Weightlifting Straps

How do we use straps?

physical application of lifting straps are to wear on your wrist, with the loop facing out. Then the tail goes under the bar, and back over, causing a close, and you’ll be able to grip the strap. To adjust the strap tightness, lightly let go of your grip, and twist inwards to tighten, this takes a bit of getting used to, therefore it will require a bit of practice. A good tip will be to tighten your non dominant hand first, then your dominant hand after, as you wont have the other to help.


What are straps for?

Straps are usually used to help with grip lifting issues, for example, you need to do pulls, where its 110-150% more than what you lift, therefore the straps come in to help you with grip strength. The straps also helps you release grip, therefore being more relaxed in a lift, such as doing hang movements or deficit movements. The straps are like the belt, they’re very helpful to aid your lifts, but cannot be reliant on them and have them take over your lifts.

 

We have these straps available for sale. $25 plus $5 for shipping. Let me know via email and I will send you out one :).

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When do I start using the HookGrip?

Hook Grip

  1. When should you learn how to hook grip?

I personally believe that the hook grip should be learnt only after you get past 40/50kg in your lifts. This will allow you to build some grip strength, as well as relax your arms during the lift, which is a common mistake or bad habit that lifters encounter when first learning.

2. How to hook grip

Hook gripping is not just about tucking your thumb underneath your index and middle fingers. It needs to sit comfortably with the bar, if not the thumb will hurt. A hook grip shouldn’t cause pain, it only does when it doesn’t sit right. To check that your hook grip is right,

  1. at least two fingers are over your thumb, the objective is to fill the space with the bar.
  2. try to follow the joints of your thumb and not bend it past.
  3. when holding the bar, the weight should be on your 4 fingers and not on your thumb. this also means that you’re going to have to shift/turn your wrist inwards or downwards.
  4. It’ll only hurt if your wrist comes out. 

What are you doing? *Squint Eyes*

Olympic Weightlifting Movements and their Original Names

There are a lot of names for all the different exercises, however, here is the list of what i think are the MOST accurate names for the exercises. If you think of more, send me a message and ill add it in! We need to stop calling it different things as it confuses the heck out of everyone.

Positions
Starting Position:
This refers to the position you are in at the start of the lift, or also the set up of the lift.

Pre Drive Position:
The barbell will sit at the hips, with knees and hips unlocked. Before the activation of a drive.

Hang Position:
The barbell will be positioned above the knee and below the hips. Momentum can be generated with movement.

High Hang Position:
The barbell will be positioned at the hips. No momentum to be generated from movement.

Locked out Position:
Generally means standing in an upright position, with knees and hips locked.

Snatch Movements
Snatch Grip:
The grip held is to be measured by placing the barbell at your hips, and sliding your hands out evenly till your elbows lock out. Use the knurling on the barbell as reference.

Snatch First Pull:
A pulling motion from the ground towards your hip, it stops at an unlock position with your knees and hips bent, also known as the Pre-Drive position.

Drive:
This consist of an extension movement from the Pre-Drive position. The ending position will be an extended or past upright position, tiptoe position, calves extended, glutes extended, and traps shrugged.

Snatch High Pull:
This will begin only AFTER the drive, where the elbows unlock, bent and pushed in an upward position activating the triceps.

Snatch Wrist Pivot(added by me):
This is the transition from the high pull to the Drop Snatch. It is a pivot of the wrist from a downward position to a flat palm position to receive the barbell.

NB* this is different to a snatch balance.
Drop Snatch:
A drop snatch is the movement where the body goes from an upright position into a full squat snatch position. Usually this is from a back rest position. This is to train the speed of getting under the bar.

Overhead Squat:
A squat movement that has the barbell over the head in a locked out position, a squat begins, breaks parallel and returns back up into a locked out position.

Full Snatch:
A structured lift which consists of all the movements above, starting from the floor, in the starting position, then a first pull, a drive, a high pull, a wrist pivot, a drop snatch and an overhead squat into a lock out position.

Clean and Jerk Movements
Clean Grip:
The grip held is measured by the width of your hip, the clean grip changes overtime, as you change your leg stance, the grip will change.

Clean First Pull:
From the starting position of the clean, an upward standing motion towards the hip crease.

Drive:
This consist of an extension movement from the Pre-Drive position. The ending position will be an extended or past upright position, tiptoe position, calves extended, glutes extended, and traps shrugged.

