Saturday 1 August 2009

Thursday's tantalising Vegas jackpot

I stayed in Vegas for three nights and I managed to organise a training session with John Broz, an American super heavyweight, who also coaches a group of young lifters in the "Average Broz" club. This was definitely a session to remember because I learned a lot from John, I really enjoyed watching his young lifters--they were all 19--and I lifted well for my own standards also.

I have a great interview with John Broz below, and it is particularly interesting because he lived with Antonio " I have Snatched the biggest weight in history" Krastev for three years. Listen to what he has to say and I can guarantee it will have you looking at your own training in a new light.

There were three 19 year old lifters who I trained with: Pat Mendes, a super heavy weighing 125kg who I watched Power Snatch 135 and Power Clean 170; Taylor Smith, a 94kg lifter who I watched Snatch 120 and Clean and Jerk 145; and Brett, a 110kg lifter who Clean and Jerked 145 and Power Snatched 110. This was the fifth or sixth time he has ever Snatched or Jerked. Pat and Taylor have been training for just over a year and Brett for six months. Their power was astonishing and to say they have incredible raw talent is like saying Cathal Byrd has massive calves: both statements are gospel. I have videos of these three lifters along with my own lifts from the session to follow soon.

As far as my own training went, it got a kick up the proverbial, because these guys were strong and that pushed me forward also. I did the following:

Snatch doubles: I worked up to a double with 100kg for a pb. Then I followed it with a double with 102.5 and after missing the second Snatch with 105kg in two sets, I got both the third time. This was an 8kg pb in the Snatch double so I was pretty chuffed. With the doubles, the technique is never as pretty as with singles, but I was happy. John was urging me to be more aggressive with how I turn the bar over and pull it into the proper recieving position over the head.

Power Clean and Power Jerk: I worked up to 125kg and I Cleaned 130 maybe six times, missing the Power Jerk each time due to a slow lockout. I am still not used to the Power Jerk, but it is getting better gradually. John was making the points that I was too tense in the rack position--Andy Murphy has said likewise--and also that I was not being forceful enough with how I drive and lock the bar into the right position over my head.

Back Squat--I worked up to a double with 160kg. I mentioned to John that my legs have not felt strong since I got over here, and he said that this was because of all the walking I have been doing, being on holiday and all. He also mentioned that I was Snatching well because my back was fresh, but my legs were not, which affected my Cleans and Squats.

I don't have the time or inclination to write down all I learned from John, but I will say this: He gives his lifters an international perspective and steers clear of national focus. He plays the old school Ironmind training hall tapes and world championship videos during training sessions so that the guys have proper form to watch. I felt like I was given an injection of adrenaline after training in his gym and that is something that I think we all need from time to time. Do yourself a favour and watch the video below. You may or may not agree with everything John says, but it will certainly make you think.

11 comments:

GoLift said...

Outstanding video. Going to have a little think about some of the stuff he said and get back to you. That is the type of holiday i want to go on. Robbie

CathalByrd said...

My massive calves are the sole reason I have had to move up to the 77s...They simply won't stop growing. I'm thinking of quitting lifting and going into calf modelling, although I bet I'd have some stiff opposition from the one and only Harry 'Gastrocnemius' Leech...

bigphathar said...

It's true, I do have calves like a morbidly obese North American tourist...

CathalByrd said...

By the way i agree with most of the things this coach is saying. Mental toughness is essential in this sport and if a lifter doesn't have it I don't beleive he/she will go that far. W/L is one of the toughest and most gruelling sports out there, I'd have it up there alongside gymnastics and boxing (having practiced both myself when I was younger)in terms of sheer toughness and their ability to break and athletes down.

I also agree with him when he says you have to lift heavy regularly. If you don't get up to 95-100%+ on a regular basis then all you are doing is maintaining, not improving.

GoLift said...

Cathal
Check out the calves on Golift. Put a post up a few days ago as Neil 'Cute Calves' and G 'Chicken Fillets' Morrison, as they were hassling me so much to do it. Get the measuring tape out. Unfortunatley mine are not in the race. Robbie

CathalByrd said...

My calves are smaller than Mr. 'Chicken Fillet' Morrison. It's a sensitive issue for me...Barry is just being his usual mean and sarcastic self. I think he's just jealous to be honest. Of what I don't know though... I plan to get a serious calf pump at the training camp in Glasgow and challenge Mr. Harry 'Zhang' Leech to a pose-off.

Barry said...

Zhang Leech has more density in the calf muscle belly, but Byrdie has the cuts that can take someone's eye out. Maybe it was the extra seven kilos he put on...

snatch_pete said...

I had never viewed this clip until today after Trevor Coen mentioned it in an email. Love this guy's viewpoints on training. I have farted around a fair bit with programmes but the one programme that has always led to increases is the Bulgarian type of training. It is good to hear someone speak so highly of it and the bit I enjoyed most was what I sometimes describe as the 'stubborn streak' although he takes it to an entirely different level! 52 attempts did he say, I thought I was bad/crazy trying to 6 or 7 sometimes.

Thanks Barry

brendan said...

I think I will watch this a few times.

Erik Blekeberg said...

Do you have an address or a good way to get in contact with John? I would love to meet up with him and talk about learning from him as a lifter and a coach.

Barry said...

Contact him through youtube or facebook Erik. John usually replies to most messages and is more than happy to discuss weightlifting. Brozknows is his youtube username.

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