Snatched up to the Mid 300s, Squatted 585 for 4, then missed 675. Yasha may have done more but I mostly remember him doing several sets of 2 Power Cleans + 2 Push Presses @ 315.

From Sheldon:

I did the KOP seminar yesterday and some of my main takeaways were as follows…

1) Staying over the bar longer. I think someone else said this, but Americans tend to get too vertical too quickly in the pull to recruit more legs and less back/hamstring. They said this is a result of a weak back, which makes a ton of sense in the CF world because you always see over-developed quads.

2) Timing. I had serious difficulty with the timing of the contact between the hips and the bar, especially in the snatch. I think this is a result of number 1 – not staying over the bar long enough.

3) Shoulder/Trap recruitment. This has been discussed at length in this comment section so I don’t want to go crazy here. I understood it as two-fold. First, to keep the bar close. They said that a lack of trap/shoulder strength will cause the bar to swing out and result in lifts being missed forward. Second, to use every fiber of your being to get upward momentum on that bar before you dive under. Klokov told me personally to do his high pull drill “every day, bigger traps”.

4) A wider landing position with the feet. Certainly wider than I am accustomed to. Wide enough that it made my hips hurt in new ways. At one point I was in the bottom of an overhead squat and Klokov started pushing down on the bar with what felt like everything he had and telling me “deeper”.

5) They actually said NOT to put your shoulders in the externally-rotated, elbows-down position in the overhead squat like they instruct at the CF Level 1 seminar. I’m pretty sure they even said “elbows face back”, and keep the wrist neutral.

Overall, absolutely worth the price of admission. Language barrier rarely came into play.

From reader Seth:

I thought it was amazing. I learned that everything I was taught under USAW is completely different from the way they do it. They even said that we rely too much on our hips to bounce the bar up instead of using our shoulders to pull the weight up.

Vasily is a great teacher and was very hands on when he showed us what we were doing wrong. Klokov was just as great, he manually put you into the right positions and made sure you understood how it should feel.

The language barrier was fine because if either one of them could not express what they were saying they would get Nikita or Yasha to translate what they were saying. The biggest thing I learned is that I know nothing and I am no where near as strong as I thought I was.

Once the seminars are over I will be making trips to Norwood Weightlifting every six to eight weeks to learn from Nikita and learn the Russian version of these lifts.

From Mark:

I attended the seminar at CrossFit RDU last week. It was worth every penny and I’ve been thinking about and practicing a lot of what was taught since then. All the coaches were amazing.

I worked primarily with Ilya, who was outstanding, but Dmitry and Vasily were very hands on as well. It has completely changed the way I think about the lifts. Here are my notes on the snatch, cleaned up from what I typed into my phone during the class:

Start position – Feet slightly narrower than shoulder width, toes very slightly out, and knees turned slightly out. Shoulders are forward in front of the bar, body over the bar, shins are nearly vertical, weight in mid-foot, always head looking forward, chest is up, back arched, lats tight. This results in a narrow angle between the body and thighs.

Hips and body rise together with a constant angle and the body stays over the bar then hips drive into the bar–contact should be audible–and then from the heels to calves, shoulders, then elbows pull the bar vertically.

The pull is very long and shoulders stay forward, forearms are vertical, wrists are relaxed. The bar path is about 1/2 inch in front of the body. The upper pull is from traps, to rear delts, then biceps. At the peak of the pull, the bar should be face height and you should be balanced on your toes, use the height from your toes to slide the feet out and drop, then…”Catch the bar and look forward like you’re the king.” -Ilya Ilyin.

What I have found since then, is that what I struggled with and was mostly frustrated by–the drop–comes so naturally, that I am zipping under the bar effortlessly and without any thought.

From George (admire his bicep flex at 18:09):

The seminar was superb. You had plenty of time interacting with each of them. There was one point during the jerk practice portion of the seminar where I had Vasiliy actually hitting me in the abs with a PVC pipe yelling for me to stay tight. He is very dynamic and will let you know very clearly if he is disappointed with your performance.

Vasily spoke the most English out of the three, but language barrier was never really a problem due to having russian speakers at hand. Klokov had a little bit less of this aggressive approach, but helped manually put you into correct positions. Ilya was the biggest surprise though. He is very humble, a little quiet, but moves so effortlessly through his movements. He would help show the way he does the lifts and guide you through his actions into correct positions.

Biggest thing I learned is that Americans tend to shift the knees forward too much when initiating the second pull. This was a big thing for Vasiliy especially as he said with that technique you will always punch the bar too far forward especially if you are relying on your hips for all the power.

They highly stressed the importance of strong shoulders for the snatch and traps for the clean. During the clean practice Vasiliy really emphasized bringing your shoulders to your ears and continuing the pull after hip contact.

Also proper shoulder starting position was huge. Many people tend to pinch the shoulders at the start, but they said that this shortens the range of motion you have to pull with the shoulders and traps which decreases the potential to get the bar as high, and will commonly cause you to hit the bar forward. It was a great seminar, definitely worth the price, and we even had time to take pictures and sign a couple things at the end.

From Oscar:

They are hands on, especially Vasiliy. Nikita has perfect technique. They know what is the best way to improve you personally on your weaknesses.

They say to not really [bring] in the hip so much and maintain a straight bar path of course and to always jump out not back or front to keep your head straight and finish pulling, which is a huge thing that many of us Americans have not done. We need to use our legs, hip, shoulder, then arms in one fluid moment.

