Mindset Lifting in a Social Distancing Environment

In a past life, my teachers expressed ‘we spend more time as humans doing what we should do as human beings’. In the modern world, ie 21st century even more so.

If you have a look around you will see people walking all around with their eyes on their mobile device of choice. In that space, I submit their level of consciousness, of their immediate surroundings, is tenuous at best; see the statistics of pedestrian/motorist accidents involving device distraction.

“What is he on about?” If you have attended my real-time live classes you are bound to have heard me talk about moving consciously, paying attention to how and where you are moving your body and not just ‘repping’.

Start videoing yourself, while you are training/ practising. I have an app called Technique which allows slow-mo playback and is very useful for analysing movement.

Start watching YouTube, if you aren’t already, in particular World Championships. I’m a very visual learner and not everyone can learn by watching but if you pay attention you can at least compare how you are currently doing it and how the very best are doing it and who better to learn from.


Squat – Overhead Squat – Front Rack – Overhead (general) – Split Jerk – Push Jerk

I want you to spend time in each position.

As you do explore what it feels like, how you feel in your body parts. 

Most particularly with the squat position please try to build up time in the bottom, as deep as you can be.

Don’t bother judging how much deeper you ought to be or how much better your flexibility could be; it is what it is and if you want it to be different what are you doing about it?

In fact, don’t bother judging anything. Consider how you are moving in comparison to where you used to be and where you would like to get to then consider what you might need to do to get there.

Comparison here is about yourself – to compare yourself with anyone else is useless.


Spend as much time as deep as you can go and work with your ankles rock and roll as much as possible while you build time down town. Building this time can be a challenge, take it easy, start by squatting as long as you can a for a few days then squat 2-3 time each day for 3-5 days before spending a single amount of time the next day for as long as you can to see if you can beat the time spent in your first three days?

Discuss with your coaches the best way to ensure you have a good back position in relation to what lifting you are doing.

Remember to take into account your limitations where they apply in terms of range of motion, be gentle with yourselves, please.

Take time to warm up as you would before a session in the gym.

Take time to warm up the parts of the lift with an empty bar as the second part of your warm-up.

Squat/Overhead Squat
Squat Generally
When you are squatting how do you feel? Are you feeling balanced or are you struggling to maintain balance and especially notice what happens when you add a bar overhead in your squat?

Spend time working towards best balance in the squat position. You should be able to feel you can maintain your balance and posture at the bottom and then raise yourself to a standing position maintaining that balance and posture. If you have been losing your weight forward as you stand out of your squat clean it could be a few things, one of which is rushing out of the bottom before you have settled the weight. The question then is are you comfortable in the bottom? If you say yes then why are you not taking that extra time to collect yourself?

These are not, I think, questions for you to answer to me but they could be useful if you can answer them to yourself.

Overhead Squat
When you are working through this squat position thing, take some time to spend time in the overhead squat position starting with only a bar.

Overhead Generally
With the bar overhead, you can do some pressing to work your traps. I like loading my isolation exercises with something akin to the 21’s you might recognise for curls. Your choice of reps 5/7/10 at the bottom, in the middle and at the top using a range of maybe100-150mm then apply the same reps through your whole range of motion.

Spend time with your focus on how you feel in the overhead position. 

Is there any position, other than what you might recognise as ‘the usual’ that feels more stable, stronger? Just because you have been doing something one way, anything one way, doesn’t mean you need to stay that way…explore your range that has likely changed as you have trained and stretched any particular area.
Are you locked out through your shoulders? elbows/shoulders externally rotated? 

Can you feel the bar just behind your head, your ears are probably just in front of your upper arm? Explore your position in that bottom catch, how does your back feel? Your torso? Change one angle at a time to see how it feels…if it works you might like to change it up…practice with that before you change anything else, don’t be afraid to change a lot just not in one go so you can stay in touch with what is working. So make us much or as little change as you need, one piece at a time.

Remember to video where you are now and subsequent changes, run stuff by your coaches for their feedback too.

Speed = Power
When talking weightlifting and training for weight I came across an article that explained that high-level coaches will engage their lifters to lift more weight – without lifting more weight.

Usually, I would think to lift more you have to lift more, progressive loading etc

So. Power relates to Force generation and More Power relates to Force Generation in Time.

If you can lift the same weight faster then you have generated more force/power than previously.

Clean & Jerk
Practice parts of your C&J starting with the bar only, no other weight to begin and call this your baseline. If you want to get right into this you can set a baseline for each position. If you don’t measure you can’t manage….

  • Hang Power Clean
  • High Hang Power Clean
  • Hang Clean
  • High Hang Clean
  • Clean/Power Clean from a high pull position. 

With the bar at about the bottom of your rib cage, bottom of sternum, elbows/upper arms will be approx parallel to ground, paused on your toes – in a full extension position

  • Jerk Balance – in front rack position; starting at about 50%-75% into your catch/lunge position; drop into your final catch position as quick as you can

Same here in terms of practice and setting your baselines.

  • Hang Power Snatch
  • High Hang Power Snatch
  • Hang Snatch
  • High Hang Snatch
  • Snatch/Power Snatch from a high pull position. 

With the bar at about the bottom of your rib cage, bottom of sternum, elbows/upper arms will be approx parallel to ground, paused on your toes – in a full extension position

  • Snatch Balance – working from behind your head

Coaching Notes
As you progress through the speed-power exercises be disciplined that you have reached the maximum speed at a particular weight. 

Don’t fall from the ‘that’s pretty good’ remarks in your head…nothing less than ‘that’s really good’ should be acceptable by any of you before you add weight (he said).

You can include variations in the high pull exercises so you can start from a flat footed position or full extension position.

The key focus is speed in each position.
Because you are starting light take some time to ensure you are still applying correct movement patterns, don’t let your technique fall off because you’re not getting feedback from the weight. Applying correct technique at the light end of your weight range is going to pay dividends at the heavier end.

*Coach Uncle Pete –

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