Animal Plan It

By Mike Warkentin

In Coaching

May 09, 2016

PDF Article

The mechanics-consistency-intensity progression works whether you’re training dogs or beasts of the barbell.

Everything changed when I put each lifter on the platform alone with the group watching.

In the final week of a two-month focus on the snatch and clean and jerk, I had athletes list three snatch attempts based on confidence and form: “What are you 90 percent certain you can lift well every single time?” The goal was to use sure-thing loads and add a bit of pressure so athletes might know what a weightlifting competition would feel like.

Some of the athletes made all attempts, but about half missed at least once, and a few missed twice. To my greater surprise, each athlete showed form variations I didn’t expect after seven weeks in which the lifters had eliminated many errors and become much more consistent. For 14 sessions in a row we had drilled mechanics, and technique had improved across the board. But when the athletes were alone on the platform with submaximal loads, many old errors came back.

Perplexed, I did what any intelligent coach would do: I talked to my dog about it.

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2 Comments on “Animal Plan It”

1

Dale Saran wrote …

Great article, Mike. Now...
Sit!!

2

wrote …

Really appreciated and agreed with what was stated in this article. Now I just need to convince the other coaches and athletes at the gym to think along these lines ;).

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