Good morning everyone and welcome back to weightlifting weekly after a holiday hiatus.  I hope everyone was good and Santa brought the freshest lifting gear because it is time to talk improvement.  In weightlifting there are ratios between each lift that can be considered ideal.  An example is the snatch to the clean and jerk.  The “ideal” ratio is 80%.  Mobility, body proportions, and technique will play a role in this, but it is a good guideline.  Using myself as an example, my best snatch was 87% of my clean and jerk.  While I am a longer and leaner lifter so a higher percentage is normal, 87% is still too high  (On the opposite end my shorter, thicker lifters, don’t be too bummed if the number is a little lower).  This doesn’t tell us too much right away, but add in some variables like squat numbers, jerk numbers, power clean and power snatch numbers, and you have a pretty good look on where your weaknesses lie.  To finish on myself, my power clean was too close to my clean and my front and back squat were too small for my snatch numbers.  The answer was simple, raw leg strength.  I learned this too late, I spent too long thinking it was cool that I was a snatch specialist, or that my overhead squat was more than my front squat.  I liked being an anomaly.

You should make an effort to be balanced for many reasons, the first is that it can help prevent injury.  In any off ratio, the divide will continue to grow unless acted on.  Whatever the cause of the divide is, if it is not being worked at, the stronger areas must compensate.  Eventually something will have to give.  It is hard to admit a weakness and take a step back, but much better one step backward to take many forward, then a few forward and many back.

The second reason is you will be a more consistent lifter.  Without any awkward ratios, you can always be working on the competition lifts and working on strength and speed.  More programs will have positive outcomes, you will be able to recover better, train more often, and more coaches will be available to help you.  The more off the ratios the more specialized each of the above would have to be.

The last reason is you want to be the best lifter you can be.  With proper ratios, my total would’ve improved by 20kg.  I was too stubborn to focus on my weaknesses and it made me a worse lifter.  Your ability to grow as an athlete and compete at whichever level you choose will be much easier by focusing on the big picture.  Ratio’s are a great tool to help

This link will take you to Sean Waxman’s ratio calculator.  It can be a great tool when you are at a plateau or not sure what step to take next.

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