Barbell Shrugged

3 things we have beginner lifters do first – TechniqueWOD

Doug Larson


  • “Until you’re capable of snatching double bodyweight, for example, your weightlifting loads won’t be heavy enough to stimulate serious strength adaptations.” Did you mean clean? Don’t think there are too many people who can snatch twice body weight

    • Nope, we mean snatch. This is exactly why many new lifters struggle to get strong. They need more balance. Work technique, and really drive up strength on the fundamental strength movements.

        • Well, yeah, it gets harder with weight eh? Perhaps not twice for the big boys, but what’s for sure…If you weigh 100 kilos and are still struggling to snatch that for easy reps, squat is still the go to strength builder. Cheers

  • what if the personne who tried the overhead squat test got a back probleme … like on the lombard ! I coach people and a couple a persone told me my back hurt when I do my ( overhead squat, back squat ). What can they do ?? core exercise ?

    • You mean snatch pulls and clean pulls? Only if you’ve got the strength to keep position. Most new lifters don’t.

    • I would prioritize tempo work and pause sets on both, plus just a bunch of submax sets with great form. 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps is the classic formula. Progress at least weekly by 5-10 pounds.

  • I’d love a little more descriptive info on shoulder position (sepcifically the scapula) when overhead squatting, pressing, etc…

    Does one shrug the shoulders and let the blades float as they naturally do, or “put them in your back pockets”. I’ve been told the latter is more stable. But I’ve also read (Starting Strength) that the former is correct to avoid impingement.

    Which is it, and why?

  • Great video! going to be working on the squat test this week in my 5am class. if i can only get them to buy-in to not holding back on squatting heavy so they can “kill” a metcon…..

  • I have long arms and my power position for the clean is way too low on my thigh. How can athletes with longer arms get into a better power position for the clean? Wider grip? Focus on rowing the weight into the body?

    • Wider grip, yes. You can also play with a rowing motion, once you’re comfortable enough to keep your form consistent.

  • I’ve got some mobility issues (can’t pass OHS test) and my max OHS is only 65lbs…My question is, should I stop doing the lift all together in WODs until I have the mobility? My old coach would have me sub heavier front squats during the metcons instead…Any advice on hip and shoulder mobility would be great. Thanks!

  • In regards to an optimal squat stance, in the books Starting Strength and Olympic Weightlifting both authors call for the feet to be turned out twenty five to thirty degrees , however in Mobility WOD a stance with toes pointed straight or slightly outwards is considered optimal. Are they both correct, but for different reasons, or is only one right?

    • This will be a matter of individual preference. I think you’ve got two good approaches to try. On a light day, adjust your stance and see what best suits you. Ultimately, that’s the only thing that matters.

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