There are videos of older Russian technique where the Russians have similar or same exact technique. I did not meet Ilya yet.

Tania said:

Absolutely worth the price (I was skeptical going in since it was so high). No issues with communication. We essentially did four hours of technique work with an empty bar and I was sweating like crazy and sore the next day.

From SuperCleary_

I was the photographer at the CrossFit LIC stop – I was blown away by the seminar. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be just a “look at us lift” seminar or if it would be informative. The “look at us lift” was but a minor part of it (and incredible). They spent hours working with every athlete and offering clear, concise cues and techniques. Couldn’t recommend more. Check out a few shots from it @supercleary on instagram – and that strict press was 365lbs (165.5 kg)

From Seth:

These guys are amazing , I have been to a lot of these seminars before , and there understanding and ability to teach and transfer knowledge is amazing. I would highly recommend this seminar to anyone who is interested in improving their lifts.

Watching them train is worth the price of the seminar alone. They really stayed focused on making sure you learned all of the subtle elements of the lifts. They where extremely helpful , and would answer all of your questions until you where satisfied.

They would also stay with you until they could see that you understood the material that was being discussed. It was very inspiring and really motivating. I am sure you will lift better after this seminar, I know I did. If it comes around my area again, I would take it again.

DONT MISS THE CHANCE! Seeing athletes of this caliber training up close is a once in a lifetime chance for most. Once you see it in person , you will truly understand what I am talking about.

Here is a clip filmed by an attendee. Has some warm up lifts from Ilya and Dmitry’s Power Clean + Strict Press at the end

  • Squatmaster

    160kg press by klokov?

  • slim

    Ilya doesnt seem comfortable at all

  • Digsby

    Using the shoulder? Elaborate please.

    • Veektohr

      They were very adamant about the pull under the bar involving an aggressive shrug. Vasiliy said the snatch used more shoulder, while the clean recruited more traps. It was definitely a shrug up, though, which is something that’s trending out of style in the US.

      • Dude Weightlifting

        The “shrug” should just be a natural part of extension. Bringing your upper body into the lift as an active puller is only going to slow the bar down. Slower bar speed is bad!

        • Veektohr

          Yeah, that’s general consensus in the US right now, and the opposite of what this crew was looking for. There was a big emphasis on shoulder/trap recruitment during the third pull.

          • Dude Weightlifting

            Weird. Let me know how that works for you…

          • Adam

            They’re talking more during the third pull as you pull under the bar. Kind of like a reverse shrug if that makes sense…not the “Jump & Shrug” technique you’re referring to.

          • Dude Weightlifting

            And using your upper body will slow the bar down. That’s not consensus, it’s physics.

          • ledinred

            And this is a bad thing why? The bar’s velocity should ideally be zero at the point you catch it.

          • Dude Weightlifting

            The one thing weightlifters always practice is speed. You don’t win championships moving slow. Start tugging on a maximal weight and you’re not going to be standing up with it.

          • ledinred

            That’s about you moving fast, not the bar. The bar should not have any velocity when it reaches your shoulders. If it has positive (upward) velocity it will smack you in the chin, if it has negative (downward) velocity it will crash on your shoulders. The bar’s velocity should be controlled to the point of the catch using the arms and shoulders, ideally meeting the shoulders with zero velocity. A bar that is moving fast when you hit the receiving position will not win you anything.

          • Dan

            That’s not physics. Using your upper body to get under the bar, in any sense does not have impact on bar speed. Bar speed decreases naturally due to energy changes and GRAVITY. Avoiding unnecessarily decreasing bar speed is paramount, which is what you’re saying, but not all forms of shrugging lead to this decreased bar speed. As long as your force vector is not disjointed, which is an issue of timing rather than the act of shrugging.

          • Dan

            What I mean by this, is that the physics of the lift changes algorithmically, so one cannot flat out say that all shrugging is bad. Some is, but when to shrug and how you go about it matters. Evaluate the system, not the detail.

          • Cjl

            So pulling the bar with the upper body, even if the feet are not in contact with the platform, will move the bar up. Newton’s 2nd law–if your body is moving towards the earth with more acceleration than gravity can provide, then the bar is being accelerated away from the earth.

          • Dan

            Yep! Sorry, didn’t mean to express that it has “no impact”, even though that’s what I said. I meant that using your traps doesn’t have to impact bar speed negatively. More upward force, is good, but the problem is upward force applied at the wrong time can lead to less overall force, leading to this decreased bar speed.

          • T Bone

            As far as the physics goes that doesn’t apply when your feet are not in contact with the ground. Once the feet are off the ground you are no longer accelerating the bar and gravity is negatively accelerating it. You can’t apply force to an object without the equal and opposite force provided from your feet on the ground.

          • Luc Lapierre

            Please review Newton’s Laws of Motion.

          • T Bone

            To continue to increase the acceleration of the object upwards you need to apply a force vector greater than the one incurred on the object. How could you apply the upward force vector great enough to continue the upward acceleration of the bar (with significant weight) if your body is not in contact with the ground? It would be possible to upward accelerate if it were a light weight ie just the bar using only your upper body musculature in the air, but with heavy weight the effect of a pull upward on the bar without your feet on the ground would be negatively accelerating your body not positively accelerating the bar. I believe that would be because there would be a point fairly quickly after your feet left the ground that the negative acceleration of the bar would exceed any positive upward acceleration on the bar you could provide. It’s like in the laws of the conservation of momentum where the larger object with more mass would incur far less velocity than the object with the smaller mass after the point of contact. I’m not trying to be inflammatory I just am interested in Physics. It has been a few years since college though so if you have a better understanding please correct me. Again, genuinely interested here, no offense intended.

