Here is a great photo of Lu Xiaojun doing Snatch High Pulls.
Rob Macklem snapped it in the training hall of the 2011 World Championships in Paris.
Here is what Rob said when I asked him about the photo:
No particular story, other than I like to shoot the diversity of exercises the Chinese use. I have been around Olympic Lifting for almost 45 years and have seen mostly everything.
A variation of this exercise was done in the 1970’s and 1980’s usually to a full body extension and onto toes. To instill good technique, this is probably not the best idea.
I liked the Lu variation; elbows high and to the side and feet flat, and the timed knees and hips dropping. There would probably be a number of “experts” who would not even like the way Lu does them.
The impeccable timing of Lu makes the exercise seem useful… at least for him.
I think Lu is the best technician of the Chinese. He also seems to truly enjoy every moment of the training process and he’s therefore the most fun to watch and photograph.
The week in the training hall before the competition is probably just a “working holiday” for him.
PS: Please note my biases
In my opinion what these elite Chinese do in training has little or NO relevance to the training of the typical North American lifter, and it plays no part in my programming.
I would hazard a guess that just like the Russian system you cannot just copy the end elite result of a “system” without going through all the stages of the system.
Because their system starts with 8-9 year olds and talent selection there would be very few lifters on this side of the world with these credentials.
There are no shortcuts and you can’t skip steps in the process from novice to international class. Also in this age of instant gratification the process cannot be accelerated.
Time to put that money together for the camera drones.
When is the next competition where we admire Lu again?
those quads. it’s like he’s more machine than human
The Chinese do seem to have a distinctive style of doing pulls, in particular the dropping of the hips and knees. The Soviet/Russian style has the athlete fully extending, but then no bending or dropping of the hips and knees. Have any others adopted this technique?
I do clean pulls and snatch pulls like the Chinese. I feel it’s much more fluid and has more carryover to the lifts if you’re gonna be doing pulls A lot. With the Russian clean pulls many people, especially noobies with previous technique issues, you find people over extending and almost pausing between the extension and getting under the bar. The pull to shrug delay is such a frequent occurrence with many lifters, even Russian ones. The effect on new lifters is almost crippling to progress. Training a slow over-extension has no purpose in modern weightlifting. Just my opinion.
My coach was trying to beat the Russian pulls into my head. I’ve only done Chinese pulls up to the point i started training with him. The Russian pulls were slow and hard to learn. I still cant do them right and all it really did was take the fluidity and speed out of the pull. And the system that many coaches use have people doing pulls with way sub maximal weight. I can power clean 110 and i was doing pulls with 80kg. Its sort of unrelated to the post but damn, i hate Russian pulls. I hate the way they’re coached in the US as well. Sub max effort anything in oly lifting is weird.
When I was fortunate enough to train with a coach he had us do tons of snatch and clean pulls every week. Always at heavy weights and never submaximal. He just didn’t see the point in lifting lighter weight. He trained us the same way he was trained and he was trained by a former olympian so there may be some validity to his thinking.
I personally like the Russian style, but I think a large part of it is personal preference. Rob raises a very valid point though with the timing of the drop, which I’m utterly horrible at in the snatch. No issues with the clean though.
I think you need to look at the flaw in your technique to determine which style is better for you.
earl deschartz says
someone put a deal with it sunglasses on him
Lu actually started when he was 15.
His London 2012 athlete bio said “began in athletics as a sprinter and did not begin weightlifting until he was 18 years old”.
Daniel Rece says
I train with the junior Romanian weightlifting team and I can understand why you can not copy the elite level… You should know that children don’t train less than at the elite level.. they train more and closer to their maxes… because they use less weight and are younger and can recuperate faster. All the 14 year olds in my camp have been squatting, deadlifting and doing heavy pulls 6-9 times a week for 4+ years… and they can squat 3 times their bodyweight. But before that they have used hardly any weight for 2-3 years .. just practiced technique – thousands of reps weekly.
Rob is not only a great photographer but a brilliant coach. his username in the pendlayforum is robo and his contributions are solid gold.