High Pull:
This will begin only AFTER the drive, where the elbows unlock, bent and pushed in an upward position activating the triceps.

Wrist Pivot:
This is the transition from the high pull to the front rack position. Wrist rotates and elbow comes through.

Front Rack Position:
This position can be used on many heights, locked out or at the bottom of the squat and any lengths in between. The barbell will be resting on the inside of your clavicles, wrist has a full grip on the barbell, elbows point outwards and upwards. Back in an upright position.

Dip:
In a front rack position, a quarter squat before the thrust of the barbell into the Jerk.

Thrust:
An Upward push motion after the dip where the entire body goes into extension.

Jerk:
The movement that consists of bringing the barbell over head in one smooth motion, without the arms unlocking at the top.

Split Jerk:
The split Jerk is a over head jerk that lands itself in a lunge/split position. This allows the lifter to get lower into receiving the bar.

Power Jerk Position:
This position is the landing position after the dip and thrust. The power jerk is a receiving above parallel position.

Squat Jerk Position:
This Jerk position, allows the lifter to squat full range of motion trying to receive the jerk.

Nike Romaleos 3

Full Review on the Nike Weightlifting Shoes

I’ve been a lifter for 10 years, so that means, I’ve been following Nike on their shoes since Day 1, along the way I got side tracked, however still came back to Nike. Finally, after 5 years, Nike has decided to release the new Nike Romaleos 3. The day it came out I got a pair, and today got to try them out for myself. So the big question is, Do I buy the Romaleos 3 or keep to my Romaleos 2? Or I’m wearing something else and want an upgrade, 2’s or 3’s? Hopefully, below will help you decide on what you will be your choice. There is a huge difference, at least for me, between the 2’s and the 3’s. I will be splitting the review into 4, looks, fitting of shoe, performance and personal opinion. Again, this review is 100% my personal experience with the shoe, it may be different on you and your style of lifting.

Looks –
The Romaleos 3, looks GREAT! SEXY even. I got it in All white, did not care about dirt or dust. Unboxing it was like Christmas, really cannot fault Nike for their packaging, traditional orange box, fully lined and stuffed. First looks at them, they look at lot like synthetic soccer cleats, or the feel and the material felt/looked like it. It now has one thick strap around the fore foot instead of a thinner forefoot strap and a further toe strap in the Romaleos 2. The tongue is now similar to the Nike Metcon 3, thin with a square spongey patch, I’m guessing its grip for you to pull the tongue up as you wear the shoe. The outer sole of the shoe is see through, with their “honeycomb” pattern below the heel. The heel structure starts wide at the heel base then slightly narrows mid foot, then widens again in the front foot. The honey comb patterns follow all the way through. The inside of the shoe has a removable insole and a standard wooden heel. There is also “flywire” technology on the shoe itself, for those of you new to Nike shoes, its basically, a sort of netting/webbing in the shoe, that hugs your feet in place and straps you down to your shoe, like a sock, simply put. Weight wise, it is definitely a lot lighter than the Romaleos 2, off an estimate, probably 30% lighter.

Fitting of shoe-
History of my feet, I have fat wide feet that are not very long, usually have to buy sizes up due to the fact that they are not comfortable otherwise. I wear 11.5US for Nike all round, metcons, frees, air max’s. When the Romaleos 2 was released, we were all told to go down half a size for a snug fit. My Romaleos 2 size is US 11. I have gone half size up, due to some popular reviews, however I personally think that going half a size down from your trainers and staying true to size on the Romaleos 2 is the best option. I find that there is toe room left for me at the end, at size 11 it would be snug.

Upon physically trying on the shoe, first signs were it is wide on the toe box, followed by, its very narrow on the heel, the insoles arch at the sides to form a cup around the heel, which makes it very weird, compared to the 2’s which are completely flat. Nike’s Flywire made it a little more difficult to put on the shoe, as it was stretching out as my foot was going in. The tongue is very thin and flat, as I tie the laces, it feels like I’m tying a string around my leg, slightly cutting into it as there is no tongue support. Not strapping the strap is no longer an option, because of the flywire, your feet will move around in the shoe, as Nike has left “space” for it, so the strap has to be bound which makes for a very awkward mid foot. I have wide feet, so the strap is actually slightly binding my feet together as its pull my arch in and folding the outside of my arch. (wide feet people will know what I mean).

