Lu Xiaojun Pause Squats 260kg in the 2013 Worlds Training Hall.


Dmitriy Berestov 290 kg Pause Squat

Рамазан расулов 190кг

Meanwhile in Russia …

Last time we saw him with 180kg from a deficit.

Here is a video from right before the 2013 Russian Championships in May (which he won) where 23 year old Ramazan Rasulov gets a 190kg Snatch from deficit (94kg WR is 188kg)!

He also got a 225kg Clean & Jerk in training.

Programming Training Intensity for Weightlifters

for link to full article  Programming Training Intensity for Weightlifters

Here is a guest post from Jean-Patrick Millette, who runs (like it on Facebook).

He takes a look at 3 different studies about training intensity for weightlifters shows how this information can be useful for your training. Hope you enjoy it.

Since it is a longer read I made it available for your ereader of choice.

Download: mobi (for kindle), epub

The training of weightlifters has evolved through the years. Factors that have influenced the way weightlifters train are diverse: competition rules change (i.e. allowance of thigh contact with the bar), the removal of a competition lift (clean and press), exercise science advancement as well as geographical location of the athletes (Cultural aspect). This gave birth to a large number of training systems and methodologies.

The variables included in these training systems – such as movements used, order of movements in a given training plan, frequency of training, volume and intensity of training, length of training, pre or post competition training – tend to vary greatly amongst the approach. There have been very simple systems (i.e: Bulgarian’s system) and there have been very well planned systems (ie: Soviet’s system).

Interestingly enough, both of these systems have produced a large number of champions even though the approach is very different.

However, I think it is important to investigate how training intensity can be manipulated to generate the most gain on the competitive lifts. This investigation is important because high training intensity, by nature, is fatiguing (neural and muscular fatigue) and ups the risk of training injuries. It is important that a coach doses training intensity perfectly so that it creates consistency in the lifts,to avoid overtraining (not recuperating enough) as the gains are made over time.

Because of this, I would argue that the dosage of high intensity training sessions is one the most –if not the most- important criteria when creating a training plan for weightlifters.

This goal of this article is not to provide a recipe for creating a training plan but to provide thought-provoking information that can help you create your own.

Training Intensities of Different Systems

Let’s review some of the known system’s average intensity of training.

Zatsiorsky (1992) investigated this matter [Link to the paper].

Zatsiorsky, in his review, states that the average training intensity for elite Russian athletes was 75 +/- 2% of their competition max.

Of interest to the weightlifter: “the main portion of weight lifted (25%) is 70 to 80% of competition max” and only 7% of all lifts were done above 90%”.

This is particularly low in comparison to other countries. Zatsiorsky states that Finnish weightlifting champions, in 1987, was at an average intensity of 80 +/- 2.5%.

Allow me to quote him again: “The numbers of repetitions with maximal resistance are relatively low. During the 1984-1988 Olympic Training Cycle, elite Russian athletes lifted a barbell of maximal weight in main exercises (Snatch and Clean & Jerk) 300 to 600 times a year. This amount comprised 1.5 – 3.0% of all their lifts”.

Most of those lifts (65%) were done between 90 and 92.5%.

I would like to point out that Russia might have changed the way they train their athletes as they have been changing their coaches often. The data is still relevant, though.

On the other hand, some systems, such as the Bulgarian system, advocate frequent max out training sessions (working out to a daily max every session).

Zastiorsky states that Bulgarians lifted up to 4000 times a year their daily training (Not competition max) max. This is the equivalent of 10 max training lifts, everyday for a whole year.

Both systems, the soviet and Bulgarian system, allowed these nations to dominate the sport during the 1980′s. However, the Bulgarian system has been critiqued as “more” dangerous (up the risk on injuries). I do not have data on the difference of injuries rate, so I will not comment on this. Consequently, I will look at what the scientific literature has to say about optimal training intensity.

the Chinese pull method

First off, I’m super excited to be talking to some of the lifters that are currently on an American team, that want to learn the Chinese pull. They’ve been improving, just by listening to a friend of mine Stephen off Skype and the telephone and they’re getting better results already. Even their main coach has come to say, they ARE getting more consistent.

It’s likely, that we’ll be doing a video recording and get more lifters on board the Chinese pull. These guys are big names amongst the weightlifting side of things. Big big, names.

