How to improve jerk

I found an interesting article on Russian site, “How to Improve the Technique of Jerk”. Even though it is written for Olympic lifters, some aspects of oly jerk are similar to that in GS, and advice regarding its technique is applicable to our sport. Well, have a look. For the sake of relevance and time I trimmed the article, and for those wishing to play with Google translator full text is at I apologize to weightlifters for possible mistakes in terminology. In case you are wondering, by "send-off" I meant that phase of the jerk when the bar is pushed from the chest up, the initial moment of the upward movement. Feel free to point out the correct word to me. Here it goes.

Recently on the forum run by Movladi Abdulaev I was asked the following questions: “What do you do to improve fixation of the weight above the head? I have enough strength, however the problem is that my “scissors” are very high. How can I correct this?”

Instead of answering these two questions related to the fragments of the jerk technique I decided to answer more complex one: “how to improve jerk of the barbell from the chest?” and place it on the site Problems in Olympic Lifting.

I will start from the fact that success in jerk depends on the whole array of factors, and that some of these factors respond well to training.

I have elaborated on the conceptual principles of training in the earlier article, Some Problems and Perspectives of Weightlifting ( in the section "On the Simplicity of Training”:

Most sport specialists, theoretical and practical, often miss the fact that correct approach to training is built on three fairly simple but basic principles.

First basic truth: training is nothing else than rehearsal of competition. In other words in competition only that quality can be shown in full measure that was specifically developed during training. For instance, if you need leg strength during competition don’t expect to show it if you trained only arms. Similar fiasco will expect you if instead of leg strength you train endurance.

Second basic truth: if you have to train complex movement consisting of several phases then you have to break the movement into its components and first of all train every component separately until it is perfect and only then tie them into one movement. As a matter of fact, training of complex movement is better learned from the end, this way correct habits are formed better.

Third basic truth: the speed of navy convoy equals the speed of its slowest ship, the strength of the chain equals the strength of its weakest link, the limit of weightlifter’s strength in performing complex lift equals the limit of his strength in performing the phase that is trained the worst. That is why special attention should be devoted to lagging links.

My correspondent has already worked on the third component by acknowledging his weakness and asking for the advice. So now he has to address his weaknesses in the technique.

The problem can be solved either by applying the first basic truth - whatever you train will be trained – in the straightforward manner, or by employing the second and third principles, i.e. the detailed analysis of your weak link and subsequent separate training addressing weak components of the technique.

What is the simple and unsophisticated way of training? One our coach from Kazan, Bekir Emiruseynov once told me that he has understood why during the years of his competing he never dropped the barbell from the chest: because he did lots of jerks from the chest in training. He jerked sub-maximal and maximal weights from the stands for singles, lower weights from the chest for several reps etc. He said: “I don’t understand this all this banter about the problem of jerk from the chest. One just has to jerk from the chest a lot, and the “problem” will disappear”.
This is straightforward and unsophisticated. It is, by and large, correct: Bekir did not waste his time on other rubbish, did not try to get through his jerk by benching, squatting and bending of horse shoes. Bekir acted simply: he did lots of jerk from the chest, though most probably to the detriment of other components of competition lifts.

That’s what I more or less told Bekir: “Have you ever thought that such massive training of such complex movement as jerk not only brings success, but at the same time reinforces already learned errors? Vardanyan also lifted very heavy weights, mostly because he had very strong send-off which did not materialized from thin air, of course, but was developed by long and special training. However, he could lift even bigger weights if he changed his second dip from soft and high scissors to deeper one and harder, and used the time spent on send-off on let’s say improving snatch or clean?”

Therefore the most efficient way of training is the way of getting rid of errors and optimal reinforcement of all components of the lift, including those that the opponents don’t even start thinking about.

The beginning of this way looks like this: I am going to consider the factors determining the jerk from the chest and then name exercises that may influence these factors.

Lifting the bar from the chest depends first of all on the speed and precision of the send-off, as well as the depth, stability, speed and precision of undersquat.

At the same time, the speed of the send-off depends on the length of the path of acceleration and the force applied during this acceleration.

This force depends on the fatigue of the legs, as well as stability of the back and the chest during racking the bar on the chest, on the deltoids. The fatigue of the legs depends first, on the strain required to clean the bar to the chest and second, the duration of the rest before jerk from the chest.

