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Saturday, May 19, 2012


Best technique in the sport.  My favorite lifter.  Fastest athlete in the sport.  Best superman pull in the game....well Klokov is my second favorite.  Klokov also has a superman pull from heaven, and looks as if Brad Pit and Ben Affleck had a kid.  Down right sexy. If you don't have a man crush on Klokov, then you are simply lying to yourself.

The video below of Andrei lifting is the greatest video to watch for learning and helping you better yourself in the lifts.  I personally watch this video at least three times a week to improve my lifting and stay motivated for what I want to look like.  Yes, every athlete is different, but this man in my opinion is amazing.  I love sitting down with a client and watching this video.  The slow motion clips, combined with the close ups make this video hands down the best technique video in the world. Add the gladiator music behind the video, and a cup of miss brown eyes, and you got yourself a love affair with the legend, and Olympic Champion, Andrei Aramnau.

The bar does not touch Andrei until it strikes his hips aka Pendlay step one, aka belt line, aka Tyson hips.  His shoulders stay back on the first pull (from floor to knees).  Then his shoulders get over the bar beautifully on the second pull (from knees to finish position).  His knees almost fully extend before he releases his hips.  He brings the bar BACK throughout the whole pull, creating amazing force when bar makes contact into hips, giving that bar a half second of float time for this beast of a man to pull himself under.  He always puts a slight bend in his arms right before the bar makes contact with his hips, just to add more collision for the finish.  Arm bend is something that I get a lot of shit for, but every great lifter does it.

A man that knows how to defy gravity.  A man who knows how to use his body to lift big weights over his head.  He doesn't just make contact with the bar, but he drives his hips through the bar.  Just like Tiger Woods swinging through the golf ball.  The little white ball will not go as far if Tiger did not follow through his swing.  The same applies to a weightlifter.  You must not just hit and go under, you must hit through the bar, getting into what I call the Arched Angel.  Arched Angel meaning full extension before going under.  The athlete should be on their toes, hips in front of their body, and shoulders back behind their body right before he or she drops under the weight.  Meanwhile keeping their balance and making sure their eyes and head are still facing forward, not up toward the ceiling.  This will give the bar that full half second of not being taken down by gravity, letting the athlete pull himself under as if the bar was connected to a wall.  Then the Ali feet come into play, (fast feet).  He does not jump into the air, and this is very import to see and understand.  The only time the feet move is when he is going underneath the bar once the Arched Angle is complete.  While he is pulling himself underneath the bar, his feet are in the air dropping down fast, just as if someone cut the cable holding the elevator above ground.  The elevator is dropping with amazing speed because of the weight it carries.  He is guiding the bar BACK behind his ears while going under.  This is so important.  Many people miss the weight out in front because they are pulling themselves under the bar completely vertical, catching the bar right over head.  No!  You must catch the bar back behind your head!  Up in this sport means back.  Let's put it this way, if you never went under the bar, the bar should hit you right in the chest.  That's why if I ever do snatch pulls I make sure the bar is striking my chest, leaving a bruise for the next day.  A common expression coach says in training is, "if your going to miss, then miss behind".
The Arched Angel right before going under 

You will see at times he will sit in the hole for as long as he needs to catch his balance.  This is so crucial. The hole in the snatch is your best friend.  Sit down there and watch a movie.  Then when you and the weight have an understanding of one another, stand up.  You should never have a problem standing up in the snatch because the weight is light compared to your squats in training and your clean.  If you do have this problem standing from a snatch, well then its time for more squatting.

Why is it that I keep beating athletes every year that out squat me by 20 or more kilos?  I have very weak legs compared to my competition.  but the reason why I keep beating these rookies is because I have masted the art of using my body as a catapult system.  Yes strength is king, but because of my speed and technique I am able to snatch 160 plus.

Back in the day the bar wasn't allowed to touch your body.  So pulling and shrugging the bar to your eye balls is and was a great way to lift!  Because it was the only way to defy gravity for that split second.  Now that rule doesn't exist,  thank the Lord because I am not strong enough to snatch 166 that way.  I would be taking 8th place at nationals, and never would have gotten the great privilege to represent my country twice.  It amazes me that there are still coaches out there all over the United States coaching the old pull and shrug way of lifting.  But then again, there is more than one way to get to the top of the hill.  Attitude nation = do what you want, and what works for you.  This blog article is very broad, I will go over more in-depth details and other great tricks to lift more weight in both the snatch and CJ in the near future.  Hope this has helped!

Here is another great video of Andrei completing a faster than lightening double in the snatch.  Listen to the bar, and then the feet.  This is how the snatch should look, feel, and sound.  This is the superman pull.

Andrei 2012!  I know......I still like Klokov, but I am rooting for Andrei!


  1. thanks for writing this article. I also think Aramnov is the fastest and most graceful lifter of our time, absolute poetry in motion.
    If he will be lifting at the Olympics (assuming he behave himself) this time he will have serious competition from Akkaev and Klokov.
    Anyway... I will be working at the training site at the Olympics and I really look forwards to seeing him lifting closely, and maybe I will see you too if you made the team. Good luck.

  2. I dont really think either are gonna beat Akkaev

  3. Great post. I missed a PR today b/c I was too apprehensive. Wish I would have read this first!!

  4. Great post, Jon. Something has been off with my technique for the last few weeks and just reading that one line about keeping the shoulders back on the first pull helped me figure out a big part of my problem. Snatches felt much better today! Thanks for writing this blog!