First 5 minutes of wearing the shoe, the narrowed Nike shoe sole is annoying, upon further examination, its not narrower, its more roundly shaped. Still annoying, because of it, its forcing my Center of Gravity back onto my heels (for american style lifters, GREAT), chinese style lifters, not so great. Doing quarter dips, leans forward, toes, no arch support, CG automatically pulls me back to my heels again. First split jerk, lost balance, weight on heels again.(as a chinese style lifter, this is REALLY annoying). Really would benefit stiffer ankles and american style weightlifting. Took the shoes off after that to get back to work.

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Performance-
Again, please do not take this review as final, as this is only my personal opinion on the shoe, I have a chinese style in weightlifting, so everything is in front and in the fore foot most of the time. So having the Romaleos 3 do the complete opposite for me is very difficult. I wore it for 1.5hours during my first training session with the shoes, while warming up, I can feel that the shoes are very stiff on the base, the stiffness continues further to the front of the Romaleos 3 than the 2’s, and because of the honey comb shape base, the cuts on the rubber is significantly less on the 3’s to maintain the shape, therefore giving it less mobility on the front of the toe and forefoot. I was working on snatches tonight, warming up with a few empty bar hang snatches, I lost the first 2 forward because of the shoe bringing my CG to the back of my heel, causing me to sit back a lot, therefore bringing my bar forward. My toes would often come off the ground very slightly, I eventually corrected to bring my posture in front, which then because of the cut of the base, my heels would be lifted off the ground. This is caused by  the heel base being too stiff. However, this would be great for American/European style lifters who start their lifts on their heels and maintain the structure all the way through. Then proceeded to load more weight and the set before working set, I felt that I could not hyper extend my ankle portion of the lift, because of the stiff heel, it did not allow me to drive up onto my toes as quickly as I needed too, therefore I could not expand 100% of my drive. Again, this would not be an issue if you are a stomper or have a stomp type drive/extension. During my working set, I could feel my heels on fire, because of the rounded cupped heel, it has trapped my back foot in place and I was putting a lot of weight on the heel base, rather than my common position of mid foot. In my starting position, all around me could see that my toes were pointing in the air, and I was sitting back on my heels, again to do with the heel structure. It is no longer a flat shoe. Unfortunately after the snatch sets, I could not take it anymore in the shoes, being heel balanced and heated, i switched back to the Romaleos 2 for the rest of my training. I will give it one more go, at another training session, maybe for clean and jerks, but I personally don’t think that it will change this review a whole lot.

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Personal Opinion –
To be honest, I really wanted to LOVE the shoe, I mean, I’ve been waiting 5 years for the shoes to come out, but they were not up to my expectations and for now, will stick to my Nike Romaleos 2. It does not suit my style of lifting as there is not enough flexibility in the shoe. If you’re a different style lifter, by all means, try it out, it might suit you very well, having a stiffer heel will help the balance of it all. I think Nike has invested this shoe in the “new age functional fitness” market, and have it left Olympic Weightlifting. The shoe looks great, and is great to wear for functional fitness, however, for serious lifting and for a lifter to wear everyday, 6 to 11 trainings a week or more, I’d stick to my Nike Romaleos 2 for now.

Commonwealth Games 2014 – What It Took To Get Here. [Part 3]

[Part 3]

Right, so Olympics came and past, learnt it wasn’t a big huge deal because I didn’t earn it on my own, got over it and moved on. At this point I thought to myself, look forward to SEA Games 2013, where you’ll have a chance at a medal. Just got to look at it the right way and press on.