The depth and stability of the second dip depend first, on the position of the legs and second, on the specific (static) strength of the legs in that position.

The speed of the second dip depends obviously on the speed of placement of the legs into the necessary position.

As deep second dip is often perceived as dangerous, its improvement depends on special mental preparation.

To complete the picture I can add that in some competitions (usually internal) the judges are forgiving to pressing at the end of the jerk. Moreover, arms trained for partial presses usually can handle overhead fixation better.

Now, which aspects from the list above are trainable and how to train them?

In my opinion the following is trainable:

  • Optimal length of acceleration path
  • Vertical precision of acceleration
  • Leg strength during send-off
  • Reduced fatigue: by improved strength endurance to static load of the back and shoulders during prolonged racking of the bar on the chest, improving leg strength for clean to the chest, more economical way of clean
  • Optimal position of the legs during second dip
  • Specific (static) leg strength in second dip
  • Speed during second dip
  • Psychological preparedness for deep second dip with maximal weight
  • Arm strength for top press

Optimal path of acceleration and precision in direction is best trained by jumps with the barbell on the chest. This exercise is not new but in this era of chemistry is used rarely. One should start with light weight and increase it gradually, because all jumps with heavy weights are dangerous, first of all for the spine. During jumps you don’t have to concentrate on landing on the heels or something else. Just make sure to jump as high as possible and land in the same place where you started.

Jumps with significant weights also train the leg strength for the send-off. However I repeat: jumps are dangerous. That’s why it is better to train leg strength – especially at the beginning – by half-squats with the bar on the chest. They are performed to the depth op undersquat (angle in the knee joints 100-110 degrees). The weight should be (not straight away, of course) significant: 120-140% of the best result in jerk.

Reducing fatigue during rack is trained – of course – by static holds from stands, minimum for 15-20 seconds, with maximal and supra-maximal weights (110%).

How to improve leg strength for getting up with the bar on the chest the readers probably know without me.

Optimal position of the legs during second dip should be first felt without the barbell. Later on you should do static holds in this position, gradually increasing the weight. Next step is to get into the position as fast as possible. First try doing this without the barbell. During this the most important is to pay attention to the correct position of the feet, and when it is satisfactory try achieving it with higher and higher speed, sharpness. Don’t be shy to stomp the foot that is in front.

Do not forget that by not repeating the skill you forget it, and while you are re-learning stop doing jerks from the chest at all and be patient.

Specific leg strength in the second dip can be trained with squats in the scissors position with the barbell on the back.

Obviously, top press is trained by static holds of significant weight (150%), either standing or lying down.

The end of the article.

I think many advices in this article are very relevant to Girevoy Sport. As weightlifting, GS is also very technical, and the technique eventually determines the number of reps you can do in ten minutes. Jerk, snatch and long cycle are very complex and have many similarities with Olympic lifts, and the approach described in the article can be applied for GS.

Several earlier posts focused on various technical aspects and recommendations given in regards to improvement. Many Russian coaches recommend static holds, both rack and overhead, bumps and jump squats. In view of the above discussion the value of jump squats with the barbell on the back may be questioned, as the loading is not exactly the same as during actual lifts, and maybe bumps (jerks from the chest without second dip) are better alternative. Quarter squats in rack or overhead can be very useful for improving jerk. For improving snatch of long cycle technique similar dissection of the lift can be done and appropriate exercises developed.

From the resources I have seen so far the most systematic way of teaching GS lifts in accordance to three basic principles described above is presented in Kanygin’s Kettlebell Systema. Every lift is broken into components and every component is taught by specific drill. At least an hour is devoted to each lift in that series. No, I am still not getting commission and say it here only because it is true.

Working on the weakest link of the technique makes perfect sense. For me it the lack of flexibility in the hip flexors which affects rack position, lack of speed in the second dip and general lack of endurance. All of these can be addressed separately.

Another relevant conclusion based on the principles of correct training is that more time should be spent imitating GS competition by doing long sets for high repetitions. Everyone reading this blog knows that I often expressed the opinion that volume training has advantages. And it does: it is better for building strength to be able to lift bells of competition weight. However when the strength is sufficient and the goal is to compete one should prepare specifically for this task by lifting for high reps and long time. Again, Russian EDT may be a good compromise between the two.

