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Masterclass: Behind The Story

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MASTERCLASS: Behind the story

As you know, I haven’t competed in a long time. The London Olympics was my last professional competition. Nevertheless, the sporting lifestyle still pushes me towards new goals.

In 2019, I set an ambitious goal ‒ to write my first book on the technique for the Olympic SNATCH. I set myself a high bar as I decided to write it in English, which I started learning just 4 years ago.

Maybe you are wondering – why exactly the SNATCH?

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I had several reasons for this:

  1. The SNATCH, as an independent exercise is used in many sports to develop explosive power and coordination, so this work will be interesting beyond weightlifting.
  2. I constantly experiment. If this format is accepted, I will start working on new material for the Сlean and Jerk.
  3. The Snatch was always a “Russian roulette” for me, I mean that it was very unpredictable for me in competition. Having started working with athletes, I realized that many of them have the same problem.

I found an English teacher, Emy. Of course, she had no experience in Olympic sports, and weightlifting was associated with big men, who trained muscles, raised stones, and in their free time pulled cars. What’s more, the whole first lesson I spent convincing her I wasn’t wrong about the name of the exercise “SNATCH”))))

Every evening I wrote her a small part in English, and the next day, demonstrating and explaining the laws of biomechanics, we analyzed this text in parts. After 3 months, working 20 hours a week, my teacher Emy understood all phases of the snatch. She learned the whole structure and technique of the SNATCH. It was especially cool to watch when in a rush of discussion of one of the topics, with a mop over her head, Emy made an overhead squat with a snatch grip to understand why the position of the shoulders and elbows should be one way and not another.

I understand that first of all it was her teacher’s job, but as I worked on the book I noticed that she had a nascent interest in weightlifting itself. At a certain stage of work, I began to recognize myself in her, in those years when I just came to the weightlifting class.

Paradox – the barbell, despite that it is cold, constantly heavy, makes you sweaty and dirty – has magic. Once it comes into your life, it becomes an integral part of it and begins to change you from within.

Thus, a little more than 3 months later, I had the first draft of the book in my hands, and at the same time, a season of seminars and constant flights from one country to another has started. This made everything difficult and greatly slowed down the process, as I continued to work on my knees, that is, in places where I had at least 30 minutes of free time (airports, planes, and Starbucks). But it was for the better: a timeout was needed, allowing me to look at the book from another side. I had the idea to supplement the book with video materials from seminars, where I clearly showed and told what elements and phases the snatch consisted of, and what the essence of my training methodology was.

olympic lifting regimen

At the end of the summer of 2019, I already had a final draft, which consisted of 20 step-by-step lessons and a library of 72 videos for these lessons. Thus, the title “Snatch Guide” book has changed to the “Snatch MasterСlass” e-book.

Snatch is a complex-coordinating exercise consisting of different elements and phases. That is why it is recommended to study it gradually, in separate parts, followed by combining them in a general progression and working it to automatism. To get a stable and optimal movement, the athlete needs to form the motor skills through a large number of reps. It is for this purpose I decided to supplement my Masterclass with the 12 practical classes, which include the necessary sets of basic and additional exercises to build muscle memory.

Weightlifting is gaining more and more popularity in the world

Weightlifting is gaining more and more popularity in the world. More and more often I hear a question from the boys and girls-beginners “where and how I can start,” but, unfortunately, there is not always an answer to it, as there is a real shortage of trainers and specialized gyms. To build gyms and educate trainers, it takes a lot of time, perhaps, years. I know that distance training is not the best solution, but with the opportunities that the Internet brings us (correspondence/video/control training), I am sure that it is the best and most useful thing that we can do now for the development of mass acceptance of weightlifting.

I can confidently say that this is the largest project I have ever done in weightlifting and I know you will like it!


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Sergii Putsov

Author: Sergii Putsov
Head of Sport Science, PhD

Experience: 20 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 165 kg,
C&J – 200 kg

Sergii Putsov, Ph.D., is a former professional weightlifter and National team member, achieving multiple medals in the 94 kg weight category at national competitions. With a Master’s degree in “Olympic & Professional Sport Training” and a Sport Science Ph.D. from the International Olympic Academy, Greece, Sergii now leads as the Head of Sport Science. He specializes in designing training programs, writing insightful blog articles, providing live commentary at international weightlifting events, and conducting educational seminars worldwide alongside Olympic weightlifting expert Oleksiy Torokhtiy.

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