          • chris

            well, isnt using your shoulders a good thing – purely seen from a mechanistic standpoint? maybe there are other convincing reasons why the us technique theory is to not use them.

            as t bone explained the bar is the heavier object, so if u use your “shoulders” to pull the bar farther upwards while youre in the air, a small effect is that the bar travels a little bit farther upwards – and a big and great one is that your body gets faster under the bar!
            see the cool video posted by tong below. im referring to about 2:10 in that vid.

          • chris

            well, u can diminish the slowing down of the movement. thats why a feather doesnt fall down to earth as rapidly as a bullet: because a stronger aerodynamic force acts upon the feather than the bullet – the gravitational force remains the same.

          • Luc Lapierre

            I agree with your first sentence, but in your last post you said “You can’t apply force to an object without the equal and opposite force provided from your feet on the ground.”.

            That’s all I was taking issue with, because it’s not true. You don’t have to be in contact with the ground to apply a force to an object.

          • Stephen Powell

            Try pulling a bar off the floor without your feet being in contact with the ground. Let me know how that works out.

          • Luc Lapierre

            I wasn’t talking about lifting a bar off the floor specifically… I was talking about applying force, in general. I will again say the the statement “You can’t apply force to an object without the equal and opposite force provided from your feet on the ground.” is incorrect.
            You gonna take issue with that?

            How about this: two skydivers, falling through the air. One pushes the other (i.e. APPLIES A FORCE). They move apart. You see how this works?

          • Stephen Powell

            If you put the Use of Newton’s Laws on equivocal terms in the context of weightlifting it would make more sense. We are not discussing skydivers or flying objects. In weightlifting in order to apply force to a barbell you must not only make contact with the barbell but also to pull it you have to push your feet through the floor. So how do sky divers fit into this?

    • Tong Gorokh
  • Doug Nguyen

    Does anyone know which seminars Ilya be at in the future? All of them?

  • Tania

    Absolutely worth the price (I was skeptical going in since it was so high). No issues with communication. We essentially did four hours of technique work with an empty bar and I was sweating like crazy and sore the next day.
    We live in DC and will be making regular trips up to Boston to continue to train with the Norwood guys.
    Sad that the weather is rolling in down this way; I was tempted to drive up to PA tomorrow to take the seminar AGAIN! (I’m sad but my bank account is happy…)

    • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

      Very nice, sounds like you had a blast :)

      • cccp

        Im going this sunday in Ft. Lauderdale, language barrier wont be any issue at all, since i speak both. im really looking forward to asking how they feel about the catapult vs triple extensoin. ill send you some videos next week Gregor.

        • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

          Nice, looking forward to it

        • Abid Khan

          Please post here about what they say about catapult vs triple extension!

          • cccp

            ohh boy, the sunday seminar was cancelled due to only 8 people signing up, they wanted 20. They were supposed to call and ask about changing to Saturday and never did. i only found out at 11pm last night from the crossfit owner in Naples that i was going with. Needless to say i was deeply disappointed and upset. I didnt get to meet them, no autographs, pictures, videos or any tips.

          • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

            What the hell? Did they not advertise it enough?

  • Roberto

    don’t be be so excited guys, because when you try a max attempt, the bar become a stranger and everything is so different.

    • Daniel Jørgensen

      That depends…

  • WSyd

    So it seems they did not talk about “bar sweeping” or “catapulting” or any of this nonsense that we are told by US coaches is correct technique. How interesting.

    • Tania

      At the Springfield clinic they DID talk about bar sweeping. The emphasized how the bar should contact the leg below the knee and just above the knee but no contact between leg/bar again until the bar meets the hip: arms hang loose like straps, don’t engage the lats and just simply “stand up with the bar.” I believe this was one of the first drills they had us do.
      Having been taught to sweep the bar back, this was really hard for me!
      They didn’t directly address catapult vs triple ext although we were up on our toes frequently and one of the drills was having clips placed on the floor on either side of our feet for the catch. The idea was to slide your feet out and apart – pushing/sliding the clips aside with no jump. (That might have been a remedial drill though.) No jump, slide. No jump, slide.

      • Sheldon

        Somebody asked about this at the end of the KOP seminar and Ilya said he has an active lat contraction to pull the bar in, however, if you are balanced, it shouldn’t require much activation.

    • Daniel Rece

      I train with a Romanian olympic weightlifting team with two European champions [and the russians compete there too]. Catapulting is considered a mistake, first thing I was told not to do. Bar comes into contact with the hips as a result of pushing the floor and pulling the traps.. which extends the body. bar sweeps the thigh as the natural result of pulling and extending not catapulting. you don’t actually push your hip forward or hit the bar with your hip. You learn this by doing 8-10 sets of pulls [arms remain straight] and high pulls every day 4-5 reps @ 110% of your snatch/clean maxes. You need to rattle the plates each rep and also remain on your toes till the end of the rep.

