As a former Strength Coach at the High School level, as well as the head coach for the Weightlifting Trainer Course, I am always bombarded with requests of how to program to lift maximum weights. With beginners I don’t like to test and prescribe maximum weights. I prefer to teach technique, and I believe that a max will increase with technique improvement. Try as I may, athletes still want to be tested!! Therefore, I developed a 10-point scale emphasizing technique. The 10-point scale makes athletes concerned with proper technique during testing sessions. The idea is on a scale of 1 to 10, the lift is graded on technique, and weight can be added only if the athlete receives a specified number of points. For example, if an athlete lifts 100 kilograms in the snatch or the clean and is graded with an 8 or higher, the athlete is credited with the lift and may attempt a heavier weight. However, if the athlete is graded with a 7 or lower, the lift is not credited, and the last weight in which he received an 8 is credited. Of course, the athlete can attempt the lift again, especially if the score was a 6 or 7. If the lift was less than 6, the athlete would be given no additional attempts with that weight.
I used the 10-point scale with my former P-E classes, as well as my beginning Olympic lifters in establishing workout loads and intensities. I found that it has benefited all of the athletes that adhere to the system. It is also fun to watch my athletes use the 10-point scale during practice sessions; they have come accustomed to yelling out loudly: “6!!! ” or what ever they feel the lift is to be awarded. This allows for technique competition among the lifters, as well as allowing them to realize that the main emphasis in teaching the power related movements is technique, not the amount of weight they can lift. They come to understand rather quickly that when technique improves, so does the amount of weight lifted.
Here are the criteria for the 10-point scale of the power clean. You can make your own scale.
THE SET UP: (2POINTS)
- Chest up
- Back tight and flat as possible
- Shoulders even with or slightly in front of bar
- Head straight ahead
- Weight distributed in center of feet or very slightly forward
1st Pull: THE LIFT OFF (2” ABOVE KNEES): (2 POINTS)
- Initiate pull with legs
- Weight moves slightly back on heels (keep balanced)
- Keep bar as close to shins as possible
- Shins need to be vertical to floor with loaded hips
- Back angle stays same as set up until bar passes knees
2nd PULL: FROM MID THIGH (LAUNCH) TO FINISH: (2 POINTS)
- Bar is in a position of power as last pix above
- From this position, lifter goes straight to the finish position
- Maximum acceleration and elevation is placed on the bar with legs and hips
- Hips need to be in a vertical position during this phase. No other thought process takes place here. Launch that sucker!! Be very aggressive! Position is the key!!
3rd PULL: PULLING BODY DOWN AND AROUND THE BARBELL (2 POINTS)
- As you have created maximum acceleration and elevation on bar with legs and hips (end of 2nd pull)
- Hips are in a vertical position while you have finished
- Bar stays in the least line of resistance (area of the base)
- One begins pulling their body down and around the bar as their feet slide outward into the receiving position (beginning of 3rd pull)
RECEIVING BAR (SNATCH) WHILE PUNCHING BODY DOWN INTO OVERHEAD SQUAT (RECEIVING POSITION) (2 POINTS)
- Fast turnover, punching body down
- Receive bar into a overhead squat position
- Chest vertical
- External rotation of shoulders
- Weight distribution from mid-foot to heel and balanced