Around the time I was born in the early 80s, Russian lifter Viktor Sots was setting world records and incorporating in training his legacy move, the Sots Press.
The movement can be performed in either the clean receiving position, the lowest point of a front squat and pressing from front rack, or in the snatch receiving position, pressing from behind the neck with a wide grip.
Both versions are challenging, working core strength, balance and mobility. This season I am incorporating both versions into my Olympic lifting programming for both myself and clients who also pursue this type of lifting.
Though he pokes at Olympic lifters a bit, I have really benefited from reading the materials from Louie Simmons at Westside Barbell. He writes that the Olympic lifting programming can get quite stagnant and I tend to agree having some experience behind me. Incorporating productive strength variants instead of hammering the same stuff all the time, one avoids fatiguing oneself or getting bored, or a combination of both. Those two things can of course be related.
What does it matter you might ask. I’ve seen plenty of American Olympic weightlifting folks take this stance. What does it matter? I’ll just throw in whatever extra trimmings. But that seems a loss of opportunity. You see the best Olympic weightlifters in the world, the Chinese – train all kinds of variance and are able to train harder because of that. Everything they choose contributes to some aspect of the performance and they treat it as such. And from what I can tell – they also get a lot of bodywork done!
So far what I have created for this season is attempting to balance out the productivity with the joy, that when I look at my program I think to myself “wow, this looks challenging” but I’m really looking forward to doing it and I know this will help strengthen areas of weakness.
The example Sots press does a lot to reinforce core strength and mobility in the receiving position.