ON THE BENEFITS OF SUBORDINATE EXERCISES
BOTH IN REGARDS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODY AS WELL AS THE WELL-BEING OF THE MIND
BY DONNY SHANKLE CPT
“Familiarity Breeds Contempt.” Anonymous
(Part 3 Conclusion)
Heavy dips plus assisted jerks set in motion a straight “dip and drive” command. The exercise does not have to be assisted but I like to do them that way occasionally to make the jerk portion even faster. Speed is essential for every lift but when you move into the jerk you have to find another gear. To perform the combination load a weight on jerk blocks that is between five and fifteen kilos heavier than your best jerk. Pick the bar up like you are about to perform a jerk from the front and “dip and drive” powerfully focusing on dipping down in a straight line and driving up in a straight line making sure to stay off your toes. As the weight comes off your chest let it fall to the blocks and have two training partners unload weight from each side. Initially, have your training partners unload a significant amount of weight to ensure speed and completely locked arms in the “split” command. The combination like I said does not have to be assisted. Perform it the exact same way on your own without worrying about the unloading portion. Remember to focus on your “dip and drive” being straight and when you move into the second sequence, the jerk, you should be dipping and driving much straighter. This combination when done heavily is also a fantastic way to strengthen your hips during a jerk immensely.
The last combination I will talk about is the back raise brake plus back raise. Now that we are nearing the end of the chapter it is a good time to remind you about weightliftings golden rule which applies to every weightlifter, and that is keeping the back straight and chest up while lifting. Lifting with a weak rounded back will get you nowhere in this sport. This combination reinforces a strong back arch followed with developing power in the back during the second sequence the raise. Remember a brake is nothing more than isometrically holding a position for a count. Six seconds is good enough. (Refer back to the back raise earlier in the chapter for a detailed instruction on how to perform the exercise correctly). During the first sequence, at the end of the concentric phase, hold the top for a six second count. Think about looking at the back of the gym and fight hard to keep the weight steady and your back tight. The weight will want to push you down but don't let it. After a six second pause lower back down all the way and immediately move as fast as you can back to the top again. The combination is a great way to strengthen your back and shape it to stay straight during your pull.
Combinations are not for beginners and should only be done after initial gains have been made from strictly performing the snatch and clean and jerk from the floor over a set amount of time. This amount of time is dependent on your athleticism and coaching but so long as personal records are continually being made then subordinate exercisers like combinations are not needed yet. Combinations are a great way for the seasoned weightlifter to scratch away at making a few more kilos in their total in the constant pursuit of improvement and making personal records. Like I said in the beginning, no other subordinate exercise requires as much thought as a combination. Think about what you are trying to correct in the first sequence and then get fucking emotional during the second sequence. Never accept a plateau in your training but always try and think about how to get around it. Usually to get through plateaus simply requires running through the wall and saying the hell with going around it. Their will be times however, when you need to sit down with your coach and look at video to see what you could be doing better. Once you or the both of you have found areas for improvement is when you start to choose the combinations that will work the best for you. Do not limit yourself to these five but figure out multiple combinations that can improve your numbers in training.
ADVANCED WAY: Exercise is already advanced
DURATION: 15 – 25 minutes (depending on how heavy you are lifting)
PLACEMENT IN TRAINING: In between days you are lifting at maximum from the floor. For example if you are pushing to maximum on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday split then on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday is a great day to include one combination.