At this point Sea Games qualifiers just came out and I have come to realise that to qualify for SeaGames, I needed to be 94kg in body weight as they cancelled all the other weight categories above it. My current body weight is 128kg. I had close to 8 months to lose it. So I thought, it was worth a shot, 34kg in 8 months isnt the healthiest, but I thought, whats the worst that could happen? I’d at least be light and mobile and have a decently better health. I ended up not dropping weight till February 2013 and qualifyings are in June 2013. So I basically had 4 months to drop 34kgs. I started dieting, at that time with my girlfriend, cooked meals, went back to play rugby, dropped a whole tonne of weight quickly, before you know it, in May 2013, I weighed, 110kgs. I’ve lost 24kgs in 3 months, that’s pretty significant but still that was not enough, my body has pleateau’ed and there was nothing I could do to drop anymore weight. We had an evaluation that weekend after, so I decided to cut water, and go through what a normal athlete will have to go through when they compete, at least to compete at a 105kg category athlete, to show that I was only a category below and at least lift above the qualifying mark of 286 at that time. The day before came, as per advice on my coach, Friday morning, no more food, no more water, and to be in 2 weather proof water proof jackets at all times during the day and to run in the sun during noon time. I was literally dying! I walked out and was like, no im not running in that ridiculous heat, so I took a foam roller and laid down in the sun to foam roll, did it for about 25 mins and ended up dropping 1kg. and I thought to myself, well this isnt that hard! All I gotta do is foam roll 4 more times and I’ve made weight. Unfortunately that’s not how it works, after a while, my body became dehydrated, I was cramping up and the weight was not dropping after a while, I was hungry and grumpy and it was a terrible feeling. I went to bed that night and couldn’t sleep because I was so hungry, and the air con didn’t do me much good either because of my muscles lacking in water. I woke up the next morning and weighed myself to be, 107.9kg. I didn’t make the 105kg mark, but I still competed, if I remember correctly, I lifted 125, 155, which is a 280kg, 6kg of the qualfying mark and 14kgs over weight. Lots of work to do, and 2 months to do it in. After this competition it really showed me what athletes have to go through after all the tough training preperations, and such, to THEN have to cut weight 2-3 days before the competition. Not even allowed to be 10 grams over the weight limit.

As the date grew closer towards Sea Games, I ended up not making the weight category and not qualifying for SEA Games, that was a big blow for me, as all the hard work and dedication to drop weight didn’t work at all. However, a good side is, I was chosen to be a referee at the Sea Games it self, and that was rewarding to go and watch some of the best in the region go hard and compete. If I went, I would’ve gotten 4th place in the 94kg category and that would’ve been my first games. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I didn’t get to go to these games as an athlete.

This led me to about June 2013, where I contemplated retirng as I was under weight for 105+ as well as not lifting heavy enough to qualify for the Commonwealth Games 2014. I am now about 1 year out from the games.

Stay tuned for Part 4!!

Commonwealth Games 2014 – What It Took To Get Here. [Part 2]

[Part 2 ]

*Disclaimer: This is what happened in 2012, the past is the past and this is just memory. the relations between the federation and myself is now very solid.

This is the interesting part of the whole journey. I decided to stay in Singapore for another 8 months to fight for the olympics. Toughest decision of my life, because I did not know the certainty of going as I could not qualify and only get it by a “wild card” entry.

Beginning of 2012, my dad got very broke and ended up moving to Malaysia, so I was left here with my mum in NZ and my dad in Malaysia. My grandmother is still around but she lives in a tiny apartment that meant, I was on the floor in the living room with no air-con and a dog that would lick me to sleep and lick me to wake up at 5:30am every morning. That wasn’t an option for me. Therefore I was stranded with a place to stay.

The federation was REALLY kind to let me sleep on the floors of the gym, I had a 2” floor matress one pillow and a blanket. THANK GOD there was air-conditioning. I literally ate, slept, and trained in the gym. This helped me save on travel costs, food cost me $10 a day so I could survive with $600 a month. At that time, I had one client, that after commission I could take away with $800 a month. This left me with a $200 buffer, on things that I would buy because I was vain or other things that I needed to live with. For those of you who thinks that being an athlete will get you lots of money, think again. You’ll only get the money AFTER you win.

Many a times at night, I would think, is this really worth it? What am I doing here? What was I trying to prove? That I could tough it out in the rough? Then I’d just fall asleep from the tiredness on training. We didn’t get much nutrition, as my meal was $5 chicken rice daily, and that’s really all it is.

Those few months, I worked my ass off to get to the olympics, hoping that there was a wild card for me. That ended up not happening and a womens wild card was given instead. At this point in time, we had no female lifters as Helena had already retired, it was all going to waste. I then talked to the federation that If I brought her back to train for it, would I be able to coach her and then represent her as a coach for the olympics. The answer was YES. Estatic, I went looking for Helena and eventually persuaded her to come back and train for it, and even she consented that if she went, she’d take me.

Here’s the best kicker. I got screwed over, by them all. The reason I got for basically, bringing back an athlete to compete at the games, was that, “Oh, what would the media think?” That the national coach did not want to go coach at the olympics? They basically turned on me and said, they never said those things about me coaching there and that I was too young to coach at the olympic games. I remember, at the meeting, all of us were seated down, all were discussing about it, and I just got shunned out of the whole deal. My olympic dreams right there, shattered. I sulked for days and even cried. There was no sympathy given, I couldn’t even go up as a assistant coach or anything, at the age of 19, I was overwhelmed by all the one-sidedness that was handed out to me. This was the time that, I thought to myself, its time to quit. Finish up, go home, pack up, and leave. I went away for about a week, not knowing what to do, and complained to everyone I saw about what had happen that I got screwed over big time, and it still leaves a scar behind now that I think about it. The amount of time and effort I put in to train, to coach and now, its all gone, just because someone decided that the “media” MIGHT think otherwise.

