July 21, 2024


Health is wealth

Discovering Escapability in Olympic Weightlifting

4 min read

This is 1 of these matters that almost never come up in conversations of weightlifting system, but it can show to be the trigger of difficulties.  Just one of them is that it may perhaps inhibit a lifter from earning a greatest hard work to entire a life time PR.  I unknowingly produced my escapability when as a youngster my dad and mom enrolled me in judo lessons. 


In the sport of judo, there is a constant twin taking spot in an try to spot oneself in a additional favorable posture so as to prevail over the opponent.  Just one athlete may perhaps be thrown by the opponent but can posture the overall body so that a full place is not scored.  This can in the end guide to a reversal on the mat.  This ceaseless jockeying for posture and leverage goes on throughout the match until finally 1 combatant is declared the winner or the time clock finishes the match.  A key skill that is acquired in judo is that of escapability—the means to get out of a perilous condition, normally in a incredibly short total of time.



Rediscovering Escapability

So I understood I experienced this skill when I get started weightlifting.  I did not assume significantly of it, did not spot any emphasis on it, and have hardly ever considered about coaching it until finally just lately.  I identified the benefit of it 1 day, nonetheless, when I acquired into a condition that was perhaps perilous.


It was a usual education session at the outdated Downtown LA YMCA.  There were being about 6 or seven of the standard lifters there along with coach Bob Hise II,  and we were being working up in clear & jerk singles.  My legs experienced usually lagged at the rear of my clear, but anything at all I could stand up with, I could jerk with superb elbow lock.  This particular situation was at the conclusion of a week of weighty education and we were being probably additional fatigued than we realized.


I acquired up to 110 which was a 90% excess weight.  I cleaned it with some problems and did a standard grinder to stand.  At that place, I figured that I experienced the jerk nailed.  I drove the excess weight straight overhead and to my surprise, my elbows unsuccessful to lock and the excess weight began to drop from overhead.  On lots of instances, it would have been usual to then drop the excess weight forward or at the rear of and just move out from under it, but this time it could only come straight down. And it did!  It actually strike my head.  In a flash, I realized I could get seriously injured if I did not do some thing.


Adrenaline strike and it was a lifetime saver.  I instantly pancaked and went spreadeagle.  I beat the bar down earning guaranteed to release my grip on the bar so that I would not danger a wrist damage.  On the way down I realized that my head was further than it was extensive so in its place of face-planting I turned my head to the aspect as I strike the flooring.  Amazing what goes by way of your brain in a time of extraordinary peril.  The bar strike the flooring, did not injure anything at all, and just rolled forward barely nicking my aspect turned head.  The total incident was additional shame than an indicator of failure.


I walked absent relieved but even additional self-confident in my means to escape peril.



I did not assume about this at all for significantly of my coaching job.  A lot of that time the majority of lifters that I coached were being juniors and seniors. The majority of them experienced begun their athletic professions at an early age and realized lots of general athletic skills.  I witnessed a number of harrowing escapes made attainable by the escapability skills of some remarkable athletes. 


Recently, I’ve been working with additional Grasp athletes, lots of of whom have began their athletic professions just after the age of 40.  They experienced not been associated in grappling or physical get hold of sporting activities were being escapability skills are produced.  Therefore, they are hesitant about descending in the base posture of the snatch and a lot less routinely the split of the jerk.  In the scenario of the snatch, the regular wondering was that there was a mobility challenge, but considering the fact that then I assume we’ve all identified that lots of who are hesitant about descending into the snatch can do a appropriate overhead squat.   So it’s not a mobility challenge.


My consider is that numerous of my master athletes who are hesitant about descending into the full snatch posture are inhibited by a absence of assurance in their escapability skills. 


I don’t have a strategy for dealing with this challenge.  My first observation is that escapability is acquired during a selected window of time, during the more youthful ages.  I suppose that someone could come up with a pathway to attaining these skills, but I’m not guaranteed that lots of of our regular physical exercise protocols would be incredibly productive.

I’m just pinpointing a condition right here.  I assume that any coaches working with novice master athletes really should hold this in brain when they are dealing with this populace.  Some of them may perhaps hardly ever be capable to descend into a base posture with out leaving themselves an escape route.  This will also apply to athletes who have good shoulder mobility but even now choose to hold the head from getting positioned directly under the bar in the jerk.  Ah, very well.  Another dilemma to ponder!


If you would like to find out additional about Takano Weightlifting or would like my assistance on your weightlifting programs, make sure you get hold of me by way of the gym’s Fb web site or web page.


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