The Lifting Digest – January 2014

Andrew Rybakov of Belarus at WWC 2013

Andrew Rybakov of Belarus at WWC 2013

Welcome back to The Lifting Digest, our roundup of all the best blog posts and articles about weightlifting from all corners of the internet. This is the first Lifting Digest of 2014 and the first thing that you’ll notice is that we’ve moved to a monthly format, rather than weekly, so each update will include all the best content from the previous month.

Without further adieu, here’s January’s roundup…

It’s unlikely that you’ll have missed this superb series by weightlifter Larry Yang over at All Things Gym. Larry was lucky enough to travel to China and train with a number of different Chinese coaches and his posts offer some fascinating insights on how Chinese weightlifters train and how their coaches program. Part 1 deals with Snatches and Squats, part 2 covers the Clean & Jerk and pulls and part 3 is all about the Front Squat.

Another series, this time over at UK Olympic Weightlifting, which has got a snazzy redesign recently. Chris Lowe, British Weightlifting Talent Pathway Nutritionist, is going into depth on the subject of nutrition for weightlifters. His first article discusses the importance of eating right while his second piece covers how to calculate how much food you need to eat, including all the maths that the various calculators usually hide away. As someone currently trying to cut weight while staying strong, I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series.

An excellent review of the scientific literature allows JP of First Pull to conclude that a straight bar path is not the norm among elite weightlifters. Bar path is ultimately the product of the mechanics of the barbell-lifter system and so individual variances in physiology and biomechanics will result in different lifters having different bar paths.

A couple of nice posts on the Snatch by OlyGuru, one about building up speed under the bar and another on counteracting diving under the bar prematurely – so often the upshot of attempting to improve speed under by cutting the second pull short.

This one dates back to December rather than January but it’s an area so often overlooked in programming for weightlifters that I thought it was worth including anyway. Coach Dan Bell writes about the role of bodybuilding in weightlifting and how appropriate hypertrophy training can be used to target an athlete’s weak points and to help protect joints like the elbow against injury. Bodybuilding accessory work has featured heavily in my programming this year and I’m certainly feeling the benefits.

Want to build your own Olympic weightlifting platform? Of course you do. This step-by-step guide by Adam Sayih of The Gentleman and The Meathead shows you exactly what you need to do to create a beautiful platform for your home gym for a minimal outlay.

One of the more unfortunate events to occur over the last month was horrific injury to Crossfit athlete Kevin Ogar in competition in the US. Ogar was left paralysed from the waist down after a barbell fell on his spine during a 3RM Snatch event. I’m not going to get into the debate around this terrible accident but if you’d like to donate to the fund established to cover Kevin’s medical costs (he doesn’t have health insurance), please visit the OgarStrong website.

This month’s video is of Spanish lifter Lydia Valentin Perez snatching 124kg and clean & jerking 140kg at 75kg bodyweight.