This is the gist of the entire video.

In the usual pulls that I see taught around the internet and many places, it seems to happen like this. But once again, and observer’s eye can only be that accurate. Just like how so many people, misconstrue the so called “Chinese pull”, I would also be likely to misconstrue the typical weightlifting pull.

So do feel free to correct me, should you feel it being necessary.

Conventional pull

1. Back straight, and begin pulling the bar by pushing the knees back. This initiates a backward curve to the bar.

2. Right before the athlete tips over, begin sweeping the bar back into the hips and getting ready to explode. The speed of the lift begins to increase steadily

3. As the bar contacts the middle of the thigh, begin pulling up, keeping arms straight and finally, extend the bar overhead, get the chest out the way.

How we teach the pull.
Of course I’l be much more detailed about this. This is the pull which I teach and learn and live every day, so I know this one to a much deeper level.

Concept of the Chinese pull

1. The bar moves straight, not backwards. If it happens to loop out around the knee, that’s perfectly fine as long you can sweep it back to the middle of the body.

2. Bring the hips into the bar while keeping the lats strong, so you can create a “collision”

3. Punch the entire, ankle, knee and hip upwards and boom the bar flies right up.

4. Because you’ll be on your toes, and falling , your natural reaction would be just to pull yourself under and not wait anymore for the bar.

How to do the Chinese pull.

1. Set your hips high, and lock the middle of your back. Pull your shoulders back and down, the entire time keeping your chest flat.

2. Lower your hips slightly with your knees, keeping the weight on the quads the entire time.

3. Tighten the lats slightly.

4. Don’t take a deep breath, or you’ll even up hyperextending the lower back. There’s a 50/50. Take 50/50%.

DO NOT change your torso angle until the bar contacts the hip. If you change the torso angle, you won’t get to maximise this pull’s potential. This is extremely difficult for people who are used to the other pull technique, so take your time practicing the pulls to improve this.

6. Pull the bar in a straight line, as much as possible till it passes the knees. If it loops, don’t bother, because the game begins after the knee.

7. Once it passes the knee, you MUST RESIST the desire to pull back. Ignore the fact that it feels natural. Wanting to dump a 200KG bar over your head, isn’t natural. Naturally, you’ll also feel like shagging every moving thing on the face of earth. That doesn’t make it right.

Begin to really really row the bar into your hips with your lats.

8. While you’re rowing, you must match the speed of that row with the speed of your hip coming forward and getting ready to “slice” the bar up. Do not try to prolong the pull by and stabilise yourself. You will defeat the entire purpose of this pull. It’s MEANT to make you feel like you’re falling because that’s exactly where you’re going next. Under the bar.

Contact the bar by punching the hips up, and finish on the toes. You do this right, the bar will fly because momentum has helped you.

9. At this point, you will feel like falling and that’s correct. That’s why your panda pull becomes so significant. It mimics the pulling down pattern of the snatch and the clean. It will be automatic.

Remember, this technique is significantly different from the conventional pull. Good luck trying it.

And honestly, trust me, don’t ….just don’t bother snatch and cleans with this on the first day. Try to slowly do the pulls with these babies. And then put them together. Remember, decompose and recompose people. Don’t try to do everything perfect right off the bat.

LiftHard Chinese Weightlifting

LiftHard Chinese Weightlifting

Maybe these LiftHard guys are lying?

In the recent days, I’ve been reading about some individuals who have said that the Chinese are extremely open about the methods but may not be telling the truth. I’ve also read that, supposedly, we “wing” out our training. Like we do not have an actual program. Also, there’s been a lot of chatter about “Chinese leverages”, so this technique only suits the Chinese.

I usually, refrain from addressing such topics because I’ve been taught that it is important, to be positive and work on the solutions, not the problem. That’s how my thought process works. I don’t have to know, why it doesn’t work. I’ve to find a method to make it work. Once it works, at least I’d have a comparison of what works and what doesn’t. That way I can challenge what I know works, and use my successes as a reference point.


  1. Encounter problem
  2. Apply potential solution
  3. Solution fail, eliminate, apply new solution
  4. Solved
  5. Analyse why original solution didn’t work VS new solution.
  6. Challenge the variables between the effective and ineffective solution

Let’s address the statements that’s been put out there, one by one.