    • Stephen Powell

      It seems that it is you who don’t understand much of what was taught. They teach the “padriff priskom” which means jump but in the sense to thrust with the legs/hips through the ground so the lifter get the idea of how to generate force. Then they switch to the “padriff bez prishka” which is to snatch or clean without much leg use and not moving the feet to instruct the lifter to get down quickly. And as others mentioned sweeping the bar was taught, not so much off the floor but past the knees using the lats and shoulders.

  • Luc Lapierre

    This is so awesome. Now all we need is for Lu and Liao to come to North America.

  • Robin

    His name is still spelled Ilya Ilyin, not Ilin.

    • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

      Not sure what you’re talking about… :D

      Nah, I just updated all mentions of Ilin to Ilyin. Back when I started ATG he was Ilin everywhere on the net. It’s gonna be a while before I change Lu’s spelling though (now referred to as Lü of Lyu Xiaojun).

  • George

    The seminar was superb. You had plenty of time interacting with each of them. There was one point during the jerk practice portion of the seminar where I had Vasily actually hitting me in the abs with a PVC pipe yelling for me to stay tight. He is very dynamic and will let you know very clearly if he is disappointed with your performance. Vasily spoke the most english out of the three, but language barrier was never really a problem due to having russian speakers at hand. Klokov had a little bit less of this aggressive approach, but helped manually put you into correct positions. Ilya was the biggest surprise though. He is very humble, a little quiet, but moves so effortlessly through his movements. He would help show the way he does the lifts and guide you through his actions into correct positions. Biggest thing I learned is that Americans tend to shift the knees forward too much when initiating the second pull. This was a big thing for vasily especially as he said with that technique you will always punch the bar too far forward especially if you are relying on your hips for all the power. They highly stressed the important of strong shoulders for the snatch and traps for the clean. During the clean practice Vasily really emphasized bringing your shoulders to your ears and continuing the pull after hip contact. Also proper shoulder starting position was huge. Many people tend to pinch the shoulders at the start, but they said that this shortens the range of motion you have to pull with the shoulders and traps which decreases the potential to get the bar as high, and will commonly cause you to hit the bar forward. It was a great seminar, definitely worth the price, and we even had time to take pictures and sign a couple things at the end.

    • George

      Btw that wonderful bicep flex at 18:09 in the video was yours truly.

      • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

        Haha that was you! Awesome

  • asdasda

    thanks for the comments guys

  • Tony P

    I’d be very interested to see if Ilya did any squatting, and also what type of accessory/bodybuilding work he does (if any). There aren’t many vids of him training on the internet.

    • Sheldon

      He didn’t do anything heavy in the workout before the KOP seminar. Light front squats, light snatches, light C&J drills. He was working with Durnev the entire time.

  • Phil

    I love the way this blows away the “catapult” BS thats going on right now, which is apparently based on their lifting techniques.
    They are now telling you the secrets to their success, which was assumed to be a catapult motion. You got it wrong.

    • T Bone

      I agree that the US is misinterpreting some technique points with the lifts and that there is certainly a disconnect between what a lot of coaches in the US teach vs. world coaches. However, in this particular instance I really think it is more of a misunderstanding. What exactly do you think they mean by “catapult”? I’m assuming you think they mean to have it sit in your hip crease as if it were some type of receiving device and “launch” it from that point. I have to disagree with you there. I don’t like the adjective/verbiage used myself, but if you look up the definition of the word catapult there is nothing in the word itself that suggests what all this argument is about:

      Catapult (def) noun 1. a device in which accumulated tension is suddenly released to hurl an object some distance, in particular.

      That’s all a catapult means. There are many different forms of catapults throughout history, some stereotypical, others not so much. My point is, based on the simple definition of the word, that accurately describes the lifts. Accumulated tension in your major muscle groups that is explosively released upon initiating the second pull. That is all. As discussed by some of the people on here who went to the seminars I believe we should be focusing more on errors in body position (ie the sholder/trap point made above) instead of nitpicking over the verbiage that a particular coach has used. It’s not the best word to use to describe the lifts simply because people have a misunderstanding of what the word catapult actually means, hence the whole argument and confusion in the first place.

      Synopsis: Lift more, Eat more, Don’t nitpick, Body position.

      • Abid Khan

        Umm, I think the word catapult is in reference to Don McCauley’s usage, by which he is trying to de-emphasize the active triple extension and jump and shrug cues that are commonly used. His athletes focus less on getting the bar high with active upper body involvement and more to getting down under the bar quickly.

        • Veektohr

          My understanding was that the shrug & tug (for lack of a better term) was to generate tension in the system post hip/leg drive which is then released upon repositioning the feet, sending you down.

        • T Bone

          I understand, I have a good friend who works with Don MacCauley and champions the Catapult technique. My main point is that people are really picking apart the verbiage significantly and I do think that is a big point of emphasis. I agree with you and do not ascribe to MacCauley’s POV myself. However, not everyone has the insight that you have and many people do get caught up on the verbiage. I get that it’s hard not to because “catapult” is the word that MacCauley chose to describe his philosophy so now people associate the word with that school of thought. I guess what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is that I wish people would be more literal with there descriptions. Instead of saying “I don’t agree with the catapult”, why can’t we say “I don’t agree with a relaxed shoulder position without an emphasis on shrug at the top of the second pull”. Hopefully that would avoid a lot of the confusion.