Looking back, even though im still sour about it, it was a good experience for me, I learnt that the word of someone is only floating in the air, its not concrete unless proven. At this point, I took a break for a few weeks. Contemplating about what to do and what will happen and lots of other nasty thoughts.

WAIT FOR PART 3 🙂

Commonwealth Games 2014 – What It Took To Get Here. [Part 1]

What does it really take to get to the Commonwealth Games?

[PART 1]

The commonwealth games is my first ever “Games” and what a proud moment it was definitely a proud moment for me! However, what it took to get there, was a whole story in it itself. Where do I start?

So it all started in late 2009 when I had to qualify for Commonwealth Games 2010. All the prep and hard work, I’ve improved a 100kg on my total during that year, and i STILL ended 15kg short of the qualifying total. So that kinda shot me down, what did i really have to do to get to a “games”. This kept me working hard, as i was still “young” and was still quite new to the professional level of weightlifting. As you all know, i’ve lifted in NZ but not to the international standards. So getting a chance to compete at a Games was a HUGE thing.

This then leads me to 2010, where Helena Wong became the first female in a very long time got a chance to go to the commonwealth games. Made me jealous and all sorts, I REALLY wanted to go, but did not qualify on my own merit, therefore really did not deserve to go, however, i was still young, at 18 i did not really have the professionalism i have today to know i really deserved to go. I pouted and sulked for a little while, before I got over the fact that the competition has already been and gone and before you know it, Helena was back. I guess you could say, that was the first time someone from Singapore was on the big stage and i really wanted to get there. Boy, did i not know that how much MORE hard work i had to put in to get there 4 years later, with big doubts still in me. I persevered on, to train as hard as i could to get to the next “games”.

South East Asian Games 2011 was the next competition that I had to qualify for and man, was that hard.. At that time, the qualifications were 3rd placing at the previous games, and my category just happen to not have a 3rd placing, and only had a second placing, so my qualifying just became 2nd placing…. I ended up short again, this time only by 4kg’s off. I totalled 296, appealed and appealed to no avail, and basically got screwed out of another “games” opportunity because my total was 4kg short of the qualifying mark. I was enraged at this point, thinking to myself, is it all worth it? Am i putting so much effort in for nothing? This was the year I finished my national service and disobeyed my parents, to go back to school and study to be a “insert occupation here”…. i’ve put it off and said, hey, ill survive on my own if you just let me stay to compete. My parents reluctantly agreed and gave me till the end of the year 2011 to compete and get it out of my system. They had no choice, i did what i wanted and if i were to survive on my own, they had no say. This is my mother’s blessing and how she’s brought me up, i’ve always had to look after myself no matter what, no one is going to be nice to you and pick you off the ground, suck it up, pick yourself up, and move on. Thats what she says all the time, or along the lines of that. A quote that I would always remember from her telling me when I was younger, “every decision has consequences, whatever you choose, make sure you always do your best and succeed”. Till this day, i will never forget that, it is ACTUALLY inked onto me on my inner bicep.

SO…… the end of 2011 came around and my mum is asking me when I’m going back to NZ to study again. The question has popped up and she’s getting anxious and furious that I did not want to come home and study, and sport has no future in the country, that Im just wasting my time and not wanting to study. Partly, i think that is the case, that i wanted to put studies off and had no interest in furthering my education, at that time, it was still PAPER PAPER PAPER, actually it still is today, and even more so you need qualifications to survive. More on me getting to where I am today later down the bottom somewhere. Basically, I did not want to study and did not know how i was going to get university entrance as i did not do so well for my A Level’s. (Sorry mum, I think you still don’t know that i’ve flunked a few subjects).. So i told my mother that 2012 was the year. it was the year i get the chance to go to the OLYMPICS! this was a HUGE deal, and that i REALLY wanted to work for that 6 months and see where this takes me, i mean its only 6 more months out of my life, how bad could it be, then again, mum reluctantly agreed.

….. TUNE IN TO PART 2, where I take you through the journey of me planning for the olympics…