This past weekend was MashElite’s first annual Learn 2 Lift Seminar, and our staff had an absolute blast sharing our knowledge and ideas. We loosely kept up with PRs, but at least 50 PRs were set over the course of the weekend. The event focused on the snatch and clean & jerk during Saturday’s events, and squat, bench, and deadlift on Sunday. The attendees were a mixed group of Crossfitters, Olympic Weightlifters, Powerlifters, and High School athletes. We were high energy all weekend, and the whole staff enjoyed meeting all the different people. I want to pass on some of the things that I noticed from each day in hopes that we can all learn something.
Day 1 was the snatch and clean & jerk. These two movements are by far the most technical two lifts that will be taught in a strength facility. I mainly noticed that coaches aren’t taking the time to teach the lifts properly, and in some instances there were people that were severely in danger with the biomechanics they were using. Coaches need to slow down and take the time to teach the lifts, and if you don’t know how to teach them, either learn them or don’t program them. I found that ankle mobility and T-Spine mobility are more prevalent issues than hip mobility. My advice on teaching people Snatch would be to start with the positions during the pull, Overhead Squats, and Tigger Squats. Then I would start with full snatching ASAP, and stop all of the Power Snatches. There were people there with amazing mobility that were simply not using it. One big issue with both of the lifts was not finishing through the heals. Most of the people shifted their weight onto the balls or toes of the foot mainly from reaching their hips to the bar. They all learned to guide the bar into their bodies. The Clean & Jerk posed some flexibility issues especially with the wrist, lats, and shoulders. I’m going to make a mobility video later this week addressing these issues, so be on the outlook on my YouTube Page. The jerk was by far the hardest part of the Clean & Jerk to teach. Keeping the shoulders in and up, mobility above the head, and foot position were all big challenges.
Day 2 was a little less technical with the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift. I still have to say one thing, “If you are going to program it, you have to be willing to teach it properly.” We learned the differences in high bar and low bar, the conjugate method, and several variations(paused, bands, chains, and 1/4). I hoped that everyone came away with some new ideas on programming. At the end of the day we went ham sandwich and killed some big PRs safely! The highlight was two girls both deadlifting 325lbs Lyndsey and Rachel Ruble! Yes two sisters! Rachel is the youngest and is only 17 years old. Both of them are veteran MashEliters, and Lyndsey is marrying MashElite Brainiac Staff Member Greg Nuckols next month. I do have to clarify that she is a Brainiac too, and gets more work done than Greg and I combined.
All in all it was a great time, and I really learned a lot myself. One of the big things that I learned was that Crossfitters are awesome! They are a group of people that just love learning about all the aspects of fitness, and most of them love lifting heavy things. How can a real strength athlete not love them? Because of Crossfit thousands of people are being introduced to strength movements that I have loved my whole life. I’m for one thankful for the sport, community, and culture of Crossfit!
We are in the process of scheduling more Learn 2 Lift Seminars, so if you are interested, contact us on the MashElite website www.MashElitePerformance.com. We are already booked for July and August, so we are planning September on. Also we are going to make a DVD from this past seminar that will be available shortly on the MashElite website in the store section.