          There is also a fine line between the “devil is in the details” and paralyzing your lifts with hyper-analysis of technique.

          • chris

            a general point: i dont think “dont overanalyze” has its place in situations like this. it surely is helpful when performing a thing to rely on automaticisms, as your body performs much better then. or when advising a newbie how to approach a new field, advising him to better concentrate on the big important things.

            but were discussing technique here, and dont perform it. and in these discussions (its true for techniques in other sports as well) details matter, nitpicking matters, theorizing matters. “dont overanalyze” is a misplaced and arrogant argument, almost in the vein of an ad hominem argument as it tries to shut other people down without discussing their arguments. although i believe from reading your other posts u dont mean to act this way.

          • T Bone

            This is true, but again I think it does matter to a point. For example, a baseball swing. Every great hitter has their own idiosyncrasies when they get up to the plate and prepare for an incoming fastball (ie Jeter vs Ichiro vs josh hamilton etc). Each has their own approach. What almost all players in the MLB have in common is body position at similar points in their swing. Although, Ichiro probably isn’t the best example because his swing is just straight up weird. Anyway, my point is, it often feels like on all the weightlifting forums I read that people are picking apart the minutia, the idiosyncrasies that all the different weightlifters have. I am sure a lot of different professional weightlifters use different adjectives to describe similar movements as well. It seems when you slow a lot of the weightlifting footage down though, they are all pretty much at the same position at the key points in the lifts. Again, for example, if you start shoulders slightly behind the bar, in line with the bar, or a little bit in front of the bar does it really matter that much at the end of the day as long as you get to the same appropriate power position? Or how far apart do you put your feet in the starting position so as not to sacrifice power from moving them too wide but then again do you gain in efficiency what you may slightly lose in power? You could talk about a lot of this stuff until no end but I really don’t think that at the end of the day picking it apart to that degree is really beneficial. Just my humble opinion.

        • Chris Theoharis

          No there is not a significant difference. The Russians simply don’t see any difference between shrugging hard/ training a forceful shrug and getting under the bar.

    • Stephen Powell

      This in no way blows away the catapult BS. The catapult was/is a term to describe the body as a system of levers that generates enough force to a barbell to get underneath it. These lifters demonstrated many of the things coach Kang (Shin-Ho Kang former head coach of South Korea and studied for years in the Soviet Union) taught Don McCauley and myself. Although technique and pulling have changed and I always had my own way of teaching it, these lifters that did the seminars demonstrated how to position the bar into the hips and thrust the bar up. Klokov is pulling different than Ilya both pull the bar in and thrust the legs to get underneath it and they stress that in the full lifts coming up on the toes and shrugging brings you under and down watch their maximum lifts anywhere on youtube and the time that their feet are off the platform is a nanosecond.. I’ve spoken to some Chinese coaches who prefer to think of it as a sling shot or snapping the bar off the hips but if a coach stresses how to use the body effectively to generate enough thrust with the legs and extend the hips to pull it high enough to get under it they can call it the flippity floppity flew or the saddleback duck, it doesn’t matter. T Bone and Mr Kahn also refer to what was intended by the term catapult and I don’t have a problem with another term used as long as it’s not the jump up and shrug the bar to your chin before getting under pull thats been taught in the U.S. for way too long and thanks to coach Kang, Zygmunt Smalcerz and Jianping Ma and these seminars the term triple extension is taking on a different meaning than that jump up and shrug as high as possible BS.

      • Chris Theoharis

        ^^this.

  • Tom

    Did Klokov explain that weird high pull he teaches where he leans over the bar with straight legs?

    • Sheldon

      They said it’s assistance work to build up weak traps and shoulders – which seemed to be a universal weakness for the attendees.

  • phil

    Really interesting comments. HoW lucky are these crossfitters to spend time with top lifters. I would love to pick these guys brains.
    Who ever coached the US lifter Pete Kelley in the states had the right idea. I have not seen a more efficient lifter come out of the states since. Catapult? Is I believe an accurate description of the transition movement. However it must be achieved through a fluid pull and not rapid hip explosion at hang causing the hitting of hip and swinging of bar. How can you snap, pull under if the bar is not kept close? What is the consensus on the feet? Mr klokov now is pretty traditional and old school. He is saying out and slide. Surely fast feet must equal a fast catch. All the new russian lifters feet smash into the platform like lightning and sounding like gun shots.
    Please comment on the feet. Im interested to see what others think.

    • Ivan Bista

      Exactly. Look at Aukhadov, he jumps under the bar like crazy. That definitely aint no out and slide.

      • phil

        Dead right Ivan. He smashes hit feet into the platform no soft feet their. I have watched the transition over and over of the new russian lifters with what I call good feet. It is at no point a jump up but still results in the gun shot sound of there feet. They remain connected to the floor as long as possible.

        • Chris Theoharis

          Yeah Chen, Okulov, Aukhadov, all good examples of this (i like your term ‘good feet’)

          • phil

            Yes chris they are perfect examples. The new generation of top russian lifters have good feet. I would love to learn from apti. The young russian super has another interesting way of lifting. He is far more bulgarian influenced particularly in the snatch but still has good feet (Alex ). Lifter of the future, timur Naiev

  • Sheldon

    I did the KOP seminar yesterday and some of my main takeaways were as follows…

    1) Staying over the bar longer. I think someone else said this, but Americans tend to get too vertical too quickly in the pull to recruit more legs and less back/hamstring. They said this is a result of a weak back, which makes a ton of sense in the CF world because you always see over-developed quads.

