It is universally known that the Olympic lifts are 87% more complex than physics and 73% more complex than women. I have grown up around the lifts (obvs) so at first it was hard for me to understand why people were having such a hard time performing a snatch or clean and jerk. In the beginning, alls I wanted to say was “Just snatch it. All you have to do is jump the bar over your head. It’s so simple!“ That’s when I began to notice that the look on someone’s face when I asked them to jump with a barbell in their hands was very similar to the look on a teenager’s face when trying to teach them how to drive a manual…blank (insert your age discriminatory joke here about how I’m so young I probably got my license last year). So, what is it about the oly lifts that makes them so darn complicated and hard to execute, especially in a crossfit style workout? Answer: there is way too much to think about and that creates, as my dad says, “paralysis by analysis”.
Chest up, back tight, weight on the heels, pull back, stay over the bar, jump hard, hips vertical, keep it close, pull under, aggressive turn over, meet the bar, stay tight and stand. Technically, those are all the things you should be thinking about as you are performing a snatch or a clean. However, unless you are a robot or are in the matrix and can see/perform movements in slow motion (if you can, please contact me immediately), thinking about all those things at once is impossible.
Now, let’s stop talking about how difficult life is, and start talking about the solution. The best thing for ya’ll to do is get to know yourself as a lifter. Think about all the cues that have been thrown at you while performing a lift and find the one that makes the most sense to you. Find the one cue that helps to bring everything else together. For example, when I am lifting, all I think about is keeping my chest up. This makes me set my back tight in the starting position, I don’t raise my butt up too soon off the ground, I keep it closer to my body and I am in a much more stable position when I receive the bar. All of those things allow me to have a successful lift and all I thought about was keeping my chest up! Isn’t that great?!
Now that you know another secret about lifting, go and experiment with it. Think about one cue at a time until you find the one that helps you to perform a beautiful snatch.