Olympic Weightlifting Encyclopedia 35

The Bar's Relative Speed at Various Points in the Pull

The Bar’s Relative Speed at Various Points in the Pull

The bar typically achieves its greatest upward velocity during the second and fourth phases of the pull. However, lifters generally create different relative bar speeds in the second and fourth phases of their pulls. The bar speed generated during the fourth phase of the pull is almost always greater than the speed achieved during the second phase The difference in speed between the second and fourth phases of the pull tends to be greater in the snatch than the clean. The ranges of the relative speed differences between the second and fourth stages of the pull are as follows (for purposes of comparison, it is always assumed that the speed during the second phase of the pull is 1.00): 1.00 to 1.50 in the snatch and 1.00 to 1.40 in the clean. This means the bar always moves at least as fast in the fourth stage of the pull as in the second, but it may move up to 50% faster.

Now that we have described the movements of the body and the bar during the snatch and clean, let us evaluate these movements during the jerk.

The Trajectory of the Bar During the Jerk

The trajectory of the bar during the jerk is very different from that of the pull. The bar travels down in a virtually straight line as the lifter dips and then goes nearly straight up until the lifter moves under the bar into the split or squat. At that point the bar describes a backward and downward loop similar to that seen during the snatch or clean but typically a little less extreme in terms of the amount of backward loop. This straighter overall path is not surprising when one considers the relative simplicity of the jerk drive as compared with the pull (e.g., the knees do not have to be brought out of the way or back and only the legs are imparting force). See Figure 5 (d).