Video: Bob Takano – Old Habits Die Hard

Former bodybuilders who are new to Olympic weightlifting demonstrate similar movement patterns. It may take a while to change these patterns, but it can be done.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check here every Wednesday for a new coaching video from Bob Takano. Learn how to be a better lifter and a better Olympic lifting coach from one of the best.

I frequently tell athletes that their bodies are a configuration of structures and movement patterns that best support the activity they’ve been doing most frequently. To become weightlifters they must reconfigure and learn new movement patterns. The lift in the video provides an example of that how that concept affects weightlifting.

Art had come from a background of bodybuilding-type training which means lots of bench presses. This means that his movement pattern with respect to supporting a bar at the shoulders was to have the hips positioned ahead of the shoulders. If you get a newbie with this background, you can spot them the first time you ask them to take a bar off the rack for a front squat. They will position the hips ahead of the bar.

In this video, Art has a technically adequate clean pull, and to his credit has the ability to adjust to a power clean rather than a full clean when the bar accelerates. However, his old movement pattern takes over and he ends up moving his hips in front of the bar to rack it, and his feet hop forward. In my past experience with this type of situation, it takes about a year of regular weightlifting training to reconfigure the muscular structure and to “exorcise” the bodybuilding movement patterns.

Art has made further strides since this video was taken, and he will someday have proficient movement patterns for weightlifting. Fortunately Art is very focused on accomplishing these goals.