  • We may not be telling the truth of the Chinese method.

The Chinese method, is beyond one bit of doubt in my head, having discussed with so many different Chinese coaches, is;

“Solve the problem first”

What we’ve created through years of experience, is the skill of decomposing the movement (aka breaking down) to its last bit. Then we link all these issues up, and analyse the actual cause of the problem. After we have linked the problems and solutions up, we know exactly where the issue began from and bam, fixed.

This is why we need to have a “Checklist” of lines and angles to be respected by the athlete, to consider it acceptable technique. A lot of people, fail to realise we view things from various aspects. It isn’t just one. It’s many. Angles, fullness of lift, tempo, height of athlete, body structure, mindset, etc. You want to learn this all, go down to your gymnastics centre and ask for a Romanian or Eastern European coach. I actually pieced these bits up speaking to a Romanian coach in Cayman and Georgian coach in Malaysia.

Warren Buffet and Richard Branson have told their secrets to success numerous times. We should see more billionaires walking right? Get where I’m getting at this? It isn’t as simple. The top Chinese coach, can give you the method, lay it right in front of your eyes, walk you through it. At the end of the day, you need to be able to garner the experience to apply the lessons so that it works.

The methods of the Chinese, are open to be shared. We WILL share it in our clinics and certifications. We don’t have a single qualm doing that. We do it, not to mislead people. We do it, to lead people in the right direction, based upon our experience and knowledge. We will not create stuff on the go, to sound smart because we find the smartest people, people who have questions.

  • These guys just wing their training

We’ve heard a lot of absurd things spoken about us. This is the top 3. We just wing the training.

Not only do we not wing the training, the training’s actually structurally designed into a direction. Some coaches, like to build technique. Some coaches, like to build feeling. Some coaches, like to build strength. We, we like to build feeling, but we don’t leave the other variables out. We use the concept of “Linked decomposition training” to pull it all together and find the source. Perhaps for that phase, the feeling is great and something else is lacking, we’ll just push feeling into the back seat and focus on that weaker variable.

How can we have repeatability if we wing the training? There has to be a structure to follow.

We sound like we’re winging the training, but in our seminars, we give athletes specific work to practice on when we’re gone. That’s why we encourage investing into our Level 1 course. It’s because we want people to get a clearer picture before claiming that “This doesn’t work“. It’ll help you to a whole new level in how you view and use your training. Our Level 1 course is for 7 modules, over 3-4 months because we want you to actually be able to apply what you learned. We refuse to make it a weekend certification, because that paper holds my company’s name on it. And yes, we pay our own flights and hotels every weekend when we travel. It IS a tough job.

  • These techniques are for Asian body types

If you ever seen me, you’d think otherwise. Not only am I not “Asian body type”, 80% of the guys Coach and I, have seen and coached around Asia, aren’t “Asian” leverages. My femurs are about as long as an European’s femur and my shoulders about as wide as an French ballerina. How come?

Because there’s no such thing as an Asian leverage. Asia’s got Kazakstan, Mongolia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Vietnam, China, Thai, Philippines, etc. China’s got so many different “types” of Chinese. I’m more mixed than the dough in your bread maker. What in the world is, an ASIAN body type?

Of course, we’d prefer a short femur, long torso, medium arms body but if we’re going to promote and help more people enjoy this sport, you can’t expect us to only cater to ONE body type. This is because, we are NOT looking at body types anymore. We have gone beyond that, we search for how to create angles and lines now. This brings us to an entirely new level of technique adaptation, so we are not able to place less emphasis on body type, but rather angles to create the necessary lines for maximum efficiency in lifting.

Only today, someone was trying to be super sarcastic and smart on some forum without actually understanding that perfect technique, is INDIVIDUAL. It depends on how one uses their leverages to create maximum force and efficiency by creating the sharpest angles.

Anyway, I just want to address these discomforting comments I’ve found and proceed with sharing more on “Linked decomposition training”. This will come in time. For now, Denmark and Sweden!

Chinese Weightlifting Training free webminar!

Go to the link above and follow the directions. The time in the US is Sat at 9:30 am EST

In tomorrow’s webminar, we’ll be discussing 3 simple things

  1. Why we do not have a stretching program
  2. What in the world is Chinese training methodology?
  3. What is deloading to us

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