    2) Timing. I had serious difficulty with the timing of the contact between the hips and the bar, especially in the snatch. I think this is a result of number 1 – not staying over the bar long enough.

    3) Shoulder/Trap recruitment. This has been discussed at length in this comment section so I don’t want to go crazy here. I understood it as two-fold. First, to keep the bar close. They said that a lack of trap/shoulder strength will cause the bar to swing out and result in lifts being missed forward. Second, to use every fiber of your being to get upward momentum on that bar before you dive under. Klokov told me personally to do his high pull drill “every day, bigger traps”.

    4) A wider landing position with the feet. Certainly wider than I am accustomed to. Wide enough that it made my hips hurt in new ways. At one point I was in the bottom of an overhead squat and Klokov started pushing down on the bar with what felt like everything he had and telling me “deeper”.

    5) They actually said NOT to put your shoulders in the externally-rotated, elbows-down position in the overhead squat like they instruct at the CF Level 1 seminar. I’m pretty sure they even said “elbows face back”, and keep the wrist neutral.

    Overall, absolutely worth the price of admission. Language barrier rarely came into play.

    • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

      Great review. Added it to the post.

  • supercleary

    I was the photographer at the CrossFit LIC stop – I was blown away by the seminar. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be just a “look at us lift” seminar or if it would be informative. The “look at us lift” was but a minor part of it (and incredible). They spent hours working with every athlete and offering clear, concise cues and techniques. Couldn’t recommend more. Check out a few shots from it @supercleary on instagram – and that strict press was 365lbs (165.5 kg)

  • Danny

    Thanks to all those sharing their experiences. It’s very interesting to see how they teach the lifts. Some of it is the complete opposite of what USAW teaches, especially the wrist position. Mark Canella emphasized the “wrist back” position.
    Also, is it just me or does Ilya look considerably smaller? I know he took a lot of time off after London, and he’s probably not in full-on training mode right now, but he seems way smaller. I wonder if that new diet has something to do with it?

  • Guest

    Is it just me, or is Ilin looking quite small?

  • Seth Gold

    These guys are amazing , I have been to a lot of these seminars before , and there understanding and ability to teach and transfer knowledge is amazing, I would highly recommend this seminar to anyone who is interested in improving their lifts. Watching them train is worth the price of the seminar alone. They really stayed focused on making sure you learned all of the subtle elements of the lifts. They where extremely helpful , and would answer all of your questions until you where satisfied. They would also stay with you until they could see that you understood the material that was being discussed. It was very inspiring and really motivating. I am sure you will lift better after this seminar, I know I did. If it comes around my area again, I would take it again. DONT MISS THE CHANCE! Seeing athletes of this caliber training up close is a once in a lifetime chance for most. Once you see it in person , you will truly understand what I am talking about.

  • Daniel Rece

    I train with a Romanian olympic weightlifting team with two European champions [and the russians compete there too]. Catapulting is considered a mistake, first thing I was told not to do. Bar comes into contact with the hips as a result of pushing the floor and pulling the traps.. which extends the body. bar sweeps the thigh as the natural result of pulling and extending not catapulting. you don’t actually push your hip forward or hit the bar with your hip. You learn this by doing 8-10 sets of pulls [arms remain straight] and high pulls every day 4-5 reps @ 110% of your snatch/clean maxes. You need to rattle the plates each rep [by pulling explosively not by hitting with the hip] and also remain on your toes till the end of the rep.

    • Stephen Powell

      The catapult never taught to push the hips forward or hit the bar with your hips. It describes exactly what you are being taught to pull the bar into the hips, extending the hips and legs so the thrusts or launches off the hips, not bang off. Where ever your getting your information about what was meant by catapulting your need to go to the source instead of listening to heresy. You just described that lifting is about using the body to generate enough vertical force to a bar to get underneath it. The rattle of plates you speak of is the power generated by the thrusting off the legs hips by pushing the feet through the floor. Not not by literally jumping into the air and pulling the bar as high as possible before getting under it. Your thoughts on what the catapult was wrong. In it’s simplest form it’s pull the bar into the hips, extend the legs/hips and get under. Some sweep the bar in off the floor, like the classical Russian pull now it’s using the back to pull the bar in and very little to no double knee bend.

      • Chris Theoharis

        ^yup. a lot of folks have no idea how to distinguish poor technique from catapult/triple extension. the fact that folks are using klokov/polovnikov and ilin as examples of both catapult and triple extension (depending on the style of their choice) should tell you that the distinction between these ‘styles’ is bs. also look at the translation issues some of the Russian speakers have pointed out here.

