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View Full Version : Tamas Feher's book "Olympic Weightlifting Handbook"


mik
04-14-2011, 12:01 AM
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glennpendlay
04-14-2011, 12:19 AM
I have never seen this book. But it is pretty hard to imagine taking 6 weeks to teach on of the lifts...

Dave Rogerson
04-14-2011, 01:24 AM
Tamas is the head coach for World Class Weightlifting in the UK and some of his techniques and ideas are considered to be quite controversial by a lot of guys (coaches and lifters) here it seems. I have his book somewhere but never really got round to reading it.

I am sure, however, he wouldnt have been given the job if he didnt have some good ideas mind you.

glennpendlay
04-14-2011, 01:29 AM
Tamas is the head coach for World Class Weightlifting in the UK and some of his techniques and ideas are considered to be quite controversial by a lot of guys (coaches and lifters) here it seems. I have his book somewhere but never really got round to reading it.

I am sure, however, he wouldnt have been given the job if he didnt have some good ideas mind you.

Thanks for that... I had no idea who the guy was. Any chance on elaborating on what in particular he does that goes against the grain besides taking his time in teaching the lifts?

Chae Cramb
04-14-2011, 03:59 AM
I've also got the book. He does indeed have a 6 week teaching phase for the clean and jerk then another 6 weeks for the snatch. However the full lifts are introduced in week 4 of these phases. He starts with clean deadlifts, high pulls and power cleans "without explosion" which basically means doing the lift without a second pull. He emphasises good timing and rhythm through the rest of the movement though. "Explosion" is added in week 3.

It's an interesting book, very dense and not and the easiest read though. Definitely not the first book I'd recommend to a beginner.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Stevemac
04-14-2011, 11:18 AM
Thanks for that... I had no idea who the guy was. Any chance on elaborating on what in particular he does that goes against the grain besides taking his time in teaching the lifts?

Here is some info

Tamas uses a preparatory period of 9-10 weeks divided into two subsets of general period (low intensity but lots of volume) of prep for 4-6 weeks and a shaping up period of 3-4 weeks. It is then onto the competition period which can be broken up into two parts if prolonged followed by a transition period of 1-2 weeks. He has 4 tasks that need to be developed in the correct order for physical abilities.

Tamas then took us through his view of these specific physical abilities with included:

* Max Strength (2nd half of preparatory period and whole of competitive period)
* Dynamic Strength (Develop 2nd part of competitive period)
* Strength Endurance (Develop of both parts of preparatory period)
* Max Strength Endurance (2nd half of preparatory period and whole of competitive period- Specific to Weightlifting and High Class Athletes)



Tamas went through the sets and reps he uses for the above abilities and also spoke about rest periods. He emphasised the need for athletes with more bodyweight requiring more rest than lighter individuals. During max lifts the heart rate can get up as high as 180/190 bpm and it was recommend that a method of telling how much rest time would be to let the HR return to 120 rpm. He mentioned that inadequate rest kills the speed and execution of the movement pattern.

Tamas spoke of the difference between the biological age and the calendar age (also noted the sports age). The cheapest and best way to determine the biological age is with the coach’s eyes observing visible signs such as height, bodyweight, voice and hair! He then took us through the differences he uses in his periodised method for the different ages and the different emphasis he has for using each physical ability above.

After a short break Tamas then covered Applied Exercise Selections. Tamas divided these into:

* Special Exercises for Snatch and Clean and Jerk (Deadpulls, Highpulls, Powerlifts)
* General Exercises (Squats, Pushes etc)
* Special Accessory Exercises (Jumps, Throws, etc)
* Stretching Exercises (Always done after Weightlifting Exercises)
* Accessory Sports (No weightlifting adequate effect)

He then gave some technical tips regarding specific portions to the Snatch and Clean and Jerk:

Start Position:

Tamas seemed mystified as to why athletes start with the feet parallel as it promotes poor lower limb alignment later on in the lift and is essentially an energy leak as the weight shifts forward causing the back to increase its work capacity. He encourages the typical ‘5 to 1’ or even ’10 to 2’ position. The start position is extremely important as it is the common point of gravity between you and the bar. You will lose this point of gravity if the start position is not correct. The precontraction of the trunk and erector spinae cannot be forgotten in this start position. The clean feet and grip width is more narrow than the snatch positions while the body angle is also more upright than the snatch starting position. Tamas notes that the nearer the grip position the lower down the thigh the bar will hit later on in the lift (This is also very important for determining the snatch grip position to sit nicely in the crease of the hips just before the start of the second pull).

He recommends the ball of the big toe should be directly under the bar which is slightly further than the UKSCA’s recommendation of the 1st eyelet of the lace.

1st Pull:

The bar travels back to the athlete during the first pull. The back, neck and head all move in the same plane The overpull (‘transition’ according to the UKSCA terminology) puts the athlete in the perfect position for the 2nd pull. Tamas does not believe that the double knee bend needs to be taught as this is an unconscious movement.

2nd Pull/Explosion:

The thigh should meet the bar as opposed to the bar hitting the thigh. Tamas uses the analogy of two cars hitting into each other if the latter is allowed to happen. He emphasises keeping on the toes as long as possible during the pull.

Tamas doesn’t like using boxes in start positions as he finds that his athletes have difficulty getting the back and erectors as tense as possible. He notes that hang lifts suit athletes who’s stronger in their lower backs than quadriceps as there is no starting speed from the floor and so great acceleration is required in a shorter space of time.