30 June 2010

Today is 23rd wedding Anniversary, day off, and I sneaked downstairs for an hour to train.

2 x 24 kg jerk:
5 reps/min, 7 minutes, 35 reps

New PR! The progress albeit slow but is there. I like timed sets more and more, though they are hard as shit.

2 x 24 kg rack/overhead holds
20/20 sec x 3

24 kg OAC&J
10 left/10 right

2 x 24 kg static rack hold:
3 minutes (highly recommended)

28 June 2010

2 x 24 kg jerks:
5 reps/min, 6 minutes, 31 reps

27 June 2010

24 kg snatch:
max set - 28 left/33 right (61)
4 minutes

I am experimenting a little here: trying to follow "from speed to distance" method described in earlier post ( I am keeping the cadence intentionally high, building up the distance - reps/duration.

BB squats:
singles (kg)
50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75

26 June 2010

2 x 24 kg jerk:
5 reps/min
6 minutes/30 reps, rest
4 minutes/20 reps

I am getting hooked on long(er) sets.

24 kg snatch:
20 left/20 right

Snatching is much harder after doing jerks.

24 June 2010

2 x 24 kg jerk:
5 minutes @5 reps/min
26 reps

@8 reps/min - 13 reps
too tired

Abadjiev SAID

In this article I have used the material from the following websites:

For those who don't know Ivan Abadjiev is a famous Bulgarian weightlifting coach. His biography is quite fascinating. Before becoming a coach he was an outstanding weightlifter himself, taking silver in one of the World Championships. His coaching career started in the sixties, and he was known by his frequent critical comments in regards to training methods used in Bulgarian weightlifting. When Bulgarian weightlifting team came home beaten from 1968 Olympic Games Abadjiev reputation reached the ears of some high rank bureaucrat who said: "if he is so clever let him show what he can do". Abadjiev became national coach.

In the next Olympics Bulgarian team won three gold and three silver medals. During thirty years of his career Abadjiev produced 9 Olympic, 57 World and 64 Eropean Champions! In spite of such achievements his life was not that of a celebrity as one would expect. In 1884 when Soviets boycotted Los Angeles Olympics and organized alternative games, Druzhba-84, Bulgarians won in six categories, while USSR only in four. Abadjiev was summoned to the Bulgarian Olympic Commitee and was asked to resign. International Weightlifting Federation has found it unacceptable that such a small country gets most medals. Abadjiev did not resign. Few years before Olympic Games in Seoul one of the Bulgarian sports functionaries told Abadjiev: "All you can win is three gold medals. Any more and your head will roll, together with mine". Winning 1992 Olympics was not the biggest problem for Bulgarians. On the contrary, they were tested positive for banned substances and left the Games early. Abadjiev suspects foul play, as athletes who were caught were main opponents of Soviet weightlifters.

After 1992 Olympic Games Abadjiev formed a new national team that a year later won Eropean Championships. After that he was fired from his position. He could not find a job even in small clubs. He tried applying for work to weightlifting clubs of other countries but was declined: most clubs could not afford to employ such a celebrity coach. Eventually he took employment as the night guard in a kindergarden. Later he worked at the company manufacturing metal doors. Naturally many of his friends turned away from Abadjiev in fear of staining their reputation. In 1993 He got lucky and managed to get the position of a badminton coach, and in 1995 Abadjiev was invited to Turkey to coach his former trainee Naum Suleymanoglu who defected from Bulgaria couple of years earlier. Suleymanoglu won gold in Atlanta.

Abadjiev's philosophy of coaching is based on the principle of Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands, or S.A.I.D. that states that adaptation to stressor is specific to that stressor. The corner stones of the program are the three maximum sessions performed on alternate days, e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Time permitting, and with increased work capacity, lifters can then add lighter sessions (up to ~85%) on the 'off days' which function as active recovery from the preceding heavy workout. The last stage is to perform similar 'tuning' sessions on the morning of a heavy workout. There is substantial practical evidence that suggests a moderate session in the morning can actually improve the quality of a later workout.

