September 05, 2009
Bill Starr believes finishing the pull is the only way to succeed in Olympic lifting once the plates start adding up.
This article is for any athlete who’s trying to improve numbers on any type of dynamic pulling exercise. These include not only the Olympic lifts but also shrugs, power cleans and snatches, and snatch-grip high pulls.
Every exercise is made up of a start, middle and finish. While all parts must be done correctly for that exercise to be productive and in order to handle heavy weights, the finish is usually the reason the maximum attempts are either made or missed.
In many cases, the athlete’s form isn’t really that bad, but he doesn’t fully extend when he’s snatching or cleaning because he’s lightning fast going under the bar. While great speed may seem like a huge plus, it’s often just the opposite. Eventually the weight will become too heavy to rack or lock out overhead if the lifter cuts the pull.
Over the years, I’ve watched countless Olympic lifters who were able to pull the bar plenty high enough for them to get under it and rack it or lock it out overhead, yet they failed on the attempt simply because the bar never picked up any speed on its upward flight and had no pop at the top.
Try these exercises, and once you learn the technique, lean on them and make them considerably stronger. When you do that, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more pop you have at the top of your pulls.