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An Explanation of 2 Russian Terms. "Padriff" and "Padriff bez Prishka."

A long time ago, St. Thomas of Aquinas stated we use language in 3 basic ways to convey meaning. Equivocally, univocally and analogically. The second way univocally is what we will focus on to understand these Russian terms.

Let's begin with "padriff", which means to thrust/extend the legs when pulling. It does not mean to jump up. There are dozens of words in Russian that do mean to jump up. "Prygat" means to forcefully push oneself off the ground into the air. "Vskochit" means to jump on top or leap over. There are many, many more that have similar meanings. I will spare you in going over every one. My point is that none of the words that mean to jump up do not mean "Padriff" (thrusting/forceful extension of the legs when pulling a barbell). When teaching beginners, especially prepubescent age groups, Russians demonstrate to jump up in order for the beginner to understand how powerful the legs are. When teaching "padriff", coaches want lifters to come up on the toes to ensure proper force from the legs has been produced and for the lifter to feel that vertical momentum has been generated on the barbell.

As lifters progress to the other phases, this is where attention to coming up on the toes ends This is what is great yet complicated in learning Russian. They have very specific words for every action in weightlifting. To convey words such as "padriff" they have to find it's univocal meaning in English which is jump. The result in meaning and intention does get lost in translation. Consider what Dimitry Klokov states in his book available from Juggernaut Strength. "Do not focus on particular extension onto the toes, this position will occur from the momentum of your vertical hip extension." Now one could say I'm just isolating one statement from an entire manual. I suggest you buy the book from Juggernaut Strength and read it. They deserve the money for publishing it. Let's look at this from some other Russian/Soviet coaches. In particular, Nikolai Petrovich Laputin (Russia) and Valentin Grigoryevich Oleshko (Ukraine). Their published work "Managing the Training of Weightlifters" was translated and published in 1982 by Andrew "Bud" Charniga.

The book's primary aim was to investigate the high number of missed attempts and bomb outs in competition from 1977-1980. This book concludes that at this time, there were differences in research regarding how fast a lifter should begin to pull, and what percentage of maximum lifts effectively improved technique in training. The authors go on to conclude that at the final explosion (or extension) phase of the lift, a lifter should position the knees under the bar and extend the knees as quickly as possible. "During the clean, the moving the knees under and the final acceleration phases last from .0.13 to 0.15 seconds each (p. 86,87). These values were nearly identical for the snatch. So during the final acceleration of the legs how much time should a lifter spend on the toes? Just over one-tenth of a second. Just long enough for a lifter to move the feet and begin a rapid descent under the bar. This is why after teaching "padriff" and actively shrugging to descend under the barbell they switch to "padriff bez prishka" which is a snatch or clean without moving the feet from the floor.

Some call this the "No Hands No Feet" or "No Feet No Hip" snatch or clean. The aim is to barely generate enough force with the legs in order that a lifter must transition under the bar into the receiving position as fast as possible. One can see this in numerous training videos of Norik Vardanyan, as well as the many youtube videos of Dimitry Klokov, Ilya Ilyin and Vasiliy Polovnikov. In closing, we must briefly examine how not only are Russians pulling now but Chinese, Bulgarians etc. Lifters are primarily pulling through the mid-foot, fairly straight to the knees and once the bar passes the knees lifters actively drive the hips forward positioning the shoulders behind the bar and in so doing are often on the balls of their feet before final extension of the knees and legs.

Let's look at a few photos provided at the bottom (click on the photos for a full view). All of these lifters are pulling through the mid-foot from start to finish. They do this so that the knees extend last, not the ankles, and before the final extension of the knees, the shoulders are behind the bar. So, if a lifters primary aim is to jump up, they are not going to jump up very far. Try it. Place your weight on the mid-foot, drive your hips forward and up while remaining on the mid-foot (your shoulders will now be back behind you) and thrust your legs so that the knees extend last. Have fun falling over or barely leaving whatever surface you're on. Now look at some slow motion video of Lu Xiaojun and Apti Aukhadov from last year's world championship. Is their main aim to jump up or accomplish "padriff" or "fast" in Chinese? Let open, honest discussion begin.

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