When a lifter first begins to employ maximum lifts in training, the workout may require several days to recover. However, over time, tolerance to the heavier loading develops and the athlete can progress to maximum without significant preparatory arousal. Subsequently CNS fatigue is reduced and training consistency will improve.

Recently someone posted the story on IGx how one weightlifting coach trains a fifty-odd years old female in weightlifting. The principle is high intensity and limited volume. Several interesting replies were posted in response, one of the the observation that those practicing low volume/high intensity approach get away with doing no warm-up before the session. One of the first posts of this blog tells the story of Prof. Sergeev who advocated low volume training and long recovery intervals for rowers with good results. Earlier I did a post on interesting training methodology for running 10 km. Instead of the traditional approach where you first run 10 km slowly and then gradually increase the speed, it advocated running at the goal speed for as far as one can, gradually increasing the distance. We all know about the ideas of Mike Mentzer, big proponent of high intensity, low volume and long rest. I tried to start more discussion on IGx on volume vs intensity in this context, unfortunately the question has not been understood.

In Girevoy Sport as it exists in the US SAID principle is applied in the form of OTW training. Every session you do one timed set followed by assistance exercises which for jerks is one arm jerk with heavier kettlebell and swing for snatch. Both assistance exercises are done with heavier kettlebell. More advanced trainees do jump squats. This method is closest to Abadjiev's standard, as you imitate competition during every session. Is this the answer?

Everyone reading my blog knows that I like volume training. As much as I hate to admit it looks like OTW principle has more substance than I wanted to accept. It is sport specific and focused and is based on SAID principle. For me the problem with it is mental challenge. I never tried to conceal the fact that my motivation is not of the highest ranks and that I don't aspire to conquer the world of kettlebells of my age group. On the other hand, the path of intensity may be more suitable for people with limited training time like me. OTW may produce better results in shorter time, if results is what one wants.

I tried OTW when I started doing GS training with Dmitri Sataev. I didn't like it, it was too hard, and I dreaded every workout. I still think that before embarking on OTW one has to build a base with volume. Multiple short sets are less challenging and at the same time allow getting lots of reps in a session. It goes without saying that the technique is paramount. The good thing is that volume facilitates the technique, to an extent of course.

I think EDT is a good compromise between OTW and volume training. I know for a fact that it is favored by several respectable coaches in Russia. With this method the volume stays the same while the intensity is gradually increased. Out of ten sessions six will be very similar to OTW, and the other four are the variation of interval training.

Next question is, what size bells should be used in training? Again, following the principle of specificity it makes sense to use competition weight. In case of beginners however it is not feasible and one should progress through the weights gradually. And this is where I believe volume training again has its advantages.

Another interesting aspect is the speed of lifting. OTW method suggests starting lifting slowly and building the duration. After you can last 10 minutes you reduce the duration, increase the cadence and build the duration once again. Another possible variation is to start lifting at the cadence needed for the result and work on increasing the duration. So if you want to jerk two bells for 100 times in ten minutes start lifting at 10 reps/minute and every session try to last longer. To my knowledge nobody has ever tried this method, so feel free to experiment.

From now on I am going to do more timed sets, slow and fast. I have reasonable strength and endurance base, and now it is time to start working on specificity. I think I wasted time with lighter bells for a little too long. If it works or not - you will see in the next few months.

22 June 2010

Today is 69th Anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War that started in 1941. Sad day for Russia as well as Germany.

Today's workout.

2 x 24 kg jerks:
8.5 reps/minute - 25 reps
5 reps/minute - 21 reps

20 June 2010

I decided to go back to posting my training here instead of IGx. There is too much spite there, and I just don't see the point of sharing there. The "hate" would be ok, but there is just too much spite, and for the sake of dignity I am bringing my training journal back here. Whoever may be interested is welcome here.

For a few weeks of my absence I have been doing jerks and snatches, in different sessions. A week ago I did 10 sets of 15 in jerks with 24 kg. For the whole week I had a stomach bug. Still not one hundred percent but well enough to start training again.

So here it goes.

2 x 24 kg jerks:
7.5 reps/min, rest untimed
20 x 2

5 reps/min

20 kg snatch:
max set:
43 left/52 right

During snatch I was trying to pay attention to getting up on my toes and engaging the shoulder when sending the bell up. It makes a big difference in the economy: the bell just flies up. It may be a tad more demanding on the grip, but on the other hand the movement is smoother when more muscles are involved and I cannot say for sure. In any case my numbers are better than one week ago.

