Sunday, June 30, 2013
Bent armgate part II: there's something about straight arms
Lifting with bendy arms is a bad habit that I most likely picked up at the earliest stages of my lifting. In recent years, because of my synchronous movement of my legs, back, and traps at the top of the pull, it was one of those flaws that fell by the wayside.
Sometimes, it takes a big failure to see the light. Somewhere around NOV/DEC 2012, my bendy arms really started taking a noticeable toll on my lifts. Worse yet, I started getting Glute injuries from the suboptimized trajectory of my pull. It all came to a head when I did some explosive snatches at the 2013 Arnold, yet wound up bombing out in the clean and jerk due to a combination of my glute pain and my bendy arms leaving the bar to way out front in the catch of my cleans. Bombing out at a big meet was like Halley's Comet.
4 months later, it's a whole different story!
Change is good. Change takes time.
As I have said on this blog, before, most natural systems follow exponential growth (Sterman, business dynamics, MIT). At first, working a pull with straight -- yet, not tight arms-- was painfully slow. I'd have a good set, then a sucky set, then I'd have a bad set and tweak my glute. Slowly, I would really make straight arms the focus of all my pulls, and slowly I'd have epiphanies about what aspects of my start position was causing the bar to drift forward, which then caused me to compensate with bent arms. Slowly, that lead me to work on back and abs isometrics which enabled me to initiate and hold the right positions and hence keep my arms straight.
What felt like 2 months of almost stagnation, was really two months of tiny, tiny linear improvements ... Now, months 3 and 4 are the fun part.
It seems like somewhere in May/June, things started taking off. Gradually, the pains went away, and. More and more my arms were straighter , I was using more leg and glute in my pull, I could visualize myself with a bar trajectory like Ilya Ilyin's.
So, here's my results after 4 months:
Before 5 months, I will max out at Nationals. Now, this is going to be the fun part. Here's to another 4 weeks of badassedawesomeness!
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