Friday, April 25, 2008

Rudy Sablo

NYC area lifter Rudy Sablo was the manager of the United States weightlifting teams in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics and served on the United States Olympic Committee's (U.S.O.C.) board.

He ran the Amateur Athletic Union's (A.A.U.) metropolitan area office for 20 years and helped found the Empire State Games, an annual statewide Olympic-type competition. A Weightlifting Hall of Fame member, Sablo was also honored with an Olympic Shield award by the U.S.O.C.

During WWII, he served as a physical instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen. In the years following, he served as a firefighter for the city of New York. He passed away on February 3rd, 2003.

Every year, a meet is held at Lost Battalion Hall in his memory. This year, the event is scheduled for May 3rd.

Friday, April 18, 2008


260kg C&J at 125kg body weight.

206kg snatch and 245kg first attempt C&J

Monday, April 14, 2008

Get a Coach!

Partially inspired by this post, and a number of posts on certain other boards, here are my top 3 best tips for learning Olympic Weightlifting:
1. Get a coach.
2. Get a coach.
3. Get a coach.
Seriously. An experienced coach, one who has competed and trained competitive lifters, is the best way to learn the lifts by far. A book is not enough. Web assistance is not enough. A weekend seminar is not enough.
How do you find a coach?
This pdf is a club directory from USAW.'s Olympic forum is a real gathering place for coaches and lifters. Search there or post a question asking about lifting in your area.
If you can't reasonably get coaching regularly, then books and videos can help, as can uploading your videos and asking for tips from one of the forums on the right of this page. And making efforts to get coaching in when you can is still important.
But these are all inferior to regular work with an experienced coach.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Clean: Shoulder Flexibility

Acquiring the flexibility to properly rack a clean can be a challenge. The following are some tips I received from LBH master lifter Jeff Scott.

As far as shoulder flexibility for racking cleans goes, there are many stretches that are effective. Your shoulder routine should include:

1. Dislocates with a broom stick.
2. Rack stretches. Lock a bar into the power rack and have someone apply a steady, GENTLE upward stretch on your elbows. Keep the pressure on for 20 seconds, relax for 10 seconds then repeat a few times.
3. Practice power cleans with a light weight 20, 30 or 40 kilos. Do lots of reps and concentrate on whipping the elbows and keeping the shoulder girdle relaxed. Do the reps from the floor and try to do 6-10 reps a minute for 3 minutes or more. You can rest in the start position for a few seconds between reps. These should make you sweat but not tire you out.
4. If you can rack a power clean properly but can't rack a squat clean very well then your flexibility challenge is probably in the back -- maybe the rhomboids or the lower spinal erectors.
5. And of course, don't neglect the triceps. They need to be stretched too. Pull your flat hand (palm up) back and down on top of your deltoids. Hold the position for 20 seconds, relax for 10, repeat.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


More back training, something I'm a fan of.
This time a good article on the how to's of the barbell row.
This is an under-utilized lift in most gyms.
Why are most people cable and machine rowing instead of barbell rowing? Because barbell rows are harder, and most people just don't want to work hard.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Squats: How Low Do You Go?

With the multitude of assistance exercises one can use to improve their Olympic lifts, the more specific the assistance movement (i.e., the more similar it is to the classical lift) the greater the carryover. In regards to squatting, one should strive to use the same range-of-motion and dynamics used in the competition lifts. In other words: don’t half-ass your depth unless you’ve got a good reason to (e.g., caution with an existing injury, intentionally heavy partials, etc.). While I can’t state this as a fact, I’m pretty sure Pisarenko dies a little bit on the inside every time someone uses a medicine ball to gauge the depth of their front squats. Please be considerate of this legendary athlete.

For an Olympic-style weightlifter, the squat is the king of assistance exercises. But at the end of the day, it’s just that – an assistance exercise. Don’t get me wrong, an Olympic lifter should strive to become an exemplary squatter, but not at the expense of padding one’s ego using big weights with poor range-of-motion.