Kolotov shows the preferred style for cleaning a press. This saves a lot of strength and permits a better starting position than cleaning in a low squat position.
How I Perfect the Press
by Anatoly Zhitetsky
I perform all the movements in the two-hands press in different variations depending upon my physical and technical preparedness in a given period. When performing a press with maximum results, I am not successful in lifting the bar to the chest at a high stance. Therefore, I resort to a deep squat clean.
The main things I watch when lifting the bar to the chest are: straight line movement of the bar, maximum starting speed, the power of the final effort, the coordination of the effort of the legs, trunk and arms, the depth and precision of the squat, the correct rising out of the squat, and the bar’s correct resultant position at the chest. While pressing the bar from the chest I try to complete the movement precisely, with the right direction of the bar’s movement, and with maximum speed.
In order to perform the press from the chest correctly, I work not only on technique, but also develop the strength of the arms. For this I use auxiliary exercises with a barbell: push press (press with the help of the legs), press behind the neck, and supine press. To obtain good results in the press I train more often with maximum weights and once or twice a month I test my strength. Training painstakingly in the press with great loads, I also gain something more: the growth of strength helps me raise the results in the two-hands snatch and jerk.
I now train four times a week, the length of each training session is 2½ to 3 hours.
During the weekly cycle I arrange the load in the two-hands press in the following manner: In the first session – heavy, in the second session – medium, in the third session – heavy, in the fourth session – light. Two to three weeks before a meet I add two light training sessions in the two-hands press between the first and second sessions.
When performing the two-hands press I give special attention to the correct organization and arrangement of the training session, and its correct goal orientation.
To obtain maximum possible sports results in the two-hands press, great physical effort, and speed and accuracy in the completion of the separate movements are necessary. For this reason movements in only the classical press are insufficient; it is necessary to utilize special-assistance exercises and general development exercises, without which it is impossible to discover completely an athlete’s potential possibilities.
Results in the press also depend in many ways upon the ability to bring the bar to the chest. I employ special-assistance exercises for this: lifting the bar to the chest at a high stance with a low dip; jerk pulls (power-pulls with a heavy weight); lifting the bar (medium and heavy weights) to the chest from a hang with a full squat; squatting with the bar at the shoulders or at the chest.
In order to perfect the two-hands press from the chest, besides exercises in the supine position, the press behind the neck, and push-presses, I set aside a large place for exercises with dumbells, especially during the preparatory period. Exercises with dumbells can localize the work of the muscles in that part of the body which interests me. I avoid a large number of repetitions and the lifting of great weights when training in the press. In the beginning of a training session I do up to 5 repetitions of an exercise with light weight (warmup). Beginning with a weight equal to 60% of my best result, I complete 4 to 5 approaches to the bar and, increasing the weight in each approach, I go up to my medium training weight (85% of my best result). At this weight I do 4 to 5 approaches, repeating the movement 3 or 4 times in succession. Upon increasing the results in the press, I increase the medium training weight accordingly.
In my workouts I include exercises for the development of flexibility and coordination of movement, which helps me to complete the two hands press in a technically correct manner without difficulty.
I conduct training in the two-hands press in a separated manner – first the cleans, and then the press from the chest. To me, such a division has a large advantage over other methods.
Perfection in the lifting of the bar to the chest at a high stance or with a squat (the latter for me particularly) also has a positive influence on my results in the quick movements.
I have observed that in training sessions some weightlifters direct their attention only to the second part of the movement – the pressing of the bar off the chest. This is incorrect, since success in the press depends in many ways how effectively the bar was lifted to the chest.
My preparation for the two hands press does not remain standard because of many factors, such as the workout conditions, the time of year, the competitive calendar, the condition of health and other reasons. In order to avoid staleness from the very same exercises, from time to time I bring about a change in the workout scheme.
Prolonged monotonous repetition of the load entails a decline of interest in workouts, and tends to an overtrained state. In such instances it is not obligatory to lower the strength load. It is possible to train with the former load, changing only the character of the exercises and the order of their fulfillment. As a result, interest in workouts will arise anew, the organism will cope with the load, and sports achievements will steadily increase.
In the achievement of high sports results in the two hands press, I assign great significance to the buildup of will power upon lifting the weight, which I cultivate at training sessions, completing the exercises with maximum weights only when I feel good and have good coordination. Only be continuous completion of the movements in correct style can one lift weights in perfect form.
In the process of year-round training I give great attention to observing my diet, which frequently becomes the deciding factor, when the question concerns the achievement of high sports results.