Weightlifting as a sport is comprised of just two lifts: Snatch and Clean and Jerk. That’s it. Why is it so difficult then? Who do you need to do these movements if you aren’t good at them? Well there is an easy explanation for why you should be excited but also an explanation as to why you are not.
The “Are Not”: You are not good at the lifts and therefore do not want to spend the time to improve or perfect them.
The “Should Be”: The snatch is the most athletic and explosive weightlifting movement and will enable you to develop movement patterns that are more efficient and effective across athletic endeavors. The snatch will develop a neural pathway, over time of course, that creates a connection between your mind’s desire to execute a movement and your body’s response to that desire. It will take swallowing your pride and admitting that your lift is not perfect. You will get a lot of coaching and a lot of technique work. Your lift will be broken down many times over and many times over the same mistake. In the end, your lift will be exponentially better off for having put it under a microscope.
It has been written and passed down over time that it takes 10,000 hours of a single activity to become an expert. I believe that statement to be half-true. In regards to weightlifting, each hour spent towards becoming an expert must be spent with proper technique and efficient movement. Do not confuse 30 reps of a power snatch in a metcon for time spent improving the snatch. I am talking dedicated weightlifting time in its purist form. 10,000 hours is a long time to commit to any single activity and this is where patience and dedication are paramount. Weightlifting is predicated on an athlete’s ability to be patient throughout the process and be dedicated knowing the process will take time.
As the snatch cycle ensues and progresses, you will be asked to be patient. You are a beginner and the lift is both intimidating and confusing. The time spent each week on snatching will be frustrating but will be fruitful if you are dedicated.
Take a moment and think about the aspects in our everyday lives that require patience and dedication. The first one is work. Under the assumption you are good at your job, you have spent countless months/years working towards perfecting your professional path. You went to work every day, learned your craft, earned degrees/certificates in order to progress, and pushed yourself to be the best in your field. Did you expect that it would take countless hours of learning? Of course you did and you stuck with it! The second example is parenthood. Was anyone “good” at being a parent on day 1? I sure wasn’t. I wasn’t aware of so many things but I have stuck with the patience of an ever-changing environment (no pun intended) and dedicated my time to taking care of my toddler (I guess legally until he is 18 or FOREVER). I am all you who are parents have done the same. You are a dedicated parent and the patience, whoa boy the patience it takes, is a critical part of the learning process.
The upcoming cycle is not meant to change who you are as an athlete just how you move; it is not meant to make your numbers skyrocket to heights previously unknown; it is not meant for you to test your body’s response on how to survive an awful lift. The cycle is meant to help you develop a movement pattern that is consistent, efficient, and a lift that fills you with pride.
I will leave you with this last thought. I fell in love with weightlifting for all the challenges it presents and all the opportunities it provides to overcome those challenges. Embrace this cycle and allow yourself to become a better lifter.
ex nihilo nihil fit