Kettlebell Systema by Denis Kanygin

Last week I received Kanygin’s Kettlebell Systema DVD set. It’s three DVDs, each devoted to the GS lift, the jerk, the snatch and the long cycle. I though I’ve seen it all until I watched all three DVDs.

I have trained with Denis for couple of months and must say that the quality of his DVDs does not surprise me. I mentioned several times how impressed I was with his work ethics and knowledge. This DVD set is completely in keeping with what I have experienced with Denis before.

These DVDs are the most detailed instruction on the technique of GS lifts. At the beginning of the series Denis makes a point how important it is to learn each lift in stages by doing appropriate drills. Sure, one can learn any lift in a few hours, but this way you tend to learn lots of mistakes which are difficult to weed out later. I must admit, this was the way I learned lifting kettlebells and now agree with Denis that this wasn’t the best way to do it.

Each lift is broken down in phases and each is discussed in minute detail. GS is about efficiency, that is why attention to nuances of the lifts is so important. How much detail is discussed is clear from the duration of DVDs: 1 hour 27 minutes for jerk, 1 hour 8 minutes for snatch and 1 hour 46 minutes for long cycle. That’s over four hours! And this instruction is packed with important information.

Take the snatch DVD for example. It discusses how the movement is initiated from the bottom, the trajectory of the bell on the way up, change of grip, correct overhead position, how to initiate the movement of the bell from the top down, how to save your palms, the correct trajectory on the way down so that the bell doesn’t jerk your arm and back. For each phase there are drills that help to understand the movement and avoid mistakes. What’s even better, there are detailed training programs for beginners and intermediate learners.

All in all this is the best video instruction on jerk,snatch and long cycle I have seen so far. It is pedantic and very thorough. If you are interested in the lifts of Girevoy Sport this is a good buy. It is perfect for those training at home and who want to improve their technique. Top quality, very good stuff.

In case you are interested in finding more about Denis and his system here are the links: or

It goes without saying that I do not profit from putting this review here, so there is no bias.

GS vs RKC and other Cs.

Today I received the Kanygin’s DVD set, 3 disks with detailed video coaching on Jerk, Snatch and Long Cycle. I just started watching it and will post full review of it in the near future. In the introduction Denis mentioned that neither he nor most of his clients don’t have competing in mind but do GS style training for general fitness. This got me thinking.

It has become the sort of traditional pastime to ridicule GS. IGxers find it boring, “akin to watching the paint dry”, while Dragondoor posters – usually those with no experience in GS – keep rumbling about how superior RKC is for the average man because of more tension etc. I never cared about this: more tension – thumbs up to you. I like training the way I am and don’t really care if someone else thinks it’s not enough or if other activities are better. Don’t like it – don’t do it. But today it dawned on me: nobody criticizes rugby or basketball players or for developing quite a useless skill. Seriously, is it “functional” to be able to throw the ball into the dust bin? Or cyclists for their monotonous and boring sport? There is not much variety in pedaling for one hundred kilometers, is there? If all round fitness is the goal then everyone should do Crossfit. For the record, I believe that Crossfit is not a bad idea if it is not taken with excessive fanaticism leading to rhabdo and serious personality changes. But hell, there are lots of strange people around, why blame the movement?

“No fitness system is complete without a press”, according to a DD poster. Really? Why is that? And don’t start the “functional” line: do you often have to press things from the shoulder up? Is arm strength that important? In my opinion arm muscles are the most useless and least functional. Lifting is done more efficiently by using the muscles of the legs and back, while the arms just support the load. Not even mentioning the fact that most of us don’t need to lift anything heavier than a stack of paper. And those who do – farm workers and those who move furniture – are good at it anyway and don’t need to go to gym to get more physical skill. Do basketball players do presses? Do Oly lifters do presses? Not according to Ivan Abadjiev, the famous Bulgarian weightlifting coach. There is another one: you need pressing to become a better fighter? Ha-ha! Every boxer will tell you that the punch is initiated from the hips. The strength of hitting is not in the arm muscles anyway, it’s in the technique. Otherwise powerlifters with the best bench would be best fighters around.

