The Last Thing You Will Ever Need To Here
By Donny Shankle CPT
The command “stand” directly follows the “receive” command. Even though I have separated these two commands they should be thought of as ONE. “Stand” up with the animus of a rampaging berserker once you have received the bar. Show maddening doggedness to your coaches, teammates, the crowd etc. that it is your stubbornness which makes you fight for more, adding 5 kilos to the bar even after a failure. Doggedness or stubbornness can, in fact, be a virtue. The best of weightlifters have this characteristic and use it to his or her advantage. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone after a weight, missing nearly everything on the way up, and still kept trying again and again to make the PR (personal record). My coaches have tried telling me to move on and stop because I risk the chance of hurting myself. Something in me just can't stand to walk away and quit, especially if I am going head to head with another weightlifter. I could miss a weight eleven times, look up doggedly and say, “Well, let's make it an even fucking baker's dozen!” This resiliency must be seen in your own shadow if you stand the chance of accomplishing what you are truly capable of in this sport.
This being said, the “stand” should be as anticipated a command as possible. Foresee yourself moving into the “stand” while you are still in the “make ready.” Timing both the “finish” and “receive” commands perfectly will help make the “stand” easier, as long as you finish violently and use the stretch reflex in your legs. This, combined with the zeal you have approached the squat rack with and the fight of a pit bull, will help you “stand” with a winning weight when it matters. The best image I can give you to help you out of the “receive” and approach the “stand” with power is to imagine that your coach is behind you kicking you in the ass at the bottom of your lift. DO NOT approach the “stand” with any amount of tender care. You are a tiger at this moment, pouncing on his prey from the darkness.
The nuts and bolts behind what is going on during the “stand” are directly proportional to the amount of horse power you put into it. The weight should still be as it was in the “receive” command over the center of the feet, slightly more towards the heel. If you are moving into the “stand” of the snatch make sure you continue to jam the bar up with the powerful upper back, biceps pointing to the sky, and the head through. If the weight happens to drift forward, just walk it out and find control. During the “stand” of the clean the exact same action takes place, with an emphasis on not allowing the chest to drop and keeping the elbows up. Remember, you will move through the “stand” much quicker if you have begun the lift with a bottomed out “make ready,” because your hips will find the bar easier during the “finish,” allowing you to hit the bar HARD. Everything is tied to the “finish!” If you approach your “finish” ideally and “receive” with purpose, then your “stand” should echo an air of dynamism. To help you get the most out of your legs in the jerk, “stand” out of the lift with doggedness, leaving your teammates saying, “How the hell does he make it look so easy?” Lastly, it is during the “stand” of a snatch that the weightlifter must have great upper body strength to keep control. During the “stand” in the clean the weightlifter demonstrates great lower body strength in preparation for the jerk.
As soon as you “stand” and show control you are finished with the snatch. All that is left is to bring the feet together and listen for your down signal. The clean & jerk is so much more impressive a lift. It not only requires more endurance and strength in the weightlifter, which are both virtues, but continues to test the magnanimity behind his or character, considering the weightlifter must still lock out even more weight than the snatch previously presented overhead. While the snatch can be over before you know it, standing up with the clean leaves you only half way done with the lift. The bar now is sitting on your chest, waiting to see what you will do with it, like a nagging girlfriend who runs up your phone bill with pillow talk bullshit. It isn't until you hang up or jerk that sum' bitch overhead, that you are then able to go about your business and collect your trophy or find a new girl.
Before we begin to move into the specifics of the jerk, let me say that this is my favorite part between the lifts testing whether or not you really are a weightlifter. The jerk puts it all on the line. If you miss the jerk, there is no other moment you will remember more. Nothing should infuriate you more than standing up with a winning clean and then missing the jerk. Train the jerk with the goddamn volition of running head on into a herd of buffalo while still being on your feet ready to punch a polar bear in the face. If you do happen to miss a potentially winning jerk, then the feeling which stays with you forever is one of regret. Each morning you sip your coffee it will be with pursed lips as you ask yourself, “How did I miss that?”
I will get into more of the jerk later. For now let us go over my meaning of the virtue of doggedness. If stubbornness is a virtue that can sometimes be good, then now is that time. You will not always “receive” the bar perfectly. The times you don't you have about a mili-second to decide whether or not you want to keep pushing, or chicken out and go watch more videos of people who have the heart to fight. Commit yourself in the “stand” to get up completely, or be ready to see on tomorrow's front page news a picture of you with a bold heading that reads FAILED. Doggedness is merely the perseverance of mind to what you set yourself out to do. Seeing whether or not you take it all the way or rest up at the water fountain with the milk dud popping fat bodies. This same virtue must be applied in life if you intend to be a champion on the platform. The weightlifter who fails sometimes in the “stand” but keeps trying again and again is the weightlifter who has committed himself to staying in the sport over the long haul. The delicate butterflies who take off the next day so their precious legs can recover are the ones who eventually quit and say to themselves, “I'm just not strong enough.” You are much stronger than you might think yourself not to be. No matter what you apply yourself to in life, if you are only willing to push and save your sympathetic feelings for a class of athletes who give a damn, you just may accomplish something. This is weightlifting and this sport will test you like no other. FIGHT!
As we go into our final stages of analyzing what is going on behind the mental curtain, let us recap what we have discussed so far. The weightlifter has now finished the pull. If he is doing a snatch then the lift is finished upon the catch as he stands and shows control to the judges. If the weightlifter is clean & jerking, then there is still a little or a lot left to do, depending on how you look at it. Thus far I have explained the virtues and physical actions behind every aspect of technique which commands attention during the pull and catch. Everything from your approach to the bar to the way you intend to move or not move has culminated in these last few details. It is now time to move into serenity and discover the insoluble mystery of why a successfully locked out jerk can bring out a roar in even the most shy beginners.