Typically, around 90% technique begins to break down during the Snatch or Clean and Jerk. Periodically, your training should be dedicated to technique work in which the intensity is lowered and volume is increased. Scheduling lighter weeks in your training can be very beneficial to address any technical flaws you may be experiencing. A general rule to follow is to train for roughly 3 weeks in the 80-100% range, followed by lighter week in the 60-80% range of your best snatch or clean and jerk.
In the video on the right, the athlete is performing a snatch at roughly 90% of her max snatch, and the video on the left she is at roughly 80%. If you notice during her second pull there is a slight break down occurring in her technique. At 90%, she is making contact with her hips too soon, which is causing the bar to be left out in front away from her body. At 80%, she is making contact higher into her hips which allows her to use more hip drive into the third pull and allows her to keep the bar in close with her body.
We stress all of our athletes to focus on quality movements with correct positions to build consistency in the proper pulling positions. Especially for beginners, it is very important for athletes to be aware of when a technical breakdown occurs and to use good judgement to mitigate from the scheduled program. What if you are new to the Olympic lifts and you are not aware of when a technical breakdown is occurring? There are a few key tips to follow
1) Receive Feedback – Video Analysis from trained coaches, receive technical feedback from coaches to pinpoint when the breakdown is occurring during a lift
2) Develop Awareness – This can take time to develop, but once you receive feedback from a coach indicating an ideal movement, visualize what the lift felt like and continually attempt to mimic the bar path
3) Study – identify a weightlifter with similar proportions/leverages to yourself with sound technique and study their bar path and timing
Let’s set up a training scenario, for example if you are struggling to keep proper positions with a 90% weight for a single or 95% for two singles, you could do 3 sets of 3 at 80% and focus on using correct technique. That’s nine quality reps that will lead to better adaptation and will likely make more muscular gains whereas the other athlete is reinforcing bad muscle memory and neuromuscular adaptation. With increased volume comes increased hypertrophy as well. When technique begins to break down there is no reason to continue training at that intensity and reinforcing bad technique. Never sacrifice technique for added weight, focus on quality movements performed on a consistent basis.
If you’re interested in learning more about Brute OLY and getting personal analysis on lifts check out Brute OLY. We can help you improve your lifting and assure that you are competition ready