But even if you insist on the importance of press here is something to think about. Jerk gives you enough arm strength due to the static hold part at the top. Do lots of heavy jerks and your press will get better too. I can testify to that: I can press 32 kg bell without ever training for it. To add to the superiority of jerk, you can jerk more weight that you can press, without exception, and more weight always translates into more training effect.

Another DD amateur gem: improving the technique and finding the more economic way to lift in order to squeeze couple of more reps is sort of cheating, a sign of weakness. Besides serving as the method to suck up to the DD seniors this statement is simply delusional. Improving the technique is somehow making you weaker, really? Is learning good squat technique somehow limiting your strength? By being able to “squeeze couple of more reps” you are increasing time under tension and therefore the training effect. Is there a point to learn good running technique in order to run longer and faster and reduce the risk of injury? What’s the point of Rippetoe’s Starting Strength where the technique of several lifts is described in detail? Shouldn’t you just take the bar and squat, like a man? This of course is retarded, just like the suggestion that doing kettlebell snatches with good technique is somehow inferior. Sure, it makes me less of a man if my palms are not bleeding, but I can live with it.

Classic GS lifts give you about as much fitness and as functional as you need. Both move the weight to above the head, the ultimate display of physical ability. The load - two 32s or 24s - is not that insignificant either, especially for the lighter guys. Snatch gets your heart rate going as much as intensive run.

For some reason in some posters' minds GS is equated with snatching 12 kg bell for 20 minutes. Sure, that may be a part of GS training at some stage and it is useful. But remember the goal of the sport, doing lots of reps with 24 or 32 kg bells? Try it, see how "easy" that is.

And now for the boring part. GS is cyclical, and so is running, cycling, swimming and many other sports. But even putting cyclical activities aside, I still don’t see how powerlifting or exercising on the gym machines is more exciting than doing jerks and snatches. Where is this idea of training exclusively with timed sets coming from anyway? Sure, most of training should be sport specific. But GS employs many other methods as well: repeats interval, variable sets and so on. Guess what, GS athletes also go for runs, how’s that for variety?

If you want to become stronger and improve endurance GS lifts will cover it. They will not make you the elite runner of boxer, and neither will Hardstyle, Oly lifting or whatever else is claimed to be superior. You will get pretty fit and will look pretty good. Snatch and jerk will make you explosive and can help you lose weight if this is the goal. Doing them for timed sets will test your mental quality. Long cycle – which is a combo of two great exercises - will make you gasping in minutes and is probably one of the most time efficient workouts you can think of. Enjoy.

GS is boring

I generally don't care what other people do. Religion, eating, reading, wearing - whatever. You like Sex in the City - fine, though I will still think it's a shit movie. On the other hands some movies I watch make other people wonder if it is safe to let their kids near me. Anyway, what do I care. The same goes with exercise. There used to be debates about sports. Marathon running is inferior to weight lifting because marathoners look like this and lifters look like that. It is stupid of course: every sport develops certain quality, and weight lifters will fall out of the race after ten minutes. Most of them anyway. But who cares anyway? People tend to do things they like, and lifters become lifters not after some thorough analysis and research, but because they like it and probably are good at it. Not necessarily good though. I am a crappy runner, but I like it. So I run and don't really get upset when some schoolgirl wheezes past me.

When I came to South Africa in 1991 I saw cricket first time in my life. My first thought was "what a wanker's pastime". It took me good few years and some explanation from friends to understand the beauty of it. Same with rugby: I used to think it's the sport of retarded criminals. By the final of 1995 World Cup when South Africa took it from Kiwis I was ready to enjoy and appreciate this sport.

Most recent argument in the Net circles I hang around is about - surprise - Girevoy Sport. Just when I thought we are past it. I for one used get quite irritable when GS crowd - mostly AKC folks - slammed Hardstyle and Pavel for degrading the real art of kettlebell, lifting for reps in 10 minutes. That was crap. KB is a ball with a handle (or, as recently put on IGx, a handle with a ball!) and can be lifted in the variety of way. Press it, jerk, snatch, throw, drag - whatever takes your fancy, what's the problem?