Tamas uses the Deadpull which then compliments the Highpull which then compliments the Power Clean or Power Snatch and this is how we structured our lifts in the practical session.

Tamas also spoke about using squats as a general exercise. The start position for the feet width should correlate with the snatch feet width. He tells his athletes to be as dynamic as possible on the way back up.

Tamas also spoke of using his version of the good morning exercise which required the athlete to go to 45 degrees hip flexion keeping a neutral spine. There was some confusion among terminology for this exercise with some coaches perceiving the good morning exercise as going to a 90 degree hip flexion position. Tamas assured us that he only makes his athletes go to 45 degrees as this correlates with the static contraction for the starting position of the clean or snatch in regards function of the erector spinae muscles. Gill Stevenson pointed out that the UKSCA do not recommend the Good Morning exercise due to increased shear forces on the lumbar spine but favour the Romanian Deadlift instead which Tamas agreed was fine to use once the neutral lumbar spine was kept.

The day ended with practical lifting session which included the deadpull, then onto the high pull and finally onto the power clean. We also touched on the Jerk which Tamas did not want to teach the split jerk as it took to much detail so we finished with some military pressing.

Day 2 started again in the classroom with Tamas covering the technical teaching of the main exercises. He spoke about the main components of movement structure being:

* Spatial
* Chronological
* Dynamic

He debated using the global or partial methods for teaching the two main lifts and gave advantages and disadvantages of both. He then went over some practical coaching tips such as not trying to correct everything at once but rather the main issues taken priority.

Tamas uses the method of teaching new technique as follows:

* Short Verbal Explanation
* Practical Demonstration
* Execution by the athlete
* Corrections during execution
* Short Evaluation
* Instruct for next set reminding new instructions if necessary

Verbal instructions should be short, determined and understandable. High and continuous concentration causes early psychological tiredness which can cause unnecessary muscle tone, decreased abilities to relax muscles, inadequate execution and practising poor movement patterns.

The question of using video feedback for beginners came up and Tamas was against this as he said coaching cues should be sufficient. Gill Stevenson chipped in quoting some studies from the 80’s showed that traditional coaching methods was more effective for beginners while video feedback became more important for more experienced lifters.

This then led to the question of mirrors which Tamas was also against as he found it distracted athlete’s concentration of the technical points. He does allow mirrors for simple movements but not complex movements for beginners.

Tamas then recovered the main technical points in the lifts above before finally finishing his last lecture on training and planning in weightlifting. He went into great detail about his thought process which was subdivided into:

* Long Term Plan
* Mid Term Plan
* Cycle Plan

The long term plan was subdivided into a:

1. Program Plan
2. Performance Plan
3. ? Weightlifting Plan
4. Methodology Plan

He then broke down his macro and micro cycles giving examples of the intensities and loads he uses and brought everything he talked about over the weekend all together with a nice chart of a typical 1 year and 4 year plan for his athletes while going into a little more detail of the preparatory, competitive and transition periods and how they fitted into the overall plan.

We then returned to the practical lifting after lunch to work on the snatch and worked our way through the snatch deadpull onto the snatch high pull and finally onto the power snatch.

Tamas also showed us some unique methods of teaching the athlete to be explosive and his progressions he used for this. We then finished with the lifting practical with practice of the jerk.

Stevemac
04-14-2011, 11:24 AM
Thanks for that... I had no idea who the guy was. Any chance on elaborating on what in particular he does that goes against the grain besides taking his time in teaching the lifts?

Against the grain in comparison to? Uses a % based system, lots of volume with accessory lifts at the commence of the training cycle (sets of 8 reps) (Kyle Pierce), less on the OL with high intensity.

COACHMCCAULEY
04-14-2011, 12:30 PM
I have never seen this book. But it is pretty hard to imagine taking 6 weeks to teach on of the lifts...

Glenn,

I'm sorry, but after hearing 6 weeks to teach the lifts to someone, I dozed off. What happened???

CoachMc

glennpendlay
04-14-2011, 01:39 PM
Glenn,

I'm sorry, but after hearing 6 weeks to teach the lifts to someone, I dozed off. What happened???

CoachMc

Well, Stevemac wrote a dissertation regarding what sounds like a seminar with Mr. Feher... lot's of stuff in there that I agree with. Obviously a well thought out system, even though it isn't the same system I use.

Thank you Steve.

Dave Rogerson
04-14-2011, 02:33 PM
Against the grain in comparison to? Uses a % based system, lots of volume with accessory lifts at the commence of the training cycle (sets of 8 reps) (Kyle Pierce), less on the OL with high intensity.

Hey Steve, probably not my place to say because I don't know Tamas and I am literally reiterating what other coaches and lifters have told me, although I think I will get chance to go up to Leeds and see him fairly, but anyway.

From what I can gather, much of what (some of) the guys don't agree with is the techniques he likes lifters to use and specifically that he seems to like lifters to finish the pull with the arms. I know that some guys feel he overemphasizes general strength at the expense of specificity too.

As mentioned, it really is not my place to say things that I have heard from others and I hate 'Chinese whispers'. I am sure that he would not be head coach for no reason and I imagine that he is very good at what he does.

Chae Cramb
04-16-2011, 04:07 AM
I got it from Tamas a few years ago. If you're interested in buying it I'd try contacting him directly. I don't have a current email for him but British Weightlifting could probably put you in touch. Their general email is: support@bwla.co.uk