My family goes down to Destin Florida annually for vacation. Like most, we spend an inordinate amount of time out in the heat. A number of years back, I was laying in a recliner on the beach after a few liberally poured margaritas and a great deal of sun, admiring Gods creation. Off in the distance, I saw a silver seagull standing proud where the waves met the sand. I was studying the silver seagull for a few minutes and then in an instance it vanished. The very moment it vanishes it appeared next to my chair at my feet. I sat up. I then asked the silver seagull, “What was that? I mean, how did you do that?” The silver seagull replied, “That is called perfect speed. I am here, then I am there, but there is nothing in between.”

Before Olympic lifting well, you must learn to organize yourself and the bar into a few foundational positions. The set up. The extension. The receive. Once you’ve developed comfort and strength in these positions. You must learn the correct timing transitioning from one to the next. The transition from the set up to the extension starts slow and ends fast. Then the transition from the extension to the receive is hardly a transition at all. Because translating requires time. This portion of the lift is done with “perfect speed” like the silver seagull. You must be in one position and immediately into the next.

In my minds eye, I imagine a much more muscular, flip book cartoon version of myself snatching. I thumb through the pages until the extension, I then rip every page (frame) out of the book between the extension and the receive. I then flip through the book and watch myself transform into a majestic, muscular, snatching, silver seagull man cartoon.

If you need help recovering from seeing inside my brain, consult a doctor. If you need help with the Olympic lifting positions, let’s schedule some time to work on them. If you understand the positions, then tap into your inner silver seagull.

-Bradley Berlin

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