        • Stephen Powell

          The distinction is not B.S. The term catapult was coined so U.S. lifters would think they only needed to pull the bar high enough to get underneath it, to think of the lift the whole way through instead of in phases so lifters would stop literally jumping up in the air and start focusing on a more rapid descent under the bar. The Russian cue “Padriff” means to thrust the legs and/or extend hips. “Padriff Prishkom” means to extend the legs and move the feet for the catch not to jump up in the air, which unfortunately is still widely taught in the U.S. When Zygmunt Smalcerz arrived at the U.S. Olympic training center he screamed “Why are you jumping?There is no jumping up!” I still here him yell at lifters who still have this habit. I know many Russian terms for weightlifting. I learned for 2 years from the former head coach of Korea, Shin-Ho Kang who was fluent in Russian. And because I mention him so much I wrote a piece about him.

          https://www.facebook.com/KoreWeightlifting/posts/275035412644321

          • Chris Theoharis

            Stephen I have worked with Don, attended his seminars, I am a big believer in your teaching methods, etc. I think the catapult is absolutely a great model, perhaps the best, of how the lifter and bar work together. But I’m sure you’ve seen some great lifters who end up responding better to cues typically associated with the ‘triple extension camp’ even though the result more closely aligned them with the catapult style.

            I and I think many others in the community feel this emphasis on the words catapult and triple extension, and the US debate they are associated with, is detrimental to US weightlifting imo at least at the amateur level where most of the support for the sport and our elite national athletes should come from.

            Jacob Tsypkin’s brief article on some of the misconceptions of both camps represents my view:
            http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2013/12/12/misconceptions-catapult-vs-triple-extension/

            While the debate was probably necessary at one point, now I see more harm than good as American weighlifting community tries to align the training guidance from lifters amd coaches from the rest of the world like Russia, China, Korea and Kazakhstan with one or the other of these ‘camps’.

          • Stephen Powell

            I replied to that article. Jacob has only been coaching 3-4 years. I have for 15 now. I know what the USAW and the U.S. largely teaches, and with the arrival of Zygmunt a lot people changed their tone or verbiage on what they meant by triple extension, but for years it’s what I described. I have no problem with someone who prefers to put it another way as long as the ultimate end is to pull the bar high enough to get underneath it. I’m going to China in July. I’m not going to write about it but film a lot for myself/

  • Penn

    I was fortunate enough to attend their seminar in Raleigh, NC last Thursday. It’s made me do total 180s on a lot of things that I thought where correct technique and a lot of things I thought where strengths/weaknesses of mine.

    (1) A more forward starting position. Ilya demonstrated the most extreme forward starting position to me – so extreme that at first I thought he was demonstrating an error. They where all in agreement that, from the pull of the floor, the shoulders should be past the knees. Due to starting so forward there’s no extreme pushing back of the knees.

    (2) Finish the pull by violently standing straight up. Finishing any pull with that Jon North “Arched Angel” business caused Klokov to grimace.

    (3) Like a lot of other people are saying, Shrug and Shrug Hard and Fast. As far as I could tell, they’re shrugging hard for 2 reasons. First, they are shrugging to move the bar – it’s not an artifact of a jump but an intentional movement. Second, they are shrugging to promote the best bar path. When I wouldn’t shrug hard my elbows and wrists would rise at the same rate. A hard shrug ensured my elbows remained directly above my wrists until the turnover. Klokov really pushed to make sure the bar was making contact with me again by brushing my shirt below the sternum right before the turnover. Altogether, it seems that they much prefer controlling the bar bath with the traps instead of sweeping with the lats because, whenever I would intentionally sweep it would cause arm bend that they didn’t like to see. They recommended doing snatch and clean grip upright rows with bodybuilder style sets and reps to drill in the elbow movement for me.

    (4) Also to go with shrugging, get up on the toes. For the entire pull of the floor they say to push with the area right in front of the heel (so not QUITE the mid-foot). But in the finish for the Snatch, the Clean, and the Jerk they where very adamant about turning on the calves and getting a full extension.

    Their translator Yasha, who is one hell of a lifter himself, explained to us that Americans have been watching youtube videos and paying attention to the most pronounced aspects of the top lifter’s technique. They assume the hips is all that matters because every successful lift involves full hip extension. But what we aren’t seeing is that, while they’re trying to shrug hard and extend the ankles hard, Ilya and Klokov are only going to be able to achieve just a little bit of shrug and ankle extension while they’re being weighted down by 500 pounds. The intent is there even if it’s not obvious in the movement.

    (5) Bodybuilding! Klokov likes to do Deadlifts or Squats for a few sets of 5 then finish with a set of 10. While we weren’t give the exact translation, I’m pretty sure he said you have to “fuck with the muscle” to make it grow. He said this as he was pantomiming a curl. They all press and they’re not afraid to Bench Press. Even Ilya – whose training usually ends up being pretty Bulgarian come peaking time – includes some Bench Press and was doing Military Press for sets of 10 at the Seminar. And aside from Squat, Bench, and Deads they’ll also do single joint exercises such as curls and laterals. They’ll evaluate weak points based off where technique breaks down, what exercises are weak compared to others (example – Ilya’s Bench being weak so he’s working on that) and what looks small aesthetically (I was told that my traps where big enough but that my arms needed to be bigger – definitely not what I expected to hear at a weightlifting seminar).

    (6) No training dogma. Anything that makes you better is fair game: dumbbells, kettle-bells, machines, running, swimming, whatever. I was pretty surprised when Klokov busted out a set of 9 on Power Snatch with 125kg before he worked up to his single. That’s probably not a staple in his preparation when he’s close to a contest but he’s not afraid to do a set of 9 or 10. Every American Coach says that European and Asian Lifters never, ever do Overhead Squats but Polovnikov’s workout was Overhead Squat – Hang Snatch – Squat.