The problem seems to come from the side of non-kettlebellers. I realize of course that most IGx "hate" is simple dick waving and baiting the uncorrupt out of boredom. Some of it is bordering on spiteful though. "Boring" is the first objectionable attribute of GS. Honestly, I don't see what's wrong with boring. For in depth discussion on boredom look up the article by Brad Warner, Zen Master and the author of Hardcore Zen, his argument is very appealing and close to heart. But in simple words - there are many boring activities. "GS is as boring as watching the paint dry". For your information, most of us would benefit a lot from watching the paint dry! Zen meditation is sitting and staring at the wall, and it changes lives! But Enlightement and other nonsense of this kind notwithstanding, many sports are boring. Running, cycling, walking,swimming - all cyclical activities. When you start running it is not only boring but also hard. But keep doing it and you transcend the boredom and fatigue and get to the next level where you are able to almost lose yourself. It is not really possible in GS - try losing yourself with 48 kg on your shoulders! - but you get the gist of similar sort. I am not going to exercise my writing skills by describing the "pleasure and pain of every rep" and crap like this. But you can try it yourself: surprisingly, it turns out to be quite addictive.

Boring or not - who cares anyway. I am bored watching basebal, yet the whole US is fascinated by it, so my boredom with it means nothing. Just like someone else's boredom with GS means nothing. But there is another argument against GS, this time from Hardstylers. Apparently in GS the technique of lifting is so perfect that it takes away the physical part away. According to this view trying to spend less energy in order to lift more is somehow demeaning to the idea of sport. Real men supposedly just deal with the weight. This, of course, is the opinion of one idiot on the Dragondoor Forum, but I heard it before.

In the recent years the Hardstyle movement has become strange mixture of really good and really bad. You have excellent Pavel's books with very efficient straightforward programs that work well. You also have VWC, mediocre though hyped up adaptation of interval training. Finally you have the Forum, bizzare place where idiocy is tightly interlaced with frank ass kissing, though occasional gems make it worthwhile for me to visit it every month or so. If anything is boring, by the way, DD Forum is it. But whatever, its members like it, what do I care.

Something posted on IGx brought my attention to the tread on how to lower the bell when snatching on DD Forum. The discussion by itself is pretty meaningless unless you do GS. Most of the effort in snatch is in sending the bell upwards, so what does it matter how you lower it? Sure, by throwing it down actively you create momentum that requires more effort to reverse the movement at the bottom... Blah, blah, blah... Take a heavier bell or do few more reps, you will get the same effect for all fitness purposes. But then somehow the topic developed into the GS vs.HS debate. Apparently HS carries over to other activities, while GS does not. You know what? I really don't give a fuck!

It's time to come to the conclusion of my ramblings. Why do people do GS? For the same reasons people do any sport: they like it. Will GS carry over to other activities? Let's see... If you can jerk two 32 kg bells for 10 minutes - I am sure you will be stronger and your endurance will be better compared to those who cannot. Are these qualities going to be better than if doing HS? I don't know. If you have decent GPP neither GS or HS will make a better skier, basketball player or swimmer. And if you are a beginner whatever you do will make you physically better off.

So those of you who think GS is inferior to other sports - fuck off. Just fuck off and go do whatever you like doing. It's all relative. My mom believes all olympic lifters and boxers are retarded, but she likes figure skating, so what does that mean? We do GS (or whatever you would call it in my case) because we like it and don't need explan or justify it to others.

Quick jem

From Rudnev's consultation page (abridged):


Regarding classic jerk, last session I jerked two 28 kg for 10 sets and rest interval 1 minute. Which further way for progress would you recommend:

1) reducing rest time between sets or
2) reducing number of sets simultaneously increasing their duration (for instance 8 sets of 1'15", 6 sets of 1'40", 5 sets of 2' etc).


Second variant is better. Do interval training as peaking session once every two weeks. It all depends on when your competition is though.

3 June 2010

2 x 24 kg jerk:
15, 15, 10, 15, 10, 10, 15, 10, 10, 10

120 reps in one hour. 5760 kg.

29 May 2010

24 kg snatch:

Switch every 5 reps,
100 reps (about 6-7 minutes)

2 x 24 kg jerk:
5 reps/min

3 min - 15 reps
2 min - 10 reps