First Oly Meet

Over the Christmas break I was home at my local gym, and a pretty serious weightlifting coach somehow talked me into entering a meet Feb 4th. My lifts are decent, but are all power movements with very little knee bend, and most of my experience is with the lifts from the hang position. As far as I’m concerned, I believe working on my technique will yield the best gains in this short of a time period, as very little actual strength can be gained in less than a month. I’m going to focus on getting under the bar quickly, utilizing a lower catch position, hopefully increasing the amount of weight I can handle. With the jerk, I am going to work on the stabilization component, as I don’t seem to have any trouble getting the weight up; I just have trouble holding it at lock out, as I feel I am going to break in half.

If anyone has any suggestions on ways to improve one’s technique, especially ways on working to get faster under the bar, it would be greatly appreciated. Also I’d love to hear about any one else’s first meets, and if there are any little surprises I should keep my eyes out for.

Right now, I’m at 85kilo weight class, with the following PB’s
Power Hang Clean = 2 x 105kg
Jerk = 5 x 95kg
Power Snatch = 2 x 70kg
Goals for the Feb 4th Meet = 110kg C + J and 75kg Snatch

All right, your first OL meet!! I remember my first meet. It was in Atlanta and I had only been training for two months, but I went anyway just to get some experience. I weighed in at 80kgs and I don’t remember what my lift total was. All I know is that I made all three C/J attempts and all 3 snatch attempts. I could have gone heavier, looking back now, but I just wanted the feeling of nailing the lockout and having successful lifts.

As for what you can do to get under the bar faster, a lot of it is just having confidence in yourself. You might work on getting down into the full squat clean position by using some lighter weight for a few reps; same with the snatch. One thing that helped my snatch, in the full-down position, was to practice overhead squats, going as deep into the squat position as possible. Sit between your legs…that’s the thought you want to have at the bottom. Then, for rising up for the lockout, think of keeping the whole body tight and rigid. Keep your deep breath and hold your body stable.

Master the full clean and full snatch moves with lighter weights, do over head squats. Think “speed, speed, speed” on your cleans. Pull up as normal, then, explode!, with a powerful jump down into the bottom position. Fast!

At your meet, just be ready as you’re warming up for your attempt. You need to be ready when your name is called onto the platform. You’ve got to time your warm up attempts so that when they call you, the weight your attempting would be next in your progression. If I’m opening with a 100kg attempt on the C/J, I want my last warm up attempt to be around 90kg or so. Just have fun.

We used this exercise to learn how to go under the bar…

  1. put the bar on the shoulders in upright position
  2. quickly get into the deep squat posiotion holding the bar in your hands (overhead squat). Try going down without moving the bar… You can try starting with the bar in front position

As heatvawe propsed, do a lot of overhead squats, that should improve your balance neccesary for snatch. Hope I helped…

I use the same exercise but i start on my toes. I think this is more realistic as you want to drop under the bar having fully extended (tripple extension).

As for learning technique quickly. I think that doing singles only (with whatever weight feels fast - e.g. 4RM or whatever) with good rest between attempts is the way to go. You could do this in the morning and in the evening continue your heavier lifting as usual. Basically the aim with all technqiue work is perfect practice with enough rest to allow technique to be replicated perfectly. Stop when you get tired and call it a day. Or have an hour or two off and come back (if you are one of these students with 4 hours of lectures a week!).


See you at Winterlift.


Thanks for the ideas. I’ve done some drop snatches before, but just with the empty bar, so I guess I should try to progress from there. TC - I’ll take your advice, and try starting on my toes, sounds like a good idea to me. I spent some serious time hammering out my form today, unfortunately, I also decided to try and use the hook grip; my thumbs are destroyed.
TNT- you’re getting me excited already.

I posted a few video clips, and a training log under ‘My Training Journal’. If any of you have the time to take a look, any advice would be greatly appreciated. I’m definitely a rookie; I’ve learned so much just getting ready for this meet.

Snatch went pretty shitty. Opened with 70Kg, no problem. 75 I missed twice after that. Both were stupid technique flaws. The first I unlocked my elbow, the second the bar was too far forward, and I couldn’t hold it overhead. C&J went well. Made all 3 attempts and even the last felt easy and solid: 105, 108, 111Kg.

At least the snatch will be easy to improve on.