The Day Norik Vardanian Was a Shot Putter
Norik Vardanian came to Garage Strength on two separate occasions. He displayed some incredible movement ability while on his visits to Pennsylvania. Norik is known for having incredible technique and for performing Olympic lifting variations that you don't typically see in the training hall.
On Norik's second visit to Garage Strength, his flight home had been delayed two days. He and Alex Lee were stuck hanging out with myself, my wife, my 3 year old son and our newborn for 4 days! Norik and Alex would get their lifts done, eat some food and then hang out. They took notice of the many shot putters and discus throwers that trained at Garage Strength. One of those days, Norik decided he wanted to toss a 16lb shot. He went over with his dad bod, held the shot left handed because he didn't want to hurt his dominant arm if he threw it too hard & launched the shot over 45 feet from a standing position!! He had never thrown a shot before and simply listened to very basic instructions on how to throw.
Why do I think he was able to throw so well? If you watch Norik train, you quickly understand that he has an incredible grasp on human movement. He never jumps in his pulls, he finishes each lift grounded as long as possible and is always in the same position when catching. He is incredibly consistent with his movements. That trait, carried into the circle. When he threw he moved the same way he does on the platform. He finished the throw with both feet grounded and did not step forward until the shot was long out of his hand.
Did the fact that he can snatch and clean and jerk massive amounts of weight help? Of course it did, but his understanding of movement is what helped him the most. Shot putters tend to be the strongest and most explosive athletes on the planet.
Regularly, you will see shot putters catching cleans or snatches in numerous precarious positions all while moving MASSIVE amounts of weight (200k or more). I believe it is important to have a solid level of general strength, but I also believe there needs to be a strong understanding of proper movement!
Fortunately for us, there are ways to improve movement efficiency AND gain strength!! Don't just focus on grip and rip, focus on each little movement and how they can be used to transfer into the circle.