Lessons from Klokov

So it’s been some time since I attended a seminar held by the man himself, Dmitry Klokov, back in November in San Diego.  As fitness trends and knowledge continues to evolve, I do not believe that there is only one way of training, but that learning through multiple training methods and perspectives should be considered.  We can take this and apply it to our own daily workout routines.  When something doesn’t feel right or our body fatigues more than expected, we change our sets/rep and even exercise.  fullsizerender

I had a conversation with a fellow colleague the other day about the way Russians and Chinese train for Olympic Lifting.  If we look at the way they train, their numbers are improving significantly.  However does that mean we should copy the Chinese and train the way they do?  Absolutely not.  The Chinese trains for Olympic Lifting that suits their body type, as does the Russians.  So the techniques they are doing are working for them.  We should consider bar distance from ground to overhead, foot placement, grip width, etc.

My point is that what I learned and am about to share isn’t the all “right” way to train, but something to consider or try in your training regiment to see if it might work for you.


  • Find your mistakes, fix them through training muscles through accessory work.
  • Find balance in all areas.
  • Doing Power Clean and Power Snatch teaches poor form for full clean and snatch.
    To elaborate on this, it actually makes sense.  Our landing position isn’t the same when we land in a power position, it causes the technique to differ slightly.

Mistakes to Identify and Correct:
1.  Weak quads – if your butt is too high in the start position then you are using your hamstrings, which causes you to jump and land forward
*The best exercise for hamstrings is the Deficit Deadlift with knees slightly bent
2.  Dynamic starting pull – although dynamic movements allow for enhanced muscle memory (motor skill), it is not preferred for a balanced and strong start

Mistakes in 1st Pull:
1.  Too fast – too ballistic and no control
2.  Feet position is parallel – point toes out
3.  There is space between shin and bar
4.  Arms – not using lats

Accessory Exercises
1.  Deficit Deadlift – for quad strength
2.  Deadlift – do not relax at the top for quads
3.  Snatch Grip Press – Sotts Press or behind the neck press
4.  Jump w/ Weight – for speed, perform FULL extension out to toes; perform after squats to fatigue
5.  Clean and Jerk – use any combination
Something important he mentioned that when doing some of these exercises, he doesn’t write out exactly a set and rep scheme, he does them based on how he feels that day.  So if you’re not feeling the clean and jerks one day then save it for another day when you will get the most bang for your buck when you feel good and just pick something else to do.

What I learned from him really boggled my mind because most of it was the complete opposite of what I have been taught in CrossFit for the past 6 years.  Keep in mind however, that his training is solely on olympic lifting and not metabolic conditioning.  This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.  His passion and discipline for the sport can be seen through his teachings.  He was TOUGH and I mean TOUGH as he went through each and every one of us performing the exercises during the seminar.

For more info about Klokov, CLICK HERE!


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