There are many things that can go wrong in the Olympic lifts. Hitting the correct positions at the appropriate times will determine much of your success in the lifts. Pulling speed is one thing you can control to make it easier to hit those correct positions. So how fast should your pull be?
An answer you may commonly hear is “as fast as possible”.
I think that’s a solid answer, but there should be one additional part – “as fast as possible within your technical ability.”
What does that necessarily mean?
Worry about hitting the correct positions first, and only pull as fast as your technical ability allows. This top row shows some really great positions (from the floor to just below the power position). Your positions should look very similar to this before you worry about ripping the bar off the ground.
From the floor to the top of your extension, the bar should be accelerating. During the pull, the speed of the bar is like shifting gears in a car. Typically, you have first through fifth gear. Gear one must precede gear two, must precede gear three, so on. This allows for seamless transitions and a gradual progression to faster speeds. In weightlifting, there are varying grades of fast with no pausing or hitching between them.
If you tried to take off in fourth gear to accelerate faster, you would end up destroying your clutch and have to shift down to first gear anyway. Likewise, in weightlifting, if you started your pull in fourth gear you would likely blow past vital positions to maintain bar speed or have to slow it down to get in the correct positions. In either case, missing crucial positions or slowing the bar […]
Athletic Lab is the premier Sport Performance and Fitness Training center in North Carolina. Located in Cary, in the heart of the Triangle, we offer a variety of services including Sport Performance training for developmental to elite athletes, and Performance Fitness training including Cary CrossFit.