    (7) Planning of training. Ilya said his training is planned out a year in advance with his coach and he sticks to that plan 95% of the time. In this plan he’ll know what he’ll lift a year away. He described his training as a Kazakh/Bulgarian blend. 7 months his training is very general: Dumbbells, Barbells, Cross-Training, Playing other Sports. Around 7 months out he starts to get more and more specific. At this point he will start maxing out every friday and he’ll base the next weeks training off his results from that friday. So, to him, a “Bulgarian” blend is not maxing out every other day or 3 times a week but only once a week. The Russian’s intensity levels are less intense that Ilya’s training – so they’re maxing out less than once a week. At the peak of Ilya’s training he is Snatching everyday, Clean & Jerking everyday, Squatting 2X a day, and doing Abs everyday.

    (8) Flexibility – pretty much all of these guys could do full splits.

    (9) Diet – eat a lot when you train. On days you don’t train, eat a lot of salads.

    (10) Their workouts that day: Ilya and Nikita (coach at Norwood) trained together, Squat, Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Military Press, Toes to Bar, and Back extensions. Ilya is build perfectly for weightlifting. He was reasonably lean and had some abs showing but must have had a 38 or 48″ waist – build like a refrigerator. He didn’t go very heavy (for him).

    Klokov Power Snatched 275lbs x 9, warmed up more, Put on ACDC’s Thunderstrock, Power Snatched 345 x 1, Warmed up in Clean & Thruster, Clean & Thrustered 395lbs then caught it and did 2 Push Presses. He finished there. Polovnikov Overhead Squatted 315 for a few triples, Missed 405, Hang Snatched up to the Mid 300s, Squatted 585 for 4, then missed 675. Yasha may have done more but I mostly remember him doing several sets of 2 Power Cleans + 2 Push Presses @ 315.

    • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

      Great review. Thanks for taking the time.

    • Henry

      I’m curious, what were they Bench Pressing? Especially Ilya, what was his “weak” bench press?

      • yasha

        ilya benches 120kg for a set of 4, wants to build it up to 150kg (set of 4)

        • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

          Yasha, what is the biggest takeaway for you from all the time you spend with the guys?

          • yasha

            Too many to list. From an athlete’s perspective, I got to train with and be coached by some of the best lifters in the world.

            With these seminars, we needed to make sure that all of us (Nikita, Vasiliy, Ilya, Dmitry, Zygmunt, and myself) were on the same page or close enough – to not have disagreements and to teach the same thing. For this, we discussed (argued) all points of the lifts, the variations and nuances, and how to teach them (for hours every day, staying up until 2am with notebooks and pens in hand, and continuing at 6am sometimes). We would discuss/argue every inch of the lift, raising and answering questions to which most of us have never verbalized answers. So… the big takeaway was learning weightlifting – the technique, programming or many of the professional aspects of this sport.

            If there are any specific questions i can help to answer, let me know.

          • jjoo

            So what was the answer for the last question on the podcast? Do they think americans need to have a stronger upper back or lower back if you don’t mind me asking?

          • yasha

            Both, especially lower back. Mid back is usually strong, most Crossfitters have a strong upper body (shoulders, arms, upper back), but lack the lower back needed to hold the right angles. Hyper-extensions should be done nearly every workout.

  • tommy bone

    Hello, I signed up for a future seminar, and wanted to know if these are only for experienced lifters. I tried contacting the gym where the seminar will be held, but got no response. So I decided to go ahead and reserve my spot as an attendee trainee. I’m very much a beginner. Thank you.

  • Mark Shapiro

    I attended the seminar at CrossFit RDU last week. It was worth every penny and I’ve been thinking about and practicing a lot of what was taught since then. All the coaches were amazing. I worked primarily with Ilya, who was outstanding, but Dmitry and Vasily were very hands on as well. It has completely changed the way I think about the lifts. Here are my notes on the snatch, cleaned up from what I typed into my phone during the class: Start position – Feet slightly narrower than shoulder width, toes very slightly out, and knees turned slightly out. Shoulders are forward in front of the bar, body over the bar, shins are nearly vertical, weight in mid-foot, always head looking forward, chest is up, back arched, lats tight. This results in a narrow angle between the body and thighs. Hips and body rise together with a constant angle and the body stays over the bar then hips drive into the bar–contact should be audible–and then from the heels to calves, shoulders, then elbows pull the bar vertically. The pull is very long and shoulders stay forward, forearms are vertical, wrists are relaxed. The bar path is about 1/2 inch in front of the body. The upper pull is from traps, to rear delts, then biceps. At the peak of the pull, the bar should be face height and you should be balanced on your toes, use the height from your toes to slide the feet out and drop, then…”Catch the bar and look forward like you’re the king.” -Ilya Ilyin. What I have found since then, is that what I struggled with and was mostly frustrated by–the drop–comes so naturally, that I am zipping under the bar effortlessly and without any thought.

    • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

      Thanks for the details

    • Tom

      Awesome,, was the sequence the same for the clean?

  • CasualLurker

    Hey, Gregor, I would very much like to translate some of the comments of the attendants to spanish, and to publish them in facebook. I, of course, will give full credit to you, to ATG, and to the attendants. Is this ok? May I doy it?
    I want to do this because there are many friends and acquaintance into the weightlifting community who don’t speak english. Me and those ones will certainly appreciate this. Thanks!

    • http://www.allthingsgym.com/ Gregor

      Sure, go ahead and spread the word :)