The Last Thing You Will Ever Need To Hear
By Donny Shankle CPT
By Donny Shankle CPT
“A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.” Anonymous
Any chapter that begins with the title The last thing you will ever need to hear is an obvious statement of pride. I am by nature a fairly quiet and humble man. When I am on the platform, however, dressed in my singlet or even in my training attire my countenance changes with such assurance of myself and my ability, that at times I am difficult to tolerate. During our discussion behind technique a sense of being nearly perfect or impregnable to the concept of hard must be kept in the back of your mind. It is not the bumbling vagabond that exemplifies strength, or the coward who questions his every motive and decision. The man of strength is a man of confidence and the weightlifter is the virtuoso of strength. The leitmotif behind this chapter is the same recurring idea of importance throughout this book. Before you confront the bar know what it is you are trying to achieve and take unremitting pride in the way you achieve it.
I wanted to simplify the concept of technique for the weightlifter and provide instruction solely for the athlete. Much emphasis on technical importance has taken precedence today over the bedrock of weightlifting's greatest virtue. All literature I have read has been mainly for the education of the coach to help implement an approach to training. Since it is the weightlifter who is left alone on the platform I wanted to offer details not touched upon by anyone else before to help guide the athlete towards victory. Remember though, no matter what is taught in this chapter strength triumphs all.
I place the yoke for the misunderstanding of heroic strength on the soulless society of today. There are no dominant voices from weightlifters currently to drop the honey into the ears of those people who have failed to recognize this “sine qua non.” Until a revolution takes place which champions the physical magnificence of man I do not see him shaking off the fleas of incessant exactitude. One of the marvelous qualities behind the nature of man is that he does not have to be precise in his approach but, only grasp the principle behind his endeavor. History has shown countless times how man has shaped the environment around him to meet his demand even with less than adequate means or ability. Whenever you approach a barbell you plan to put over your head, lift it strongly and make the kilos answer to your conviction. Everything else will come with the passage of time.
During our discussion I will explain the last thing you will ever need to hear in order to complete a successful snatch and clean & jerk. The main actions of the pull, recovery, dip, catch, drive, squat, and split will be broken down for the purpose of looking at them with an appreciation of what takes place within seconds. Privately, I have read much on the literature and instruction there is for learning how to lift weights and find most of it to be as rewarding as looking into the natural make-up of shit. This discussion will treat the importance of technique as it should be in brief concepts to be laid out and grasped quickly by the weightlifter. The quicker the athlete understands what he is doing, the sooner he can begin to apply stress safely on the mind and body. I will go over the physical placement of the body along with its intended action during the lift along with some psychological framework to help give the observer an idea of what should take place in the mind of an elite weightlifter. Any psychological reference will be different in its imagery dependent upon the individual but will remain similar in its philosophy for every weightlifter.
It is not my intent to take away or ignore the esthetic beauty of a perfectly performed snatch or clean & jerk. To achieve such perfection, however, requires years of training and there will never be a day when you suddenly get it. I as a weightlifter can see the effortless grace of a completed heavy attempt and can appreciate more than any poet the ability for the weightlifter to remove him or herself from the limits of gravity and mental doubt. My goal is to make sure you understand this effortlessness does not come with any class projector or eye opening speech. Training consistently will teach you how to achieve this just as swimming teaches the swimmer how to glide or the gymnast how to stick the landing. Bring patience and daily discipline with any questions you have regarding technique and stay adherent to the all encompassing principle of strength and growing stronger.
Along with every phase I discuss during a lift you will notice I place a word written in italics in conjunction with it. These words are the virtues needed by a weightlifter which are the direct counter to what many of us are taught in life today from an impotent culture of nonthinking men. As a weightlifter who has been on both sides of competing in front of the world and coaching young people who yearn for understanding I lay claim to this approach of coining a word of intrinsic importance to the action being related. No one has ever attempted to do this before and upon completion of this discussion no one will ever need to again.
The lifts stand alone as a statue to be studied by the lover of art and strength. Its curves, details, and substances used are to be related to living proudly and knowing how to overcome moral cowardice and living a self assertive life. Negativity, doubt, disbelief are all anathema for the weightlifter and these words along with what they portray should be immediately bagged, tagged, and dropped into the deserts of our enemies and backyards of the hippies who follow them. Other than that I urge you to draw your own conclusions. Now to our discussion, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed the personal reflection.