Weightlifting is Not Choreography

Weightlifting is not choreography. The snatch doesn’t happen on an eight count and the clean and jerk isn’t a checklist of dance moves. Though it can feel this way in class, the drilling and the progressions we do in class to teach complex weightlifting movements are simply a means to an end.

Now, I don’t know dance, but I do know baseball. And, in baseball we use the word “feel.” A pitcher, for example, has good “feel” if he can command his arsenal of pitches in the strike zone well. This, like in weightlifting, isn’t binary. It’s finesse. It’s a little touch.

So, for example, just because you’ve managed to find a quality starting position and you hit “mid-thigh” and “the high hang” position with the bar on the way up, doesn’t mean you’ve got yourself a good clean.

IPG, front racked.

IPG, front racked.

Why am I telling you this? My intent, of course, is never to be critical and not offer a solution. I’m telling you this because understanding this “feel” and letting go of the idea that weightlifting is simply choreography makes you an active participant in your training. Now, you mustn’t just do the reps in the progression, you much be present enough to feel them. You’re not trying to get all the step rights, rather you are making the lift yourself. Catch my drift?

If you’re lifting weights by trying to “remember the steps,” your hang clean probably looks like your Waltz – YUCK!

Plug in. Feel it.


Logan Gelbrich


Wednesday’s Workout:


400m Run

21 Hang Power Clean and Jerks (115/85)